How We Assess Online Casinos in 2021
Our site is full of online casino recommendations, reviews, and rankings. We know all of the rationales we use to decide how to rank online casinos and casino apps, but how do you know that you can trust our process?
It is wise to be skeptical of the facts and opinions that you read on the internet. We are aware of how much wrong information is available on the web.
The best way to convince you that our site is trustworthy is to explain our process. So, we created this page to explain how we rank sites for real money casino gambling.
We explain the online casino features that we consider to make our rankings, how we create different ratings for several categories, and what makes our system different from other casino recommendation sites.
Importantly, we explain how we ensure that all of our recommended online casinos are safe and reputable.
Factors We Use to Rank Online Casinos
Anyone can visit a few casino sites online and put them in order based on the number of games that they have. It is pretty easy to rate real money casino apps if all you are looking at is the promotions they offer.
But those two factors alone do not give you a complete picture of the online casino experience. A particular casino may have the best bonus options ever, but that doesn’t matter if the site is not secure.
What happens when you have a question about the bonus terms? How will you react if the site takes months to get your money to you? Do you know if the casino is licensed?
All of these factors will affect your experience with any online casino.
Here are the factors that we consider when we rate online casino sites.
Privacy and security are paramount in the digital age. You should be able to enjoy your favorite real money online casino games without worrying about compromising your private information.
There are a few things that online casinos can do to protect your privacy and secure your information.
The first thing we expect from a secure online casino is a security certificate. Modern internet browsers make it easy to identify security certificates.
When you type the URL in your browser, it should show a padlock icon in front of the URL. As long as the padlock is closed, the site has an up-to-date security certificate.
Another way to identify sites with security certificates is to look at the URL itself. If it starts with https://, the site is secure, but if it starts with http://, the site might not be safe.
Encryption is one of the security measures that online casino sites have to use to keep their security certificate. Security certificates hide your information to make sure that outsiders cannot access it.
There are different levels of encryption. Real money online casino sites should have bank-level encryption because they process financial transactions.
Bank-level encryption uses a 256-bit advanced encryption standard, where 256 is the exponent used to create encrypted combinations. Some online casinos use 128-bit encryption.
The safest casino sites offer bank-level encryption, or at least 128-bit encryption. We give online casinos with higher-level encryption a higher security ranking.
Online Casino Privacy Policies
Privacy policies should explain the information the site will collect, including personal information, how often you use the site, and your IP address.
It should also explain how they will use the data that they collect. If the site tracks browsing data, will they use that information to send your targeted ads?
All these security measures are essential for finding a casino or app you can trust. We know how important your private information is, so we rate online casinos based on their security measures that protect you.
Those security measures can tell us a lot about the technical details that online casinos use to protect their customers. But they don’t tell us much about the company itself.
We want to know about the company behind the casino. That includes information about who operates the casino, their reputation, and how they run their company.
Here are some of the questions we like to ask about the company that operates each online casino.
- How long has the company been in business? Who are the top-level executives? Do they have experience in the casino industry?
- Does the company have a gaming license? What is the licensing authority that oversees their license?
- How is the company’s reputation? Do online forums have lots of complaints from customers?
- Are there any scandals that the company has been involved with? Do they have a history of rogue behavior or denying customer payments? Are they on any casino blacklists?
- How many sites does the casino operate? Do they have sister sites?
- What other companies do they work with? How do they choose software developers and other contractors?
The company behind the casino says a lot about the trustworthiness of the casino itself.
Top online casino companies have a reputation for protecting their customers, and they will go to great lengths to protect that reputation.
Casino Game Variety
When you visit a casino online, you are there to gamble and play real money casino games. Some people might enjoy playing the same poker variation all day, every day, but most of us are looking for some variety.
You might think that game variety is just a matter of the number of games, but we take it a lot further than that.
First of all, we look for online casinos that have a combination of slot machines, table games, and poker. Those three categories are the casino basics.
We also look at the variations within each category. Online slots games are virtually limitless, but table games are sometimes more restrictive.
For example, there are only three main versions of roulette. The best casinos for roulette players will offer European, American, and French variations.
There are at least a dozen variations of blackjack, so their blackjack collection should be more extensive. Other games are typically somewhere in between.
In addition to offering table game variations, online casinos can also offer live dealer formats.
Live dealer games offer a more authentic casino experience, but they are more costly for the casino to offer.
Some casino sites choose not to offer live dealer games because of the expense, but that means fewer options for their players. We rank these casinos lower than the casinos that do offer them.
Online Casino Software Matters
One of the best ways for online casinos to increase their game varieties is to work with multiple software developers.
