Instant Play Casinos
No Download Casinos
What You Need to Know
Instant play casinos allow an online player to gamble on a site without the need to download software. Because there is no software to download and install, gamblers often refer to them as “no download casinos”, too. Read this guide to instant casinos and learn what they have to offer and decide where to play based on your preferences. We discuss the differences between Flash casinos, HTML5 casinos, and Java casinos, while giving opinions on which are best for online gaming.
This guide also provides tips for using an instant play online casino. Giving you the best online casinos you can instantly play at. Many players prefer no download casinos, because they don’t have to load their hard drive with software. I’ll compare casino downloads with instant play gambling, so beginners can decide which is best for their needs.
Best Instant Play Casinos
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Benefits and Drawbacks
For those players that do not want to download casino software, instant play casinos offer you many benefits, with some drawbacks. The most obvious benefit is not downloading any software to your computer. This will limit where you can play, as you will have to download it on every computer you play on.
Advantages of Instant Play
- Play from anywhere without needing your computer.
- As of 2016, as fast as the downloaded casino software.
- Graphics and sounds are just as good.
- An option for Mac and Linux users with compatibility issues.
- Maintains privacy. No software icons on the desktop.
- More secure for those who share computers; passwords are not saved.
Disadvantage of Instant Play
- Some online slots titles not available through instant play.
- Need to download Adobe Flash or Java.
- Minor security concerns if you play using public Wi-Fi.
- Each time you play, you’ll need to load the game again.
Best Flash No Download Casinos
Though many experts have predicted that Abode Flash is going to be replaced, the most common instant-play casino technology in 2016 is still the Flash game. Flash is a free software maintained by Adobe Microsystems. Flash supports animations and high quality video streams, making it perfect for casino games. Flash is still used by game designers because it allows manipulation of 3D images, creates textured meshes in 3D space, reorients and restyles texts to create solid topography, and supports dynamic audio mixing for real time music.
Most web browsers still enable Flash by default, though Google Chrome users might need to download Adobe Flash. Players are most likely to encounter a Flash no-download casino. Most of the top software developers support Flash, even if they use other technology for no-download games. Microgaming, NetEnt, RTG, and Playtech all use the Flash casino instant play option. Below are a couple of our gold-level sites which use instant-play Flash games. If you have crashes in Flash, it’s probably because your computer and your browser each have a version which are causing troubles, so you need to deactivate one of them.
- Rating: Gold
- Software Used: Flash
- Bonus Amount: $5,000
- # of games: 400
- Rating: Gold
- Software Used: Flash, HTML5
- Bonus Amount: £500
- # of games: 500+
Best Java Instant Play Casinos
Instant-play Java games are not as common in the online gambling industry as they once were. Oracle has announced it is going to stop supporting Java plugins after Java 9. While it works with all types of online casino games, Java is generally slower than Flash or HTML5 games. Despite this drawback, several silver-level brands use Java instant play casino games. Of those, Ladbrokes and Club World Casinos are our recommendations.
- Rating: Silver
- Software Used: Java
- Bonus Amount: Up to £2,000
- # of games: 400+
- Rating: Silver
- Software Used: Java
- Bonus Amount: $777
- # of games: 200
Best HTML5 No Download Casinos
HTML5 was chosen by the Worldwide Web Consortium as the handpicked successor to Flash and Java. The technology breaks down the barrier between devices and browsers, so it might one day make mobile apps obsolete. HTML5 has higher quality streaming and faster real time gameplay, so streaming live dealer games is better with HTML5.
HTML5 software allows no-download casinos to operate seamlessly with Android and IOS smartphones and tablet computers. Because the language was perfected after smartphones and tablet computers became mainstream, HTML5 is the first mainstream programming language to be designed to support mobile gambling and social games. This second factor might not matter much in the online gambling industry, but it should help HTML5 become the dominant no-download gaming platform of the future. William Hill and Betway Casino are two examples of instant-play casinos which feature HTML5 games (though content mostly uses Flash).
