Posts tagged with "Games"

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for gaming article inside 360 MAGAZINE

Classic casino games – why they’ve stood the test of time

One of the largest and most successful industries in the world is the casino industry, both brick and mortar and online. The physical and online casino industry is currently worth an estimated $227 billion, with online casinos alone bringing in $46 billion of that number. If a person were to compare the casino landscape from 20 years ago to today, it is vastly different as the industry continues to move online. 

Even the iconic physical slot machines have been replaced with digitalized slot machines with algorithms predicting a win or loss. Although, in spite of all the technological advancements and the fact that every casino game has now moved online, they’re all practically still the same. It might not be easy to tell they’re the same with the graphics and game modes now offered on popular casinos like Vera & John, according to Manekineko Casino Vera & John offer over 350 slot games. So, it’s clear that slots have stood the test of time no matter the type of casino you play at now, whether in person or at home from your mobile. It is obviously to some degree due to the popularity of the classic casino games, and that they were designed in such a way to withstand the test of time, although there could be other factors that we’re going to look at. 

Familiarity 

When someone brings up the image of a casino in their mind, many people would think of rows of slot machines, table games such as blackjack, poker and the iconic roulette wheel, even without having visited a casino before or played any of the games. This is because these games have become imprinted on people’s memory, whether it be through books, stories, movies or television series; there is an expectation of what a casino should look like, and as a result, these are the games that are provided. In addition to these games becoming iconic, the online casino industry needs them to maintain their initial success. 

This is because the games are familiar to those new to playing casino games, and also for the experienced gamblers moving online, which is critical for online casinos since they are relatively new, and new games might not gain the same traction as the classics. 

Some don’t require skill and are fun 

Some casino games are designed in such a way to be fun and not require skill, such as slots, which is something that every new gambler needs; a simple game to introduce them to gambling. Games like slots, baccarat and bingo are all engaging yet simple, and offer fast gameplay that doesn’t require much in the way of strategy. These games are perfect for someone just looking to pass the time, or to test their luck. 

Although even slot games have changed dramatically over the years to maintain their relevance, whether it be by the added animations or the many themes, such as celebrities, sports or superheroes. Some slot games are even adopting video game themes to appeal to a younger audience, and bingo is vastly different too. 

The odds are better

In terms of people wanting to win money, the classic table games give the best odds, even online. Games like blackjack have an average house edge of 0.5%, video poker has a house edge of 0.46% and roulette is 5.26%. To give an example, a person could play blackjack with a $200 bankroll and bet $2 per hand, and be able to play for over 4 hours if they use basic strategy. 

This kind of low house edge is extremely appealing for many gamblers, especially those who don’t have a lot of experience. In addition to the house edge, all of the games listed above include a social factor, which is extremely important for the entertainment value of the game. 

Things might be changing

With all of that being said, things might be changing though, as the more experienced gamblers become less. Millennials are slowly becoming the main customer base for the casino industry, and because of that, a few games are slowly becoming less popular. Studies show that millennials are interested in games with strategy and skill, and find games like blackjack and slot unfair and uninteresting. 

Even Las Vegas is not really a gambling destination anymore, but a party destination, with room revenue from hotels being almost the same as the revenue from casinos, indicating that millennials are more interested in partying than gambling. Online gambling however shows an increase in the popularity of poker and sports betting, virtual and real, amongst millennials. However, traditional, classic casino games are not going anywhere, any time soon.   

Be sure to check out gclub for more information about the aforementioned.

How to Stay Awake During a Long Layover So You Don’t Miss Your Flight

The comfort on board planes has significantly improved compared to a couple of decades ago, especially during long-haul flights. Today, you can watch video content on streaming services on your phone or other device. Most airlines even offer access to wifi these days, That means you can play free no deposit bingo, read the latest news, or even respond to business emails to save some time.

While the actual flight might be more enjoyable than in the past, a problem occurs when you have a long layover. Nobody likes to wait for hours until their next plane arrives and they take off to their final destination. However, sometimes it is the only option for the intrepid traveler. Here is what you can do to pass the time quickly and ensure you don’t miss the next flight!

Do You Have Enough Time to Explore the City?

Here is the first thing to ask yourself – how many hours will the layover last? You might have ten hours between the flights, but you need to be at the airport for an hour or two before the next flight. That is something to consider when calculating if you have enough time to leave the airport.

If you have several hours to spare, there is no reason why you shouldn’t explore the city. It might be a unique opportunity because who knows when you will find yourself in that location again. 

The experts advise designing your city exploration plan in advance. You probably won’t have time for everything, so focus on sight or two that you want to see the most, with perhaps a meal away from the typical airport fare. Additionally, make sure that you return to the airport by the specified time. Make sure to leave some wiggle room in case something goes wrong, such as your taxi getting in a traffic jam while taking you back to the airport. It’s better to be at the lounge an hour or two earlier than to risk missing your flight. Remember – this is only a layover. It isn’t worth missing your ride to your final destination!

