Microgaming Online Casinos
The name might imply a miniature bunch of guys, but not only is Microgaming one of the OGs of the online video slots and casino world, but it’s also a giant in the industry as it forges on into the brave new world of mobile gaming, 3D graphics, social gaming and VR!
As well as making a huge selection of games, Microgaming also produce casino operating systems. This means you can find whole casinos that are essentially “Microgaming casinos”. So if you want to be an informed consumer who’s going to make good decisions then you need to know which casinos run on these systems, and in which you’re likely to find a lot of common experiences.
If you don’t like the way Microgaming do things then you’ll unlikely to have an enjoyable time at a site that runs on their systems. If you do like them – and the evidence is that millions of players do –then you’ll want to seek them out.
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Microgaming Online Casinos, UK Microgaming Casino Bonuses & Free Spins
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Who are Microgaming?
Microgaming are a software development company who have their HQ on the Isle of Man in (and sort of out of) the UK.
Now isn’t the time to explain the complicated status of the UK’s Isle of Man, but for the important things, Microgaming are under UK jurisdiction and that comes with a lot of good things.
Microgaming are pioneers. They built the first online casino back in 1994. When the world started to go mobile, Microgaming were ahead of the crowd too, marketing the first casino software for mobiles in 2004.
You can play all sorts of slots, table games, and other gambling games on Microgaming software. They produce poker, bingo, and casino games online. They run bookmakers that take bets on sports. Also they produce live dealer casino games and you can find their games loaded up in real-life games too. The way most of our readers probably interact with them – knowingly, not everyone pays attention to which software a casino is running on – is via one of their slots, which include a load of massive tie-in titles, like Game of Thrones, Jurassic World, Playboy, and a slew of new titles every month.
Their size means that they can run massive networks. This means big, big, big progressive jackpots, where players club together to fund huge prizes. The Microgaming slot Mega Moolah has now twice broken the Guinness World Records record for the biggest online slot pay-outs.
If you want to know that the games you’re playing are fair and legal, then Microgaming have amply demonstrated their commitment to that by helping to found, eCOGRA (the e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance body), which helps to (self)regulate the industry. If you like your corporate social responsibility, Microgaming do a lot of things in that area.
Microgaming is a major business, and very modern – they call their home a “campus” and have “culture ambassadors” – and one of the standout successes of the online casino software world.
Where to find Microgaming casinos
Microgaming works with some of the biggest names in the online casino business. Remember that “working with” covers a lot of ground, from supplying a few games to running whole casino sites.
There are around 700 more of those companies.
Microgaming’s Casino Work
What does Microgaming do with these companies? The vast majority of them will host slots from the company, but there’s a lot more to Microgaming than that, as they also produce bingo software, business solutions (operating software), casino products, real-life games, live-dealer games, multi-player games, poker, a brand called Quickfire, and sportsbook products.
Let’s take a look at those:
Microgaming supplies bingo software that allows companies to run bingo and chat rooms (chat is a big part of bingo, the most social of all gambling games) within existing casinos.
Like most of these services, a lot of the decisions about how to run the software – things like loyalty programmes and jackpots – are set by the site owners, but you will find similar gameplay and look running through all Microgaming casino bingo software.
Microgaming bingo is popular, both with players and casino operators because like most of their products it is sophisticated and works well. There’s a choice of games between British (usually 90-ball games) and American (75 balls) games.
We’re going to lift the veil here a bit. We’re sure you’re aware of this, but it does no harm to signpost it and to remind players.
In promoting its bingo software, Microgaming makes this claim about its bingo and chat software: “Microgaming Bingo gets players talking, just as our advanced bonus and loyalty system keeps them playing.”
So, for the casino, a player who plays for a long time is good for business. And that’s because playing for a long time means that you will “spend” more money. And to be perfectly clear “spending” money in casino terms is losing money in player terms.
These games are carefully set up to deliver a profit to the casino. You may still win, and you may win life-changing amounts of money – Microgaming bingo has delivered the world record online bingo win, worth more than £5 million – but, for most players, in the long run, the casino will take slightly more money from you than you take from the casino.
None of this is said to suggest that games from Microgaming or any other legitimate casino software developer or casino operator are cheating. All of this is perfectly fair, games are genuinely random – and certified so – and the expected return to the player should be published by sites.
Microgaming Casino Operating Systems
Microgaming call their backroom services, Business Solutions. You really don’t need to know much about this, but if you do know that a casino is using Microgaming’s systems and you have a good time then you might want to check out other Microgaming sites.
From the player point of view, most of this work will be out of site, but it will massively impact their experience of a site as it includes support, marketing banking and more.
