The excitement of online gambling is hard to resist. Online casinos have the music, graphics, and sound effects to make you feel like you’re in the midst of a real casino, with all the possibility that the next bet will be the big win! Some online casinos even let you use a webcam to see and talk to a live dealer and other players while you do your gambling. With all this excitement, you might be tempted to leap in to the first casino that looks like fun, but don’t do it! You need to read this casino guide first, designed to be like a jump-start to the online casino gambling world.
Play It Safe!
First, you want to look for a gambling site that is registered with and approved by eCOGRA, the e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance organization. It was actually started by online gambling pioneers, Microgaming and Freespinstoplist.co.uk, and has reviewed nearly 200 online casinos.
If an online casino is approved, it will display the organization’s seal. This means you can believe that the site’s claims on payout rates are real, and that if you have any complaints about the site, you can file a complaint with eCOGRA. Without these assures, you could end up working with a sketchy site that imitations their ‘winners’ and results in you with non-recourse if you feel you’ve been misused.
Get More for Your Gambling
Online casinos know that they can’t get you to pay if they can’t get you to play, so they usually offer some kind of incentives to get you to put your money on the table. They can vary greatly in value and the time it takes to receive them, so be sure you read their terms thoroughly before you make a decision on which site(s) to join. Examples include:
* Signup Bonuses – Money that the casino offers you to start gambling, usually in the form of a ‘match’ to the funds that you deposit. However, you’ll have to gamble a certain amount before you can cash it out, and some winnings may be excluded from earning the bonus.
* Cashable Bonuses – An amount of money that you ‘earn’ once you reach a threshold in the amount that you’ve gambled. For example, you might earn $100 as a bonus after you’ve bet several thousand dollars. Be sure to read the fine print – you might have to wait some time before cashing out, which is their way of waiting and hoping that you will continue to play – and hopefully lose.
* Sticky Bonuses – A match from the online casino that can be leveraged, but not cashed out. In other words, you can bet with the money, but when you’re ready to cash out, you don’t get the original amount that they gave you as a match. It can still be valuable, since if you have more to bet with, you can earn more. For example, if you down payment $200, and the gambling house suits you with $200, then you can bet up to $400 and even win that $400! When you money out, you’d get the $400 you won and your $200 unique down payment – but not the difficult reward. Again, there are often limitations, so study properly.
* Cash-Back Bonuses – Some casinos will offer back a percentage of the money you have lost if you will keep playing. But these are very rare, since they cut into the casino’s take!
* Comps – Just like in live casinos, some will offer you comp points that you can use for discounts, products, or other benefits. Check the sites for details and any exclusion.
Play Before You Pay!
Online casinos will almost always allow you to play ‘for fun’ before you actually bet any money. The benefit for you is that you can get a chance to ‘feel out’ the site, test the games you might like, and be sure that you understand how the games are played before you start risking your money.
Their hope, of course, is that you’ll win enough to think you can do the same with real money so that you’ll start gambling. But – be careful here. No one bets exactly the same way when they are practicing as they do when real money is on the line. People tend to take more risks during practice, meaning they may win (or lose) higher pots and earnings than if they were really risking their hard-earned money.