Online Casinos Guide for Beginners September 2023
So you want to play online casinos but you feel late to the game. Not to worry, there are many new players that are discovering online casinos as they have gone from obscure and taboo to something that is totally acceptable.
If you find any guides written in the past 5 years or perhaps even older articles then those guides are more or less out of date. So many changes every year and this is why we have a new article to share with you.
In this guide, we talk about the following topics
- Online gambling explained
- How to choose an online casino
- How to deposit and withdraw money from online casinos
- Download casinos vs no download
- Mobile casinos
- Casino games
- Casino Bonuses
- Terms & conditions
- VIP Rewards
Online Gambling Explained
Online gambling has been around since 1994 when a few online casinos launched. From 1994 to 1998, there were a few original casinos and software that launched with casinos like 888 and InterCasino being some of the better-known online gambling brands around. There were also online sportsbooks launching like Pinnacle Sports, Intertops, and Bodog as some of the original bookmakers to have launched.
Legalization and Online Gambling Licensing
Early on, casinos and online gambling sites operated out of places like Antigua, Curacao, Kahnawake, and Costa Rica. Before the year 2000, there weren’t really many countries that had any type of online gambling licensing but Curacao and Kahnawake (just outside of Montreal in Canada) were the top 2 destinations for operators to set up their business and make it legal. After the year 2000, many countries have since adopted their own rules and regulations when it comes to online gambling, licensing, and advertising. Now most developed countries have clearly defined laws about online gambling and licensing. This includes agencies like the UKGC in the United Kingdom, Arjel in France, and MGA in Malta. Now many European countries are licensed and things are changing.
It is important to note that players should be aware of the online gambling laws, or simply gambling laws, in their country or jurisdiction. In some places like Thailand or Iran, gambling is an illegal activity. So in many cases, players should be of legal age to gamble in some countries, the minimum age is 18 and in other countries, this can be 21.
Paying Taxes on Winnings
In some countries like the United States of America, you’ll have to pay taxes on your winnings so if you cash out and money hit your bank account, this becomes taxable income. In many countries around the winnings are not taxed. As a player, you should know and be aware of the laws of your country as this is your obligation.
How to Choose an Online Casino
Choosing an online casino actually should be done with care but the reality is players have to rely on sites like this to help with their recommendations. As a player, you should have these important questions to consider:
- Is the casino licensed?
- Do they pay their players?
- How fast do they pay?
- Do they treat their players fairly?
Help with casino complaints
Hopefully, you’ll never be in a position to have to file any type of casino complaint against any online casino. Sadly this happens all the time and players would avoid these problems if they simply avoided the wrong casinos to play with. When it comes to casino recommendations, not all websites that offer reviews have your best interest in mind. Thankfully there is thepogg.com’s casino complaints service which is free for players to take advantage of.
1000s of casinos, which one to pick?
At any given moment, you can find over 1000 online casinos and almost all of them have an attractive signup bonus to get you to join. In terms of how many casinos out there are actually trustworthy, this would probably fall into a much smaller number of sites under 100. Going back to casino complaints, you can scan the complaints section at thepogg.com to see what type of track record a casino has.
Bigger is not better
When it comes to online casinos, bigger is almost always not better. When you have seen commercials for massive gambling brands like Betfair, Ladbrokes, William Hill, 888, Bwin, and PokerStars, it sounds like these casinos are good.
How to deposit and withdraw at online casinos
Your deposit methods will almost always depend on which country you reside in. That said one thing new players should be aware of is when you make your first cashout at any online casino, almost all of them will ask for proof of identification and residence. So this could be a passport or whatever is an acceptable form of identification that shows you are of age.
Some popular payment methods:
Credit Cards: Visa or MasterCard
Credit cards are still the main method by which players will deposit at a casino. The only problem with this method is cashing out you can’t always receive the money back to your credit cards.
Since 2016, Bitcoin has become a popular method for players to deposit and withdraw at online casinos. Keep in mind, most licensed and regulated casinos don’t accept Bitcoin and these tend to be focused on either unregulated markets or grey markets. The most popular software platform for Bitcoin happens to be a company called SoftSwiss so if you see their logo at any online casino, you know you can signup and deposit with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency around and some casinos offer 10 or more different means of playing. Usually, this involves other coins like Ethereum.
PayPal used to be a popular payment method for online casinos but in 2002 they mostly ceased to process online gambling payments. Now there are a few countries in which players can use PayPal for online gambling.
Trustly is a fairly new player in the world of online gambling payments but they are quickly becoming one of the preferred methods for players to deposit and withdraw.
How long to receive your payment
Some casinos typically wait for at least 24 to 48 hours before they process your cashout. This is considered a grace period and players can ask casinos if they can ‘flush’ their withdrawal. If you don’t do this, most casinos give players the ability to reverse their cash in and keep playing.
Download casinos vs no download
Before the year 2000, most casinos were download casinos. However, over time, many casinos became flash-only casinos or offered the ability to play in any browser. As of today, most casinos are not really downloadable and you simply can signup and start playing.