Different casino software developers offer different game varieties. Games from different developers will have different bonus options, jackpot amounts, and different stakes.
The graphics and format of the games will vary for each developer too.
Some games from a particular developer may work better for a particular operating system. That means that more games will work for more players when different software developers are used.
However, t doesn’t matter how many games a casino offers if they don’t have betting limits that work for you.
Most casino sites cater to low-stakes players. The minimum bets on slot machines are typically one penny per line, and the minimums for table games are usually a dollar.
If you want to play for higher stakes, you may need to contact the site’s customer service. They typically have an option for high-stakes players that will remove betting limits, as long as you qualify.
That works for some players, but it is even better if you can find an online casino that has higher maximum bets from the outset.
Comparing Online Casino RTP
What do you do if two online casinos have the same software developers, game varieties, and betting limits? You consider the RTP before you choose which site to gamble on.
RTP stands for Return to Player. It is a percentage that shows the average stakes the casino will pay back to players over a long period.
For example, a casino game with an 80% RTP is not as good as a game with a 99% RTP.
The short-term variance will determine how much or how little you win during a particular gaming session. RTP is an average of your anticipated return in the long term.
Here are some examples of RTP percentages for online and land-based casinos, based on different games.
|Game||Land-based RTP||Online RTP|
|Baccarat (Banker Bet)||90.63%||98.94%|
|European Roulette (Even Money Bets)||97.3%||98.65%|
The point of all this? There is so much more to a good casino game collection than just the games that they offer.
We look for casino sites that use multiple software developers, offer live dealer games, and have high RTP percentages. Each of these factors affects how we rank online casinos.
Online Casino Promotions
One of the benefits of online casino gambling is that you can collect bonuses. Online casinos can’t offer hotel discounts, and free dinners like land-based casinos do, so they offer bonuses instead.
When we rank online casinos, we consider the variety of bonus offers each casino has. Most online casinos have a welcome bonus, but we like casinos that have multiple options.
For example, you don’t want to join an online casino that offers you all kinds of promotions when you first sign up, but then they don’t offer you any bonuses after that.
Many online casino bonuses are more beneficial for slot machine players. They offer free spins on some games.
If they offer bonus funds that can be used on any game, the playthrough requirement is lower for slot machines and higher for table games like blackjack and video poker.
Sometimes, blackjack players have to pay ten times as much as slot machine players to reach the playthrough requirements.
|Game||Wagering Requirement Contribution|
|Video Poker and Blackjack||10%|
|Roulette and Baccarat||5%|
If you are a table game player, you might want to find a casino with better bonus terms. A $200 bonus is less exciting when you have to wager $2,000 or more to earn it.
Situation-Specific Casino Promotions
You also want to ensure you can even use a casino’s bonus offer on the games you want to play. Many casinos offer their bonuses only to slot players. Everyone else is out of luck.
For example, a casino might offer a free bet if their live dealer casino. But if you don’t want to play live dealer games, that offer does you absolutely no good.
And then some online casinos offer bonuses for specific situations. For example, a casino might offer a free bet or deposit bonus if you use their mobile casino app.
We also prefer casinos that come out with new bonus offers regularly.
Online casinos that offer weekly or monthly promotions are more exciting than casinos that always have the same limited options.
Casino Promotion Terms and Conditions
We also take the time to analyze the terms and conditions for bonus offers. A casino could offer massive bonuses, but it’s not worth it if they have unreasonable conditions.
Online casinos can restrict your withdrawals until you meet bonus requirements. Many players don’t realize that, and they get angry when the casino refuses to process their withdrawal.
If you are lucky enough to win big, you want to be able to withdraw your winnings. But, many online casinos won’t let you withdraw the winnings from bonus funds if you haven’t met the playthrough requirement.
Our casino reviews tell you about the bonus conditions, including information about how they affect your withdrawal options.
We rank casinos based on their overall promotional offers. Our ratings include information about the types of bonus offers they include for various players, the playthrough requirements, and the terms and conditions.
One of the factors that gamblers often forget to think about is the banking methods your online casino site uses.
Financial transactions are especially complicated for online casinos. Unfortunately, that often means that they pass fees onto customers, enforce limits on specific transactions, and take a long time to process payments.
