postheadericon The Complete Guide to Online Casinos

Online Casinos are a great new form of entertainment that millions of players around the world are currently engaging in. Now that this particular sort of entertainment has been going on for more than a decade, a few important standards have been set and put into place to ensure that players get the best of services.

Because online casinos ask people to deposit money with them, and are after all gambling institutions, there are a number of very important elements that one should be looking out for when playing such casinos.

This guide will take you through every important element of the online casino industry – you can view this particular guide as your 101 or instruction manual to choosing and playing casinos for real money on the internet. Of course, online casinos will give you the opportunity to try out their games absolutely free, and that is an important element to choosing the right brand for you.

Although casinos will try get you to deposit as quickly as possible, it is entirely your right to test drive the casino’s lobby before you jump in the deep end. This way you can dip your foot in the water, test the waters and decide whether the casino is your cup of tea. To do that you will be given an option as soon as you register of whether you want to play for real money or engage in practice play. Choose the latter option, test the different varieties of games available at the casino, and if satisfied only then deposit your money at the casino. But the first thing you will need to do is find a casino that is 100% suitable for you.

Choosing a casino

With so many different brands online today, finding a casino may be a bit of strenuous task. All casinos will say that there is no other better than them, that they offer the best incentives and that their games contain the best graphics. One thing that is important to know is that most casinos will be using one of around 6 credible software providers; online casino software is extremely expensive to produce and so casino brands would much rather pay for lobby services than make their own. On the other hand, software providers get much better coverage and revenue by leasing their software out to thousands of individual casino clients. You will know right away which software provider is available at the casino by looking for the software provider’s logo somewhere on the casino’s website. Usually the logo will be included somewhere at the bottom of the website or below the fold of the page. Well known and completely credible software providers, which casino brands cannot temper with, include names such as (in no particular order) Microgaming (the most well-known), Realtime Gaming, Wizard Gaming, Cryptologic, Playtech and Vegas Technology. Each of these has its own look and feel and so it is important that you check out all if you happen to be a newcomer to the scene. Each individual software is right up there when it comes to the best of online gambling entertainment. To find casinos containing any of the abovementioned software, just search Google for “Microgaming online casinos”, for example.

Downloading Casinos or Playing Flash Casinos

Once you have arrived at the casino’s website you will be able to download the software through the casino’s download button. These buttons are usually the biggest on any casino website and will have your attention directed right towards them. Some casinos will even give you the ‘download now’ call to action in the guise of a pop-up window. Either way, you will need to click and save the executable file to your computer and run the program to install the software to your computer. If you do not wish to install any software to your computer most casinos will also provide you with a flash or ‘no-download’ option where you will be able to enjoy a large section of the casino’s best games straight from your internet browser, but not all.

Registering an Account

Registering an account is perhaps the lengthiest deed that you need to forego before being able to play the casino’s games. The registration process is similar to any other online registration, but this time you will need to supply the casino with 100% authentic information about yourself. This information needs to correlate to your banking details! You name, age, physical address and identification number will have to be 100% correct – if the casino finds out that you are not supplying them with the authentic information, your account may be frozen for good. Once you have registered your account, you will be directed to the casino’s lobby and will be able to begin browsing through the gaming catalogue.

Casino Bonuses

Once you have chosen the software you like most, you will have to look for a casino that offers a good bonus structure. A bonus structure is the amount of perks you will receive for choosing to play with a particular brand. You can do this type of research concurrently as you look for the software that you thing would be most enjoyable. So, the idea here is to find the most favorable casino software and bonus all in one package. Let us take a look at the different bonuses you can expect to find at most online casinos.

The Match Bonus

A Match Bonus is a casino incentive only found at online casinos. This bonus offers players the opportunity to get extra free money on top of their deposit. This bonus is usually available only when you make your very first deposit at a casino, although bonuses of this variety have been known to be given out incrementally. High Roller bonuses also fall under this category.

Match Bonuses are advertised as a percentage. A casino will for example advertise a 200% bonus on a deposit of /$50 which would mean that you will get a total of /$150 when you begin playing. But you have to be careful when taking such bonuses as you will not be able to cash in the money straight away… Online casinos will force wagering requirements into play, which is an obligation for players to play a certain number of spins on the roulette table, hands at the blackjack table or pulls on the slots’ lever. Only after you complete the wagering requirements will you be able to cash in your winnings. If you wish not to take up a casino bonus you will not be forced in to doing so and all you will have to do is email the casino and instruct them to add you to their ‘no-bonus’ list. If you do not do that, the casino will award you automatically with the cash bonus after your first deposit goes through successfully.

The Free Play and Free Spins Bonuses

Another form of online casino incentives is the Free Play and Free Spins bonuses. Both these bonuses are essentially one and the same as you get given money from the casino to play a given game for free and for a specific amount of time, usually for 60 minutes. The Free Play bonus can be used on any game at the casino whilst the Free Spins bonus usually on only one well known video slot game picked by the casino.

Free Play and Free spins bonuses are quite favorable as you will be allowed to keep a limited amount of your winnings. If you do happen to be successful in the designated time, your winnings will be added to your casino account and the wagering requirements will come in to play straight after that.