There are a new group of casinos that are popping up which are no-registration casinos. You can signup in minutes and the process is crazy yet seamless. Probably the best-known casino that is no-registration casino is Ninja Casino.
It is rare to find an online casino that doesn’t offer mobile games. Most of these are casinos that you don’t need to download either. Players tend to play online casinos more on their phones than they do on their desktops.
Ok, where do we start? Most casinos will have a range of games and they include the following game types:
- Video poker
- Live dealer
- Table games
Slots themselves fall into 3 major categories of slots: classic slots, video slots, and progressive slots. Classic slots are what slot games originated as which are 3 reels. Video slots are also referred to as 5 reel slots. Otherwise, video slots are popular and they usually have detailed computer graphics. Progressive slots are also known as jackpot slots where a portion of a bet is added to a pot where a single winner can win. There have been many players that have won over $10 million.
Blackjack is still a popular game and there are many variations of the game available. This includes single-deck blackjack to multiple decks and this also includes variations in rules. Ideally, you would want a 2:1 blackjack payout but you’ll see 3:2 often this is less ideal.
There are some casinos that offer progressive blackjack. Every deck is automatically shuffled after each hand as a random number generator (RNG) is used to make the hands random. So any player thinking they can make money doing card counting is going to be mistaken.
There are mainly 2 types of roulette games: European roulette and American roulette. If you are an American, you’ll want to avoid American roulette as this is the fool’s tax equivalent of roulette. The only thing patriotic about this game is you lose more money playing this roulette version. American roulette has a double zero which is just one extra chance to lose whereas European roulette has a house edge of 2.70% whereas American roulette has a house edge of 5.40%. Also, put the RTP or return to player of European roulette is 97.4% and the RTP of American roulette is 94.6%.
Video poker has nothing to do with texas Holdem no limit poker or any poker games where you play against other players. In video poker, you are playing against the house and you are playing a poker game but the rules are different. You are given 5 cards and you can hold whatever cards you want and your final hand will determine what your payout is. There are numerous variations of video poker and the following is a small sample of some of the video poker games you’ll find:
- Jacks or better
- Tens or better
- Aces & faces
- Crazy 8s
- Joker poker
Live dealer games
Live casino or live dealer games are very popular. They first appeared on the scene with casinos like Casino Webcam where you had video feeds of dealers playing at a casino.
You got to interact with them and you could chat with other players and listen to the dealer call out the hands. At one point these games were rare to find in casinos back in the early 2000s but now most casinos tend to have them. You can almost treat live dealer games as a sign of quality for a casino. Some of the popular live games you’ll encounter are as follows:
- Live blackjack
- Live roulette
- Live baccarat
Table games can include games like blackjack and roulette but this section is meant to talk about all the different types of table games you’ll encounter. Some of the more popular table games you’ll encounter are:
- 3 card poker
- Caribbean stud poker
- Pai gow poker
You’ll find numerous variations of these table games and most casinos will have them with the exception of casinos that are exclusively focused on slots.
The casino bonus was a way for casinos to attract players to deposit. This was a way for casinos to try to earn the trust of players back in the day when the likes of 888 and InterCasino were just becoming online. Today, casino bonuses are a normal part of online gambling and it is rare to find a casino that won’t give you a signup bonus.
There are some players that actually don’t like bonuses because they come with terms and conditions and sometimes players feel these terms and conditions get in the way of enjoying their games.
Wagering free or no wagering
This is a fairly new concept with online casinos but the concept itself is simple and revolutionary. Players hate strings-attached casino bonuses which almost all of them are. Some of the strings include maximum cashout amounts, minimum wagering requirements, and excluded games, and often you can have your winnings voided simply by trying to withdraw.
The casinos themselves make little effort to tell you how much you have actually wagered. The solution to this is bonuses with no wagering requirements. If they are free spins, then you get to keep what you win.
Otherwise, casino bonuses by categories are extensive and are as follows:
- Free spins
- No deposit
- Signup bonuses
- Match bonuses
- Cashback bonuses
- Reload bonuses
- Exclusive bonuses
Terms & Conditions
There are 2 important parts of terms and conditions that players should be aware of. First is that players might not be permitted to play or claim bonuses from specific countries. The second part is the terms and conditions associated with any bonus that you play. Here are some common terms you’ll encounter with various casino bonuses:
- Restricted countries from claiming the bonus
- Restricted payment methods from claiming a bonus, usually an e-wallet
- Restricted games, usually slots are allowed
- Higher wagering requirements on table games or video poker games
- Minimum wagering requirements, often when these are not met before cashouts, winnings can be made void
- Maximum cashout limits
Overall reading these terms and conditions isn’t fun and this is why players are starting to request more wager-fre casino bonuses.
If you start to become a regular player at any online casino, hopefully, you should get rewarded for your play. Sometimes casinos will offer comp points where you can earn more the more you wager. Other casinos have VIP programs where you can achieve specific levels and get special bonuses that go with it. If you have made 10 deposits or more and haven’t received anything from an online casino, you might want to find another casino that is going to look after you better!
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