Your Gadgets Are Your Best Friend

It’s vital that your mobile phone is fully charged and capable of enduring active use while you are waiting for the next flight. Your cellphone will allow you to check-in with your friends and loved ones and talk to them. You will also need it for other activities we suggest later in the article. Anyone living in the modern age understands the essential nature of a cellphone while traveling. If you are traveling to a foreign country, you might want to consider being prepared with a SIM card for your destination(s). Otherwise, you might be swarmed with hidden fees.

Apart from a mobile phone, you might be carrying a laptop, tablet, or another device. All these can be useful to pass the time, so make sure you have sufficient battery. The alternative is to find a place to charge at the airport, which can be a restaurant or coffee shop. Additionally, you can be prepared by bringing your own portable charger. These are an essential gadget for any traveler – some suitcases even come with them built in these days!

Here is what you can do with these devices:

  • Respond to business emails and finish work-related tasks – you have time to spare, so why wouldn’t you use it intelligently and complete those work-related things you’d like to avoid while on vacation? Whether it’s responding to emails or writing a draft of a meeting, all it takes is finding a quiet place where you can focus.
  • Play games – mobile phones and tablets feature games that can keep you interested for hours. If there is a game you love playing at the moment, you will have several hours to enjoy it, which is a true blessing.
  • Watch TV shows and movies – the odds are the airport has high-speed internet, so how about watching a few episodes of your favourite show?
  • Listen to music – you will need headphones because you don’t want to disturb the passengers, but listening to your favourite tunes is another option. Furthermore, you can also listen to podcasts and other content. 

Make a Game Out of People Watching

Some people find it a bit strange, but others believe this is a creative way of passing the time. The idea is to position yourself in a place where people often pass by, and the airport is the perfect location for that. Your task is to watch a person and see what you can guess about them. Some find coming up with elaborate backstories for different travelers quite amusing.

Perhaps you can guess where they came from and then see what their luggage says. Make sure that you do the entire watching discreetly because it should never be one’s intent to make another traveler uncomfortable.

Freshen Up for Your Next Flight

Most airports have large toilets where you can invest some time to freshen yourself up to feel better. You probably have carry-on luggage that includes your skincare and other cosmetic products. Even a couple of wet wipes, a mouthwash and a swipe of deodorant might do the trick. 

If you want to take things to the next level, discover if the airport offers showers or spa services. Many airports where layovers are common include these facilities as they want the layover passengers to feel comfortable. You can get your batteries charged and energized by having a hot shower or getting yourself a massage to relax after a tiresome flight. Why approach the next step of your journey feeling overly foggy, when you can approach it pampered and prepared?

Are You Feeling Hungry?

The next thing to consider is whether you could use a nice meal. Most airports offer multiple restaurants and fast food facilities, but the time of day (or night) will effect which of them are open. If it’s the middle of the night, the odds are that only a late-night snack bar will be available, which is better than nothing. Treat yourself to a coffee, and healthy snacks such as a granola bar or fruit to keep you feeling energized.

However, if you find yourself at the airport in the afternoon, you can probably pick between multiple options. Since you are not in a rush, take some time to think and go with the restaurant that seems most tempting. It may even be an excellent opportunity try the local cuisine.

Read a Book

Did you start reading a book on your first flight and didn’t have time to finish it? If you can’t wait to see what happens next, how about reading it now? If it is an interesting read, it will help keep you wide awake and engaged in your surroundings. That’s the entire point – finding an activity you find attractive ensures you don’t fall asleep.

Books are a convenient way of passing the time but don’t forget to pick them carefully. If you need to start a new book and you find it boring, you might become sleepy. That’s why choosing the right title is imperative, so go with those books you know you will like. Many airports offer bookstores where you can browse numerous titles if you are in the market for something new.

Conclusion

It’s not pleasant when you have to wait for hours for the next flight. However, we staying awake can be easier if you engage in entertaining activities. Apart from ensuring that you don’t fall asleep, time will pass more quickly until you finally hear that boarding call to your final destination.

You want to plan your layover before heading on a trip. Make sure all devices like smartphones and laptops are charged and don’t hesitate to bring books and headphones to listen to music. It’s all about designing a layover plan that suits your preferences, as that one increases the odds of staying awake for as long as necessary.

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Forgotten Vintage Gaming Consoles

The video game console scene these days is quite settled, boring even. Sony and Microsoft have a stranglehold on the market, with the PlayStation enjoying a healthy lead on the Xbox. And then you have Nintendo doing their own thing with the Switch on the handheld segment, despite the rise of mobile gaming. 

