Online Casino Guide & Top Best Real Money Online Casinos
There are thousands of casinos online and choosing the best online casino is always a question of taste and safeness. While we cannot vouch for your taste, we can give you the information and the facts. We can show you how online casinos work and how to choose the safe online casinos. Read our online casino guide and find out more about online casinos, how to play legal online casino games and how to choose the best internet casino sites. Read online casino reviews, play free casino games and join a real money casino from our trusted top casino list.
Feel free to also learn about:
How Online Casinos Work
In case you’ve ever wondered how online casinos work, you should know the concept is quite easy to grasp. Casinos on the internet are built as regular websites and they show content especially designed by gambling software providers, tailored to satisfy a huge number of online customers. Another way of putting it would be that gambling sites are virtual formats of casino entertainment that are always available to us, anytime, day or night. There are no opening hours and no restrictions for players in terms of dress code, but players are required to be of legal age just like in land-based casinos if they want to be registered account holders and place actual bets.
In order to become a registered internet casino member, all you need to do is fill in a simple registration form, as you would on any website that you are hoping to interact with (do some shopping, make reservations etc.). Most venues have a noticeable link towards the registration form, so the entire process doesn’t take more than a minute. The form will normally require you to enter some personal data like your name, address, email and that sort of stuff, but of course – it’s all private and eventually, you’ll only use your chosen username and a safe password to log in every time you visit the site. You may need to wait a while for your account to be verified, as some online casinos demand SMS or email verification. After that, your new account will be activated and you’ll gain access to the entire virtual casino lobby where you can play popular games such as classic slots, video slots, video poker machines, table games and even scratch cards or bingo, depending on the casino’s portfolio.
Loading the games is easy, all you need to do is click on the thumbnail and in a matter of seconds, the game will start. Some casino websites will allow you to play for fun – play without wagering your own money, but you will only be winning and losing imaginary credits. It’s necessary to make a deposit and fund your account if you want to bet and possibly win actual money. Go to the cashier’s page, select your payment method, follow the instructions, and you’ll have real money to play with on your casino account.
How To Choose An Online Casino
Now that you have the basic idea of how online casinos work, you must be wondering how to actually choose one. Because let’s face it, there are hundreds of casino sites on the web and you only need to pick out several to play at. Choosing an online casino doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Think of it as an investment – the more time you dedicate to finding just the right venue for you, the better your online gambling experience will be.
Choosing a random website is almost never a good idea. You should know what to expect and keep your interest directed at familiar brands, ones that already have a decent reputation among gamblers. It’s good to ask yourself what aspects of a casino website are most important to you. Do you want a big choice of games? Do you value good bonuses the most? Does it matter if the online casino offers just a few payment methods? Is customer support available through live chat because you want to receive assistance immediately? These are some of the potential issues that may help determine exactly what type of casino you’re looking for.
The one thing you should never forget when choosing an online casino is license and regulation. This should be your primary concern, a quality above others. If the casino site isn’t properly licensed you should stay away from it. You can never be certain where your money is going and what kind of problems with the casino management you might have because the brand doesn’t have a valid license to offer gambling services online. If there is no authority behind the casino to make sure everything is done in accordance with the law, you will risk your personal funds a lot more than you ever would in regulated play.
BEST ONLINE CASINOS
When it comes to the best, there are a number of factors which determine the true standouts in any business. From sports teams to solicitors firms, there often seems to be a few select operators which can do what others cannot. Competition is an essential component in how firms operate, and can often lead to the outstanding firms of today becoming the fallen giants of tomorrow.
Online casinos are not protected from this essential law. If you cannot evolve with the changes and demands of the day, you will eventually fall behind the pecking order. There are a number of online casinos which have grown to massive prominence over the years, majorly on account of embracing what it means to be the best. The software, choice of games, payment options site design and sportsbooks are the essential qualities of how the best casino sites will be judged by players and its competition.
