There’s barely an online casino player in the world who hasn’t heard of Microgaming, or at least come across their games at one time or another. Powering hundreds of casinos online, the name is synonymous with high quality gaming. I personally love Microgaming games, and see this as the benchmark whenever I’m reviewing a new casino. If a casino is powered by Microgaming, you can pretty much bet that it’s a legitimate operators with a great gaming experience to boot.
Their products are recognised by players and industry analysts alike, and they regularly win awards for their achievements in pushing the boundaries of remote gambling. Just ask any of the countless millionaires living the high life thanks to Microgaming games - this company is the real deal, and remains the undisputed King of the casino business.
If you see a casino displaying a Microgaming logo, you know you’re in for a treat. Likewise, the majority of the world’s favourite slots games are Microgaming products, and you’ll often see these across a number of different online casinos on your travels.
Microgaming games are open to players from across the world, and on this site we’re focused on gamblers in the UK, Canada and Australia. Since 2006/7, US players have been technically unable to enjoy Microgaming games, thanks to anti-gambling laws in the US. That’s not to say US players can’t learn a thing or two while they are here, but just that the action is reserved for players living elsewhere.
What Is Microgaming?
Microgaming is by far the world’s leading developer of casino games. They operate on a licensing basis with some of the best online casinos, allowing these casinos to offer Microgaming games to their players. Leveraging this expertise in creating high quality games with impressive graphics, strong themes and plenty of jackpots along the way, leading casinos like the 32Red Group, the Palace Group, Fortune Lounge Group and others have grown to become massive names in online and laterally mobile gambling. Whether this would have been possible without Microgaming is highly debateable.
Microgaming specialise in producing slots, but their portfolio is vast, comprising of over 850 games with some 1200 variations. They have developed a further 350 games specifically for mobile gamblers, as they continue to move ahead of the curve in producing amazing gaming experiences for online gamblers. You’ll see Microgaming wherever you go in the online casino world, and for many players like me, it’s an essential prerequisite before signing up for a casino.
What Is A Microgaming Casino?
This is a common question we get asked from newer players, who are often a little confused about how the industry works. Basically, a Microgaming casino is any casino that carries software on license from Microgaming. Microgaming only develops the games - they do not operate casinos in their own right. Instead, they sell licenses to casino operators to use their suite of products, which in turn allows the casinos to present the very best in industry technology to their players. When you compare Microgaming games with other types of casino games, particularly some of the games developed in-house by the casinos themselves, the difference is like night and day.
Players love Microgaming. Casinos want their players to be happy. Casinos also aren’t software developers, and games they develop in-house are usually inferior. Microgaming are great at developing software, and so focus on what they do best, rather than trying to compete with online casinos. The net result is it’s a good deal for everyone for casinos to hookup with Microgaming to provide the best all-round service.
Where Is Microgaming Based?
Microgaming is based in Douglas in the Isle of Man. Their international headquarters is located on Circular Road in Douglas, in an impressive building they’ve named MGS House. It’s a far cry from more humble beginnings back in 1994, and a marker of how far they have grown with the online gambling industry since those early days.
The History of Microgaming - When Was Microgaming Launched?
Microgaming began life back in 1994. The web was a mere infant, and online casinos were at a very early stage in their development cycle. At the time, there was no-one else developing software for casinos, and Microgaming very-much pioneered the industry as we know it today. Within the first year of its life, the company had developed a suite of casino management tools for online operators, including player tracking systems that were soon to become an essential component of any online casino operator’s toolkit.
Microgaming became one of the founding members of the Interactive Gaming Council, a not-for-profit organisation set up to represent the interests of the industry. Cementing its place at the centre of this emerging space proved to be shrewd move from Microgaming, and their initial software launches found a welcoming audience of casino operators as the 90s wore on. Their first games were Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and Video Poker, a demonstration of their technological abilities that won over a number of early adopters.
