If you are new to online casinos, you will see there are 2 options in terms of how you play your favourite casino games. There is download and instant play. This version can also be known as ‘Flash’. It all depends on your personal preferences but CasinoManual.co.uk aims to educate you on the benefits and drawbacks of each version.

Download Casinos

Download casinos are considered to be superior to flash or instant play casinos. Software giants like Playtech and Microgaming offer better graphics, more realistic sounds as well as a more stable gaming experience via their download version rather than their ‘lighter’ flash versions.

This is due to a number of reasons but with a download casino, the graphics and sounds (which are major resources for the games to run and seem realistic) are stored directly on your computer. This will allow your favourite casino games to sit on your system and therefore when called about upon by the software, the system responds very quickly to make the experience feel smoother.

Download versions tend to offer all the available features offered by the online casino. More importantly, the download version tends to have more games to choose from and as a result give more options to the avid casino player. Saying that, Playtech has since been releasing their download only slots via for desktop play with games such as Rome & Glory available.

Download casinos need to be secure and trustworthy so make sure the software provider is reputable. If you have a fast internet connection and amply space on your hard drive, the download version is for you. On the other hand, download casinos can be drain on your computer if your hard-drive space is limited.

Instant Play Casinos

Many online casinos nowadays offer a no download version of their software which is typically powered by Flash technology and is played via your web browser such as Internet Explorer. In order for the online casino to display on your screen, the Flash plug-in needs to be installed and ready on your system.

The casino will therefore instantly load in your browser window. It’s an easy and fast way to play at an online casino without the hassle of downloading the software which can be rather large. As you don’t download, there is absolutely no risk in getting any viruses.

A huge advantage to playing instant play casinos is not going through the process of downloading the software. Even though download times are quite short now, skipping this phrase can be good as it’s quicker just to play from the website. Furthermore, if you unsatisfied with the online casino itself, you won’t need to uninstall any software. All you need to do is closer the browser or go to another website.

You will also save memory space on your computer which will in turn make it work faster. The only thing your computer will gain is temporary internet files which are insignificantly small.

Finally, a big advantage to playing via your browser is the freedom to play wherever you like and on whatever computer or laptop. For example, many company laptops don’t allow applications to be downloaded so playing via the website is a way around this when bored at a hotel on a business conference. The casino games can be enjoyed from any computer in the world and at any time of the day or night without limits – all you need is to remember is your username and password!

Typically, flash casinos didn’t usually offer the same amount of games and features as a download casino. This is now changing as internet speeds are quicker. Software providers like Net Entertainment offer all these games via a flash product (they only have 1 download casino client). This is becoming the norm now with big boys Playtech and Microgaming now offering most of the slots especially via their flash/instant play versions.

Conclusion: Download or Instant Play?

There is no right or wrong version for everybody. A lot depends on your personal preferences such as where you are playing from or what games you want to play. The number of online casinos is growing all the time so as a player, you will want to know where to play. Downloading every single online casino can seriously drain your system’s resources so playing the flash version may be the key to give you an insight into an online casino and how you enjoy the experience.

If you are looking for flexibility, flash or instant play casinos are for you. Just by simply surfing online you have a whole host of casinos at your disposal to choose from. You can also play virtually anywhere in the world without having to open a new account by simply remember your login details.

As you can see there are pros and cons for playing either version. When the internet gambling industry was relatively new, no download casinos were ignored as operators preferred to invest their time and efforts into delivering a high quality download casino.

Recently, the demands from players per say has changed as we live in a faster paced world where accessibility and freedom is much more important. This has led to software providers spending a lot more time on the instant play offerings to an extent where there is very little difference between the two versions.

For example, NetEntertainment has a solid reputation in the casino industry for providing top quality flash games that have rich imagery and realistic sounds to match any download software provider out there. In Scandinavia for example, flash or instant play casinos are much more popular than their download counterpart.

To summarize, I believe that instant play/flash casinos are the way to go as you have more flexibility. Despite download versions of Playtech and Microgaming casinos offering more games, the best games are now available via Instant Play with all new slots for example being created in both.
If you have a computer/laptop just for playing online, you could download the casinos you like and play the Instant Play when trying out a new casino or if you’re on the move.

Since this article was first written 4 years ago, internet speeds have improved dramatically and all software providers offer their games to play on your desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Download casinos seem to be a thing of the past though with very few casinos offering them – there are a few about but I doubt they will be in a couple of years’ time.

Think you’ve made up your mind as to what version you’ll like to play? Well, the following article, Ten Commandments of Playing at Online Casinos should be your next.