While it may be tempting to simply focus on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to identifying the best casinos out there, there is little fun in that. The best way to identify a top online casino from one which is essentially an idyllic pretender is to take it apart and build it back up again. Comparison, as the old saying goes, maybe the enemy of happiness, but when it comes to choosing the right casino, it is crucial.
WHAT IS AN INTERNET CASINO?
Anyone who has watched TV or movies for a few years will have come across a few scenes in their time with old gangsters and molls in casinos. These are, for internet casinos, where it all started. The development of many of the games which came to prominence within the smoky halls of traditional casinos is the driving force for the revenue of many of the major operators in the UK.
Be it blackjack, roulette, craps, or other famous table games, the origins of today’s obsession with playing these famous games can be traced back centuries. For the modern player, engaging in a few hands of poker or spinning the roulette wheel can be done from the comfort of their living room, thanks to the modern developments initiated by online casinos.
An online casino is basically a compact casino which runs either through instant play or downloadable software. Players are provided with access to games where they can wager money on the outcome, in the hope of winning and making a profit. These days, the best online casinos are accessed by millions around the world with the ambition of landing a big win, or even a life-changing sum of cash.
Online casinos are ubiquitous and can be found all over the internet. They range from good to bad, large to small, and even specialist to generalised. There are literally thousands currently in operation today, which are all in competition with one another. Isolating the best from the pack, therefore, can sometimes be a lot harder than many think. This is mostly due to what many consider as the key factors for playing in the first place.
However, when it comes to the cold, hard facts best online casino sites come with, things tend to be more objective.
SOFTWARE & GAMES
The best online casinos tend to offer players a high number of games, with the quality of these games underpinning the quality of the casino as a whole. If a player can identify a strong showing when it comes to slots, casino games, poker titles, bingo, lotteries and more, then it generally means that the casino is one to be reckoned with. Generally, that is. There are casinos which are not considered as bring anything special which have a plethora of games, but the quality of the titles is dubious.
A large number of casinos of this kind tend to mask over the lack of modern and top-quality titles with hundreds or even thousands of older games. These stand out to seasoned players who can see through the camouflaging, so to speak, but will not be as obvious to those who cannot differentiate. In this case, and by process of elimination, a player can strike the name of a casino with this set up off their list when trying to identify the best online casinos out there.
The best online casinos will stand out when we look at the software partners they work with. These are easily identifiable in their games. Most if not all of the best online casinos will use software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and BetSoft, which generally indicate their size and stature to players. Many of the other standout providers will also be notably present, and generally, power more than just slots.
Many online casino software providers also provide other aspects which contribute to a player’s experience. Live dealer casino games, poker software, general casino software, and more, to be precise. There is always a direct relationship between the best casinos and the presence of the best software providers. It’s logical, really, as the licenses for these games tend to cost a considerable amount, which smaller casinos may not be able to afford.
These companies also have reputations to uphold, and will not work alongside just any old casino. There have been instances where many casinos use pirated software from these developers and get away with it, so make sure you don’t just use the software providers a casino works with in order to make a judgement on their reputation.
An online casino’s reputation should generally precede them. Many of the big players in the UK have histories which go back decades – or even sometimes over a century – due to having their roots in high street shops and traditional bookmakers. As such, players know that when they play in these brands’ online casinos, they are getting quality and safety built into the general product.
Word of mouth and advertising campaigns launched by these online casinos also tend to say something about their intentions. The more happy players they accrue means the more word of mouth and advertising from peer to peer they can avail of. When you factor in the monetary value of these points, you can see how these companies can further grow and expand, keeping ahead of the competition in the process.
These days, many online casino players tend to scour the internet for online casino reviews and customer feedback before they sign up to a site. The best casino sites are not immune to criticism but are certainly at less risk of driving customers away with the way they operate. This, once again, makes for more customers and larger monetisation which contributes to better games, better software and a stronger product.