All this is a far cry from the early decades of video game consoles. Consoles had some crazy innovations in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, as the designers were experimenting quite a lot. Naturally, the technology was also quite primitive in terms of computing power, graphics, and display, resulting in some extra weirdness. 

These are some of the vintage gaming consoles that never made it to the big leagues in the cut-throat video games market. Some were from small brands while others are from the big names we still see churning out consoles and games today.

Fairchild Channel F 

Despite being the first home console to use cartridges and a microprocessor, the Fairchild Channel F failed in the console market. Pitted against the legendary Atari 2600 (home of Pacman), the Channel F ended up decidedly second-best. 

Before the Fairchild, other consoles like the Magnavox Odyssey came with games built-in, which severely limited choice as well as graphics quality. The Channel F came with two built-in games and a library that eventually expanded to include over 26 games. 

The cartridges for these games were called “videocarts” and had games like Tic Tac Toe, Space War, Spitfire, and Shooting Gallery. Though it had a decent list of games, the Fairchild Console could not match Atari’s popular arcade games. 

And the controllers were also decidedly poor quality, breaking rather quickly. The F in Channel F stood for “Fun.” The fun stopped for Fairchild in 1983 as sales declined and they ended production after a six-year run that started in 1976. 

Radica Games Consoles

The modern handheld consoles like PSP, GameBoy, and Switch are designed to play many different games. But in the past, we had consoles that were basically one-trick ponies – they only came with one or a few handfuls of in-built titles. 

Radica Ltd is a name that many who were kids in the 1980s and 90s may not remember. Though not as famous as Sega or Nintendo, the US manufacturer was quite prolific in the handheld consoles market, mass-producing devices between 1983 and 2006. 

Though they became famous for consoles that carried titles from the biggest brands like Sega and Taito, Radica actually started in the gambling business. The company initially launched collectible game consoles for casinos. 

These had classic games like Blackjack 21, Poker, and Solitaire. Though thoroughly outdated by modern standards, the vintage feel of the games does make Radica consoles great from a nostalgic POV. Online variations have been designed to model modern blackjack tables as found in top land-based casinos.

Radica did not do anything innovative in the design department. Their consoles largely copied the design set by others. The company was eventually acquired and fully absorbed by toy giant Mattel in 2006. 

The Vectrex

We take screens for granted these days – be it on handheld consoles or mobile phones. But there was a time when consoles had to depend entirely on an outside video output source (and they still do for PS5 and Xbox Series X). 

The Vectrex was an idea that came far too soon – in an era when screens were still bulky, monochrome, and highly pixelated. Launched in the early ’80s, the Vectrex came bundled with its display, which was like a mini-TV. 

The display was black and white, with a series of plastic color overlays that you could place on the screen to make the objects look red, green, or blue. Though it had way better graphics than contemporary consoles, thanks to vector graphics instead of bitmaps (smooth lines), the console was ultimately a failure. 

For one, it was incredibly expensive. And the allure of not needing a TV for gaming was not huge in those days, especially as this was not a portable device. It was one of the major casualties in the great market crash of the video game industry in 1983.

Virtual Boy

Virtual Reality is a cutting edge technology that holds a lot of promise in gaming. Yet in 2021, it is still a niche in the video games landscape – a fast-growing one at that, but still in need of evolution. So you can imagine how primitive a VR-based console must have been way back in the 1990s. 

Launched by Nintendo in 1995, Virtual Boy was a good 20 years ahead of the technology. The 3D game system came with a cool VR headset and a connected controller, and games in full monochrome glory. 

Yes, Virtual Boy games had to be enjoyed in red, as the hardware was not capable of outputting in any other colors. It had a real “Terminator vision” vibe to it, which was probably intentional given how popular those movies were back then. 

The hardware was quite bulky, with the headset being quite cumbersome. And it was also quite notorious for causing headaches and eye strain to users. The one major game available on the Virtual Boy was Mario’s Tennis. 

Though the stereoscopic 3D was quite impressive for its time, the console was widely panned by critics and users. It was a commercial failure as well, due to insane pricing. Nintendo did try to make it more appealing by dropping the prices but to no avail. The Virtual Boy sank without a trace. 

casino illustration for feature in 360 Magazine

Top 5 Songs For Casinos

There are some people that can get down with the gambling songs. For a good casino, the building needs to have some good tunes. With that said, these are the top five songs that are gambling related, and a good listen when you are trying to win big. 

Honorable Mention: “A Good Run of Bad Luck” by Clint Black

While taking a gamble on playsugarhouse, maybe this song will help you go on a good run, no pun intended. The song was released in 1994 and was at the top of the charts during this time. The country themed song is uptempo and jam-packed with gamlbing related content. The song talks about a gamble with a crush on another woman. He has a mission to spend tons of money on her. He makes mention of having a stretch of bad luck, but refuses to give up on this venture. 