In 1998, Microgaming launched Cash Splash, one of my favourites from the early generation of slots. It was the first progressive jackpot slot ever, and would pave the way for the countless other progressive games to come out of the Microgaming stable since. Shortly thereafter, they released PlayCheck, a tool allowing players to track their game history for heightened security throughout the industry.
By the turn of the century, the first Microgaming casinos were starting to launch, inviting customers to play online across systems, with support in multiple languages for the first time. Shortly thereafter, Microgaming became a founding member of eCOGRA, an independent charter for casino operators adhering to fair play and transparency in gaming. By 2005, Microgaming was already making in-roads into mobile, with the launch of the Spin3 platform.
Following on from this launch, faster Internet connections made live dealer games a reality, and 2006 saw the company expand rapidly into this market. In the same year, it launched its most popular slot to date - Mega Moolah. Mega Moolah remains hugely popular to this day, and is one of the standard bearers for the Microgaming name.
The record jackpot win of over €6.37 million was hit in 2009, while the Grand Slam of Slots created the first online slots tournament euro millionaire. In 2010, a wave of new titles were announced, including Thunderstruck II, Hellboy and Lord of the Rings.
By 2012, its catalogue was swelling with new titles, including more branded slots linked to the Dark Knight and Battlestar Galactica. After further game launches and expansion of their offering, both for slots and other games, 2016 has proven to be another successful year for the company. In May, Microgaming launched their first virtual reality game, based on the Oculus Rift technology, bringing virtual Roulette to the forefront for the first time. As a proven pioneer of the industry, time and time again, we wait with baited breath to see what this VR future could hold for the company.
Today, Microgaming boasts the largest progressive network in the world, and has paid out over €574 million in total to lucky winners.
Microgaming Games and Slots
Microgaming is home to over 850 casino games with over 1200 different variants, making it one of the largest collections of games from a single developer. This is in addition to over 40 progressive games, over 35 multiplayer games and over 350 games specifically designed for mobile. These numbers are increasing all the time, with Microgaming launching numerous titles every year as they devise new game concepts and continue to push technological boundaries.
You can broadly categorise their games into the following:
- Progressive Slots
- Multiplayer Slots
- Table Games
- Live Dealer Games
- Mobile Games
- Virtual Reality Games - a new addition to the family
These games can be found at over 450 different online casinos and counting, as more operators switch on the the benefits of a Microgaming license for their games.
All-Time Best Games From Microgaming
With over 1200 game variations to their name, it would be impossible to cover every game you’ll come across. However, there are a few that have stood the test of time, and that continue to be favourites among slots fans - often years after their initial launch.
- Megah Moolah
- Major Millions
- Tomb Raider
- Game of Thrones
How To Play Microgaming Slots?
Microgaming slots are usually easy on the eye, as well as intuitive to play. This isn’t just pointless marketing speak - it’s actually true, and particularly obvious if you’ve played plenty of slots from other providers (like I have!). Whenever I see the Microgaming label, I can relax in the knowledge that the slots game I’m about to play will be incredibly intuitive to understand and easy to execute.
Microgaming also build in a number of bonus features and additional screens to their games, helping change things up to keep the action interesting as you play. There’s no chance you’ll get bored with spinning on the same screen all the time. Innovations like expanding wilds, sticky wilds, free spins and multipliers, bonus games and a range of new and interesting game formats help keep the slots genre fresh, and where Microgaming leads, other developers tend to follow.
How To Pick Loose Slots?
Playing looser slots is obviously to your advantage as a player - it means you win more often over the long-run. In a land-based casino, there can be a fair share of guesswork involved in identifying loose slots, although there are a number of strategies circulated for finding the best payers. With Microgaming slots, you can see at a glance the RTP percentage of different games, giving you a tangible benchmark for comparing different performers.
