Decades have passed, and casino gaming is still one of the most legally and ethically contentious subjects in the world. With different gambling related-stories featured in news and pop culture, it is loved as much as loathed by many. It is universally known but not widely accepted.
Meaning, while countries like the U.S. and the U.K. completely legalise it, others like Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates ban it absolutely. There are, however, those that operate in the grey line, and the most notable example is the rainbow nation called South Africa.
Selective regulation in South Africa
While the GRAF (Gaming Regulators Africa Forum) allows sports betting through licensed South African bookmakers, they prohibit owning, operating, and gambling in online casinos within the national borders.
However, GRAF’s selective gambling regulation doesn’t stop many South African-based players from having an online casino gaming experience. Aside from visiting land casinos, most of them turn to offshore gambling sites. So, the more important question here is, which of the online casino games today are their favourites? Let’s have a look at the seven answers below so you can also learn how to play them.
1. Slot games
The 2006 report of the National Responsible Gambling Programme stated that slot machines are South Africa’s second most popular gambling game. They were preceded by the National Lottery and were followed by scratchcards, charity jackpot competitions, and horse race betting. In other words, they were and still are the country’s number one casino game. Like in other places, here are some of the major reasons why they are favoured by both novice and experienced players.
- Variety of options
- From dead-simple mechanics to skill-based games
- Utterly convenient
- Free-to-play slot games
- Low-cost games but oftentimes with high payouts
- Exciting trends to look out for
Poker is, hands down, the best card game ever invented of all time. It’s so popular that multiple regions across the globe were inspired in creating their own variations. While there aren’t any yet in South Africa, the country is one of the homes to many major poker events worldwide. Some of the tournaments they recently hosted are the Poker News Cup, World Poker Tour, and the very popular World Series of Poker Africa.
Despite poker’s multiple variants — which are largely classified into three categories (draw, stud, and community card poker) — they all have the same objective. You have to win the pot by developing the best five-card hand using the most profitable actions: bet, raise or fold.
Blackjack is the most widely played banking game in the world. While it’s also a skill-based casino game with a very low house edge like poker, its players don’t compete with each other but rather with the dealer. Its objective is to have a hand with a score of 21 (or at least closer to it but never exceeding it) before the dealer reaches 17.
Baccarat is a major staple game in Asian and European casinos, but that didn’t stop South African-based players from getting a total of close to nine. What makes this fairly quick and straightforward game special is that it holds a record for being the epitome of casino elegance and sophistication. Perhaps, that’s for you to find out as you try it in your choice of online casino.
While South Africa doesn’t have any variant for poker and blackjack, it has African Roulette. It’s quite unpopular in mainstream casino gaming as compared to European and American roulettes. However, players love how small and exclusive-looking its layout is, as there are only 13 betting sections (1 to 12 and a zero). Hence, it is much easier and simpler to play and win.
6. Andar Bahar
Believe it or not but Indian card games are slowly making their way into mainstream casino gaming. These are Andar Bahar and Teen Patti. The former is literally translated as ‘left’ and ‘right’, respectively. So, your goal is to bet on which side (Andar/left or Bahar/right) you think the ‘Joker’ card will match. The said card is any card that the dealer has randomly picked once you placed your final bets.
7. Teen Patti
Teen Patti is one of the online casino games inspired by the 18th-century English three-card brag. Meaning, your objective is to make the best three-card hand without the use of the Joker cards.