Ranking of the Best Mobile Casinos in the UK
As a nation, we love our mobiles. Our smartphones and tablets can be used for so many things, from watching live TV to ordering the weekly shop, that it is no surprise that we want to gamble on them too. Yet what is surprising is that casino operators did not anticipate this desire to play real money games on the go, and as such, did not start to develop their services to be played on mobile devices until relatively late on. Herein lies the dilemma when deciding which mobile casino to play at. Some have grabbed the bull by the horns and pulled out all the stops in providing a top mobile experience to suit their players’ needs. Some however still have a long way to go to meet our demands. This article will show you what makes a good casino app, and more importantly, where you can find it.
|Casino and Rating||Bonus||Compatibility||Mobile Games||Live Games||To the App|
|*||£500*||..||170+ Games||Try it Now!|
|*||£100*||..||100+ Games||Try it Now!|
|*||£100*||..||300+ Games||Try it Now!|
|*||£50*||..||550+ Games||Try it Now!|
|*||£1,000*||..||100+ Games||Try it Now!|
The differences between casino apps can easily be seen in this table. Whilst this table shows some of the important criteria for judging a casino app, such as the number of games and operating system compatibility, this only begins to cover the subject. Read on to find out what other key factors need to be taken into consideration when looking for the best mobile casino.
What Makes a Good Gambling App?
Clearly, the number of games is the main consideration when rating a casino app, but there are other factors that are also of importance. You also need to consider the usability of the app – is navigation easy and intuitive, and does it flow seamlessly? You can also find the differences between web-based and downloaded applications, and present the pros and cons associated with each.
Game Selection for Phones and Tablets
As you have already seen, there are distinct differences in the number of games offered across my 10 highlighted casinos. In this table, you can also see the distribution of these games. Slots make up the bulk of all the mobile casino game collections. If you are the type of player who prefers roulette, blackjack, or other casino games such as poker and scratch cards, the choice on offer varies considerably between the various operators. As for live games, some operators provide the full choice of games found on the desktop version, although there may be fewer tables available to choose from. On the flip side, there are some operators who provide no live games for mobile. LeoVegas leads the way, in my opinion, both in terms of the total number of games available and also in the variety on offer.
- Huge Game Selection
- Biggest Game Variety
- Live Games Available
Generally speaking, compared to the game selection offered by most casinos, you only find a fraction of them available for mobile devices. Even LeoVegas, with its huge number of games, still offers over a hundred fewer games on its mobile app compared to the desktop version. Yet it has made a good effort to include a variety of games and live dealer games too. Some casinos, like InterCasino, are sadly lacking in terms of the overall game offer and the diversity of the collection.
How Do The Best Mobile Casinos Compare in Terms of Usability?
The major challenge faced by operators in the development of mobile apps was adapting games and functions to work on considerably smaller screens. No corners have been cut by the software developers, with layouts simplified and optimised for mobile devices. Games are often clearly displayed and accessed with a single touch. As for the actual games, only the essential elements are included, like the spin button on slots. You will usually find all the other elements, like the pay tables and rules accessed through a separate setting. In this video, you can see the layout of a selection of mobile casinos from various software providers.
Overall, there are no major differences between the mobile casinos I tested in terms of functionality and usability. Each operator provides a simple and clear layout, with easy access to games.
Download Casino Apps vs. Browser Based Apps
There are two ways you can play mobile casino games. One is by downloading an app, the other is by playing the games directly in the browser of your mobile phone or tablet. As a general rule of thumb, a casino’s mobile site will always be available in a browser-based format, but there will not always be a native, downloadable app on offer. A browser-based app can be used across various devices and operating systems. It is built in HTML5, which makes it adaptable and usable across different systems. A native app however is developed to work specifically with a particular operating system, such as iOS or Android.
Native apps are more complex to develop than a mobile responsive website, and as such, not all operators will offer this option. It’s also worth noting that to download a native app for an iPhone or iPad, it can be found in the iTunes store, just like any other application you would download. However, things differ for Android. The Google Play store only began accepting real money gambling apps and, therefore, you will find fewer native apps for download for Android. When a native Android app has been developed, users may need to install it directly from the casino website.