Microgaming call it the “player journey”. And again, we’ll gently point out that when Microgaming talk about “maximising player lifetime value” they mean they hope they’ll get more money from you. Again, this is fine, this is how all businesses work – they want you to spend more time in their premises or on their websites so you’ll spend money with them – but always have it in mind as you try to gamble safely and sustainably.
Microgaming Casino Games
The heart of all this is the product, and that is casino games. Microgaming include their slots in this description, which is fair enough, as most real-life casinos have long since gone over to making slot games the heart of their offering to customers.
The big sell comes around “progressive jackpots”.
Here Microgaming has a massive market advantage because its enormous network of sites allows it to offer huge prizes. Progressive jackpot games take a small amount from each bet on the machine and put it towards a huge prize that players of the game across many sites can compete for. These prizes are triggered by a bonus game and can be enormous – Microgaming’s record figures are more than €17 million. They do generally mean that there will be a slightly lower RTP on the main game.
Microgaming in real life games
Microgaming is not alone among online casino producers who are going into the older bricks-and-mortar casino world.
These days, game cabinets in venues like pubs, clubs, bookies and arcades do not need to be single-title games, they can load up new games to be played on screen. Microgaming also manufacture their own “cabinets” that allow visual theming around games.
Microgaming live-dealer casino games
One of the most exciting areas in the current casino world is the explosion of live-dealer games.
Live dealer games are making the most of increased bandwidth and improved technology to make visiting a casino website much more like visiting a real-life casino.
Live dealer games are still player led and involved you in making all the decisions that are needed to run a game.
Microgaming’s Live Dealer games promise HD video in many languages with many windows for each game. They also add in stats to help the player make decisions and lots of options around gameplay. At our last check you could play roulette, baccarat, blackjack, sic bo and casino hold’em on Microgaming Live Dealer, but you should expect games to be added.
Whenever we report on live dealer games we make a point to players to be aware that sex appeal is being used to sell to them. We don’t want to go over the top with this, this is part of life, it is almost certainly part of how real-life casinos sell their products, but we do want people to make good decisions based on their own financial situation and desire to play games rather than attraction for someone in a far-off studio.
This applies double strength on Microgaming’s Playboy Live Dealer Studio, where the link between looking at attractive women and casino gambling is made completely explicit. Just use your head when you play.
Microgaming Multi-player casino games
Playing games online can feel a bit isolating. Community games and tournaments are a great way to play against or with other members of a casino site – after all, you have at least one thing in common to start off.
These games come with chat rooms that allow you to watch your mates play as you compete for shared bonuses and to score points in a league.
It’s been a tough nut to crack online in some ways, certainly to get it to a mass audience, but poker is the holy grail for many online gamblers.
The complexity of the game lies not so much in its rules, but in the way that to get a decent game going, you really need a lot of players interacting with each other in real time.
So Microgaming operates as a standalone network, called – here we go with the imaginative names again – MPN, or Microgaming Poker Network.
That has been in business since March 2003. It offers big poker games as well as side games that can be played as part of a bigger casino experience.
Among the brands operating under the MPN brand is Blaze Poker, a fast-fold game, and there are a lot of tournament styles on offer too.
Microgaming Quickfire mobile casino games
Quickfire is another one of these terms that end-users shouldn’t worry themselves about too much. Quickfire is a management system that allows casino sites to easily set up as a Microgaming casino site.
Microgaming casino sports betting
Gamblers in one area tend to like gambling in another, so it’s no surprise that Microgaming also runs bookmaking services. Like the rest of their products, Microgaming’s sports book service is very sophisticated and comes with a lot of features like live streaming, statistics and international use via currency options and different ways of expressing the odds in bets.
You may well see sports betting linked to from a casino, and a lot of big casino brands have their start as more traditional sports bookmakers. Football, tennis and horse racing are the most popular betting sports on Microgaming platforms, but they also offer “minority” sports like beach volleyball and pool.
Microgaming supports the latest craze in sports betting, which is in-play betting, that allows you to wager on what will happen in a sports fixture while it goes on.
Microgaming slot games
The Microgaming most players recognise as a brand they interact with is Microgaming, the slot developer. Microgaming produces a huge number of games, far longer than can be listed here. In December 2018, the company had 431 games listed at UK casino sites, and more than 600 listed on their site.
With this many titles, it’s no surprise that the Microgaming offering covers an enormous range of game styles and genres. If you want to play a very trad Microgaming slot, you can. But you can also play a huge variety of games with all the latest effects and tricks. In fact, there was a time when Microgaming slots were so ubiquitous, particularly at sites open to American players, before the law changes that outlawed most US-linked gambling, that there were suggestions that there might need to be some sort of regulation to rebalance the market.