- Rating: Silver
- Software Used: HTML5, Flash
- Bonus Amount: £4,950
- # of games: 400+
- Rating: Silver
- Software Used: HTML5, Flash
- Bonus Amount: €1,000
- # of games: 475
Instant play games allow greater privacy. If you have children at home who might use your computer, you won’t want casino’s software on the desktop, where they might gamble with a few clicks. If you travel, you might not want someone in a hotel lobby or airport terminal getting quick access to your casino account. No-download casino gaming adds more privacy, which makes it harder for people to quickly access your site settings.
Graphics and Sound Quality
The sound quality and graphics in instant play online casino games are on a par with downloadable games now. Technology has caught up with the design skills of game developers. In most cases, casino software uses the same sound effects, music, graphics, and animations which are used in instant play games. Thanks to the Flash and HTML5 platforms, no-download video slots are every bit as advanced as the fully downloaded online slots.
Mac and Linux Compatibility
Mac computers use Flash and HTML5 software to load the casino instant-play games in the web browser. This circumvents the need for software downloads which are not compatible with Mac computers. Even in 2016, many developers still do not design online casino software which is compatible with Mac, because they focus on the 95% of the gambling community which uses Microsoft Windows computers. Instant play casinos therefore are the only option for players who use Mac operating systems.
The same can be said of Linux instant-play casinos. Linux gamblers prefer less expensive solutions, often with computers they build from component parts. While Windows compatibility software exists, this basically turns their computers into a Microsoft product. Since players with Unix-based operating systems don’t want to deal with virus protection and Windows usability issues, playing in the web browser with Flash games is their best option. Players with Linux computers should click on the “Instant Play” link, go to the lobby, and gamble with the Flash instant play games.
At one time, the game selection in an instant casino were 25% to 50% of the total downloadable gaming content. Due to the latest advances, instant casinos’ no-download inventory contains every game the downloaded software does. In fact, many operators have gone to instant-play gaming altogether, with no option for a download.
All major games are available for either the no-download casino or the downloadable software. Whether a gambler wants to play video slots, video poker, or table games, that gambler has the choice between browser-based or download-based games. Simply choose the gambling method you prefer.
While online casino operators take measures like SSL certificates to assure payments are secure, the security issues are not greater in the gambling industry than other e-commerce. In fact, online casinos do not save credit card information or banking information — only names and addresses. For that reason, online casinos are not a major target of identity thieves and other scam artists.
The same applies to the average instant play online casino. Banking institutions are hacked more often than Internet casinos, because there is more profit to be made launching cyber-attacks on financial institutions. While anyone can be hacked and it’s important to report on the security procedures used by no-download casinos, cyber-attacks can happen to any online website you use.
Types of No Download Casinos
Players encounter one of three types of instant play casino softwar: Adobe Flash, Java, and HTML5. The first two are the most common options, while the third is still in development and therefore rarer. Occasionally, tech publications suggest Adobe might stop supporting Flash, which would mean Java gaming would become much more popular. Unfortunately, Oracle appears as if it might not support the traditional Java applet much longer, either. Adobe Systems continues to support Adobe Flash at the moment, but its ascendance won’t last.
By 2017 or 2018, expect to see HTML5 become the dominant way to play no-download games instantly. HTML5 not only provides better graphics and faster streaming, but it is breaks down the barriers between platforms. If you download HTML5 video streaming software, the same software will work on smartphones, tablets, personal computers, or laptops. This means developers only have to design one software package, which makes it cheaper and easier for them.
Adobe Flash Casinos & Games
Flash Player is a free software application supported by Adobe Systems Incorporated of San Jose, California. Adobe Systems is known for products like Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere Pro, and Dreamweaver. Adobe did not develop Flash, but inherited the software when Adobe bought Macromedia in 2005. Flash, a free downloadable software, once dominated the web video market. It still dominates on the instant play online casino market.
Most online instant play casinos use Flash games. Designers love to write games for the software, for the many reasons listed above. If you see links for “Flash Casino” or “Flash Games”, you’ll need an Adobe Flash software download to play the game. Adobe Flash comes automatically these days on most browsers. When you update to the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Safari, you’re likely to have Flash Player downloaded to your computer automatically. This makes instant play casino gambling seamless, though it can lead to some problems.
