Market research data shows that more than three quarters of Canadians gamble at some time in their lives. That number has grown over the past decade or so, with online platforms making it possible to place a wager without even leaving the comfort of home. Until recently, Canadian casino gamers had to explore overseas operators to access their favorite games, but all that changed this year as first Ontario and then Nova Scotia launched its own licensed online casinos.
All this has made casino gaming even more accessible to Canadian audiences. But just what are the most popular games? The answer might come as a surprise.
Slot games still rule the roost
For as long as there has been legal gambling in Canada, slots have been the most popular casino games. That still holds true today, but they are rapidly being caught up by other forms of real money gaming – more on that in a moment. There are several key attractions to slots. One is their sheer volume. There are literally hundreds of slot games out there. Another is that casinos incentivize slots play. Look at the sites listed at the Gamble Online review site and you will notice that all of them offer bonuses and promotions that can mostly be applied to slots games.
Blackjack gaining in popularity
Globally, blackjack is the most popular of all casino games, and it could soon challenge slots for the top spot in Canada. The beauty of blackjack is that the game itself is very simple. Everyone knows the basic objective and how to play. However, it’s also a game that rewards strategic thinking. Invest an hour or two in learning basic strategy and your win rate is guaranteed to improve. It is this skill aspect that people find so appealing, as players enjoy the feeling that they have some influence over winning or losing.
Roulette – the great leveler
From a skill vs chance perspective, roulette is quite different to blackjack. Whether you’ve played every day for 30 years or you are approaching the Devil’s Wheel for the first time, you stand the same chance of accurately calling “red” or “32”. In a physical casino setting, gamblers are comforted by this kind of level playing field, but that seems to be less the case online, hence roulette’s drop to the number three spot among Canadian casino players.
Poker is open to all
20 years ago, poker was seen as a game best left to the experts. After all, a novice sitting down to play Texas Holdem with complete strangers is sure to get hustled, right? Well, perhaps, but the online casino age has made variations like video poker and 3-card poker available to all. Playing against the computer or a dealer is far less daunting and it gives more people a chance to take their first steps playing this iconic game.
Baccarat is back
20 years ago, baccarat was almost extinct in Canada. Now it’s in the five most popular casino games. The revival is thanks to online platforms promoting the simplified version, Punto Banco. It’s easy to learn, and the low volatility and house edge make it a great choice for those on a smaller bankroll.