- Slot Machines
- Video Poker
Prime Casino is officially recognised by the watchdog site eCogra which is certainly a good sign and further investigation reveals that the casino is licensed and regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. It's certainly a good move when casinos take their responsibilities seriously. Similarly, the Prime Casino website itself is a great start for any new player with informative sections of the site devoted to game previews, banking information and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions). Even more impressively is the fact the site is available in 8 different languages - again a great move on behalf of the casino management. Of course, the website also provides numerous links to the download page where a player can download the required software.
Prime Casino does actually offer a flash no-download version of the casino, although the link to this is quite hidden away and in any case I feel the download version offers the best playing experience. This is because the download version contains far more games and generally operates at a more quality level in terms of graphics and general playability. The 450k download should also be manageable by any player regardless of their internet connection speed. However, having said that this is just an installer file that requests further files from the internet. Of course, this installation process only needs to be undertaken once though and as such future play at Prime really is straight forward.
Similarly, the registration process at Prime is easy although US players should note that unfortunately the Palace Group don't allow them to play at Prime. Having said that, the US $ currency can still be used as a playing currency along with the Euro and the UK Pound. Even though I am not based in the US I decided the dollar was the currency I wanted to play in and created a new account without issue. Free play is allowed at Prime although rather annoyingly once a real account has been created, free play mode can no longer be accessed - I guess once you've decided to play for real Prime want you to keep on betting!
As with the majority of online casinos, a good number of deposit options are available at Prime including common methods such as Credit Card and NeTeller. I used my trust NeTeller account to fund my account with $150. This is slightly more than my usual betting amount but with the Mega Moolah jackpot standing at over $4m at the time of playing I wanted to be sure to have a reasonable go at hitting it! Bonus hunters will be pleased to learn a 50% match bonus is available for first time deposits, although since wagering conditions are attached to this I personally chose not to claim the bonus.
As I said earlier, it had been a while since I'd last played at a Microgaming-powered casino and as such I wasn't aware that the number of available games had grown so much - indeed a good 250+ games are available at Prime although thankfully the lobby splits games by type. In fact, it's really easy for a player to find what they are looking for - a game preview facility means players can see details of a game before they play. Similarly, the 'favourites' section of the menu records the games a player likes and so in future sessions a gambler simply needs to click favourites to get playing.
However, despite this much choice I still started my play in my favourite part of the casino - the table games. I don't know what it is about table games I enjoy but I really cannot get enough of them - maybe it's the fact many of them pay out regularly and as such I get that winning feeling every few hands! Of course, with over 250 games available it's not hard to imagine that the selection of available table games at Prime is great. Pretty much every table game is available from classics such as Blackjack and Baccarat to more modern games such as Three Card Poker. There's even choice within games - Blackjack for example can be played following a variety of rules including Vegas Strip, Europe, Atlantic City and Vegas Downtown. This amount of choice is really impressive and it's certainly easy to see why casinos choose to operate with Microgaming software.
Of course, whilst good game choice is important, I personally think it's more important that a casino offers a good 'fun factor'. However, I definitely found this to be the case at Prime. I played at a number of the table games available and was genuinely impressed by the quality of the software. Great graphics are used and with the addition of suitable sound effects Prime really does offer a realistic gaming experience. In fact, I think perhaps more fun can be had at Prime than in a real casino - much of the game play is user-configurable so players can turn sound effects off or on as they wish and even change the game speed. Prime also offers things you'll never find in a real casino - at the Blackjack tables, for example, a player can check built-in strategy cards to ensure they are making the best play!
I actually did reasonably well at the card games I played and was lucky enough to get a few decent Blackjacks at the European table. I also did reasonably well at the Caribbean Stud table and although I didn't get dealt any great hands, a good string of paired card hands gave me a nice return on my bets. Unfortunately 3-Card Poker got the best of me and reduced my bankroll somewhat but I guess you win some and you lose some!
After the card game play I next checked out the Video Poker selection. This is an area of the casino that again I found very impressive. A huge number of games are available and multi-hand fans will love the fact that many of these games also exist. Whether it's 10-hand Deuces Wild or 100-hand Jacks or Better a Video Poker player really should be in their element here. Again, the great graphics and user-configurable playing speeds also mean that players can really set the games up to provide maximum entertainment. I definitely had a good run at the Aces and Faces 50-hand game where a few good starting hands helped lift my bankroll back up after it took a battering at the Deuces and Joker Power Poker game!
However, to be honest I wasn't too in the mood for Video Poker as I wanted to play on some of the slot games! Prime Casino really does have a great selection of slot games - I would estimate over 150. These include a great range of simple, three-reel machines, some more complex 5-reel machines as well as some great video slots with cool bonus rounds. Jackpot hunters will also feel right at home here - around 20 progressive games exist with jackpots that really can hit high levels. As stated, I really wanted to play the Mega Moolah game. This is a video slot with an African kind of theme - and with a jackpot of over $4m at the time I played you can see why I was interested in this game! Actually - I think this is a really clever game as there are 4 progressive meters ranging from double digit jackpots to the massive one I spoke about. As such, each bonus round can reward a very nice treat!
I also played on some of the other non-progressive video slots available. I've always enjoyed the What on Earth game as the 'beam 'em up' bonus round can pay off handsomely. Similarly, I played the Jackpot Express three-reel game. Whilst this is a very basic machine, I've been lucky enough to hit the jackpot on this game before! Sadly my luck wasn't in on this game or on any of the others and before long my bank balance was down to zero. However, I was severely tempted to redeposit and play some of the other games available - a new game based on the dysfunctional Osbourne family seemed especially tempting! Sensibly though I called it a day with my $150 loss. Of course, any winnings would have been efficiently processed with past experience of this group pointing to a processing time of 48-72 hours.
Whilst everything went smoothly during my play at Prime, I still looked in to this casino's support offering. From past experience I've always been impressed with this group's support offering and Prime definitely lived up to my expectations. A good selection of toll-free telephone numbers are available and even email support is responded to within 30 minutes to an hour. Certainly any problems at Prime will be dealt with quickly and efficiently.
To conclude, I certainly enjoyed my time playing at Prime. Indeed, having not played at a Microgaming-powered casino for a while I can say that I didn't mind losing given the exceptional range and quality of available games. A great range of games is available and importantly Prime will process any winnings within a perfectly adequate time frame. Similarly, customer support is definitely a positive at Prime. For those looking for a good Microgaming casino to play at, or even wanting to test one for the first time I definitely think Prime fits the bill. It may even be you that hits that massive $4m jackpot - if you can beat me to it that is!