No. 5: “House of Cards” by Tyler Shaw

In 2015, Shaw released this hit pop song that uses a deck of cards as the main metaphor. He mentions having a void in love, but when he hits the jackpot with the Queen of Hearts, he finally gets back to winning in a heartfelt way. With many gambling references, this is a great song to feature in any casino. 

No. 4: “Gambling Man” by The Overtones

The pop song came out in 2010 with references to “taking a gamble” on love and succeeding. The narrator falls in love with a beauty and he places all of his bets on her. The narrator is not typically someone who gambles, but he believes that the love he feels is worth the risk. If you want to know how it ends, take a listen next time you are sitting down with a deck of cards. 

No. 3: “Still the Same”: by Bob Seger

The 1978 rock single begins with the narrator meeting an old friend who is a successful professional gambler. The gambler teaches the narrator that he puts his faith in the cards instead of people and knows when to walk away. It’s definitely an old school banger. 

No. 2: “Love Is A Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse

Want to get lost in a Vegas? This contemporary R&B song describes a woman feeling disappointed and lonesome. Her partner rejected her and won big in a gambling setting, which left the woman feeling like she had the losing hand. In 2006, Winehouse wrote this song based on her own troubled relationship.

No. 1: “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga

How can this not be the hit single at the top of this list? This addicting song revolving around sex and gambling broke the radio in 2008. The narrator makes plenty of gambling and sexual innuendos, while stirring in a hand of Texas hold’em. Lady Gaga created a masterpiece with this song. Hearing “p-p-p-poker face” will continuously ring in your head for hours, which is why it should be played in every casino. 

Need more information on this topic? Be sure to visit sa gaming.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

5 Ways to Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work

Unlike a few decades ago when maintaining a long-distance relationship was an expensive venture, technology has made things easier. Initially, financing long-distance calls was a tough call, but with services like Skype and Facetime, communication is now more affordable and direct. And while it might look like technology has finally bridged the gap, people in long-distance relationships will tell you it doesn’t make up for everything. The lack of proximity and regular touch makes such relationships emotionally tough. 

And with many of us either in long-distance relationships already or planning to get into one, it’s vital that we discuss how to go about making it work. According to Sandra Larson, a nurse and relationship expert, long-distance, and geographically close relationships do not differ much.

“In some cases, dating someone you’re not always in the same house can be better,” she says. Sandra emphasizes the importance of trust, saying it’s the root cause of all the issues in long-distance relationships. “Once you develop trust, it doesn’t matter how far your partner is.”

So, will your long-distance relationship survive? What should you do to make it work? Here are 5 ways to make your relationship work, regardless of the distance:

  1. Quality Over Quantity

People in a long-distance relationship cannot have a high quantity of communication compared to couples living together. However, because of the limited contact and defined communication times, you’re likely to have more quality communication. Sandra recommends using the time you have wisely. Focus more on quality rather than quantity. “If you have routine bedtime conversations, give a little thought beforehand to the most important details of your day to share. 

Avoid clogging the call with the unnecessaries or bringing back conflict topics.” Most importantly, realize the deficits of a phone/video call and plan accordingly to ensure you say the things you mean to say. You might also have to be more deliberate in your words as you’ll be lacking the benefits of facial expression and physical touch. 

  1. Pay Attention and Prioritize Active Listening

When the phone is your only means of communication, it can be hard to make your partner feel like you’re listening. Actively listening involves being alert to pick any abnormalities or changes in your partner’s tone or behavior. Most importantly, it entails letting your partner talk without immediately shifting the focus back to yourself. Whether it’s celebrity gossip or at-work drama, let them finish and try to offer relevant responses while encouraging them to tell you more. 

If you pick any changes in your partner’s voice or demeanor, encourage them to tell you more about it and offer a listening ear. If it’s something you can help with from afar, go ahead and offer a helping hand. 

  1. Be Creative

According to Sandra, never be too reliant on technology. Of course, it’s an important part of the relationship, but there’s more to do. “A good relationship takes a great deal of compromise and creativity. Try new ways to do things that you’d have otherwise done physically together to bridge the gap. For instance, you can both use applications like ‘Rabbit’ and ‘Couple’ that let you watch Netflix together and share life updates. 

You can also read the same books. That will enhance the feeling of connecting through shared experiences regardless of how many miles you are away from each other.

  1. Make Plans Together

According to research, long-distance relationships are more satisfying when there’s a clear plan for the future. How long are we going to be apart? How open to moving are you, and is your partner open to the same? Whether it’s the short-term plans of places to visit when you see each other next time or the grand plan of when you’ll make the relevant adjustments to stay together, making these plans as a unit gives you something to look forward to. 

Most importantly, make sure your goals and aspirations for the relationship are the same. What happens eventually? An engagement? Moving in together? Ensure that you continually work out a plan for the end game together. 