Here are a few different banking methods and the average fees, limits, and processing times associated with them.
|Banking Method||Transaction Fee||Deposit Limits||Withdrawal Limits||Processing Times for Withdrawals|
|Credit Card||5-7%||$1,000||$2,500||7-10 business days|
|E-wallet (Neteller, Skrillex, Paypal)||0%||$250||$500||5-7 business days|
|Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin)||0%||$2,500||$2,500||3-5 business days|
|Wire Transfer||1-3%||$500||$1,000||7-10 business days|
|Check by mail||$50||Unavailable||$3,000||7-14 business days|
The exact fees, limits, and processing times will depend on which casino you choose.
If you enjoy playing slot machines or table games with progressive jackpots, you need to think carefully about your banking methods and the terms and conditions that go along with them.
Notice those maximum withdrawal limits. The highest one is $3,000. So, what happens when you win $75,000 or $10 million?
Your jackpot will instantly be credited to your account, but many casino sites have specific rules about withdrawing jackpots.
They often force you to accept payments in installments over several months or years instead of paying it all at once. It could take decades for you to get all of your money.
There are also rules about the withdrawal methods that you can use to withdraw a jackpot.
If the casino is paying out significant amounts of money at one time, they want to avoid fees as much as possible, so they may force you to accept payments via direct deposit.
You will have to think through all of these factors if you want to play progressive jackpot games.
Some online casino sites offer no-fee transactions or lump-sum payments for jackpots. Others charge small fees, but they have faster processing times. We take all of these factors into consideration when we rank online casinos.
Compatibility and Mobile Gambling
There is no point in finding the top online casinos if you can’t access them. So, we rank online casinos by their compatibility options, as well.
We look for casino sites that work with a variety of devices. Most online casinos are accessible on your computer, and it typically doesn’t matter if you have a Mac or Windows computer.
Some online casinos require you to download software, especially for their poker rooms.
Downloadable software sometimes runs faster, but it also takes up memory space on your computer. That can slow down your processing speed and affect your computer’s performance.
So, we generally prefer casinos that are accessible through the internet, instead of downloaded software. Many gamblers call these no download casinos.
Ranking Mobile Gambling Apps
Mobile gambling makes it easy to enjoy your favorite casino games on the go. Any competitive online casino will have some mobile-friendly casino options.
There are a few online casinos that have created native apps that you can download. However, native apps only work on one type of operating system.
You can download a native app on your iPhone, but you can’t access that same site on your Windows computer. Native apps sometimes have a limited game selection, so you might not be able to play all of your favorite games.
Native apps are few and far between, and they only work for a small percentage of players. Most online casinos use mobile responsive websites instead.
Mobile responsive sites allow you to access your online casino account through an internet browser. The website automatically adjusts to fit the screen of the device you are on.
Any device that connects to the internet can access a mobile-responsive website, so they work for almost any gambler. They also offer all the same games that you can enjoy on your computer.
We rank online casinos based on the devices they are compatible with, the game selection available on different devices, and how easy it is to access the site on different devices. We also rank the top real money casino apps.
Everyone hopes that they don’t need to contact customer service for an online casino. If things are going well, you may never need to use this feature.
However, when you do need it, you want it to work well for you. Customer service should be easy to contact, quick to respond, and efficient.
Online casinos generally have three options available for contacting customer support.
- Live chat
Some online casinos only offer one way to contact them. That gets frustrating really quickly, especially if they do not respond right away. We prefer casino sites that have two or three contact options.
Telephone support is exceptionally valuable in certain situations. It is a lot easier to solve specific problems when you have someone talking you through it.
What do you do if you have an issue with your account in the middle of the night? You may not want to wait until the next morning to get answers from the customer support center.
Many online casinos have at least one support option that is available 24/7. Live chat and telephone support that are available any time is far more valuable than any option that is only available during business hours.
Customer Support Response Times
You also want to consider how long it takes them to respond. If you send an email to their customer support team, will you get a response right away, within 24 hours, by the next business day, or in a few weeks?
Some casino sites may respond right away, but their initial response may not solve your issue.
They may need more information from you, or they might need you to try a few solutions before finding one that works for you. Some of that is expected, but they should be able to solve your issue efficiently.
We take the time to contact customer service ourselves when we review online casinos. Unfortunately, some online casinos refuse to respond to support tickets.
The bottom line is that there are many factors that affect your online casino experience, beyond just the games that they offer.
Our online casino rankings take all of these factors into consideration to ensure that the casinos we recommend are the best casino sites available.
Ranking Casino Sites in Multiple Categories
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to online casinos. We know that our favorite casino sites may not be the same as your favorites.
If you enjoy lots of different casino games or are not particular about specific details, our top casino recommendations will work for you. They are also excellent options for beginner gamblers who are just getting started with online gambling.
For those of you who have a specific game that you play, a specific banking method you want to use, or a bonus that you are looking for, we have created separate rankings based on each of those categories.