It’s still true that Microgaming slots are very dominant, with around 14% of games in total in UK casinos and nearly 10% of games in lobbies.
Microgaming has made a particular speciality of tie-ins with big established brands in other areas of the entertainment industry, notably big TV and movie franchises, and whether this proves to be a successful move only time will tell.
Top Microgaming Casino Slots
Here are the top Microgaming slots in UK casinos in 2019.
- Thunderstruck II: As it’s been around since 2010, this is a real veteran game, and its Viking theming goes even further back into history. That theming was probably a lucky guess that some other cultural moves have helped keep current, but the quality of the gameplay, especially a big bonus game, is all Microgaming’s good work.
- Immortal Romance: A near tie-in to the Twilight series, this vampire-themed game is also old, dating back to 2011. It uses a 243-ways-to-win format to deliver its wins, which will be boosted by not one but four free-spin games.
- Deck the Halls: The power of Christmas has surely put this yule-tide title back in the charts because it’s no fewer than 10 years old. This just shows that good gameplay will always be rewarded, and the latest effects don’t always mean the best or most popular games.
- Wild Scarabs: Released in 2018, this game takes the perennially popular Ancient Egypt theme and chucks its 243 Betways systems and lots of extra gameplay features at it. Apparently, people like it.
- Game of Thrones: The ultimate tie-in at the moment is sure with Game of Thrones, the massive fantasy Microgaming slot game title that seems to want to eat the entire world. Microgaming has the title on its books and its game is suitably epic, including some very complex extra features.
- Mega Moolah: Mega Moolah is big news because of its enormous jackpots, which have twice in the past few years set enormous world records. The game itself is OK and is a very classic fruit machine, but the players who are flocking to this are mainly aiming for big cash.
- EmotiCoins: Clever name, clever game! Tons of extras don’t distract from a very generous RTP (96.5%).
- Santa’s Wild Ride: Our look at these titles just prior to Christmas 2018 has slightly skewed this chart! This Xmas spinner has Microgaming’s 243 ways to win to deliver a potential jackpot of nearly 2 million coins in a big free spin round that’s backed up with some special wilds.
- Gift Rap: Another festive fruity, this time with a very generous RTP as well as bonus features, multipliers, scatters and more.
- Romanov Riches: Without wishing to get involved with the conspiracy theories about what happened to Russia’s royal family, we can see why this game, with its diamond-themed graphics, is such a hit.
The other hit Microgaming casino slot games are: Avalon, Mega Moolah Isis, Showdown Saloon, Major Millions, Break da Bank Again, The Phantom of the Opera, Lucha Legends, Highlander, Classic Blackjack Gold, and Break Away.
Should you play at a Microgaming Casino?
Our aim is always that players who use our site should be able to enjoy the fun and exciting gaming in a completely safe and secure way.
So can you trust Microgaming casinos?
Yes, you can! The company is based in a trusted jurisdiction in the Isle of Man, sort of in the UK, and is licensed for what it does. Going even further than that, Microgaming set up the industry body that helps keep standards high. Self-regulation within capitalism is a vexed issue, but it does at least show a commitment to some sort of rules-based international gaming order. The company’s corporate social responsibility stuff might be window dressing too, but it’s sometimes a good sign that people are even trying to make themselves look good!
Microgaming’s history speaks for itself. It is the pioneer in the industry and has been at the head of the game for the whole story of the online casino gaming and slots industry.
All of Microgaming’s games – slots, table games, live streaming casino games, bingo, the whole lot – can be trusted to deliver a straight game. You might not like them, and you might not win, but you go into every game with a fair chance of your bet returning a big win.
They’re all good quality too. That is they do what they say they do. Styles of graphics and gameplay are very much a matter of taste, but Microgaming are a quality producer.
This is true across all of their titles. More and more players are trying out live streaming casino games, and they’re finding out through Microgaming.
Choosing a Microgaming casino site
So making for a Microgaming casino is a great way to guarantee a safe, legal, and secure gambling experience. After that, the choice is yours.
There’re a lot of ways for individual site owners to customise the Microgaming sites that they own, including selecting what games they choose and the promotions and marketing they do. So don’t turn off your critical facilities when you see the Microgaming brand, and shop around.
We’re happy to see Microgaming doing well, but we’re also keen to see new market entrants coming along and shaking up the industry and throwing plenty of competition at the giants at the top. You should do the same and support not just established brands but also new sites and new developers.