Exclusive or Hybrid Bitcoin Casinos: Which One’s Best?
Bitcoin’s been a popular topic the past few years.
A couple years ago a bitcoin was selling for more than $1,000. It was being sold left and right. People couldn’t get enough of it.
Then it took a dive. Each BTC sold for a measly $200.
But over the last couple of years it’s been on a steady incline. As of writing this, the value of a single bitcoin is around $700.
Where will it be a couple days from now? A year or two? Who knows?
What we can tell you is that bitcoin’s an excellent banking option for online gamblers. While it’s still available – because who knows how long it’ll be around – you should strongly consider using it to fund your online casino accounts.
But first things first. You need to have an account at a casino who accepts bitcoin. And only the best will do. So, where do you sign up?
But what if you don’t know which casino to choose? How do you decide then?
We recommend you read our reviews. We research each casino in-depth and share what we find about their company, games, promotions, limits and so on.
But before you do that, we recommend you read the rest of this page. We explain the two different types of bitcoin casinos you can join and the strengths and weaknesses each one has.
Once you’re done you’ll have a better idea of the type of casino you want to join. You’ll know which casino reviews to start with.
Let’s get started.
2 Type of Bitcoin Casinos
There are two types of bitcoin casinos. One only accepts bitcoin. We call these bitcoin-exclusive casinos. The second accepts both bitcoin and other standard fiat currencies. We call these hybrid casinos.
(We made these names up, by the way.)
A couple years ago I might’ve encouraged everyone to join bitcoin-exclusive casinos over hybrid casinos. Some of my reasons why include:
Banking – Payments are processed fast. Once processed, the payments are completed almost instantly. There are (usually) no fees, either.
Compare this to hybrid casinos who often charge (high) fees and take several days to process and complete your deposits and withdrawals. Even if you’re using bitcoin.
Currency – At bitcoin-exclusive casinos you’ll play in bitcoin, whereas at hybrid casinos they convert your bitcoin to USD.
This sucks for several reasons. But the biggest reason is this:
You have to worry about exchange rates. Which (USD or BTC) is worth more? Will you lose money if you trade today over tomorrow or the next day?
You may come out ahead, of course. That’s just the nature of investing. But why add another variable (the dollar) into the mix if you don’t have to?
Provably Fair Games – This is sort of complicated to explain/understand. But the general idea is this – your able to insert your own ‘code’ into the games algorithm which you can use to verify the games fairness after each round. This isn’t possible with games offered at hybrid casinos.
Smaller Table Limits – You can play for amounts as small as 1 mBTC. At bitcoin’s current value that comes out to about $0.73 per round/hand. But even at, say, 5 mBTC, that comes out to $3.64. Which is still cheap – and the middle of the road between online and offline gambling stakes.
Good for Americans – There aren’t any laws regarding bitcoin. Not yet. That being the case, it’s an excellent option for Americans to use to fund their casino accounts. You don’t have to deal with banks, or worry about your card being declined or payments taking forever to process.
Anonymity – One of bitcoin’s biggest perks is anonymity. You don’t need a name or social security number to open a bitcoin wallet, transfer or receive bitcoin payments. All you need is a wallet. Many bitcoin-exclusive casinos take the same approach with player accounts. They ask for the bare minimum (if an account is even required at all).
Odds – Our research has shown that games found on bitcoin-exclusive casinos have slightly better odds than hybrid casinos. The difference can be as much as 1-2 percent, which is a big deal when you consider the house edge for most games is 10 percent or less.
The bottom line…
These benefits led me to believe bitcoin-exclusive casinos were better than hybrid casinos. And, the truth is, this is still the case for most of the benefits listed above.
But things have changed over the last couple of years. Including me. So, my opinion on the matter has changed, too.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
A couple years ago bitcoin-exclusive and hybrid casinos were different.
You’d have a bitcoin only casino that came with the benefits mentioned above. But there were, and in some cases, still are, a few drawbacks:
Bitcoin-exclusive casinos had limited game selections.
Licensing wasn’t required.
The latter drawback’s probably the worst. It encourages an atmosphere akin to the wild west, which means fewer restrictions, structure or consequences.
History has shown us that this atmosphere favors the casino FAR MORE than the player. Without rules, the casino can take advantage of you without consequence.