  1. Be Mindful of Your Partner

Unfortunately, some things happen that are out of our control. Everything from unforeseen work commitments to everyday inconveniences, no one’s immune. So, when you can’t pick their call, remember to follow up with a text message or voice note explaining that you’ll get back when you can. The distance can be emotionally tasking, but things are much easier when there’s clear and direct communication.

Send your partner random and thoughtful gifts when they least expect it. It doesn’t have to be on their birthday or your anniversary either. Being mindful of your partner conveys your commitment and respect for the relationship while igniting a lasting impression.

That’s it! Long-distance relationships don’t have to be hard. It’s okay when things aren’t perfect, but there’s always a way to make things work. So, prioritize quality communication, pay attention, be creative, make plans together, and most importantly, be mindful of your partner. Trust me! It shouldn’t be that hard.

Salad Illustration for 360 mag

A Dream Food Journey through the Lanes of Spain

Getting up from the bed in your impressive suite with sunlight touching your face, the melody in the air, welcoming you to the beautiful city of Spain, is famous for many things. It is also a country that doesn’t need much of an appreciation as everybody knows that the country is known for its amazing food, fashion, and architecture. 

Few of the many popular things native to Spain comprise of La Tomatina, Corrida De Toros, and Tapas. Of all the great items found, Spanish football is a fascinating feature belonging to Spain. 

Speaking of Spanish football, the country is known for its love for sports betting, especially football betting. The land has given rise to a few of most amazing punters the worlds have ever seen. You may be new to the Spanish football betting, but www.slotsformoney.com is not, and will help you to increase the odds by applying strategic measures. You can also find various casinos in Spain that has a chef recommended special delicacies as well as cuisine for its customers. 

Of all the other things Spain is famous for, food cuisine is one of the platforms where Spain is celebrated throughout the world. The culinary customs of Spain is very different from the rest of the countries in the world. People, native to Spain, love the way they prepare their cuisine and is proud of how it resembles their culture.

Having said that, you must know that there is various explicit and exemplary must-try foods emerging from this country. We will see a few of the many in the following post. Once you read them, the next thing you would do is to book the tickets and fly to explore the land of rivers or the land of the setting sun!

Top Most Spanish Food Cuisine You Must Try your Hands-On

1. Tortilla Española

The first and the foremost one to top the list is none other than his greatness, Tortilla Española! If you are a friend of potatoes and eggs, this might be the one you are sure to fall in love with. Tortilla Española is a rich food depicting Spanish culture. 

You can find everything from Eggs, Potatoes, to Onions in the rich food. The smell of potatoes and onions slowing frying in the buttered olive pan and the elegant beaten eggs are pouring itself in to make the texture thick, sprinkling the heart of ham spinach, and chorizo… 

You may wipe that drool and either goes make this delicious food or save the dish from tasting later when you visit Spain.

2.  Gazpacho

You may as well do many sins that leaving Spain without trying this dish.  Gazpacho, the second one on the list is a popular dish with all mud red colour. Tomatoes, god forbid reddest and the ripest of them all are collected to make this wonderful dish. Other ingredients include olive oil, garlic, bread, peppers and cucumber. 

These veggies and condiments are mixed and blended to get a silky smooth texture which is later chilled and served in bowls. You can find this particular dish in every house of Spanish people, especially during the summertime. You will find this in every counter of Tapas bars as well. 

You can make this at home too if you have these ingredients. But, trying it from its native origin will be paying respect to the makers of this absolute splendid dish!

3. Paella

Paella may be considered as the staple food of Spanish people. There are various reasons for this. First, it is made up of rice, and second, it is a mixture of all nutritious in one bowl. This dish is mostly seen in the Valencia region of Spain where they boast that they eat rice irrespective of seasons. 

Here, Paella is a rice combo mixed either with ham or rabbit. You may also find runner beans as well as butter beans in your bowl. Yes, all the veggies and meat on point! You can have a whole meal with a refreshing drink, which will make up your brunch.

4. Patatas bravas

Spain is in love with potatoes, and tapas one can say, which is why we reached the fourth one on the list. Patatas brava is a splendid food cuisines mixture of tapas, potatoes, and to increase the tanginess, you may also find sweet and spicy pimentón in the dish. 

There are many people who like their Patatas bravas mixed with garlic, a pinch of secret ingredients, and olive oil. You must know that in this particular dish, Spanish never ever use tomatoes! So, if you are trying to prepare this from home, make sure you never add any bits and pieces of tomatoes.

5. Gambas al ajillo

Another famous food dish emerging from Spain is the popular prawns’ dish, Gambas al ajillo. This is one of the sightful seen you will ever see n any tapas bar. The moment you enter into the bar, the treat for your eyes will be presented before you. Spice rich sizzling prawns making the evening aromatic as well as nostalgic. This is one of the dishes any Spanish people will rely on to make their day special. 