We compare casinos and rank them from top to bottom in several different categories so that you can find the casino or app that works best for you.
All the casinos we recommend are safe, legitimate, real money online casinos. But our casino rankings make it easy to find the casino that fits your preferences best, without having to do hours of research.
Here are some of the category rankings that you can use to find your favorite online casino.
How Our Online Casino Rankings are Different
There are plenty of other sites that offer casino comparisons. We know you have a choice to trust our research and analysis or theirs.
To help you have confidence in your choice, we want to highlight a few of the differences between our site and our competitors’ websites.
|We never accept money for ratings or reviews. We want to be free to be objective and offer you honest recommendations based on the factors that affect your experience. We refuse to be bribed.||Dozens of other websites accept money for their reviews and rankings. They can’t be objective because their rankings and reviews are often based on how much money they are getting paid.|
|Our team has decades of combined gambling experience, both online and in land-based casinos. We have several gamblers who enjoy different kinds of gambling. So, our rankings of blackjack casinos are written by someone who loves to play blackjack, and our poker casino rankings are from poker players.||Other sites hire freelance writers with no gambling experience because they are inexpensive. How do you trust information that wasn’t written by an expert, or at least someone interested in gambling?|
|The online casino industry is always changing, so we work hard to update our ratings regularly. We have hundreds of pages that cover everything from online gambling laws to an introduction to Las Vegas. All that information changes continually, so we update it frequently to ensure you have the most up-to-date content possible.||If you click on a casino link and get an error message, there is a good chance that the casino is no longer operating. Some websites wrote their casino rankings five to ten years ago, and they never update them.|
|We believe that you deserve to know everything about the casino sites you use. Informed customers can make their own decisions, but you can’t make the right choice if you don’t know all the information. Some of the facts that ranking sites consider a negative might not be a big deal to you. The things that are deal-breakers for you might not be that significant to us. We tell you everything and then let you decide for yourself.||Some online casino rankings only tell you about the features that make online casino sites wonderful. They never tell you about anything that the site could do better or any negative qualities that could cause customer problems. If a casino’s ranking is only favorable, there is a good chance that they are receiving money for their review, and they are hiding something for the casino.|
You might wonder why we go to such lengths to provide up-to-date, comprehensive rankings. The answer is that we hope you find an excellent online casino and have a wonderful experience.
The next time you need to find another online casino or have a gambling question, you will come back to our site because you know you can trust us. That is a win-win situation for everyone.
We prefer to do the work to offer accurate rankings upfront so that we can earn your trust and future loyalty.
Why You Should Use Our Online Casino Site Ratings
Now you know why our rankings are different from those offered on other sites, but you might wonder why you should check ratings in the first place.
There are hundreds of casinos available online. You could take the time to research all of those sites and narrow down your options, but it will take you a long time and lots of money to do it properly.
After you spend hours researching reviews, you might join an online casino, only to realize that it doesn’t offer the games that you like.
An even worse alternative is that you might join an online casino that could scam you.
We scrutinize every casino and test them ourselves before we recommend them. The casinos on our rankings are safe and trustworthy, so you don’t have to worry about scams or unfair games.
You do not want to waste hours or days researching and trying out online casinos. We have already done the research, and we test out every casino app ourselves.
Narrow Your Picks, Then Read Our Casino Reviews
Our comprehensive rankings will give you an accurate picture of what to expect from each site, so you can decide whether it works for you. We save you time so that you can get to your favorite casino games faster.
When we compare online casinos, we offer several online casino options ranked from top to bottom based on different categories.
If you need more information about a specific online casino, we have thorough reviews to explain all the details.
- You can find out all about the games available, the betting limits, and any bonus promotions they offer.
- We explain the banking methods, mobile compatibility, and any things we wish the site would do differently.
- Our reviews go as far as telling you background information about the company that owns the site and any sister sites they have.
These reviews are ideal if you have narrowed your options down to a few different casino sites.
Here are the reviews for some of our top-rated online casinos.
Casinos Change Frequently – Our Rankings Do Too
Online casinos change frequently, so we update our ratings frequently. Some online casinos let us know when they have made changes to their site, especially if it is something that we have previously commented on.
We also pay attention to casinos that change software providers, modify their terms and conditions, or increase their banking fees. Any time we notice those changes, we update our casino rankings as soon as we can.
Now that you know the factors we use to determine our ratings and how our rankings are different than other sites, you should have confidence in our process.
We offer the most comprehensive casino ratings available online. So, check out the category that works best for you, and use our rankings to find your next online casino site.