Then you’d have a hybrid casino, like Bovada or 5Dimes, where you’d have almost none of the benefit that come from using bitcoin.
But here’s what they do have:
Huge game selections from industry leading software companies.
Licenses, games testing and regulations.
It’s not hard to argue that both FAR outweigh anonymity, speedy bank processing or nominal bank fees.
Anyway, things are a little different today.
Nowadays, many bitcoin-exclusive casinos also work with top online gambling software companies. A few examples include BetSoft, NetEnt and Microgaming. This gives players access to dozens, even hundreds of games.
And better yet – you can still play these games for low stakes. The casinos who offer these games are licensed, too. For example, both mBit Casino and Bit Casino have licenses.
(My guess is they were required to if they were to work with companies like BetSoft or Microgaming.)
But does that mean they’re a better choice?
We’ll get to that in just a minute.
What Types of Games Can You Play?
There is a difference in the games you can play between an exclusive and hybrid casino. But probably not in the way you think.
Today – because of the partnerships bitcoin-exclusive casinos have with online gambling software companies, you can play all the same games available at hybrid casinos.
But there’s more. You’ll also get to play games not commonly found at hybrid casinos.
Heads and Tails
The biggest letdown for some people will be that most casino games found at exclusive casinos will not be provably fair.
But you have to ask yourself, do they need to be? Because these games are tested for fairness by large auditing companies like TST and Gaming Laboratories instead.
And the games that come from bitcon software companies, like SoftSwiss, are still provably fair.
Bitcoin-exclusive casinos are starting to offer the best of both worlds.
Either Way You Go, You Still Get Deals
No matter which route you go, you’ll still have access to lots of casino deals. Bitcoin-exclusive casinos offer deals just like hybrid casinos do.
Here are some current examples from bitcoin-exclusive casinos:
20 free spins (no deposit required)
100% match bonus up to 1 BTC + 180 free spins
50% up to 1 BTC
100% up to 1 BTC/$100/£100
Free spins every Friday
25% reload bonus on Wednesdays
100% reload bonus up to 2 BTC/$200/£200
110% match bonus
50% up to 1 BTC
25% reload bonus
Cash back on Thursdays (20% up to 1 BTC)
One thing we noticed is how you’ll get a larger bonus if you deposit in bitcoin compared to depositing in dollars or pounds. For example, you can get $700+ in bitcoin, or you can get $200 cash.
This is different, and not something you’ll find at a hybrid casino.
But one thing that remains the same are bonus terms. You’ll still need to roll your bonus over so many times before you can cash out.
For example, bitStarz has a 40x rollover. And only slots will contribute 100% to the wagering requirements. Games like video poker, blackjack and baccarat will only contribute 5%. This means you’ll need to wager 800x to clear the same bonus.
The bottom line, though, is you’ll have access to offers no matter which casino you go with.
Conclusion – Which Do You Choose?
It’s not an easy choice. Most players can go either way and be happy.
So, here’s how I look at it:
For players outside America – the UK, CA, AU, etc. – it’s hard to recommend bitcoin-exclusive casinos when you have better options. The casinos you have access to are licensed and regulated. The gaming commissions that license these casinos will protect you from the scumbags.
And many of the perks bitcoin offers – fast payments, playing in your currency, fair games – are all things you get anyway. As far as anonymity – there are plenty of ways to gamble online without anyone else knowing about it.
The bottom line – you have no reason to join a bitcoin-exclusive casino.
For Americans – You can go either way. Honestly, there’s not one casino you can feel 110% good about. Because you have little, if any recourse if you’re ever screwed over by an offshore casino.
That goes for any offshore casino.
You’ll have lots of games, bonuses and perks either way you go, too.
That said, if you want to reduce your risk, the best thing to do is to join an offshore casino who at least has a history.
Both Bovada and 5Dimes come to mind.
They’ve both been around for years; both have hundreds of games; both offer sports betting; both have positive reputations.
And, they both accept bitcoin.
So, while you won’t get the perks that come with bitcoin – anonymity, fast banking, provably fair games, etc. – the tradeoff is you’ll have an account with a legit offshore casino operator. As legit as one can get, anyway.
But, as I said, you can go either way. Since they’re all offshore casinos, your money is at risk no matter how you look at it. So, you’ll have to decide how much risk you’re willing to take …and if it’s worth the benefits you get from a bitcoin-exclusive casino.