SECURITY, CUSTOMER SUPPORT & PAYMENT OPTIONS
The best internet casinos will often lead the pack when it comes to security. As reputation is everything in business, it only makes sense to do so, right? With hacking and fraud on the up, these companies invest in the most comprehensive software out there to protect their customers. From firewall software to 128-bit SSL encryption, transactions are protected and players information is safeguarded to prevent these details from being intercepted.
This can really help an online casino site to stand out. While the majority of the top casino sites are based in countries with good reputations – and have obtained licenses from respectable authorities – there are strong incentives for only playing with these top rated online casinos.
Another aspect of importance when it comes to choosing the best casinos is to consider their customer support and service functions. The top casinos tend to have strong features when it comes to both, which can really make the difference. If you can speak to an educated and helpful customer support team – and make deposits and withdrawals in a number of different ways – why go anywhere else?
TOP ONLINE CASINOS: IN CONCLUSION
They say the cream rises to the top, and this is especially pronounced when it comes to online casinos. Not every site you play on will have a strong return when it comes to every aspect of online gaming, but the best of the best should have at least a solid and respectable grasp of these factors. In the age of increased competition, there are very strong demands on these companies to provide something for everyone. Where the best online casinos do well is both understanding this philosophy, and executing it to the best of their abilities.
These are tangible to the seasoned player. From the landing page of a top online casino, players should be able to get a feel for what it has to offer. The site design, graphics, choice of games, sportsbook, customer service, payment options and bonus structure should all look and be the part. The company itself will be notable, although there are many online casinos beginning to make big impressions with limited history.
The proof is in the pudding when it comes to testing a casino. Luckily, the best casinos allow players to navigate the site and test the software prior to committing to deposit. For players interested in finding only the best casinos, this can often be the best option.
Safe Online Casinos
Safety is a relevant factor when it comes to experiencing online gambling the right way. You are expected to invest your personal money into these games, and therefore you will be taking certain risks. However, the point is not to put your finances into risky situations along with sensitive information that you’ve revealed to the casino during your stay. Your personal data and your banking details are in need of protection, and most highly-regarded casinos will go to great lengths to provide this protection to their customers.
Internet casinos are safe because they benefit from licenses and regulation acquired from reputable authorities which constantly supervise and evaluate activities on licensed sites. For example, online casinos with licenses issued by the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority or the government of Gibraltar are known to be completely safe and trustworthy. Safety is enhanced with encryption technology which prevents any type of third party involvement. Players don’t need to worry about identity thieves or any kind of mistreatment from the casino, or banking service providers associated with it. Most modern casinos apply SSL encryption technology to safeguard personal information concerning their customers.
Ultimately, you can find online casinos with multiple certificates proving their honesty and fairness. Testing labs will regularly subject the software to analysis and evaluation, in order to confirm its fairness and the genuine nature of the outcome of spins, dealt hands and so on. eCOGRA is one of the major organisations that ensure player protection, fair gaming and responsible treatment of users by operators, software developers and other gaming service providers. Online casinos than bear the eCOGRA seal are considered accredited and complying with high standards of the industry.
So how do we find a safe online casino?
For casino players looking to get involved in the world of online casinos, there will never be anything less than an abundance of choice. The sheer amount of casinos operating online these days is jaw-dropping, and with competition for your money at the highest level it has ever been, it is almost a certainty that any operator will have to work hard to provide you with a worthwhile incentive to sign up.
New player bonuses, welcome offers, free spins and much more are gifted to those who play in a new casino for the first time. This is done as a means of attracting as many gamblers to get on board as possible. While the quality of a casino’s welcome package will differ from site to site, a player will expect something as recognition of their decision to join up and start spending money.
Welcome bonuses aside, there are many reasons for an individual to be careful when they choose the site they feel offers them the best chance to win. For slots players – who tend to be the biggest demographic out there to target – the presence of certain software providers can be a major reason for them signing up. For roulette and blackjack aficionados, there may be an expectation of variety in the games they support. The wants and needs of a player will differ, according to what makes playing in a casino fun for them.
