Looking to gamble on your iPad? You aren’t alone. A recent report estimates that annual mobile wagers will hit $48 billion by 2015. That’s a huge market, so it’s no surprise that new iPad casinos and iPad slots are popping up daily.

There isn’t one dominant type of iPhone casino or iPhone slot. Some apps are native to the iPad, while others run in Safari; some apps are based on real money play, while others only support play money. In order to get what you want out of iPad gambling, it’s good to know a bit about what makes the marketplace unique. To that end, here are 6 facts you need to know about iPad casinos and iPad slots.

Traditional no-download Flash software won’t work on the iPad

Most online casinos maintain no-download Flash software for users to play in a web browser. This software makes it easy to gamble from work, an internet café, or a library. Unfortunately, such software won’t work in the iPad’s Safari browser. That’s because the iPad doesn’t support Adobe Flash technology.

Apple’s refusal to integrate the iPad with Flash is the main reason iPad casinos and iPad slots online haven’t yet taken over the world. Luckily, gambling development companies have been transitioning to iPad-compatible technologies – slowly but surely.

If you normally play using Flash casino or slots software, you’ll have to use different software to play on your iPad. Many gambling sites now offer iPad compatible casino games, so check your host’s website for an iPad-compatible app. 

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iPad Slots / Casinos, Safari and HTML5

You can play some iPad casinos right in Safari thanks to HTML5.  Just because you can’t use Flash casinos on the iPad doesn’t mean you can’t play from Safari. Many iPad slots and casino sites now offer HTML5 gaming software, which runs right from your mobile browser – no download required.

HTML5 casino games are handy because they allow developers to bypass Apple App Store restrictions. While Apple is slowly loosening its requirements for gambling apps, it’s still the case that most real money casino apps can’t be approved for sale. Thus if you want to gamble for real money on the iPad, you’ll need to play from a non-native app.

Most iPad casinos and iPad slots sites link to their HTML5 apps from their websites. Access to such apps is usually just one click away.

Free iPad slots and casino apps are plentiful in the App Store.

 If you’re not necessarily looking to gamble for real money, there are lots of iPad casinos and iPad slots games available in the App Store. Some of these offer a pretty realistic gambling experience all wrapped in a flashy iPad-native package. Other iPad casino and slots apps are creative interpretations of gambling games, designed more like traditional video games than real money gambling games. Whatever style you’re after, there’s likely something for you in the App Store.

I find the most useful iPad casino games to be those that help with gambling strategy. There’s an app called Card Counter, for example, that helps you hone your counting skills in blackjack. This isn’t really useful for online blackjack players, but for live casino players it’s a great way to practice. It’s just one example of an iPad casino app with real, tangible usefulness in the real world. 

Practicing your game is easy with free iPad casino and slots apps.

For those who don’t like paying for stuff, there are plenty of free iPad casinos and slots apps available on the App Store. These apps range from simple implementations of casino games to huge multi-player poker networks. If you’re looking to waste some time, or to practice your game without risk, free iPad slots and casino apps are where it’s at.

For a bit of reel-spinning fun, just search “slots” from the iPad App Store. Some of the top free iPad slots apps should pop up, including:

  • Slots Battle, a cartoony slots simulation with tournaments and multi-player support.
  • Slots HD, a realistic collection of video slots that reproduce the casino experience to a T.
  • Backflip Slots, a modern take on slots with ridiculously intense animations and unique gameplay.

If you’re looking for iPad casino games rather than just slots, take a gander through the “gambling” category on the App Store. You’ll find free gems like:

  • Casino Master, a 9-in-1 gambling extravaganza featuring baccarat, roulette, and video poker among others. This app is unique because it gives strategy tips as you play.
  • Poker Buddies, a free app that lets you play Holdem with your friends.
  • Blackjack +, a simple but realistic blackjack app that keeps statistics while you play.

 Paid iPad apps can be a lot of fun, but aren’t quite the same as real money iPad casinos.

Granted, a lot of the free iPad casino and slots apps are pretty well done. They’ll certainly get you through a long commute, a boring workday, or an exceptionally boring lecture. One thing free apps can’t do, however, is reproduce the real gambling experience; for that, you’ll have to use real money iPad slots app rather than apps available through the App Store.

Creating and depositing to an iPad casino or slots account is fast, simple, and painless.

Signing up at a real money iPad slots or casino site is easy. It works the same as signing up at a traditional casino on the web. Just pick the site that looks best to you, head over to its website, and sign up for an account. Next, choose the mobile casino or slots game you’d like to play. Click the option to download it, and you’ll be sent a link that leads to your chosen game.

Once you’ve signed up, you need to fund your account. This is as simple as entering payment information into a form and clicking submit. Most iPad casinos and slots sites allow you to do this right from your tablet – no access to a PC required. The easiest way to deposit is via credit card, however e-wallets like NETELLER or Moneybookers are good alternate options.

Note: if you’re registering a new casino account, you’re probably eligible for a sign-up bonus. You’ll get free cash paid into your player account as you gamble