Getting Started With Online Casinos

Although gambling online is simple, the process to getting started, choosing software and making a deposit can be overwhelming.

So we decided to create a guide to help beginners get started with online casinos. The goal here is to give you a birds eye view of online casinos with links to in-depth resources.

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Here is a list of the websites we find the best overall when it comes to playing at online casinos. If you want to look at a bigger list of sites, check out our full list of reviews for online gambling.

How Online Casinos Work

It’s simple, really. All games are played online.

Most casinos games will run on Flash, Java or HTML5 software – or a combination of the 3. All casinos use a random number generator so that the games are 100% random.

You can play the games using the casinos’ downloadable software, from your mobile device or from your browser. There are pros and cons to each. You’ll find the biggest selection of games in the download, but the lightest and most convenient option are the browser based casinos.

When you play the games you’ll be playing against the computer, by yourself. The only exception are tournaments and live dealer games.

You can join as many casinos as you want. You can switch from one casino to another in a matter of minutes – or play at two casinos simultaneously. All you have to do first is create an account and make a deposit.

Making a Deposit

Making a deposit is simple. Here are the methods that most casinos accept:

  • Credit/Debit Cards – This includes Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. This can also include prepaid and gift cards.
  • E-Wallets – This includes options like Neteller and Skrill. You use your bank account to fund your e-wallet, then transfer money from your wallet to the casino.
  • Wire
  • UKash – This is a voucher, sort of like a gift card.
  • Checks
  • PayPal – Another e-wallet.

Then you have variations of these options and brands.

Deposit limits will vary depending on where you play and the option you use. But you can expect a $5 threshold on the low side, and upwards of $10,000+ on the high side.

All you have to do to make a deposit is head to the cashier, choose your deposit method, and follow the instructions. Most deposit options are free to use, and most will hit your player account instantly. You can also use many of these for withdrawals.

Types of Casino Promotions

There are more promotions from online casinos than live casinos. My guess is that they can offer more because their overhead is so much lower. They can attract more players too since you can play for lower stakes, and don’t have to travel for hours to get to the casino.

Anyway, there are lots of way to get free money, spins or games out of the casino. Here are some of the most common:

Match Bonus – The casino offers to match a percentage of your deposit. For example, they might offer a 100% up to $1,000 bonus. Every dollar you deposit up to $1,000 they’ll give $1, doubling your bankroll. There are different combinations of matches and caps.

Cash Offers – The casino will give you free money. Usually this isn’t very much, less than $50. This is a great way to check out the casino, games and software without having to make a deposit.

Cash Back – The casino will give you points for each wager you make. After awhile the points can be turned back in for cash. The more you play, the more you get back.

VIP – The points the casino gives you may also determine where you land in their VIP scheme. The higher up you go the more rewards you get. This can include earning points faster, more cash back for points, one on one service, more deposit bonuses, etc.

Free Spins – Get ‘x’ number of free spins at the slot machine of your choice.

There are many kinds of promotions. To learn more about them I recommend reading our reviews or checking out the promotions page of the casino you’re planning to join.

What Casino Games Can You Play?

Any game you want. An online casino will mirror a brick and mortar casino in terms of variety. You’ll have table games, video poker and slot machines. We have even done a review of a relevant slot machine, the Cricket Star slot, which might tickle many of our readers fancy. Check it out, you can even try it out for free here on our website!

Here are some of the games you can play:

The biggest difference between an online and brick and mortar casino will be the variations. Online you can find casinos with 15-20 blackjack variations, 100+ slot machine themes and 15+ video poker games. Then you have side bets, progressive jackpots and live dealer games on top of that.

The stakes will depend on the game. But most casinos will accept $1 for table games, .05 for video poker and .01 for slots. Live dealer games will start at $3-$5.

The stakes is easily one of the best things about playing online – no longer do you need to have a huge budget for traveling, eating and playing. It’s possible to deposit and get a good hour of entertainment for $10-$20.

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