Different slots vary in RTP from around 94% at worst, up to 98% and beyond. The higher the RTP, the looser the slot. Here are a few we specifically recommend for having a high RTP, among some of the loosest slots you’ll find online.
|Megaspin Break Da Bank||98%|
|Big Bad Wolf||97.35%|
|Big Kahuna Snakes & Ladders||96.9%|
Microgaming Jackpot Wins - World Record Holders
As you’d probably expect from the industry leader, Microgaming has more than its fair share of jackpots to report, including multiple world records for single spin wins.
A solider from the UK holds the current jackpot record, after landing a win of €17,879,645.12 from a €0.25 bet - a progressive jackpot he scooped played Mega Moolah in October 2015. The biggest Major Millions jackpot was won back in May 2012, and still stands at a so-far unbeaten $2,605,762.v
In April 2015, player Mark A. won €5,375,695.08 on a mobile version of Mega Moolah, played at Royal Vegas casino. These wins are all landmarks, but they are very much the tip of the iceberg. When you consider Microgaming games pay out throughout the year, with some of the biggest progressive jackpots in the industry on their networks, the company is in the business of crowning regular millionaire winners - a fact that does no harm to their reputation for excellence in the industry.
Microgaming Live Dealer Games
Microgaming isn’t just about slots and progressives - they also do a roaring trade in live dealer games. Live dealer games link up players with a human dealer over a live video stream, with connecting software allowing players and dealers to interact. Microgaming developed its first live dealer games back in 2006 and has been ahead of the game ever since. The first game they launched was live baccarat towards the end of 2006. While it wasn’t the first in the market to explore the technology, Microgaming has developed some exceptional live dealer offerings that can be found at casinos across the Internet.
Microgaming runs live dealer games across baccarat, blackjack, and European roulette, to name a few. The live dealers games are not, at present, mobile compatible. This is a bit of a problem for mobile players looking to enjoy a live dealer experience with a Microgaming casino - it isn’t going to happen. The dealers are pretty robotic, and they feel a little constrained - but I suppose it’s just a sign of the professionalism with which Microgaming approaches its games development. The video and audio quality of their games are second to none, and the in-game features are likewise exactly what you would expect from such a big name.
Microgaming Online Casino Bonuses
Microgaming casinos tend to offer up a range of different bonuses for their players. The most common you’ll come across is the sign up bonuses, which is virtually uniform throughout the industry as a means of attracting new players and encouraging them to make their first deposit.
The size of the sign up bonuses available will vary, but they all have predetermined terms and conditions. In order to qualify, a player must open a real money casino account, and then make a first deposit of a minimum of 20 credits. Then, there are wagering requirements to take into consideration, before you are able to cash-out. Typically, Microgaming casinos set a wagering requirements of 30x.
For example, if you’ve picked up a $/£100 bonus, you’ll have to wager $/£3000, and on games with a 100% wagering contribution (usually most slots and some other games). However, for table games, this will increase to up to $/£6000, because they usually contribute to your wagering requirements at a lower percentage. There are also some games that don't contribute at all to your playthrough requirements.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that where you live will have an effect on your wagering requirements. For example, players in the UK and Western Europe will get the lowest requirements, while players from Eastern Europe often have to contribute twice as much to meet the wagering threshold. In some casinos, the default will even be set at 50x or more, with some or all of the above terms in play, so it really pays to read the terms and conditions before signing up for any welcome bonus.
High Roller Bonuses
Microgaming casinos also regularly offer high-roller bonuses, designed to attract big budget players. If you qualify, you can expect a range of perks, such as:
- Dedicated VIP Host
- Cash-back incentives
- Free withdrawals from the casino
- Faster Withdrawals
- Special Gifts and Rewards
- Birthday surprises
- Anniversary surprises
- Accumulate loyalty points faster
- Exclusive VIP Promotions
- Exclusive VIP Trips and Events
- Personalised Desktop Communication Software
VIP players are invited to exclusive tournaments, and pick up up to 40% more loyalty points for the same play. Players can even expect luxury experiences, like city breaks at 5 star hotels, or tickets to sporting events - all part of the service, when you’re a high roller.
