Help Function In Online Casino SoftwareBy: Rick Balding, Thursday June 25th 2009
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User friendliness is one of the most critical factors for online gaming software. If a software package is not user friendly then players will avoid online casinos using that software. Therefore online casino software providers try and ensure that as far as possible all explanations are provided on the game screen. However there will be times when players, especially newbies, will need some assistance. For this purpose all online gaming software providers incorporate a Help function that provides detailed instruction and information about that game. Different gaming software providers have different mechanisms for accessing and using the Help function. How this function can be used in the case of some leading gaming software providers is discussed using slot games as an example.
In Playtech software the Help function is incorporated as one of the tabs in the Menu button. On clicking the Help tab the player is taken outside the game to a comprehensive help page. All the topics are in one page and the player can scroll down to search for what he wants. The different sections cover the detailed process of setting the paylines and bets. The different buttons on the screen are explained. Short cut keys for performing various tasks are given. The different bonus games and special symbols on the reels are explained in full. New players may find the brief explanations of bonus games given in the slot games difficult to understand and this is one area in which the Help function is useful. Playtech does not provide the payout table in the Help function but refers the player to the game.
Where to Click for Playtech Help:
The above shows the area within the menu that you'd need to click in order to access the "Help" button. After clicking on "Menu" within any game and then "Help" you'll be able to view the help screen.
Playtech Help Preview:
The above is a preview of the window that will pop up after clicking the "Help" button while in a game.
In Microgaming software the Help function can be accessed by clicking on the ‘?' icon usually found in the top left corner. The Help section is menu driven with different topics appearing on different pages. The main menu provides information about the game, the symbols, the bonus rounds, complete payout tables and game rules. The sections are cross linked through hyper links so that if a term is not clear the player can immediately check it out. The information provided is detailed and unambiguous and the method of calculating payouts is illustrated with suitable examples. The other information covered in the Help section is general information about slots and Microgaming's Expert mode functions. Contact information is also provided in case players have further queries. But this is unlikely to be the case.
Where to Click for Microgaming Help:
The "Help" button represented by the "?" as seen in the above preview can be found in the lobby but also within each individual online casino game as seen in this example from Microgaming's Centre Court video slot game.
Microgaming Help Window:
Microgaming has some of the most comprehensive help... The screenshot from above taken from the help within Centre Court offers extensive details on the game that will surely help you understand the game should the payout tables not be sufficient.
In Vegas Technology software the Help function is accessed through a Help button available on the game screen. The Help section is menu driven. The How to Play section provides details on coin and payline selection and starting the spins. The rules section explains how winning combinations are determined and also details of the special symbols. The bonus games are explained in separate sections. The payout section reproduces the graphical table from the game. The final section explains the buttons on the screens. A unique feature in the Vegas Technology software is that it allows printing of the section. Players can print it out so that they need not toggle back and forth from the game.
Where to Click for Vegas Technology Help Preview:
Above is a screenshot showing you where you should click in the event that you're looking for help while playing a Vegas Technology casino game.
Vegas Technology Help Window:
This preview demonstrates what the game help window looks like after the help button has been clicked while in a game.
Realtime Gaming Software does not provide comprehensive Help sections. They merely reproduce the screens that contain the payout table and the rules from the slot games.
Where to Click for Realtime Gaming Help Preview:
The screenshot above shows where to click when looking for help while playing a Realtime Gaming online casino game. In many cases clicking on this button will present 2 options. The first option will be "Live Chat" whereby you'd actually be communicating with the online casinos customer support team to ask them questions about a particular game.
Help/Payout Table Realtime Gaming Preview:
The above is a screenshot of what you'll see when you click help when in an RTG casino game. As you can see clicking on the help button doesn't do much other then take you to the payout table for a particular game. I suppose that they offset the need for additional information by adding the "Live Chat" option so if you want you can contact the casino directly for help.
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