This guide to online casinos is aimed at beginner players looking to try out gambling online for the first time. In this guide, we will cover what to look for from an online casino and strategies for ensuring your casino session is enjoyable and safe.
Strictly 18+ ONLY. ALWAYS GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY.
Choosing an online casino is like trying to find a flavour of jelly bean that you like in a bag of thousands of flavours! There are so many casinos online with new ones popping up daily to add to our confusion.
Each casino is shouting louder than the last about their unbeatable bonuses, mobile gaming and top VIP rewards. Where on earth do you start in such a muddle of activity? Our beginner’s guide to online casinos is here to help. We will take you through what to look for step by step, so your first casino session goes without a hitch, and above all, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. After all, that’s what playing at online casinos is all about!
Online casinos have been around for nearly two and a half decades. And it’s hard to think of another industry that has seen such massive growth in a relatively small period of time. Technology and the need for a more convenient way to gamble online have seen casinos and sports betting sites evolve and progress along with customer’s expectations and demands.
While the first casinos were relatively simple, newer brands are changing the face of how we gamble online. Casinos are appearing with in-built gamification, enhanced loyalty schemes and a more interactive experience that is more rewarding for their players.
With so much competition in the marketplace, casinos are having to work a lot harder to win over new players and keep them playing. The added benefit of having a rewarding loyalty scheme, cashback and gifts mean players are likely to stay loyal rather than flitting from one brand to the next depending on who waves the biggest bonus offer in front of them.
There is a casino to suit every player, from the high rollers amongst you to those just wanting to play the odd game on their mobile to pass a bit of time. Finding the one for you is where it gets interesting! Where do you start in a sea of online casinos? Read on to find out what to look for.
This online casino guide wouldn’t be complete without a checklist on what to look for from an online casino brand. Which one you go for will be totally down to your preferences, but there are a few non-negotiables that will keep your session safe. Here’s our list of the key things to look for:
Each casino will feature games supplied by one or more different software providers. Some casinos are focussed solely on one software vendor, but more and more are opting for a multi-software casino offer. That means you can play games from a variety of different developers in one place.
Some major software houses include Microgaming, NetEnt, NextGen, WMS and Play ‘N Go, but there are so many more. Only play at casinos which feature games from trusted developers. Games should be certified as fair and be tested by independent auditors to ensure random results.
As we mentioned, there are thousands of different types of casino games and online slot games available to play online. Your chosen casino will be determined by the kinds of games you want to play. Whether you want a good all-rounder or are only interested in slots, roulette or poker, this will help you hone in on a suitable casino brand to suit your needs.
Download casino or instant play
Some casino sites will require you to download software to be able to play. Others will be instant play so you can simply log in through your internet browser to enjoy the games. How you choose to play is up to you, but having the different types of casinos available enables you to enjoy playing on any device.
Security and licensing
Find out if the casino is licensed by your relevant gambling authority. For online casinos in the UK, this will be the UK Gambling Commission. There will be information on this on the casino’s home page.
Find out what payment methods you can use at the casino. See if any fees are applied to deposits or withdrawals (there shouldn’t be, but it happens occasionally). Find out what the minimum deposit and withdrawals are and also how long it might take to withdraw your winnings. Look for casinos that process requests the same day if you can.
Any decent casino will offer round the clock player support and feature a live chat facility. There is no bigger frustration than something going wrong while you are playing and not being able to speak with someone to help. Live chat means you can chat to a customer support agent while you are playing.
Pretty much every casino will be compatible with playing on mobile. In fact, some casinos are totally dedicated to mobile gaming! If you think you are going to be playing a lot on your mobile device, check how it looks and performs on a smaller screen
size. See if they accept mobile deposit methods such and Zimpler or Pay By Phone too!
Bonuses and promotions
Casinos will usually offer a welcome package to tempt new players to give them a try. Try to look for the best promotions with the lowest wagering or even zero wagering offers. There are heaps of different types of bonuses available including free spins, no deposit bonuses, 1st deposit cash match offers…the list goes on.
Some bonuses aren’t what they seem to be, so make sure you check the terms and conditions of any offer carefully before signing up. Some casinos also offer cashback on your losses which is a great way to limit the damage to your bankroll and keep something back for next time!
If you want to find out more about gambling bonuses and what to look for, take a look at our Gambling Bonuses Guide.
There is no more significant indication of an online casino that by their reputation. Thankfully. These days you can research pretty much anything on the internet, and there are always people very willing to spill their opinions on the latest brands. Be warned though, as with any reviews, not all are legitimate. Make sure you check the reputable casino forums or chat to fellow gambling fans for their recommendations.
If you are in any doubt about a casino at all, it’s probably wise to go with your instinct and steer clear. Try another brand. After all, there are so many good ones out there you don’t need to take any risks on questionable casinos.
Once you think you’ve chosen your casino, take a look around and get a feel for the place. Play for free on some of the games to see how they work before you make a real money deposit. Decide what you want to play. Will it be online slots or video poker? Blackjack or roulette? There are hundreds of different options of what to play. The right game for you might not be what you expect. Check the house edge and the game rules before you decide.
Set yourself a budget before you play
Deciding on a game to play can also be determined by your budget. Some games come with a high minimum bet size so might not be suitable if you have a strict $20 budget. You might want to play for an hour so choose a game that you can play for a lower bet size such as online slots. That way, you can toggle the game controls to suit your bankroll.
Decide how long you want to play for
Also, decide how long you want to play for. Make sure you don’t spend hours sitting playing at online casinos, take a break and make sure you do other things. It shouldn’t be your only interest or pastime.
You should be able to set up session reminders and time outs in your casino account controls. This will keep you from getting lost in a world of online gambling with no concept of how long you’ve been playing for. It does happen, believe us!
It’s important to see online casinos as a form of entertainment. Never play when you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or feeling upset or depressed. You need a clear head to make wise decisions when real money is at stake!
If you have any concerns about your gambling, please seek help at www.begambleaware.org. There are organisations whose sole aim is to support problem gamblers and help people avoid getting into issues from online gambling.
If you follow our guide to online casinos and make sure you have done your research as well as setting yourself realistic expectations and limits, your casino session shouldn’t be anything other than fun and entertaining.
Ready to play?
We hope our Online Casino Guide for beginners has given you the tools you need to go forward and enjoy the best possible online gambling experience. If there’s anything else you like to know, please feel free to get in touch with us!
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Strictly 18+ ONlY. ALWAYS GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY