How to Play at Online Casinos: FAQ
Got a question about an online casino site or how to gamble? Maybe you want to find out how to pick the safest casinos? Or how to help someone with a gambling addiction? You've come to the right place.
We've been playing at online casinos since way back in the early 90s. And when it comes to our knowledge of real money sites we can't be beaten. Our team invest hours trialing every online casino on the net. To bring you honest expert reviews you can trust. It's the reason why networks like CNN, PBS, and Fox News come to us when they're looking for a credible online casino expert.
How to Gamble Online for Beginners
Discover all you need to know about starting your online casino experience.
Games, Requirements & RNGs
Want to learn more about online gameplay? Look no further!
Bonuses, Loyalty Schemes & Rewards
Explore why you should be cashing in on online casino promotions.
Banking & Payments
Start making your own real cash deposits & withdrawals today!
Staying Safe Online
Learn all about keeping yourself safe whilst playing online.
Software & Technology
Get to grips with the behind the scenes aspects of casinos online.
Game Specific FAQs
How to Gamble Online for Beginners
What age do you need to be to gamble online?
It depends on your country of residence. In the UK it's 18 years old. The U.S has different age restrictions from state to state but it's generally 18 or 21. If you're unsure you're acting within the law it's best to check the legal gambling age in your state or native country before joining an online casino.
How do I register at a casino?
Easy. Just visit the website of the casino you want to open an account with. You'll find the option to register on the home page and you'll just have to supply a few basic details about yourself in order to open an account. Once registered you'll need to link a deposit method to your account so you can transfer funds to play with.
How do I play casino games online?
You'll need to be old enough to participate in real money games at a casino in your country or state of residence. You'll also need to register for an account. And if you want to play for real cash you'll be required to deposit funds into your casino account using one of the accepted deposit methods. If the casino has offered you a welcome bonus for joining you'll also need to ensure you can meet the playthrough requirements in order to claim it.
When can I withdraw my bonus money?
Whenever you've met the wagering requirements of the bonus offer. Some casinos impose a time limit you need to adhere to in order to qualify for your bonus cash. Others expect you to make several real money deposits yourself before they allow you to take out any bonus winnings. Check the redemption terms and playthrough requirements of any bonus offers you're considering before signing up to ensure you can meet the conditions.
Are there withdrawal limits?
Yes. You'll encounter set withdrawal limits at every casino online in 2020. These can be daily, weekly, or monthly in nature but they will restrict the amount of cash you can withdraw from your bankroll in one hit. Some casinos will offer exclusive withdrawal limits to higher rolling players to allow them to withdraw more cash than a standard occasional player.
What withdrawal methods are available?
The exact withdrawal methods differ from casino to casino but in general you'll find a wide variety of banking methods available. From popular debit cards and credit cards to e-wallets and bank transfers. Not all deposit methods will be offered as a withdrawal method and some casinos will insist you use the same method to transfer funds both in and out of your account. So it's a good idea to check the available withdrawal methods at the cashier before depositing any cash to your account to play with.
Games, Requirements, & RNGs
What kinds of games are available?
Typically in online casinos you'll find all of the classic games you'll be offered in a land-based casino, along with some exciting variations that are exclusive to casino sites. These games can offer players better odds and a more exciting gaming experience, like multi-tabling in poker or playing multi-ball roulette. Additionally, you'll find hundreds of online slot game titles and the option to take part in life changing progressive jackpots and live dealer games. You can try many of these casino games for free on our free games page.
How do progressive jackpots work?
Progressive jackpots offer players the chance to win one enormous real money prize pot. Normally in the million pound mark but always in the region of hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your goal is to collect a life-changing sum of money while playing casino games online, progressive jackpots are your best bet. A tiny percentage of each player's wager contributes to feeding the jackpot total until it finally pays out to one lucky player.
What is a payout percentage?
A payout percentage is the rate a casino pays out winnings versus the amount of real cash deposits being made by players. It's your indication of how likely you are to win if you play at the casino. A good win rate is considered to be 95% or above. This is positive for online casino players when you consider the average win rate at a land-based casino is around 70%. All licensed casinos are required to routinely publish their payout percentages in order to keep their license.
How do I make money at the casino?
To improve your chances of making money, pick a more profitable casino game with a low house edge. The most profitable casino games are those that offer players the best odds and can be perfected by skill or strategy. For that reason roulette is typically considered among the most profitable to play as just betting on a single outcome has 50/50 odds of being right. Plus if you play European roulette which only features a single 0 on the wheel the house edge is lowered further. Other profitable casino games are blackjack and poker. Both of these commonplace card games are easy to master and can offer big financial rewards to the most skilled players. You can also increase your chances of coming out on top in poker by seeking out fish (lesser experienced players typically just in it for fun) who usually bet on every round no matter how terrible their hand is. While playing blackjack, utilizing a card counting strategy (a big no no at land based casinos) can significantly increase your chance of winning. Providing you count correctly of course.
Are there limits on wagering amounts?
