Recent statistics show that the 'average' online casino player is female, aged between 46 and 55.
This may seem odd at first glance, but when you think about it, the reason why is obvious - for years, land based casinos were male-dominated spaces where women, if they were allowed in at all, were seen as either waitresses, glammed-up escorts to 'serious' gamblers or blue-haired pensioners piling coins into slots. With the advent of online gambling, that all changed. Now, women can gamble where and when they like, without the pressure - real or imagined - of feeling like an unwelcome outsider.
Surprisingly, though, the online casino industry has been relatively slow in picking up the opportunities offered by this demographic. Most of those online gambling sites that do focus on female gamblers tend to assume that all they want to do is play bingo and chat on online message boards.
Whilst there's no doubt that many female gamblers enjoy those aspects of online casinos, there's an entire group who are interested in more traditional casino games.
If you're one of those gamblers, and you feel a little neglected by the marketing of casino sites, this article is intended to point you towards games I know you'll enjoy!
First up is probably the most male-dominated game of all, Baccarat (pronounced Back-a-rah and also known as Punto Banco) As the game that introduced James Bond to the world in Casino Royale, it has always had an aura of class and glamour. Think of Bond girls in strapless black dresses, draped over the players as they gamble, and you'll see how women are generally regarded by Baccarat players!
In traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos, Baccarat is often played in a separate room, out of the way of the 'rowdier' tables, as it is the game preferred by 'high-rollers', those high stakes players that get treated so well by the management. This is another reason why land-based Baccarat can feel so intimidating, for men as well as women.
Online, however, there are no such restrictions to playing Baccarat. Gone are the trappings of glamour and secrecy - and what's left is a straightforward, enjoyable card game, with room for a little strategy.
I designed Fortune Palace (see resource box) to introduce players to game such as Baccarat. If you visit, you'll see all the rules and bets clearly explained, an explanation of strategy for all levels of risk - and, best of all, you'll be able to practice absolutely free, so you won't need to chance any money until you're familiar with the game.
The second game I'd like to recommend is one of my personal favourites - Sic Bo. Not many know of this game as it's played mainly by Asian and Far Eastern gamblers. In fact, a lot of Western casinos fail to offer the game. Online, though, it's one of the most popular table games.
Unusually, Sic Bo is widely regarded as a 'game for women' amongst gamblers. This disparaging attitude ignores the possibilities that the game has to offer. To describe it briefly, it's a game played with three dice that has similarities with Craps and Roulette. I'm always amazed by how Roulette players look 'down their nose' at Sic Bo. True, the odds in Sic Bo are not exactly the most favourable in the casino, but it's not as if Roulette is a guaranteed money maker! In fact, if you're looking to try out a strategy on a close-to-evens chance bet like Red/Black, Sic Bo offers a very similar bet in Big/Small.
But that's missing the point. The fun in Sic Bo lies in the betting permutations and combinations. Basically, there are 216 ways that three dice can be rolled - and you can place any number of bets on these possible outcomes. For example, you could bet on the overall total, on a pair, on a triple, on a specific number - the possibilities are numerous.
The way the board is laid out, the way the dice are rolled, and the way the results are presented all go towards the excitement and enjoyment of the game. For some fun in the casino, I think Sic Bo's unbeatable.
Blackjack is a very popular game and it's unlikely that you're unfamiliar with it so I won't go into detail in this article. All I will say is that I've devised a simple 3-stage strategy for Blackjack that is intended to take players from beginner to high-roller whilst still keeping the enjoyment in the game. If you're a Blackjack player - or would like to be! - you might care to check it out.
Another unusual game we describe at Fortune Palace is Pai Gow Poker. This is a game I like to describe as Blackjack for Poker players. In other words, you need a basic knowledge of poker hands (don't worry - Fortune Palace has a hand ranking chart for beginners!) but the game itself is a you-versus-the-dealer kind of game.
You're dealt seven cards and you have to make two poker-based hands, one of five cards and one of two. The dealer does the same - if both your hands beat the dealer's, you win!
It's fast and exciting and a game that I know is very popular with female visitors to the site. The strategy can seem complex at first, but once you're familiar with it it's a game you can really get into.
A variation of the game is Bonus Pai Gow Poker. In that version, you can place a side bet that your seven cards will contain a significant poker hand (eg full house, straight). The advantage of this bet is that you win the wager even if you don't win the two hands ie you get the bonus regardless of how you set your hands! If you're lucky enough to get a Royal Flush, the bonus pays out a massive 8,000 to 1!
Sadly, not all online casinos offer the Bonus version. But if you're playing at one that does (eg Spin Palace or Ruby Fortune) it's worth checking out.
Roulette is possibly the most popular and familiar of all casino games. As with Blackjack, I'm sure you know most of what you need to know about Roulette, so I won't go into detail here. But if you're attracted by one of the many Roulette 'systems' available on the market, at Fortune Palace we've tested the most popular ones and give you our verdict. I won't tell you here which work and which don't - that would spoil the surprise!
The last game I'd like to introduce you to is Keno. True, this is a game similar to Bingo, which may seem to contradict the initial point of this article, but I feel it's a game female players may enjoy. Put simply, it's a cross between Bingo and Lotto, where you have an element of control over how many and which numbers you choose.
You mark the numbers on a card and then 20 balls are drawn at random. You win depending on how many 'spots' you choose and how many of those come up. Winning small amounts is relatively easy - winning big is relatively hard! But if you're lucky enough to get 10 from 10, the payout is 100,000 to 1.
Keno is more of a 'fun' game than many others, but it has its charms and offers a diversion when you're looking to relax between hands of more 'serious' games.
Overall, then, I hope this article has given female players a taste of the kind of games that are available to them and will encourage some to try their hand at online gambling.
Remember, in the past, casinos were a male preserve. Online casinos have made things much more democratic - everyone's welcome and everyone's treated equally.
Women have a right to play where and when they want - make sure you exercise that right!
About the author: Andy Follin runs Fortune Palace, regarded as one of the best online gambling guides for gamblers of all levels, from beginner to high roller, that includes game strategies, online casino reviews, the latest online casino bonus offers and a detailed deposit guide for ALL players, including those from the USA.