In fairness, there are few differences between choosing to play directly in the browser or with a downloaded application. Usually, the game selection is pretty much the same across both. The layout and functionality likewise bare little difference. If anything, a native app may be slightly more user-friendly, given it has been developed to work specifically with a particular operating system. It can be slightly quicker to sign in and play games once you have downloaded an app, as you simply need one tap to open it. Whereas with the browser-based version, you will need to type the address in the browser to open the site.
Are Play Money Games Available?
A great number of online casinos allow games to be played for free in play money mode. The same is true for mobile casinos. The approach to this varies between operators. Take, for example, LeoVegas. If you are not logged in when you launch a game, you are instantly given the option to either play for free or to log in and play for real money. Yet if you are already logged in, when you launch a game, you will find the option to switch to play money within the game setting. If you want to try out the games on the InterCasino mobile app for free, however, you will need to log out in order to find this option. There are some operators who do not allow their games to be played for fun on mobiles, but this is usually the exception, rather than the rule.
Are There Any Special Bonuses for Mobile Games?
Special bonuses specifically for phones and tablets are few and far between. However, the good news is that the majority of welcome bonuses can be used to play mobile games. Once registered, you can make your first deposit on your mobile device and benefit from the extra bonus money.
- Choice of Welcome Bonuses
- Regular Mobile Promos
- For All Operating Systems
Although bonuses for mobile games are a rarity, there are some operators who provide promotions, specifically rewarding those who play on the go. One example is 32Red. There are weekly promos where any players who have placed a real money bet on a mobile game are entered into a prize draw to win bonus chips.
Compatibility and Minimum Requirements
Usually, one of the first questions a user will ask is whether an app is compatible with their device. As you’ve already seen, native, downloadable apps are developed specifically for a given operating system. So they are only compatible with certain devices. For example, William Hill Casino has a download app for iOS only. Therefore, the download app is not compatible with Android. Players with Android devices have the option to play mobile games in the browser only. The second consideration is the minimum requirements needed for a mobile casino to function on your device. In the table below, you can see the minimum specifications needed for each operating system for all 10 operators.
- Good Game Selection
- User Friendly Layout
- For Many Devices
|888casino||Ver. 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||7.0 or later||Not Supported|
|InterCasino||Ver. 4.4 (KitKat)||9.3 or later||Windows Phone 8.1|
|Betway||Ver. 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||8.1 or later||Only Live Casino|
|32red||Ver. 4.4.2 or later||9.0 or later||Windows Phone 8.1|
|leovegas||Ver. 4.4 (KitKat)||8.0 or later||Windows Phone 8.1|
|williamhill||Ver. 4.4 (KitKat)||9.0 or later||Windows Phone 8.1|
|Ladbrokes||Ver. 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||7.1 or later||Not Supported|
|mrgreen||Ver. 8.0 (Oreo)||9.1 or later||Not Supported|
|777Casino||Ver. 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)||7.0 or later||Not Supported|
|Betfair Casino||Ver. 4.1 (Jellybean)||8.0 or later||Not Supported|
You will generally find that a web app and the downloadable native app, where it exists will have the same operating requirements. As you can see from this table, casino apps will work on devices with pretty much any relatively recent iOS or Android operating system. As for Windows Phone and Blackberry, there are very few operators who support these systems. You might have better luck checking the new casino sites’ apps, though – these operators grew up in the mobile era, so to speak, so the approach to gaming with a handheld device tends to be more inclusive.