Terms & Conditions

The terms & conditions pages of the casino are a highly important element that every player needs to go through before they make their first deposit. You will be able to acquaint yourself with the casino’s fine print so that you can make sure that everything the casino professes is completely true. Make sure you also go through the casino’s promotional terms & conditions to find all about bonuses and wagering requirements.

Support

Every well-grounded casino needs to have a support center at which players can direct their queries. One of the first things you need to do before you decide to deposit at the casino is get in touch with a casino representative so that you can know for yourself whether the casino is credible or not. There are many casinos on the internet that do not provide 24/7 support to their clients and you need to stay away from them. You will often come across some problems and you need to be 100% sure that such problems will be resolved instantaneously. If you lose credits or cannot cash out your credits for any particular reason, you will need to be able to chat to a casino representative so that any glitches can be ironed out. Credible casino will offer telephonic (often toll free), email and instant chat options for players with any kind of queries. Instant chat should be available with all leading casino brands and is an extremely effective way to speak to a casino agent in real time. If your country is not toll free number supported, the best way to communicate to a casino is via the chat option in the lobby.

Banking and Currency

Another issue you need to be well informed about is casino banking. Because a lot of countries do not support online casino payments via credit cards you will need to create a web wallet account.

Web wallets are essentially internet banking institutions with the help of which you can make online payments. Online casinos will give you a number of options via which you can make deposits into your casino account. Well known options include Neteller, Paypall, EcoCard and WebMoney. You will be able to open such accounts from the casino lobby once you have decided to make a casino deposit. The casino will redirect you to the web wallet’s registration page where you will be able to create your new internet banking account. Some casinos will even offer you depositing options solely created for your country and currency. You can view all available banking options at any particular casino by finding the banking page on the casino’s website – the same website where you will be able to download the casino software.

Banking Bonuses

Many casinos will give you a small percentage on your deposits just for using some of their advertised banking methods. Casinos have during the years forged relationships with such banking institutions which in turn send players a percentage bonus for the use of their services. You can expect to get an extra 5-15% percent on top of your deposits. These bonuses will be capped on a monthly basis; for example a 10% bonus up to $3000 every month.

Currency

Online casinos will allow you to make deposits in almost every convertible currency. American Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Euro, Russian Ruble, Chilean Peso, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen and South African Rand should be just some of the currencies available to players from around the world at most leading online casinos.

Loyalty

The more you deposit and play at a casino the more perks you will receive. One such perk is the casino’s loyalty program. Stemming from land based casinos and now present at almost online casinos, loyalty programs are a great way to receive extra money in your casino account no strings attached. Loyalty programs are usually tiered incentives programs where players get entered into higher tiers based on the amount of money they have spent at the casino. The programs are essentially VIP programs where you will receive loylaty points according to the amount you have played at the lobby. Once accumulated, points become exchangeable for real casino credits in your casino account. As a brand new player at the casino you will be entered in the loyalty program’s bottommost tier and will move up the ranks the more you play. It is common that players will receive off-screen perks as well: many casinos will take their top VIP players on cruises around the world or luxurious holidays, just like at the top land based casinos.

The Games

Most online casinos today try to cover the entire spectrum of gambling genres. Once you have activated the casino lobby you will be able to scroll down a few gaming menus. These menus are usually divided in the following gaming categories:

Slot Games

Slot games are typically the most abundant games at any online casino. Here you will be able to find hundreds of different titles containing different gaming parameters: you will be able to play 3 reel slots, 5 reel slots, multi-payline slots, progressive slots, penny slots, fruit machines, AWP’s etc.

Table Games

Table games such as roulette, blackjack, craps and poker are also a popular choice at online casinos. These games are made to look like the real thing and are real easy to master. If you have played table games in land based casinos you will definitely find the online versions just as entertaining. The best thing about these games is that you get to be the only player at the table and will fly through deals, hands or rolls of the wheel.

Video Pokers

Another high volume of games comes from the video poker category. Online casinos today offer hundreds of video poker titles. Essentially these games are all the same: you need to combine 5 cards in the order of poker hands, meaning that you will ultimately be going for the royal flush. However, each game will have different rules such as differing wild cards and minimum winning card combinations.

Unique Games

Unique games are gambling variant that cannot fit into any of the categories already mentioned in this guide. These games are standalone and include titles such as scratch card and fortune wheel. Unique games hardly ever require much skill and are usually regarded as complete games of chance, but can be very entertaining nonetheless.

Multiplayer Tournaments

To counter a general feeling of reclusiveness or alienation, online casinos often include community games where players are pitted against each other to win grand prizes. You will be able to play blackjack and slots against other players in a variety of scheduled and unscheduled multiplayer tournaments.

Regulators

The last important thing you need to check for before you download a casino and begin depositing is whether the casino is regulated by external auditors. Like any other product in the world, online casinos too need to have their stamp of approval. Now that the online casino industry has become one of the biggest on the internet, careful regulation has to be put in place in order to ensure that all players get the best of services and personalized care. It is therefore imperative that you find out whether the casino you will be playing at is regulated or not. Credible regulators today include eCogra, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the IGC, TRUSTe and The Gaming and Lotteries Authority of Malta. There are of course many other online casino regulators, so make sure that they themselves are credible before you take their stamp of approval seriously.

The Complete Guide to Online Casinos

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