As we look through the ever-growing number of online casinos, we can see that the quality is discernibly different depending on who you choose to play with. From the design of a site to the ease of navigation, it can be painstakingly clear when an operator stands out next to a poorer site. The glitz, glam, and flash graphics are just the tip of the iceberg, however, as there is a lot more to an online casino than just catching the eye.
Below we illustrate what you can expect – and should expect to find – when playing with a casino for the first time online and how to identify a safe online casino to play legal casino games.
LICENSING, REGULATION & LOCATION
In order to find the licensing and regulatory information pertaining to a casino, you can generally find them towards the bottom of a casino’s homepage. Here you can generally identify which country and authority the casino is registered under and with. Those in the UK should find some comfort when playing at a casino which is either in Alderney, Gibraltar, Malta, Isle of Man, or the UK itself, of course. Many casinos these days are also based elsewhere, such as in the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao, and Antigua.
For many online casino players, there should always be particular attention paid to casinos which are registered in Costa Rica. There are a number of legitimate and above board sites based here, but it is somewhat less restrictive than many other licensing jurisdictions. Costa Rica is not as tough when it comes to operators, which can cause many problems for players – such as those who should be banned from playing in its web casinos. Given the lax rules in Costa Rica when it comes to online casinos, it does tend to attract rogue operators.
CASINO GAMES & SLOTS
A notable marker when it comes to casinos is the software they use. The vast majority of safe online casinos in the legitimate tiers tend to use software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and BetSoft, which generally indicate their size and stature to players. More importantly, it can also be a tangible barometer of how safe the company is. In this case, looking for a casino which has partnerships with many of these companies is always a good idea.
Casino games and slots essentially make a casino, and many savvy players can use this as a feeler prior to signing up.
THE SECURITY OF THE SITE
A legal online casino site will always do everything within its powers to keep players safe. With the growing problem of fraud online, a site which makes a huge effort to keep players protected will always be attractive to any player who has suffered any form of fraud in the past. You will find a number of methods an online casino can use to keep the security of the site watertight.
Generally speaking, a 128-bit SSL encryption put in place to protect transactions and safeguard sensitive information should be in place in any casino you choose to play in. Any safe casino worth its salt will have this, as well as firewall software and other modern day advancements which prevent the dishonest use of the site.
When it comes to the other side of things, fair practice and safety must be in place for a site to consider itself as legitimate and top-class. If possible, always try to get as much information on the security of a site before you choose to play there. Without any solid knowledge of a security policy or any proof that you are protected, you will essentially be playing with risk.
If the casino site is not regulated, properly designed and does not have the key components of safety built in, then you are playing with fire. When registering your details on the online casino site always check is the website has an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ part of the address before you proceed. The ‘s’ essentially stands for safety. Another thing to remember is to check online casino reviews of the site to ensure that there have been no major problems experienced by other players.
Major browsers will also show is an online casino site is safe when it comes to transferring data. Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer will show the lock key in the web address to prove the page origin’s identity and to show that has not been amended by hackers. This can help prove the authenticity of an account.
BANKING OPTIONS AS A RED FLAG
Nowadays, an online casino site should support the major payment methods out there; there is almost no excuse not to provide players with as many opportunities as possible when it comes to payment and withdrawal. If the major payment methods such as Visa/Visa Debit, MasterCard, Maestro, Delta and Switch and e-wallets such as PayPal, Ukash, Neteller, Moneybookers, and more recently, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not available, this should be a red flag.
The more deposit methods available, the safer a site will usually be. This is not to always be taken as a general rule, but it can certainly help weed out the bad ones. As a safe and sound banking system can determine just how long a player may have to wait in order get their winnings – or to get them at all – banking options should be an important focal point.
There are many horror stories of players having their winnings withheld – or basically stolen from them – by sites which are not governed or licensed according to standards we would expect. Always do your research before signing up for a new online casino, as it may be the difference between a smile and a big, sad frown…
KEEPING YOURSELF PROTECTED AT ALL TIMES
Luckily for players, there are numerous ways to keep yourself protected in order to cut down on the chances of being caught out by a dodgy casino. One quick Google search will find a litany of accounts of players who have had some pretty unsavoury experiences over the years. With a reputable casino, you don’t have to worry as much, but these days, anything can happen.