Most of the Apps are Compatible with these Devices
|Samsung||Galaxy Ace Plus GT-S7500, Galaxy Ace GT-S5830, Galaxy Ace 2, Galaxy Beam GT-I8520, Galaxy Fit GT-S5670, Galaxy Gio GT-S5660, Galaxy GT-I899, Galaxy GT-I7500, Galaxy mini GT-S5570, Galaxy Note GT-N7000, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Pro GT-B7510, Galaxy R GT-I9103, Galaxy S GT-I9000, Galaxy S Advance GT-I9070, Galaxy S Plus GT-I9001, Galaxy S II GT-I9100, Galaxy S III GT-I9300, Galaxy S III mini GT-I8190, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini, Galaxy GT-I9003, GT-I6500 Saturn, Galaxy Spica GT-I5700 ,Galaxy W GT-I8150, Galaxy XCover, Galaxy Pocket GT-S5300, Galaxy Y GT-S5360, Galaxy Y Pro GT-B5510, Galaxy 3 GT-I5800, Galaxy 5 GT-I5500, Galaxy 551 GT-I5510, Galaxy Tab 7 GT-P1000, Galaxy Tab 7 Plus, Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 10.1N, Galaxy Tab 10.1V, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, Galaxy Tab 3 10.1|
|iPhone||iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS iPhone, iPod Touch, 4 iPhone, 4s iPhone, 5 iPhone, 5s iPhone, 5c iPhone, 6 iPhone 6 Plus|
|iPad||3.+4. Generation, iPad Mini, iPad Air|
|Asus||Padfone, Padfone 2, Padfone Infinity, Eee Pad Memo, Eee Pad Slider, Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Eee Pad Transformer TF101, Transformer TF300, Transformer Pad Infinity, Transformer Book Trio, MeMO Pad HD 7, ASUS MeMO Pad Smart 10″, MeMO Pad, MeMO Pad FHD 10, FonePad,|
|Acer||beTouch E110, beTouch E120, beTouch E130, beTouch E400, Liquid E, Liquid mt, Liquidmini, Liquid Gallant/Liquid Gallant Duo, Stream, Iconia Tab A100, Iconia Tab A101, Iconia Tab A110, Iconia Tab A200, Iconia Tab A 210, Iconia Tab A500, Iconia Tab A501, Iconia Tab A510, Iconia Tab A511, Iconia Tab A700, Iconia Tab B1, Fonepad|
|HTC||ChaCha, Desire, Desire HD, Desire C, Desire S, Desire X, Desire Z (T-Mobile G2), Desire V, Dream (T-Mobile G1), Droid Incredible, EVO 3D, EVO 4G, Explorer, Gratia (USA: Aria), Hero (T-Mobile G2 Touch), Incredible S, Legend, Magic, One S, One V, One SV, One X, One XL, Rezound, Rhyme, Salsa, Sensation, Sensation XE, Sensation XL, Tattoo, Tide, Wildfire, Wildfire S, HTC J Butterfly, One, One Mini, Flyer, Jetstream, Puccini|
|Sony||Xperia ion, Xperia S, Xperia U, Xperia P, Xperia sola, Xperia neo L, Xperia Go, Xperia acro S, Xperia miro, Xperia tipo, Xperia SL, Xperia SP, Xperia T, Xperia J, Xperia V, Xperia TX, Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z2, Tablet P, Tablet S, Xperia Tablet S, Xperia Tablet Z|
|Motorola||ATRIX, BACKFLIP, CLIQ, DEFY, DEFY+, DROID X, FIRE, FLIPOUT, Milestone, Milestone XT720, Milestone 2, Pro (USA: DROID Pro), Pro+, RAZR, DROID RAZR, RAZR M, RAZR i, Razr HD, MOTOLUXE, Moto X, Moto G, Xoom, Xoom 2, Xoom 2 Media Edition|
|LG||Ally, E720 Optimus Chic, GT540 Optimus, GW620, Optimus Z, Optimus Q, P350 Optimus Me, P500 Optimus One, P720 Optimus 3D Max, P920 Optimus 3D, P970 Optimus Black, P990 Optimus Speed, Optimus Dual, Optimus 2X, LG P880 Optimus 4X HD, LG Optimus L7, Optimus L9, Optimus G, Optimus L3II, Optimus L5II, Optimus L7II, Optimus G Pro, G2, G3, V900 Optimus Pad|
Useful Advice About Installation on Android Devices
As already mentioned, there are fewer native casino apps available for download for Android than there are for iOS. Where as iOS users will get the app from the iTunes app store, real money casino apps cannot always be found in the Google Play Store. This is largely due to the fact that real money gambling apps were actually banned on Google’s marketplace until July 2017. The casino apps are slowly making their way over, but there are still some operators who provide an Android app for download directly on their websites. Prior to downloading apps in this way, a few adjustments will need to be made to the mobile device security settings. By selecting to allow installation from “unknown sources”, apps which are not listed in the Google Play Store can be downloaded.