Advantages of Flash Games
- Supports animations and high quality video streams.
- Used by top providers like Microgaming, Playtech, and Vegas Technology.
- Adobe Flash is free to download.
- Easy manipulation of 3D images.
- Creates textured meshes in 3D space.
- Reorients and restyles texts to create solid topography.
- Supports dynamic audio mixing for real time music.
- Efficient use of hardware to accelerate the manipulation of bitmaps.
Disadvantages of Flash Games
- Frequent crashes of browsers.
- Adobe might not support Flash Player in two years.
Complaints about Adobe Flash Crashes
Browsers update often. Chrome is on version 49.0. Firefox is on version 44.0 at the moment. For those and other browsers, new versions and updates are offered continuously. Adobe has to maintain compatibility with each of these and there is a certain lag time. Both Chrome users and Firefox users complain that Adobe Flash crashes their browser often, even when they have the latest version. (Sometimes, especially when they have the latest version.) This makes gaming difficult, especially when someone is gaming for real money.
Those crashes eventually are going to kill Adobe Flash. Encoding.com reported that only 4% of mobile and web videos watched in 2015 were watched with Adobe Flash. That percentage was down from 21% of the video market in 2014. In one short year, millions of viewers abandoned Flash Player.
For that reason, Encoding.com said it expects Flash to disappear entirely from its report in two years. It’s a stark decline for a software which once was dominant on YouTube and multimedia formats. On mobile devices, the 13-year old H.264 seems to be the momentary video software of choice. No one thinks such an old system will be the long term answer. Instead, HTML5 options like WebM and H.265 are the current trendy predictions for the software tech analysts believe will replace Flash. I’ll discuss HTML5 in a minute. For the time being, it is a distant third option among online instant gaming.
Which Online Casinos Offer Instant Play Flash Games?
Hundreds of different websites offer Flash games. Despite the dire predictions, an online gambler in early 2016 who clicks on an instant play game is likely to need Flash Player. Here is a partial list of top sites which offer Flash instant play games include: Bet365 Casino, Platinum Play, 32Red, Royal Vegas, Spin Palace, Unibet, Vegas Slot, AllSlots, 7 Sultans, Mr. Green, Mummy’s Gold, Cabaret Club, Betway Casino, All Jackpots, and Ruby Fortune Casino. The list could go on and on, but that should give readers an idea of the many options available. Flash casinos are by far the most common way to gamble online without using the downloadable casino software. Other options exist, so let’s take a look at those.
Java Casinos & Games
Advantages of Java Games
- Downloading a Java machine is a quick and free.
- One of the most popular programming languages, with an estimated 9 million developers as of 2015.
- Supported by Oracle, a $100 billion corporation based out of Santa Clara, California.
Disadvantage of Java Games
- Requires the download of a Java virtual machine.
- Not standard with most browsers like Flash, so you need to actively download the software.
- Oracle plans to end its support of Java plugins after Java 9, which is about to release.
- Security concerns, which is why browsers stopped supporting plugins in general.
- Slower than browser games which use Flash or HTML5
Oracle Is Ending Its Support of Java Plugins
Readers might be surprised to learn that Oracle is planning to end its support of Java plugins in the near future. Oracle plans to deprecate its plugin in its release of Java 9, which is set to release later in 2016. At present, a beta version of Java 9 is in circulation. The move was forced on Oracle by the web browsers. Chrome deprecated browser plugins in April 2015. Firefox announced plans to do the same thing in October 2015. Microsoft’s Edge browser has lacked plugins for a while. Only Internet Explorer 11 still supports plugins. Oracle recently released suggestions for organizations who want to migrate away from the Java plugin, so the way Java games work at online casinos is likely to change in the next year or two. For gamblers wondering where that leaves them, Oracle’s suggested option is migrating to the plugin-free Java Web Start technology.
Which Online Casinos Use Instant Play Java Games?