The dish is easy, and you can create it in the home with few ingredients you can find it in the fridge. You can slice or mince the garlic into small pieces with green chilli, fry till golden brown, where you throw the prawns into this sizzling brownish garlic with the right temperature. You can also add few parsley and coriander leaves, according to however you like it to taste.

Conclusion

Spain is famous for its food, dance forms, bull-fighting, Spaniards, and even destinations. It is undoubtedly one of the best destinations to visit if you are a traveller and a foodie guy.  You can also keep track of the above-listed food delicacies if you really want to try the authentic Spanish delight.

Online Casino Bonus Guide for Players in the US and UK

The Ultimate Online Casino Bonus Guide for US and UK players

When you first enter the extraordinary world of online gambling, you will be faced with an inevitable question that will present itself the moment you walk through the virtual casino doors: what is an online casino bonus?

As you are greeted by the plethora of alluring promotional offers, it’s crucial that you understand what you are dealing with before you start on your bonus-infused online gambling adventure.

So, how exactly does a casino bonus work? What types of bonuses are available in the online gambling industry? Are there any terms and conditions I should be aware of and when should I claim a bonus on my account? All of these questions will be answered in our ultimate online casino bonus guide for US and UK players.

However, if you are simply looking for a top recommendation straight off the bat, All Star Slots Casino is mainly for US and UK players and impresses with a wealth of features and bonus offers that is sure to satisfy even the most avid gambler.

What is a Casino Bonus and How Does it Work?

The online gambling landscape would be unimaginable without promotions and bonuses spread across big, colorful banners to excite UK and US players from. It’s a wonderful incentive for the time and money you invest in the site and is a great way to reward you for your loyalty once you become a regular player. The online gambling market continues to expand as more and more gambling sites are flooding into the market.

In fact, the industry is so competitive that casinos need to create new and exciting ways to attract players to their sites and the best way to achieve this is through online casino bonuses. So, what is a bonus, anyway? To put it simply, a casino bonus is essentially an incentive that is offered by the casino to attract players to the site. Casino bonuses can be used to entice new players to register or to keep existing players from leaving by boosting their bankrolls with additional funds. The bonus funds that are added to your account can be done in one of several innovative ways which bring us to the next question: what types of casino bonuses are available to players in the UK and US?

Types of Online Casino Bonuses for UK and US Players

You will discover that there is a casino bonus for each and every player in the online gaming industry. You can look forward to bonuses that don’t require a deposit, welcome packages on your initial deposit, payment specific promotions, and the freedom to claim these offers on either your desktop or mobile device. In fact, claiming promotional offers while away from home is only one of the advantages of gambling on your mobile device. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the types of casino bonuses you’ll come across in the UK and the US along with a brief description of each.

No Deposit Bonus: This is exactly as the name implies, a bonus that you will receive without making a deposit. No deposit bonuses are primarily offered to newcomers for simply registering a new account and come in a variety of flavours, including a free cash offer, free spins, or free play. It’s perfect for online players that want to test the waters before committing with a real money deposit.

Welcome/Sign-Up Bonus: This is undoubtedly the most popular offer in the industry and it usually doubles, triples, or even quadruples your initial deposit made at the casino. It’s the casino’s way to welcome you to the site and to thank you for choosing them over everyone else. You will even come across welcome packages that contain a welcome bonus and a number of free spins on a popular slot to further entice you to make a deposit.

Reload Bonus: Once you’ve claimed a no deposit bonus and welcome package, you will be deemed an existing player, opening up the doors to ongoing promotions. One of the most popular promotions for existing players is the reload bonus. It’s basically a deposit bonus with a smaller match percentage when compared to the welcome bonus. For instance, where a welcome bonus might offer 100% up to $100, a reload bonus will offer a 25% match up to $50.

Cashback Bonus: This offer is designed to give you a percentage back on your losses for either the week or month. For instance, if you lose $100 during the week, the casino would usually credit a 20% or 30% cashback bonus based on your losses, giving you a second opportunity to enjoy your favorite games without making an additional deposit on your account.

High Roller/VIP Bonus: These types of bonuses are specifically designed for high rollers and VIP players that are planning to deposit well-over the usual deposit amount. These offers are usually not displayed within the promotions section. Therefore, you will need to contact support and find out what high roller packages are available, depending on your deposit size.

Loyalty Bonus: Most gambling sites will come equipped with a loyalty program where you can earn loyalty points for every wager you make at the casino. Once you’ve accumulated enough loyalty points, you can redeem them to unlock additional bonuses or free spins on your account.

Refer-A-Friend Bonus: There is nothing better than enjoying your favorite casino games with friends. This is why gambling sites created this innovative promotion that will allow you to earn an additional bonus for simply referring your friends to the site. Most referral bonuses will require that your friend register a new account and make a minimum deposit before you’ll be rewarded with a Refer-A-Friend bonus.

