What is ‘Hardware’?
In the technology world, ‘hardware’ refers to computers and their physical components, while ‘software’ means the programs being used on those machines. For gamblers, hardware can be anything from the mobile device used to play games to the electronic gaming machines found in many casinos, arcades and gambling shops.
‘Hardware’ and ‘software’ are the two essential parts of computers and other electronic or digital machines. Hardware refers to the physical parts – the outer shell, the inner components and the machine as a whole. Software is everything going on inside of that machine: the programmes and applications which it operates.
In the gambling world, ‘hardware’ usually refers to the computer or mobile device which is being used to play games. There are lots of handheld hardware devices, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as larger computers and gaming terminals. For online gaming, an internet connected device is required to access websites or applications, on which games like slots, video poker and bingo can be played. In casinos, hardware usually means the electronic gaming machines such as fruit machines and video poker machines. Players add coins or tokens to these machines and if they win their spin or hand, the machine will pay out the win directly.
Hardware can also mean the accessories and devices that are used to access virtual casino gaming, or used to assist with gameplay. Virtual reality headsets and viewers are a form of gaming hardware. There are also devices and computers which are used to track play and to present results, display pay schedules, assess the rates of play and provide other valuable data for players and for the casino. Hardware requires regular maintenance to ensure there are no faults, and it is one of the many expenses an operational casino needs to consider.