The recent scandal involving the use of our personal information has seen major global corporations in the firing line. This proves that there is always a chance of us at risk. Keeping ourselves protected, first and foremost, should be the main thing for anyone who regularly plays online casino games.
Passwords, for example, are a great way to start. Always pick a strong one and one which no one else knows or can easily predict. You can change your password as many times as you like, but generally speaking, every four to six weeks should be enough to keep you safe. Always make sure you change your password to something which you will remember!
There are other ways to prove yourself, such as security questions, which further bolsters your safety. Linking the password reset to your phone or another email address is also a good idea.
Even if you are playing with trusted online casinos, you are still at risk. This is because many hackers can create genuine-looking emails which are disguised as coming from the safe online site you are playing at. Always stay vigilant!
LEGAL ONLINE CASINOS: IN CONCLUSION
Safety is paramount when it comes to playing with a new online casino. In the modern age, there are many genuine looking casinos which look completely different once you scratch the surface a little. With more and more sites popping up each week, competition is beginning to lead many of these sites down the road of offering massively enticing welcome bonuses and free bets. This can sometimes cloud our judgement, which means that we are at risk of making the wrong decision.
A legal online casino site should always be able to demonstrate its licensing and regulatory information. This is crucial to proving that they are – in fact – a reputable and safe site. The use of software created to keep payers’ information should also not just be utilised but explained to the players. Banking methods and a safe payment system should also be in place.
While there are many ways a web casino can safeguard players’ safety, the most important aspect for gamblers to remember is that they should do everything in their power to keep themselves safe. It may be a cliché, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Online Casino Reviews & Online Casino Ratings
When people experience something, they often feel the need to comment on it and share their impressions with the community. Regular people do it on forums and chat rooms, but skilled analysts will organise their thoughts and evaluations into comprehensive reviews and present them to the public. The goal is not to push one’s individual opinion, but rather to express an objective overview of a subject important to a collective. When it comes to online casinos, reviewers work long and hard in order to properly represent casino brands and help the customers who may be new to online gambling to better understand how online casinos work, what they offer and what are their highlights and drawbacks.
Online casino reviews are expositions on various aspects of an online casino, often discussing subjects like casino layout, website theme, software providers, game diversity, customer support, accepted currencies, available banking methods, payment processing times, restricted countries, licensing and regulation, bonuses and promotional campaigns, as well as tournaments and extra features if there are any. What are the value of online casino reviews and online casino ratings? They are important because they save you time and they give you worthy information about internet casinos you may be interested in. Instead of doing extensive research about a specific casino site, you can simply read an online casino review which already has all its aspects described and evaluated.
Internet casino reviews and casino ratings give you a sneak peek into a specific casino world and prepare you for what is on the website. You can use that valuable information to plan a strategy and decide beforehand what games to play, which bonuses to claim or which banking services to use. As long as the review has been done by a casino expert or a team of skilled casino enthusiasts, you can trust it and use it as a guideline towards recommendable, reputable and fun casino sites.
Real Money vs Free Casinos
We’ve mentioned before that there are casino games available online for both real money and imaginary credits. When you play games of chance without making any real payments it is referred to as ‘free play’ or ‘demo mode’. Casinos that allow free play, are known as free casinos. Basically, they work the same way real money casino sites do, except you don’t have to make any deposits to be allowed to play. You click on the free casino game thumbnail and you play a complete version of the slot or whatever game you’ve chosen, with all the bonuses and features in it. You will experience wins and also losses, but your balance will contain make-believe money that you can’t withdraw. It’s only there to power the game, but it’s not real money casino funds. Free online casino games aren't limited in time, and you can also enjoy free play on your mobile devices. However, the only true benefit from playing free online casino games is getting practice and fun time while playing without making a real money casino deposit.