Complimentary Bonus: This type of bonus will usually be based on your financial history with the casino. If you have a bad run, or you feel like making a deposit on the day, you are welcome to contact support and request a complimentary bonus. Should your financial history prove that you’ve been a loyal and consistent player, you will receive a complimentary bonus as a thank you for your patronage.

Birthday Bonus: This is credited to your account once a year to celebrate your birthday and the size of the birthday bonus will be based on your financial history, much like a complimentary bonus.

With so many promotional offers at your disposal, it’s easy to understand how the online gambling industry continues to grow in the United Kingdom and the United States with each passing year. The only pitfall when it comes to online casino bonuses is the terms and conditions which is the next topic that deserves your attention.

Promotional Terms and Conditions to Consider:

All promotional offers will be restricted in one way or another to ensure players don’t bankrupt the casino. The restrictions will always be presented in the terms and conditions and it’s here where most players get in trouble as they simply don’t take the time to read through the fine print. Most online casino bonuses will have similar terms and conditions, including:

Wagering Requirements: This will tell you how many times the bonus needs to be wagered before it’s allocated to your cash balance, ready for a cashout. For instance, a typical welcome bonus needs to be wagered 40 times before it’s cleared.

Game Contributions: Every casino game will contribute a different percentage towards your wagering requirements. For instance, slots will usually count 100% towards wagering, while video poker and blackjack might only contribute 5%.

Expiry Date: All bonuses will have an expiry date, indicating how long the bonus will be available on your account before it expires. No deposit offers last between 7 and 14 days, while welcome bonuses usually last up to 30 days.

Cashout Limit: This restriction is usually found in no deposit offers and indicates the maximum amount you’ll be allowed to withdraw from a no deposit bonus. Most gambling sites in the US and the UK will go as high as $200 as a withdrawal cap.

When to Avoid Casino Bonuses

Now that you have a better understanding of what a casino bonus is, how it works, and the types of bonuses you can claim, it’s time to look at when to avoid a bonus. When a bonus sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Casinos might impress you with the biggest bonus offer in the world that you can claim with the smallest deposit. However, when you look at the terms and conditions, you’ll quickly understand why it’s not worth your time or money.

Most gambling sites will trick you into claiming a bonus and will then make it impossible to accumulate any winnings due to unreasonable wagering requirements. Some might only use slots to contribute to your playthrough requirements, while others might increase the wagering requirements to make it impossible to actually clear the bonus.

You will also find gambling sites that shorten the expiry date, making it harder to clear the bonus in the given time frame, while others will limit your withdrawal limit, forcing you to play your winnings instead of cashing out what you earned. Apart from the terms and conditions, you should also avoid claiming bonuses when the casino isn’t licensed and regulated by a reputable regulatory body.

With the ultimate online casino bonus guide, you will have all the tools at your disposal to confidently claim a bonus without having to worry about falling prey to rogue casinos or claiming an offer that comes equipped with arbitrary terms and conditions. You should also have a good understanding of the types of bonuses in the online gaming industry and whether it’s suited for your own unique playing style. Claiming casino bonuses is a fantastic way to keep yourself entertained and is one of the self-care tips during COVID that you can use to escape reality while giving yourself the opportunity to win some cash in the process.

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Nintendo Switch: Top-Selling Game Console of 2020

As one of the most popular consoles globally, Nintendo Switch witnessed a surge in the number of new players since its release in 2017. With millions of people spending more time playing video games during the coronavirus lockdown, 2020 brought an influx of new Nintendo fans. 

According to data presented by SafeBettingSites.com, Nintendo Switch is the top-selling gaming console in 2020, with 15.6 million units sold as of September, 65% more than PlayStation 4 and Xbox combined.

Nintendo Switch Sales Grows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox Consoles Drop

One of the key reasons for the Switch’s success is the popularity of Nintendo’s first-party titles. Blockbuster series like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon are exclusive to Nintendo, meaning that fans can only play them on Nintendo consoles. These Nintendo exclusive games dominate the list of top-selling Switch titles worldwide, with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe being the most popular game.

Statista and VGChartz data revealed that PlayStation 4 represents the second most popular gaming console this year, with 7.22 million units sold as of September. Xbox One ranked third, with 2.17 million units sold in the nine months of 2020. During the same period, gamers bought 330,000 Nintendo 3DS consoles. 

The annual sales of Nintendo Switch consoles have been increasing continuously in the last three years, while PlayStation 4 and Xbox are being affected by a downsizing trend. 

A year after its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch hit 15.5 million units sold worldwide. The growing popularity of Nintendo’s gaming console continued in 2019, with the lifetime sales reaching 49.8 million units in December, a 55% jump from the year before. Nintendo sold nearly 4 million Switch consoles in the first quarter of 2020, with its lifetime sales growing to 53.7 million. However, between March and August, another 9.6 million units were sold, with the cumulative sales surging to 63.4 million units.