1/3 Device SettingsFor all Android devices, the default settings allow programs to be installed from Google Play. To install downloaded APK files, the appropriate security setting must be changed.
2/3 Unknown SourcesTo enable the app to be installed go to Settings – Security then tick the “unknown sources” option. This allows apps to be installed that do not come from the Google Play Store.
3/3 Install .apkThis option presents a potential security breach. You should only install downloads from trusted operators and disable this option again once the app has been installed.
For security reasons, it is recommended to select “only once” when opting to allow downloads from unknown sources. If this option does not exist, then ensure that you disable the option after downloading the app from the casino website. This will protect you from accidentally allowing downloads of untrusted apps in future.
Useful Tips for Mobile Users of Gambling Apps
If you are still not sure about how to go about this, you can find some of my top tips regarding playing on your mobile phone or tablet. Some of the advice is specific to playing casino games, but there is also some general advice too.
Do Not Save Your Password
It may be tempting to allow the app to remember your log in details, to enable quick and easy access to games. Yet bare in mind that if your mobile phone or tablet is lost or stolen, this also allows easy access to anyone else who gets hold of your device. Thanks to payment verification, a withdrawal to a different bank account cannot be requested, but at the same time, any available balance you have in your player account can be used by someone else. You will often find in a casino’s terms and conditions that you are responsible for protecting your password, and you will therefore not be covered if another person plays with your account due to you saving your password. Some apps allow you to set up a four-digit pin code to make speed things up though.
Check for a Stable Internet Connection
When you play games on your mobile, you should try to ensure you have a stable internet connection. If you have a poor connection, it is very likely you will get disconnected during games. Of course, operators have taken this factor into consideration, and if you do happen to get cut off whilst a game is in play, then the game will continue when you log back in. The bigger consideration here is the frustration and annoyance you are likely to experience if your games are getting regularly cut off, and you spend more time logging in and reloading games than you do actually playing.
Watch Your Data Consumption
Generally speaking, when you play casino games on your mobile, the amount of data used is minimal. The exception is when you play live games. Due to the streaming of HD video, your data consumption can dramatically increase. The issue here is that if you exceed the data allowance on your mobile package, then you may find that your speed is greatly reduced. You’ll notice the effect this has instantly, as games are likely to buffer and the quality will be greatly reduced. Alternatively, you may continue to get a decent quality, but you will run up a huge bill from your provider in the process. The best course of action to take if you have a limited data plan is to either use a Wi-Fi connection to play or stick to regular casino games, which use much less data than live games.
Improving Battery Life
It stands to reason that the more you use your mobile, the quicker the battery will die. Given the demands placed on the processor from the video and sound of casino games, your battery power can drain very quickly when using casino apps. Whilst there is not a huge amount that can be done to reduce battery consumption, there are a few actions that will lower the power usage to a minimum. For starters, reduce the brightness of the display to a minimum. Next up, disable any unnecessary sound functions, such as silencing keyboard controls. Using Wi-Fi instead of mobile data will limit power usage. Finally, close any other programs that are running in the background.
Conclusion: Gambling Apps Vary Greatly Between Different Operators
As you have seen in this article, casinos have invested a great deal in the development of mobile apps. The majority are user-friendly, easy to navigate and are compatible with a wide variety of mobile devices. However, when it comes to the game selection, they do not offer nearly as much choice as their desktop alternatives. There are some, such as InterCasino, whose game selection is so limited, it needs to make a lot of improvements. Most casino apps offer a decent selection. However, this will suit many players, providing there is a variety of different types of games to choose from. Then there are other apps that clearly outshine the competition. Mr Green provides a massive selection of games, with live games also included, earning it my highest recommendation.