On the other hand, we have the real money online casinos which bring a bit more seriousness into online gambling. To be able to experience real money casino betting, you have to activate your account and make a deposit. The money you deposit will suffer deductions every time you place a bet, but your balance will enhance every time you win. Often, you’ll have a separate funds balance for bonus money that you need to convert into real money. Real money casino funds can be cashed out of the casino and used in real life. Although it comes with certain risks, real money gambling online is thrilling, suspenseful and irresistible. The only way you can win big is wager real cash and try your luck through proper, responsible gambling.
Flash Casinos vs No Download Casinos
As you start uncovering the variety of web casinos, you’ll see that lots of them showcase different performances on different devices and offer various ways of access.
Not a long time ago, flash casinos were the only option online, along with downloadable versions of the casino package. To be able to access the casino, your computer needed to have the flash plugin, and if you wanted to play offline you could have the casino software installed just like any other program.
Flash casinos and download casinos are still available today, but it seems like newer, more advanced versions of casino platforms have become more popular.
Instant casinos are the most popular today. Also known as flash casinos, they require no special software, no updates or specific packages. They are easily accessed through the existing browser, and the only thing required is a stable internet connection. Whichever browser you use on a daily basis is enough to run your favourite instant casino, and the best thing about it is that the same applies to mobile devices.
Instant casino sites are mobile compatible, which means they can adapt to the size of your tablet or smartphone screen. Just type in your username and password and you can continue playing when you’re out of the house. The performance doesn’t lack in quality if you’re playing on mobile, through a regular browser. This also eliminates the need to download anything and go through an installation process.
The newest technology applied in casino software development is the HTML5 code, which enables the instant-play format on both desktop computers and handheld devices. Since the mobile play is taking over desktop online gambling, the existence of flash casinos is an excellent practicality.
Online Casino Tips
Choosing among several brick and mortar casinos in your vicinity is probably not the most difficult task you can imagine, but try and select just one or few among a plethora of internet casinos currently in business and you will see what we are talking about. And with each of these offering hundreds of attractive games to choose from, you could get a real headache in the process. But, there is no reason to worry as we have compiled a list of online casino tips designed to help you improve your chances of turning a profit in the final count.
Play at reputable casino sites
There is little point in taking advantage of special welcome offers and winning some cash in the casino if you then experience all sorts of problems when trying to withdraw the money you have earned fair and square, and this is why you need to ensure to only play at casinos with impeccable reputation in the online gaming industry and those that happily pay out winners. This is the first thing you need to consider when selecting an online casino to join as it could have a major effect on your future gaming exploits.
Select web casinos with convenient and free banking methods
High banking fees and deposits and withdrawals that take long to be processed can not only eat into your profits, but also create additional issues, and you will quickly learn to appreciate gaming venues that offer a very good choice of payment and cashout solutions that also come free of charge. By taking your gaming to these kinds of establishments, you will ensure you always get the best value for your wagers, as you don't need banking costs to further increase the odds against you.
Make sure to check game payout percentages
Even if you are playing for fun and don't care whether you will win or lose, you would still be better off playing the games that offer a realistic chance of winning in the long run. The rule of thumb is that table games and Blackjack especially features the lowest house edge, meaning that average payout percentages are above 99%, whereas payouts differ a great deal among slot games. And while impressive visuals and numerous bonus features may seemingly make certain video slots more attractive, you should also pay attention to the game's payout percentage as there is little point in spending your time on titles with said payout lower than 95%.
Use bonuses and promotions wisely
Attractive bonuses and promotions can both improve your chances and seriously decrease them, so you need to be extra careful when selecting from a number of offers to opt in to. Free spins and no deposit bonuses are always good for you due to the fact that you will not be risking your money, with guaranteed prizes tournaments also falling into this category. But, if you decide to take advantage of match deposit bonuses, make sure to only accept those that come with wagering requirements that are not too difficult to complete or else your entire account balance will disappear during the process of trying to release the bonus funds.