While Java games are not as common as Flash games, it is the choice of many top online casino operators. The list of brand name instant play casinos that use Java include Ladbrokes, Paddy Power Casino, Bwin.Party, Betfred, Spin Palace, Club World, Ruby Fortune, Grand Parker, Loco Panda, and Win Palace Casino.
As you see, the two dominant ways to play instant games are likely to be discarded by the companies which support them at present. People might be wondering which options they’ll have for no-download gaming in 2017 and 2018. The answer is HTML5 games.
HTML5 Casinos & Games
HTML5 is a markup language which was published by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) in October 2014. Since that time, a growing number of developers have written applications using the language. HTML5 is a long-awaited update of the HTML language. HTML 4.0 was released in 1998, which is eons ago in the software development field. Development on HTML5 began way back in 2004, back before technologies it is designed to enhance (smartphones, tablets) were on the market. The long time to develop and publish the language is likely the result of the revolutionary changes in telecommunications over the past 12 years. Likely, coders had to restart their work on HTML5 on one or two occasions.
HTML5 Games Overview
- Breaks down the barrier between devices and browsers. HTML5 could and should make mobile apps obsolete.
- Higher quality streaming and faster real time gameplay for live dealer games. Live streaming is better with HTML5.
- HTML5 games make mobile casinos more compatible and accessible. Allows Apple and Android smartphone users to access casinos anywhere.
- Markup language can be read by average people, but also the devices.
- Designed to support smartphones and tablet computers, where Flash and Java was designed long before their inception.
- Will make social gaming easier. This is an added bonus for gamblers, because it should assure the dominance of HTML5.
- Supported by the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), which maintains international standards on the Internet.
Disadvantages of HTML5 Games
- Not used by many online casino companies yet.
- It’s unknown which HTML5 multimedia application will become the dominant one.
2015 was the first year which saw a significant impact by HTML5. Given the fact it had been published only a few months prior, that impact was immediate and stark. The Worldwide Web Consortium is a 408-member group based on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. W3C maintains online standards for the entire Internet. Members of the consortium include Google, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, PayPal, Visa Europe, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Walt Disney Corporation, Hewlett Packard, and Target. Japanese corporations like Sony and Hitachi are members, while Chinese corporations like China Unicom and China Mobile are also members. Public institutions also are consortium members, such as the Library of Congress, The National Archives, MIT, the Open University, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, Zhejiang University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Nanjing University.
All of this is to say that any online technology published by the W3C is likely to be quite successful. Gamblers should expect to see instant play casinos and games change over to HTML5 formats in the next few years. Mobile gaming certainly is going to change–and probably sooner rather than later.
WebM: An Example of HTML5 Video Streaming
WebM is an example of what is possible with the HTML5 language. WebM became the top video file format for HTML5 after its release in May 2015. The format is sponsored by Google. Because Google owns YouTube, the world’s biggest video site offers WebM videos as part of its HTML5 player and plans to encode the entire YouTube portfolio to WebM. Nintendo Wii, Skype, Wikimedia, and 4Chan all support the video file format already. Others are likely to follow.
As you can see from the bullet points listed above, the advantages of HTML5 are many. People have been predicting the markup language’s coming dominance for a long time. Before he died, Steve Jobs said it would surpass Flash. Microgaming began experimenting with HTML5 back in 2012, though it was rolling out the Adobe Air mobile casino software at the same time. Since then, more industry experts have added their voice to the growing consensus that HTML5 will eventually overtake its rivals and change no-download online casino games.
How HTML5 Improves Instant Play Online Games
In fact, HTML5 is such a powerful tool that it is likely to make mobile casino applications altogether obsolete. The language is going to improve mobile games, live streaming, and cinematic slots. Interactive gaming is set for a revolution. Developers are going to be able to design sharper images and produce more fluid graphics.
The real progress is the ability of HTML5 to natively support video, while simultaneously working across all platforms. The cross-platform adaptability makes HTML5 a far superior tool for developers, because they won’t have to design separate software for the online and mobile versions of a game. Software development executives are going to see that they can get better products with half of the investment in time and money. If nothing else did, that alone ensures HTML5 is going to dominate the Internet gaming operations of the future.