In 2017, Sony sold almost 20 million Playstation 4 consoles all around the world. By the end of 2019, annual sales dropped to 14.2 million, a 30% plunge in two years. Statistics indicate that the sales of the third most popular gaming console, Xbox One, fell by 35% in this period, decreasing from 7.6 million units in 2017 to 4.9 million last year. 

Playstation 4 Leads in Lifetime Unit Sales

Although Nintendo Switch is ranked as the world’s most popular gaming console, Playstation 4 still dominates in terms of lifetime unit sales. 

In the first three years after its launch in 2013, Sony sold 35.9 million PlayStation 4 units. Between January 2016 and December 2017, the lifetime unites sales surged by 105% to 73.6 million. Since then, another 40 million units were sold worldwide, with the cumulative sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 gaming console rising to almost 113 million, as of August. Xbox One hit 48.2 million units in lifetime sales as of August, a 22% increase in two years. 

Cash and wallet illustration for 360 Magazine

Are Mobile Casinos Secure

Despite the challenges online platforms face, casinos do their best to ensure customer information is safe and secure. They provide efficient, safe payment methods without disclosing their data or bank details. Mobile casinos are reliable, safe, honest, and ethical. Here is a look at how they achieve this. 

Licensing and Regulations

Opening a mobile casino is not as simple as it may seem. Financial compliance is mandatory. Operators must adhere to rules set by their governments regarding gambling, and attain a license to run the casino. An official agency strives to protect players and ensures that they are not exploited. Gambling sites that do not oblige to these rules are shown the door. 

Regular Audits

Regular auditing is mandatory for all licensed mobile casinos. Third parties monitor how these sites handle players’ funds. They also check player rights and if they are fair to players. This move ensures that casinos prioritize customer care and not take advantage of them in any way.

Technical Security

Mobile casinos are in fact secure, take Vegas Casino, for example. Since players have to key in their names, email, date of birth, mobile number, and preferred payment methods, the level of security of this data is at the highest. These sites ensure that they have the perfect technical protection that prevents leakage of such sensitive information. It’s also helpful in minimizing fraud. 

Most of them invest in reputable companies that are experienced in matters of online security. To achieve this, they prompt users to a 2-step verification, ID verification, segregate players’ funds, secure encryption, and advocate for responsible gambling. 

Fairness of Games

Casino games depend on luck, and all numbers are generated randomly for every single gameplay. External companies check the Random Number Generators (RNGs) to prevent any malicious deals. This ensures that every player gets equal chances of winning, hence making it fair. Winning depends on luck and playing smart, not artificially manipulated. 

Software

So far, several reputable software developers are known for releasing some of the popular games. These companies’ trustworthiness is evident in their awesome mobile slots. Mobile casinos offer games made by well-regarded software providers. Players have nothing to worry about as these games are similar to the desktop versions. 

Before the games are released to the public, they are usually tested for fairness. Players can be rest assured that nothing has been tampered with. Examples include; NetEnt, Microgaming, IGT, Play’n GO, Bet Soft, Big Time Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming, Playtech mobile slots, among others. 

Ownership

There are countless sites owned by reputable groups in the betting industry. These names are widely known and enjoy a vast client base. Players who wish to try out a new site should first do a background check to get relevant information.

Safe Deposits and Withdrawals

This is the number one factor to consider when it comes to payment methods via a mobile device. It is also the responsibility of customers to exercise by not sharing their passwords with other people.  Mobile casinos offer simple, quick deposit and withdrawal methods that guarantee instant access to money. 

The process is well streamlined such that there haven’t been any cases of loss of money. Most sites accept mobile wallet payment methods such as Skrill, PayPal, Wire Transfer, and Neteller. Alternatively, customers who prefer the convenience of cards are free to use their Visa or Mastercard. Always check the available options before settling for one. 

HYbrid RSA Encryption

There is no way other unrelated third parties can intercept your transaction details because the data becomes encrypted.  The process takes place between two groups, the casino, and the bank, for instance. Once a player authorizes a payment, the bank releases it immediately. The online site gets this data and completes the process by crediting your gaming account with the amount. 

SHA 3-Hash Algorithm

Gambling sites use this algorithm to prevent any interference with Random Number Generators. This point takes you back to the need for fairness in games. Players don’t have to worry about the mechanisms of winning because the algorithm takes care of that. 

Conclusion

From the above, it is evident that mobile casinos exercise security measures similar to desktop sites. Nothing is compromised. What matters the most is the safety and security of the players and the games they play. Casino auditors and regulators keep these sites on toes, so that they can provide great payment methods as well as maintain fairness in games. For these reasons, players shouldn’t shy away from enjoying great gaming experiences by trying out slots on their mobile devices.