Introduction to Online Casinos
Casino games are enjoyed by millions of people all over the world and have been for many years. Ever since the first online casinos began offering their services over the internet, this form of gambling has grown even further in popularity. It’s now easier than ever before to play, and you don’t even have to leave the house.
Playing at online casinos can be a lot of fun, and of course, there is also the opportunity of winning some money. It’s also really quite straightforward, even if you’re not particularly great with computers, and perfectly safe, too. Despite these facts, the idea of playing online for real money can be quite daunting for some. That’s why we put together this introduction to online casinos.
In this section of our casino guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know in order to enjoy playing casino games on the web. It includes a collection of useful articles explaining what online casinos have to offer and how they work. These articles cover the bonuses and rewards you can benefit from online, and there’s also some advice for choosing where to play. There is also a handy online casino FAQ.
You can see a more detailed description of each of these articles below, along with a link to each article. Further down the page, we’ve offered a step-by-step guide to joining an online casino, including our recommendations of where to play. We’ve also listed our top tips for playing online.
Understanding Online Casinos – Essential Information
Getting Started Online – A Step-by-Step Guide
If you want to play casino games online but don’t really know what to do, this step-by-step guide will help you get started. We explain the importance of playing at the right places and talk you through exactly what you need to do to open an account and start playing. The whole process is simpler than you might think!
1Choose the RIGHT Online Casino
The very first step you need to take is to decide which casino you are going to join. You may have noticed that we’ve suggested choosing the right casino and not the best one, and there is a good reason for this. Online casino players have their own ideas about what makes the “best” online casino, and not all players will agree on this point.
For example, a player that loves playing slots would probably consider the best casino to be one that has plenty of different slot games and offers regular slot-related bonuses. A player that prefers playing blackjack, however, is likely to view the best casino as one that offers good bonuses and rewards for playing blackjack.
The point we’re trying to make here is that you should really be playing at a casino that suits your own preferences. You should consider what is important to you, and then try to find a casino that offers what you want. The following are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself when deciding which casino is right for you:
- Does the game selection include your favorite game(s)?
- Are there bonuses/rewards available for your favorite game(s)?
- Can you deposit using your preferred deposit option(s)?
- Can you play in your preferred currency?
- Do the minimum/maximum deposits suit your budget?
- Do the minimum/maximum stakes suit your budget?
- Is the game software compatible with your preferred device?
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers some of the main factors that are important to online casino players. It’s also worth noting that not all casinos are open to players in all parts of the world. Therefore, the right option for a player in the United Kingdom, for example, is not necessarily going to be the right option for a player in the United States.
This is precisely why we don’t just list the “best” online casinos at GamblingSites.com. We have our top overall rankings, which provide a very good indication of where we think you should be playing, but we also recommend the top casinos in a variety of different categories.
We rank the top casinos by region, for instance, and the top casinos for high rollers. We provide lists of recommended places to play specific games, too.
In addition to our rankings, we also provide detailed reviews of a number of our recommendations. These reviews are very detailed and enable you to find out everything you need to know about an online casino before picking one that’s suitable.
2Open Your Account
Before you can start playing at your chosen casino, you’ll need to open an account. You can do this by visiting the relevant casino’s website and looking for a button or link that says something like “join now” or “get started.” This button or link will usually appear in a prominent position somewhere on the home page.
When you click on the relevant link or button, you will be prompted to provide a few personal details. You must enter these accurately, as you will probably have to verify them with identification documents at some point – usually when you come to make a withdrawal. If there are any discrepancies between the information you’ve provided and your ID documents, you may have some problems getting your winnings.
The details you have to provide will almost certainly include the following:
- Date of Birth
- Home Address
- Email Address
- Telephone Number
Some places will automatically generate your username and password once you have provided your details, but you may have to choose your own. If you do, please make sure you use a strong password. Even though online casinos take lots of precautions to prevent player accounts being hacked, a password that is hard to guess is still a good idea.
After your account is opened, you may be prompted to download some software. This will install the casino’s software client and all their games onto your computer. Not all casinos have this option, though, and those ones will simply make all their games available directly from their website.
Once you’ve opened your account, you’re almost ready to start playing. You now need to get some money online to play with. To do this, you must make a deposit into your account. Most online casinos make this as easy as possible and offer a variety of different banking options. These typically include the following:
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- E-wallets (such as Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal)
- Bank Transfer
- Money Transfer Services (such as Western Union)
To make a deposit, you must be logged into your account, either directly on your casino’s website or in the software client. You should be able to see a button or link that says “banking” or “my account,” and you’ll need to click on this.
You’ll then be given a list of the available banking options, and you must choose which one to use and then enter the relevant details. If you’ve chosen to use a credit card, for example, you’ll need to enter the details of that card. You’ll also have to enter the amount you want to deposit. Once you’ve done all this, the funds will be added to your account and
We should mention that you may be entitled to claim a welcome bonus when making your first deposit at an online casino. You should check out the details of any such bonus before making your first deposit. They are usually added to your account automatically, but you may have to enter a bonus code or deposit at least a certain amount.
With funds in your account, you are now ready to start playing. Some casinos offer a choice of downloadable games or instant games played directly from your browser, while others offer just one option or the other. Either way, you’ll find plenty of games to choose from, and all you have to do is decide which ones to play.