Yes. You'll find minimum and maximum bet limits at every online casino in 2020. Although the value of these can vary from game to game. The reason casinos impose an upper level wagering limit is to protect themselves from losses. After all, if you have a player betting big on the most profitable casino games and winning each time they can soon rack up a huge bankroll. So by imposing a maximum bet a casino can limit the amount they stand to lose.
How are live dealer games different?
Live dealer games offer online players a taste of an authentic real time gambling experience. You'll need to have a camera on your device, an audio card, and a strong internet connection in order to take part in live dealer games. They work by live streaming the action as it unfolds direct to your computer, mobile, or tablet. Everything you see happening on the screen is occurring in real time plus you can even converse with the dealer and other players.
What are RNGs & why do they matter?
RNGs are Random Number Generators. And they matter greatly when it comes to online casino games. They're the technology a casino site uses to ensure the results of its games are fair every time. If a casino doesn't use RNGs to power its games it might be rigging the results to prevent players from winning.
Bonuses, Loyalty Schemes, & Rewards
What is a welcome bonus?
A welcome bonus is an incentive offered by the casino to get new players to join. It usually comes in the form of a financial or monetary reward but it can also be free spins to play with.
What's a no deposit bonus?
It's a bonus you can claim without having to deposit any of your own money. A no deposit bonus is usually significantly lower than a deposit match bonus (where you're required to deposit a certain amount to claim the reward on offer). But if you're new to online casinos, or you just want to dip your toe in without risking any of your own cash, a no deposit bonus is a great way to get a feel for the real money gaming action on offer. Plus you could end up winning some real cash in the process too.
How do I get in a loyalty/VIP program?
When you open an account with a casino online you'll automatically be enrolled in their VIP program. These are generally tiered schemes that offer bigger prizes the higher up the levels you climb. Your status will be determined by the amount of real money games you play. Most new players enter on a bronze level or equivalent and then work their way up until they reach the highest reward level. This is achieved by earning player points with every real money game you play.
What rewards can I expect?
Lower levels members will be offered rewards such as a limited number of free spins or free tokens to play with. The value of these will increase incrementally the more real money games you play. At the highest loyalty scheme levels players get invited to exclusive tournaments and can qualify for high value prizes such as luxury holidays.
What are wagering requirements?
They're the terms and conditions that usually govern a bonus. In essence, it's the small print you should be aware of before you claim the bonus on offer. They usually specify terms such as how quickly you have to spend the bonus cash, and any deposits you have to make, in order to qualify for the bonus being offered. They're completely standard when it comes to online casino bonuses and every site will have its own unique redemption conditions that govern the terms of its welcome bonus.
Why should I play online?
Playing in an online casino versus a land based one offers many benefits. For one, it's more convenient to play online because you can literally do it anywhere. You don't have to get in your car and travel to a casino. You just have to visit a site on your devices web browser and bingo - you're playing for real money. It really is a case of having an entire casino at your fingertips. You can play against players from all around the world. Win real money. Withdraw it quickly and visit the cashier to top up instantly when needed. Plus you'll benefit from a generous welcome bonus when you sign up to play for the first time. And be enrolled in the casino's loyalty scheme where you stand to win frequent rewards and prizes.
Banking & Payments
What banking methods can I use?
Each casino will be unique in terms of the banking methods it accepts so it's a good idea to visit the casino cashier before signing up if possible. Particularly if you have a specific banking method you want to use. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted at most of the top casinos online in 2020, though outside of America AMEX is less commonplace. e-wallets including Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal are also generally welcomed at the best casinos online and traditionally offer a quicker way to cash out (albeit subject to processing fees). We rate a casino based on its banking methods so if you're thinking of signing up to a particular site be sure to take a look at our reviews beforehand.
How quickly can I cash out?
This depends entirely on the casino and the withdrawal method you're using. e-wallets usually offer the fastest payment speeds but are often subject to small transaction fees, which means you won't receive the full amount you cash out. Some casinos will also insist on you using the same deposit and withdrawal method - this is particularly commonplace in the case of credit cards and debit cards. On average payout speeds can vary from 2-6 working days depending on the method you're using.
Can I track my deposits & withdrawals?
Absolutely. Your casino account will have records of the deposits and cash outs you make. Some deposit methods such as e-wallets also have a transaction history of the payments you make and the funds you receive. Plus, credit and debit cards will have itemized billing so you can check on internet banking to see your outgoing and incoming payments.
What makes online casino deposits safe?
There are a few indications to tell if a casino is safe to play at. One is a license from a recognized gambling authority such as that of Malta or the UK. The second is certification from an independent third party, such as eCOGRA, that test the casino for fairness. The third is secure encryption software. This will ensure any transactions you make at the casino site will be protected and safe.
Staying Safe Online
How do I know if a casino is safe?
