Casino Advice for Beginners
In Britain, where gambling is legal both online and in land-based casinos, 33% of all revenue in this category comes from internet betting. Other countries like Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Australia have also seen a significant rise in gambling site use.
Although the games are essentially the same, the experience is entirely different than walking into a casino and sitting down at a slot machine or blackjack table. You’re on your own. No slot techs are walking around to help you cash out, and no fellow players are sitting next to you to assist or just cheer you on to 21. If you want a cocktail, you’ll need to head into your kitchen or pull up a mobile casino on your smartphone and head to the nearest pub.
The game rules are consistent regarding how you’re betting, but everything else introduces you to a brand new world from your betting account to bonuses and promotions. However, there are a lot of considerations and tips that can make your online experience just as fun:
1. No Secrets Allowed
You’re a customer investing in a service and putting your own money at risk. You have every right to know what you’re getting into without any hidden surprises.
One of the biggest things that some i-Casinos like to hide in the back room is the list of financial options, the number one thing you must review before registering a new account. The list includes the different methods you can use, fees, turnaround times, and minimum and maximum limits. You would certainly want to know if you’re charged fees or need to wait two weeks to receive a payout, wouldn’t you?
Another item of interest is the licensing and regulation that oversees the operator. Reputable owners will include that information in terms and conditions, but should also put the logo or the name of the governing authority at the bottom of the homepage for all to see.
If you’re unable to locate contact information, that’s another big red flag and a site you will probably want to avoid. You’ll usually see a live chat button prominently placed but, if not, there should be a contact link somewhere that’s easy to find.
This should also go without saying but, if you can’t see any games or aren’t allowed to access any of the gaming menus, why would you take a risk? You’re looking to play so you need to know what’s available to you. Registering with a site that doesn’t show you its slots or table games would be like buying a pair of shoes unaware if they’re men’s, women’s, heels, or flats.
Bottom Line: look for transparent sites that have nothing to hide.
2. Casinos Are Not All Alike
We wouldn’t suggest registering on the first casino that pops up in your browser search. Not all services are the same, and many will show up that don’t even allow for players in your country.
It takes a bit of time and investigation to find the best site or sites for you. Reviews, as long as they are relatively consistent, can be extremely helpful in narrowing down your choices as you should be able to look at acceptable jurisdictions, payment options, game selections, and the good, the bad, and the ugly of each site.
Another thing to consider is that a great casino may not initially show up in your search because it’s housed on the same site as a sportsbook. Many sites will offer multiple betting services, and you don’t want to pass one by because it’s designated as sports betting when it also provides a top-notch casino.
Here’s What to Keep in Mind:
- Look for providers that explicitly allow for players in your country.
- Verify that your preferred method of banking is available.
- At the very least, skim through a few reviews to make sure there aren’t any problems like slow pays or noncompliance with fair gaming practices.
- Whether or not you’re interested in different forms of gambling, don’t disregard sportsbook providers who also offer casino games.
- All players without their own Blackjack immediately lose the hand, and their bets are lost. Any player that does have 21 ties with the dealer and takes back their bet but doesn’t get paid extra.
- Don’t go by one player’s review – look for consistency in feedback.
3. When A Win Is Not A Win
Ah, the wonderful world of casino bonuses. New players, we strongly suggest that you study up a bit on how casino bonuses work before you assume that depositing $100 and receiving an additional $200 is as good as free money.
Online casino bonuses operate much differently than land-based casinos. Whether you’re at the Hippodrome in London or the Mirage in Las Vegas, your player benefits are much more straightforward, and slot hosts aren’t asking you to empty your wallet before you get a $5.00 comp.
A welcome bonus or any perk though i-Casinos will typically come with some requirements that you’ll need to abide by, or you could lose out on any winnings, including any resulting from your cash deposit.
If you’re offered a match bonus, you will then need to wager that “free” amount plus your own money a specified number of times, and it could be anywhere from two to 45 or even higher. An average welcome bonus rollover comes in at 30x so that $300 example we just gave ends up requiring you to bet $9,000 before you can cash out a dime.
Deciding to Accept a Bonus (or Not):
- Review the rollover (also called play through or wagering requirement).
- Determine if it involves just the bonus award or your deposit plus bonus together.
- See if there are alternative types of offers available with easier requirements to fulfill.
- Look for a no-rollover bonus casino – there aren’t many, but there are a few out there.
- If your intent is to just play for a long time, bonuses can be beneficial.
- If the bottom line is your only focus, you may want to give them a pass.
- Be sure to opt-in or opt-out when you register and initiate any deposit.
4. Don’t Lose Anything Before You Have Even Placed A Bet
Believe it or not, with some sites, your $100 deposit may end up somewhere in the $90 range. Some operators actually charge for accepting a transfer into your player account.
As crazy as it sounds, it’s not uncommon.
When it comes to withdrawals, you may be a bit more understanding, but know that there are other options out there as well. Some sites have fee-free transactions across the board so, with all other things being equal, they’re your better choice.
Another thing to consider is the method you’re using to fund your betting. If you can embrace Bitcoin, it’s a top option for online bettors as it can be one of the fastest for both deposit and withdrawals and should, for the most part, be fee-free.
- Credit and debit cards have charges assessed whereas other methods may not.
- Card providers may consider gambling transfers to be cash advances and charge higher interest.
- E-wallets are great choices and have easy approval, but Neteller and Skrill sometimes voids bonus potential.