Please note that it’s advisable to make sure you understand the rules of a game before you start playing it. Although the rules for most games are fairly standard, they can vary a little from one place to the next. Casinos generally publish the rules of all the different games they offer, and it’s a good idea to take a couple of minutes to read through them.
5Sign Up at Multiple Casinos
This is an entirely optional step, but one worth considering, as there are a few advantages to signing up with multiple online casinos. For starters, there are all the welcome bonuses on offer. You have the opportunity to claim a welcome bonus at each new place you try, and these can offer some excellent extra value. You’re not guaranteed to make a profit from them, but they can increase your overall chances of winning some money.
Casinos don’t give bonuses to only their new customers, either. They also look after their existing customers with a range of bonuses, rewards, special offers, and promotions. If you have accounts with multiple casinos, then you will benefit from a wider range of these than you will if you play at just one place. Not every promotion or offer will appeal to you, of course, but there’s a good chance that some of them will.
Having accounts at multiple casinos also gives you a more extensive choice of games to play. Although the game selection at most casinos is more than enough to keep anyone entertained, it can be nice to try something new. Even just playing a different version of your favorite game can help keep things exciting.
Despite these advantages, we should point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with limiting yourself to a single online casino if that’s your preferred approach. It may even be the right thing to do if you find somewhere that offers everything you could possibly want. It’s also worth noting that you may get better overall value from a VIP program or loyalty scheme if you focus all your play at one place. This could be particularly relevant if you play very regularly or for high stakes.
We would still recommend that you at least try a few different online casinos, even if it’s just to see what they’re like. You can always go back to your favorite one afterward, but you might well find somewhere even better.
Top Tips For Using Online Casinos
Our advice doesn’t end with helping you get started. We also want to help you have a positive experience each and every time you play online. We can’t guarantee that you will, of course, but if you follow our top tips, you should certainly have a good time more often than not.
Try New Games
One of the biggest benefits of playing at online casinos is the wide selection of games they have to offer. This is something we suggest you take advantage of. Even if you have a favorite game or a few games that you prefer to play, it’s well worth trying out something different every now and then. Trying a new game can be a lot of fun, in our opinion, particularly if you tend to play the same games very regularly.
Most online casinos have a “play for free” option, so you can even try new games without risking any of your own money!
Look Out for Progressive Jackpots
Another benefit of playing online is that you have access to a lot of progressive jackpots. These are jackpots which grow over time until someone wins them, and they can grow to be very large indeed. We wouldn’t recommend spending a fortune trying to win one, as you only have a small chance, but it’s not a bad idea to risk a few dollars for a big prize every now and then.
You’ll find progressive jackpots linked to a range of different games. The biggest ones are typically linked to slot games, but certain table games have them, too. There’s usually one available in Caribbean Stud Poker, for example, and you’ll even find them in some versions of blackjack and roulette.
Subscribe to Receive Newsletters and Updates
It’s always a good idea to stay up to date with what’s happening at any of the online casinos you play at, so we recommend that you subscribe to receive newsletters and updates if this an option. It is at most places, and you can usually choose to receive them via e-mail or text message. This might result in you getting some e-mails or texts that you’re not really interested in, but for most players, the benefits outweigh this minor issue.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you’ll know about any special offers or promotions going on. Offers and promotions at online casinos tend to be time-sensitive, and they frequently provide genuine added value. You really don’t want to miss out on anything for the sake of checking a few e-mails or texts.
These newsletters and updates can also include other information that you should be aware of. They might cover some important changes to the terms and conditions, for example, or a new deposit option being made available.
Check Bonus Terms and Conditions
This is a vital piece of advice that you absolutely must bear in mind, in our opinion. The bonuses at online casinos can offer some great extra value, but you should always check the relevant terms and conditions before accepting one.
Bonus terms and conditions usually include certain requirements you have to meet or specific rules you have to follow. It’s very important that you fully understand them, as you may end up voiding a bonus otherwise. This will probably cost you any associated winnings from a bonus, too, which can be very frustrating if you’ve just had a good win!
Remember to Withdraw
One of the biggest mistakes made by online casino players is not withdrawing after a win. It’s all too tempting to leave the funds online and try to win even more. This frequently results in players losing all their winnings, or at least a big chunk of them.
We strongly advise that you make a withdrawal every time you have a reasonably sized win. You don’t necessarily need to withdraw everything, but you should take some of your winnings out, at least. You can always choose to deposit again another time if you want to. You’ll be far less likely to give all your winnings back if you’ve actually withdrawn them, though, which is obviously a good thing.
Take Regular Breaks and Monitor Your Spending
There is a lot of fun to be had from playing casino games on the web, but it is vital that you don’t get carried away and spend too much time or money. The majority of players have a positive and enjoyable experience at online casinos, and if you want to do the same, you have to make sure that you stay in control. It can be very tempting to play all the time and even to spend money that you need for other things, but these are temptations that you must resist.
The best way to avoid online casinos taking over your life is simply to make sure that you take regular breaks. There’s nothing wrong with spending some of your spare time playing, but you shouldn’t be looking to play at every opportunity. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with spending some of your spare money at online casinos. You don’t want to lose money you can’t afford, though, so you should keep a close eye on your spending and make sure you’re not going over budget.
This last piece of advice actually applies to any form of gambling, online or otherwise. There is a certain thrill to playing casino games, though, which makes it quite different from other forms of gambling. That fact, combined with the easy accessibility of online casinos, makes this advice particularly relevant here