Check to see if the casino has a license (usually listed at the bottom of the homepage). If it does, that means it's been independently verified and will have to adhere to strict operating standards to continue trading. One of which will be publishing its payout percentage (the rate at which the casino pays out versus the amount of money being invested by players). Another indication a casino is safe is its security credentials. All of our recommended top casino sites feature state of the art 128-bit encryption, so if you're unsure just take a look at our casino reviews. We rate player safety incredibly highly.
What does a rogue casino look like?
Unfortunately a rogue casino looks and behaves just like a legitimate licensed casino. Which is how so many unsuspecting players get stung. The fact is anyone can launch an online casino but only legit sites will carry a license from a reputable gambling association. If you suspect the site you've landed on may be rogue then check to see if it's licensed. If it isn't, walk away. You'll have no protection should something go wrong.
Is making a deposit safe?
Absolutely. Proviwding the casino site you're playing at is licensed and has a 128 bit security encryption in place there's no reason why you should be vulnerable online while making a real money deposit. Plus, if safety is a primary concern you can choose to use banking methods that are anonymous and don't link to any of your personal information - such as prepaid cards for example. Or e-wallets, which don't share any of your sensitive financial info with third parties online.
What are playthrough requirements?
Playthrough requirements, also known as wagering requirements, are the conditions you need to meet in order to claim a casino bonus. They generally specify the amount of times you need to deposit your own real cash (within a certain time period) to qualify for the bonus reward being offered.
What is gamblers fallacy?
Gamblers fallacy occurs when an individual believes that the outcome of a casino game is determined by outside factors other than the game's odds. For example, if a roulette ball has landed on red 5 times in a row, a gambler may bet on black believing that as red has been the outcome so many times black has a higher probability of occurring. When in truth, the odds are always the same on every spin no matter what has occurred before.
How do I know if I'm addicted to gambling?
There are some warning signs if you're concerned that you or someone you know may have a gambling addiction. If you're hiding your habit from other people, maxing out your bank account and getting into debt as a result of your real money gambling the chances are you may be addicted. Likewise, if you're bunking off work to gamble, sneaking around to gamble, and thinking about real money gaming 24/7 the likelihood is your hobby has turned into a habit and you should seek help.
How do I help someone with a gambling addiction?
First you should look into advice from expert organizations. These exist specifically to tackle gambling addiction worldwide. In the UK, GamCare offers free support and counselling to those affected by an inability to stop online gambling, as well as their friends and family. BeGambleAware also has free advice for those affected by a gambling addiction. In the USA, the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) offers free and impartial advice to help people overcome addictions. You can find further information on our gambling addiction page.
How do you quit gambling?
It can be a difficult process, but to help you along the way, good casino sites include safeguarding measures such as: capping your deposit amounts daily/weekly/monthly/annually; applying a cooling-off period; setting up ‘Reality Check’ (a popup timer asking if you still want to play while logged in); setting up a self-ban to exclude your account from all/selected services for an amount of time. If you are finding it hard to quit gambling, you should seek professional medical help. Check out our gambling addiction page for more information.
Software & Technology
Should I download an app?
It's completely up to you. There are pros and cons to using casino apps. Normally the game selection in an app is reduced compared to a casino's online gaming site and not all devices offer real money apps in their marketplace. However, find a good one and you can take part in real money games at the touch of a button and enjoy a more stable and secure gaming experience.
Do I need to be using the latest phone models?
Not necessarily. So long as your device can support fast graphics, sound, and sustain a reliable internet connection there's no reason why you can't play mobile real money games on the move. No matter what generation device you have.
What is a downloadable client?
A casino client, or download client, is a downloadable version of an online casino site you can install to your desktop computer or laptop. It will take up memory space on your device but the perks of installing casino software can include ad-free gaming, exclusive bonuses, and top-notch security. Plus, they're generally more reliable than playing in-browser games which can crash if you lose internet connection.
Can I play on my Mac?
Yes you can. Providing online gambling is legal in your country of residence and you're acting within the law you can use Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, or any other web browser to access real money casino sites from your Mac computer.
Which devices offer the best gameplay?
Tablets like the Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPad are great for mobile casino play as they offer a bigger screen size. So it's easier to see all of the action and use touchscreen features such as calling and raising. However, not all tablets can connect to mobile internet. In which case you'll be restricted to playing at home or in locations were Wi-Fi is available. Most smartphone casinos feature real money games that have been specially developed for the mobile platform. Although Android and iPhone typically have a wider range of apps than BlackBerry and Windows devices. However you can still access casinos online via your mobile web browser on any of these new generation handsets.
Do I need to be connected to the internet?
Yes. You will need an active internet connection to be able to participate in real money gaming online. Either by connecting to an available Wi-Fi network or using your mobile data allowance on your smartphone device. Just be mindful that casino sites, particularly live dealer games, can quickly eat into your data allowance. So be sure to carefully monitor your usage to ensure you don't exceed your monthly limits and incur charges with your network provider.
Still Looking for Something?
Don't see your question listed above? No problem. Just shoot us an email and we'll get back to you. There's nothing our expert team can't answer when it comes to playing at casinos online in 2020.