Before you start playing you will need to own a VR headset; there are a variety of options when it comes to choosing one. For those who do not want to break the bank, there is the Oculus Quest 2, developed by Facebook, and Sony PlayStation VR, both of which can be found for under $300. Players looking for a more realistic experience and would invest more can look at Valve Index by Steam or HTC Vive by Lenovo.
There are many reviews online about the headsets and controllers, and you can find the right one for you. Be sure to look out for features such as high resolution display, audio quality, comfort, whether it needs room setup or tethering cables, and so on.
How Does it Work?
To get started with your VR headset, you will need a room or space in which you will play. While it will not be the size of a land casino, you will find yourself turning, making minimal movements forwards or backwards. An arms’ length proximity would probably be enough space for operation, stand up and test your headset. Do not worry though, you will not be playing all the games standing up, you are not expected to in a real casino either after all.
To run the game you will need a PC or a console. For higher game performance, stronger graphics cards and RAM will be necessary as they will reduce pesky lags and bad graphics.
Having bad graphics could be worse than just having to suffer poor lighting or unrealistic surfaces. As you are wearing your headset, you might be prone to migraines or suffer from eye soreness because the settings are not right.
Once you are geared up, you will have a controller for each hand, allowing you to interact. Your field of view will usually span 120 degrees. You will be able to see the objects you interact with, that is, with your virtual hands.
The controllers should have buttons or sticks, some models including both, and these work by following your hand movements. With these, you will be able to both play and also explore all the secret features in the virtual casino.
If you do not have any problems with the visual adjustments, then the setup is easy enough to follow, and within a couple of minutes you will be ready to walk into the virtual casino.
Enter The Casino
You will need to choose an avatar from the characters available, be sure to use one that can be recognized by your friends.
The casinos are designed to look and feel the same as land casinos. You will walk through and instantly recognize the aisles of slot machines beeping and flashing away, the tables, around which you will see avatars playing their hands and the roulette wheels, circled by players trying their luck.
If you are new to virtual casinos then it is definitely worth having a walk around first, you will be able to locate your game of choice with in-world maps, but if you dive straight in you may miss out on some fun Easter eggs. Be sure to leave no stone unturned and you may find characters or objects that you can interact with, secret rooms with bonus side games or even promotional hubs that may offer you free cash in trial games. All of these will allow you to impress your friends with your knowledge of the world of virtual reality casinos.
When you are ready to start playing, you will find all the physical facilities that you would find in a land casino. However, you will be able to access thousands of online games, just as if you were playing at a traditional online casino. You can browse your favourite games and then play them in virtual reality on the physical in-game machines. With your headset you can probably isolate your audio to only pick up sounds from the machine, but you may feel more atmosphere if you have some background ambiance. This will help make your experience more realistic.
For example, if you want to play blackjack then you can find a table, sit at it and place your money. Make sure you try out the blackjack hand signals; tap the table to hit, brush your hand from left to right over your cards to stand, put in a second bet and hold one finger to double down or two to split. Your croupier will deal your cards and call the numbers as you see them, just like in real life, and from the comfort of your own home, you could be sitting at a table showing off your blackjack etiquette in a well-dressed avatar.
Alternatively, you may wish to test the roulette wheel. Just as you would in a real casino, you have tables where you can put your money or tokens, and see where the other players have put theirs. When the croupier spins the wheel, you can see and hear the virtual ball spinning round and then rolling over the frets before it stops. For roulette fans, it does not sacrifice any detail from reality and tries to evoke the same adrenaline as what you experience first hand in a real life casino.
Enhance Your Home Casino
You have the games and the casino within your home now, but let's take a look at ways to improve the quality of your virtual world.
While it is not a case of the higher you pay the better quality you get with VR headsets, it is definitely important to look for high resolution, you can find models that support dual 8k definition.
Audio is also vital, as you will want to hear the numbers the croupier is telling you but you may also be talking to a friend, all with the sound of spinning wheels and chirping themed slots in the background. If you have the setup at home, you could try playing with 5.1 surround sound as well. This will enhance the atmosphere with real sound depth perception and you can isolate the speech interaction from the general sounds that emanate from casinos.
One thing that can drastically change in-game perception are good controllers. Ideally, you would want controllers that would recognise your hand movements and do not lag or lack precision. Without needing the sensitivity or definition of a mouse for PCs, it is still important to be able to put your money onto the number you want on the roulette table, or press the right buttons in a slot machine. Be sure to look for the recommended criteria in the operational settings so you can enjoy premium gaming.
The world of virtual reality is not just a fad. With the developments in technology, it is becoming more affordable and accessible to the public and this gives players a unique chance to meet and play with fellow gamers.
It is worth visiting a virtual casino, even if you are merely there to satisfy your curiosity. It may not be the real thing, but it definitely provides the best of both worlds and provides new players with a user-friendly platform on which to get started.