Which Online Casinos Use HTML5?
At the moment, though, few of the leading online casino operators use HTML5. Nearly four years after Microgaming said they were going to migrate to their mobile games to this technology, they still use Adobe Flash games to support the bulk of their no-download games. That is likely to change over the next year or two. Come to this page in 2018 and you’ll likely read a much different analysis of instant play games.
HMTL5 is being used by most top mobile gaming software companies already. As for traditional online casinos, Microgaming has versions of roulette, blackjack, and their most popular slots which use HTML5. For instance, an HTML5 version of Tomb Raider Slots exists. People who want to test one of these games should take a look at the instant play Tomb Raider.
More Instant Play Casino Information
In the discussions above, I noted the type of software which several top companies use. It would have been unwieldy to name all of the companies in those topics, so I wanted to include information on several other top online casino brands in the space here. In doing so, I discuss providers like NetEnt and individual operators like Bovada. I’ll also offer the briefest of information on mobile casino apps. While that information is not specifically part of our discussion of instant play casinos and games, the inception of cross-platform programming language means the boundaries between mobile and online casino gaming are being torn down. Separate discussions of online and mobile software won’t always be the case.
NetEnt Instant Play Casino Software
Net Entertainment also happens to be a leader in “direct play” mini-games, which are browser games offered for quick-play while a player waits for other programs to start. Mini-games are popular with online sportsbooks and sports exchanges, which sometimes have delays while events play out. A mini-game allows someone to make in-play sports bets on live sporting events in their browser’s window, while playing mini-blackjack, mini-roulette, or mini-slots in another tab.
What Is CSS3?
People reading the NetEnt write-up might be wondering what CSS3 is. CSS3 is the latest version of “cascading style sheets”, a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a markup language. Like its predecessors, CSS3 is a cornerstone technology for websites to create visually engaging webpages. The technology also helps create useful interfaces for mobile applications and web applications. CSS3 can be used to design games. Most browsers implement the latest version of CSS standards, like they do with HTML, but CSS3 is not a popular choice in the online casino industry. Developers have written games using the style sheet language, but programmers indicate it is frustrating to use, because the games freeze. While NetEnt wants designers with experience in that field, it does not imply a fourth major option for instant play games, though it supports markup language like HTML. For instance, HTML+CSS is a popular choice for creating animated pictures.
Bovada Instant Play
Bovada is an example of an US online casino which uses instant play casino games exclusively. Many Bovada instant play mobile slots now use HTML5 technology, though some of its mobile slots are designed for Flash Player. Bovada, which is the US-facing successor to Bodog, uses a variety of software packages to support their online casino, mobile casino, and their sportsbook. The main software providers are RealTime Gaming (RTG) and Rival Gaming. RTG began developing HTML5 mobile slots in early 2015, so it should be a matter of time before all of Bovada’s online slots are converted to HTML5 games.
The Bovada website offers advice for instant play on their site. Most of the tips involve mobile gaming. Bovada notes that Flash games do not interface well with Apple products, unless a “special browser or plug-in” is used. Plugins are being phased out in general, which could make it difficult for Mac users on Bovada. Bovada recommends that players find sites which use HMTL5, then notes that they intend on becoming one of those instant-play online casinos. Because it offers a $3,000 welcome bonus and over 250 casino games, OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos recommends U.S. players looking for instant play games should try Bovada first.
Blackberry Instant Play Mobile Games
All mobile casinos offer downloadable apps for Apple iOS and Android phone. Some mobile casinos offer Blackberry and Windows Phone apps, while others do not. The bad news for Blackberry users is that many sites do not offer downloadable software for their mobile gaming. The good news is that Flash is supported on Blackberry phones, so gamblers who use Blackberries should be able to play all mobile table games and most mobile slots.
Windows Phone Mobile Games
Whichever mobile operating systems you smartphone uses, I suggest you make certain the device is optimized for HTML5 video streaming. Instant play casino games are undergoing a revolution. While Flash games are the dominant factor right now, it soon won’t be the case anymore.