You’ll usually also be assigned a dedicated account manager, who can advise you on the bonuses and promotions available, as well as resolve any other issues you might have along the way. Similarly, you’ll benefit from increased card limits for credit and debit card transactions, plus a whole lot more as the casino almost literally rolls out the red carpet for you.
No Deposit Microgaming Bonuses
One of the least common type of bonuses is the no deposit bonus, which doesn’t feature too highly in most Microgaming casinos. In fact, it’s unlikely to be included as part of your welcome bonus.
In most cases, where no deposit bonuses do exist, you’ll be able to pick them up by meeting the eligibility criteria below:
- Open a real money account before applying for the bonus
- Actively claim the bonus: once per customer, per household, per shared computer and per IP address
- Deposit may be cashed-in, providing minimum bets and any other terms have been satisfied.
In some instances, the wagering requirements you’ll be subjected to with these bonuses are very high, bordering on the impossible - e.g. 100x the bonus. This is combined with serious restrictions on the particular games that will qualify, as well as maximum bet limits. You’ll also be limited to a single withdrawal, and every casino decides its own limits for the size of that withdrawal. As if that wasn’t tight enough, you then need to use up your no deposit bonus within 2-7 days depending on the casino, or you forfeit the bonus.
It’s perhaps no surprise that many players choose not to accept these bonuses, even when they are offered. The terms can, in a number of cases, be just too difficult to meet profitably.
Free Spin Bonuses
You can also find free spin bonuses from time to time, usually attached to a particular slots game, but in some cases more widely usable.
In some cases, the casino will stipulate how many coins you need to bet, and the coin value. In most cases, free spin bonuses from Microgaming casinos will be subject to standard wagering requirements too, so you’ll have to play through your winnings, as well as adhering to any time limitations.
There are generally several terms attached to these bonuses, including:
- The offer is only applicable to new real players, who have downloaded the casino.
- To activate Free Spins, players need to make a deposit.
- The total winnings on all Free Spins (whether this is the initial offer or subsequent promotional offers) are limited to $200/£100/€150 maximum. Should the player win in excess of $200/£100/€150 the excess will be removed from the player’s account before fulfilling the cash-in.
Free Time Bonuses
These are similar in some respects to no deposit bonuses, except they grant you an hour of free play. They offer new players sums from $500-$3000 and a 60 minute timer, to win as much as you can in the time period.
To qualify for this type of bonus, you usually need to open a new, real money casino account. Any time you spend downloading the software will be counted within the time period, and you need to start the countdown timer within 7 days of registering your account. The maximum win amount for these promotions tends to be in the region of 100 credits, with any wins thereafter being automatically voided by the casino.
You usually also have to have completed at least 20 bets, while some casinos demand a minimum of 100 bets during the promotional period for any winnings to be valid. And in order to claim your winnings, you’ll be asked to make a deposit of $20 up to $50 into your account.
As you can see, some of these requirements are pretty steep, and as a result can be very difficult to meet. For example, in some Microgaming casinos, you’re asked to win $20 and place 20 bets before you can claim your winnings, while others set the bar higher at 100 bets and a win of no less than $50.
Whatever type of bonus you’re eyeing up, make sure you read the terms and conditions fully. It’s the only and best way to categorically make sure you understand what you can expect, and to avoid getting burned unexpectedly when it’s time to cash-out.
Security, Support and Responsible Gaming
If Microgaming only had a single title, I’d still recommend them as an industry pioneer. Way beyond just developing games and software, Microgaming has been at the heart of this industry as it has grown up, firstly with the Interactive Gaming Council and laterally as a founding member of eCOGRA.
Online gambling is an industry that, left to its own devices, could get a little shady. We see it even today, with casinos that refuse to pay players what they are due, or that rig games, or worse just point blank steal your money. Microgaming didn’t have to play a role in improving and shaping the industry, but they chose to anyway. And the results speak for themselves.