- Not all operators will payout to cards, so bank transfers will be issued and take longer to process.
- Even if you use something like a paysafecard, primarily a cash transaction, you may still incur fees.
5. Spin On The Go
Gambling on the go is rising faster than online betting itself. Smartphone users are so used to playing Candy Crush or any of the other gaming phenomena that it only makes sense that mobile casino play would be embraced as well.
The majority of sites now offer quality mobile versions of their full product but not all games transfer over equally. If mobile play is a priority for you, you’ll want to pull up the website on your smartphone or tablet before registering and look through the gaming options that are offered in the mini version.
Some will have live dealer gaming and some won’t. Others may have 400 slot games but only offer 50 for play on the go. Identify your favorite games and then make sure that you see them show up on the small screen.
Two pointers: 1) Verify that the site can rotate from portrait to landscape to fill the screen better; and 2) Be sure the buttons are large enough that you won’t make mistakes.
6. You Can Be a Conservative Bettor
Just because you don’t want to risk your entire paycheck doesn’t mean that you can’t still receive a good gambling payout.
Familiarizing yourself with some things to look for will help you to up your bottom line, and these apply to online betting as well as land-based.
You may have walked around the table game area in a casino and noticed the small signs that are always posted next to the dealer indicating the minimum and maximum bet. These are important because one table may look identical but on the left could be a $1 Blackjack game and, on the right, you could have a $10 minimum. That’s a big difference.
The same applies to online play. There are smaller tables and the more high-roller type. You just need to be sure to look at the entire description.
For slot play, you can also find machines for as little as 1p or a penny and some of them will have progressive jackpots attached that will boost the top prize amount considerably. You don’t have to wager $5 per spin to be in the running for thousands or even millions*.
Two Casino Tips for Slot Players:
- Find a fixed pay game as it will offer the same payout ratio whether you’re playing one credit or three. If it’s not a fixed pay game, there’s more incentive to bet the max as the top payout will be considerably higher.
- Look for a jackpot progressive like Mega Moolah* that provides a random bonus instead of one tied into a pay line. Some of the top prize winners for this particular game were betting at a 1p denomination.
7. Millionaire Makers
We all love the idea of receiving life-changing money, and slot players who opt for particular jackpot progressive games have a chance to claim it. Of all of the games out there, slots have the most odds that favor the casino, meaning less potential for players to win, but offer the highest top payout amounts.
Now we don’t want to fool you here, those prizes are not given away every hour, but they are out there, and they are awarded. There are also progressive games at every level. We just noted the Mega Moolah payout in our Conservative Bettor section, and it’s a great example of a game that you may want to locate specifically.
Keep in Mind:
- Select software providers, like Microgaming, are responsible for the individual jackpot games so you can search for Microgaming casinos.
- Look for random jackpots over pay line-associated if you don’t plan on betting the maximum.
- Understand all of the required betting rules to claim the top prize, so you don’t miss out on receiving the best prizes.
- Jackpot games provide for a higher overall prize, so smaller wins are fewer and farther between which lessen your playing ability if you have a strict budget.
8. Let The Odds Work For You
Whereas slot games have one of the largest casino edges, Blackjack and Video Poker tend to come in as player-favored.
Be careful though, as there are so many variations of each type of game that you want to select the one that provides the best overall odds if that’s your strategy. For example, Blackjack Perfect Pairs and its side bet is one of the worst opportunities for players, but Classic Blackjack is one of the best.
If you are going to opt for slot games, you have better odds with low variance games that provide for ongoing smaller payouts instead of a significant top prize amount.
Something to keep in mind: the more little extras or bells and whistles added, the more adverse effect on your odds. Using the Perfect Pairs example, it’s the side bet that does players in as it’s a long shot bet.
9. When To Let It Ride
Your inclination may be to cash out as soon as you win something immediately and, let’s be honest, that’s probably the best strategy when you’re sitting in an actual casino.
When you’re playing online, though, jumping the gun could cost you.
For one, you may have a bonus rollover that hasn’t been satisfied so cashing out may not be an option anyway or you could be forfeiting bonus potential and lowering your current credit balance.
If you’re playing at a casino that charges for withdrawals, it will sometimes offer one free payout monthly or some cash out credit, so you want to do some planning. If you just won and you plan to play again in the next few weeks, why not keep the money in there instead of paying fees should you cash out again?
By no means are we suggesting that you gamble foolishly, just take everything into consideration, so you end up cashing out more instead of faster.
Tip: Be sure you understand the fee structure of your casino regarding payouts and timing. There may also be maximum limits on payouts.
10. Leave Nothing To Chance
We saved the most important for last. Even though it’s gambling, you don’t want to take a chance in certain areas. Terms and conditions posted on gaming websites can go on for umpteen pages and may seem like a boring read but could save you disappointment or even actual money in the end.
You want to know everything before you step foot in a virtual casino. You know the adage “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” well that can certainly apply to betting online. The bonus and promotional offers focus on these large special offers and not on what you have to do to receive them. Depositing into an account could seem like a no brainer, and then you get hit with fees – just for putting your own money into your own betting account!
If you’re unsure of anything, don’t just jump in blindly. Contact customer service and get all of the clarification you need. Don’t deposit and then ask about a bonus or you may have already missed out on something.
Bottom Line: it’s important to get out of the mentality of the live casino bettor and shift into the mode of the wise and educated online gambler.