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Stan's The Man

Perhaps better known as a sports betting site, Stan James also offers a wealth of casino gaming options. Online casino specialist Lia Louis took it for a whirl and came away happy

Stan James is a clean, easy to use and somewhat cosmopolitan online gambling website and although it's ultimately an online bookmaker, their website also offers a wealth of casino game favourites – and it’s those that this month’s review focuses on.

Unlike other gambling websites, Stan James doesn't hold its entire casino offering under one section. There are in fact, four, and these sections are divided into game types, with slots having it's very own space completely.

After registering an account with Stan James – a process that is complete in under a minute and requires absolutely no downloading – you are free to browse the neat sub-sections, and players that are looking to play traditional, no-fuss casino games such as roulette and other table games will find joy in the Casino category.

Games are easily browsed and launched in each section here, as links are presented in neat boxes that contain the name of the game, a link to a tutorial of how to play – an invaluable little touch – and a small ‘Play’ button that, with a click, kicks off the game quickly in a new window.

Euro Roulette is a flawlessly designed little number and is a fantastic online replica of a popular real-life roulette game. To get betting in this easy to play game, you must select a stake from the different coloured chips that are dotted along the bottom, and these amounts range from just 10p to £1k. After selecting your stake, select your bet on the virtual roulette table, click spin and the game will begin – you're able to view a close up of the spinning wheel and winning number as it appears at the top of your screen.

There's also an option for a ‘Quick Spin’ in Euro Roulette. This does exactly what it says on the tin and ensures a speedy, adrenaline-pumping game where the winning number is announced in a couple of seconds.

For those of you that like a dabble with fast-paced card games, then make sure you pay the Stan James blackjack game a visit as although it's, again, very simple, it's been designed with such detail that everything down to the tray of chips and mahogany finish on the table reeks of the real-life version of this game. It's also ideal for those without the big high-roller budget, as a bet in this game can be a little as £1.

As you move into the Slots category, you open up a whole world of big money prizes and unique games, and one slot that was most definitely born from an 'outside of the box' idea is Fan Cashtic. A four-reel, 10-line slot game with pub-slot-style twinkling lights and payout styles, this inventive slot game is home to prizes worth thousands of pounds and weird yet wonderful horizontal and vertical pay lines!

When you first launch Fan Cashtic, you will be given the option of one of three line wagers – 10p, 25p and £1 – and once you have selected one and the game pops up, you’re able to up the coin bet even more. With this great little range of diverse stakes, you can max the lines for as little as £1 or for up to a jolly meaty £50 per spin.

There are many great features within this slot game, including the chance to win up to 2,500 times your stake by spinning any 12 – 16 '7' icons, and two ladders that lead to bundles of cash. These ladders sit on the right hand side of the slot game and each has nine steps leading up to a big money prize. Whenever you spin a 'Cash' image, the ultimate prize rises, and the next rung of the ladder lights up. Spin nine or more icons in the duration of your stay in Fan Cashtic and you'll walk away with the amount at the top of the ladder.

If you prefer a more straightforward, no bell, no whistle type set up, then you'll probably feel right at home spinning the reels of Pirate Treasure, an old school inspired three-reel slot. Complete with just eight pirate themed icons, a grizzly pirate posing as a wild icon, one pay line and the option to play from just 1p a spin, Pirate Treasure provides players with easy game play and a maximum prize of 1,600 times your line bet.

The section following Slots is labelled Games, and this sector is most definitely for the player that likes having a bout of light-hearted fun when gambling. The Games window invites players to bet on digital greyhound racing, virtual horse racing and even good old-fashioned arcade favourite Pin Ball, which makes this section a fun, indulgent and entertaining slice of high time. Next-door though, and on the complete opposite end of the scale is 'Skill' – a page that invites players to pit their wits against other players to win a prize fund.

A new addition to the Skill section is Pyramid Solitaire, a game very similar to the game of Solitaire that resides on every Windows PC. In this points-based card game, players must unstack the pyramid of cards by selecting card combos that add up to 13. Manage to do this quickly, and you'll grab hundreds of points, leaving you in with a chance of walking away with up to 30 times your stake.

Whether you're after a bit of fun, a serious card game or a few spins of a slot, you'll find it here, as Stan James hides an abundant selection of contemporary games under a very simple, uncomplicated exterior. Okay, the odd lavish feature or graphic wouldn't go amiss, but the simplicity of Stan James almost makes it more appealing. Like Leonardo Da Vinci once said: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

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