Microgaming is a trusted name in this business. They set up eCOGRA to ensure their license holders and other industry players had a code of conduct to sign up to and accept, setting out basic standards of fairness, transparency and honesty that have governed online gambling ever since. Today, we wouldn’t recommend playing with any casino that isn’t signed up to the eCOGRA programme, such is its importance to the industry (and to your chances of getting a fair deal).
Their security is second to none, with industry leading levels of encryption built into every game as standard. They offer strictly controlled permissions and limits, equipping operators with fully customizable tools to deliver rock-solid security. They even employ a fraud team who monitor play across the full Microgaming network, to ensure there is no foul play - it’s as robust a system as it could possibly be, and certainly at the forefront of the industry when it comes to security.
For most of your support queries, you’ll probably run these through your casino directly. However, if you do have issues with a particular game, there is also a Microgaming support team available around the clock.
Microgaming also adopts a proactive response to responsible gaming. They are good guys in this industry, and it’s not just words - they actually stand by what they say, and do their bit to help out, both in terms of promoting a responsible gaming agenda and through programmes like PlayItForward.
PlayItForward is Microgaming’s flagship community initiative, launched as part of the company’s approach to corporate social responsibility. Launched in 2014, the programme raises money for charitable causes, as well as sponsoring local projects, sports stars and universities. They also donate to the Responsible Gambling Trust, which looks to promote responsible gaming to a wider audience.
Microgaming Supported Devices - iPhone, iPad & Android Apps
Microgaming games are available on desktop and laptop as standard, but also broadly compatible with most mobile users in-browser. Additionally, there are also over 350 games in the catalogue that have been specifically designed for mobile. When you’re playing at a casino running Microgaming’s Quickfire platform, you can now expect a native experience on any device.
Microgaming has developed infrastructure to deliver games across a number of different platforms, including:
Microgaming launched the Quickfire platform back in June 2010, as a way to speed up the integration of games and casino management features across operators. Rather than going for the traditional all-encompassing install, Quickfire allows operators to provide Microgaming content across Flash and mobile platforms. It basically means players can gain access to Microgaming games on any device, particularly useful for mobile casino players. This means there are essentially no restrictions when playing on a mobile through a Quickfire compatible casino, so you can access the full range of games, as you would be able to if you were on your laptop.
Virtual Reality Gaming
Microgaming are now even pioneering developments in virtual reality gaming. The launch of their VR roulette for Oculus Rift was unveiled at the CE Totally Gaming Exhibition earlier in 2016, providing an all-encompassing experience for players, including the tracking of their hand movements through the Leap Motion 3D control. Could this be the future for online casinos? Very possibly. While it’s still at a conceptual stage, you would be brave to bet against Microgaming establishing a strong foothold if this space grows to widespread popularity.
Microgaming is a multi-award winner, something the company clearly takes pride in highlighting. Here are just a few highlights from the Microgaming trophy room.
EGR Awards: Innovation in RNG casino software 2013, Innovation in bingo 2013, Highly Commended: Live casino supplier of the year 2013, RNG casino supplier of the year 2012, Innovation in slot provision 2011, RNG casino supplier of the year 2010
Awards for Excellence: The Celton Manx Award for Corporate Social Responsibility 2014, The Baker Tilly Isle of Man Award for Corporate Social Responsibility 2012, The Abacus Award for Innovation and Independent Thinking 2009, The Nationwide International Award for Business Person of the Year Microgaming CEO 2008, The Capital International Limited Award for Company of the Year 2008, The Capital International Limited Award for New Business or Programme Development 2007, The IOM Steam Packet Award for New Organisation of the Year 2006
Global Gaming Awards: Digital Product 2016, Digital Gaming Innovation 2015, Digital Product 2015, Digital Product 2014
Gambling Online Magazine: Best Casino Software 2012, Top Casino Software 2004, Top Casino Software 2003, Editor's Pick 2004, Players' Choice Award 2002