When it comes to online casinos, you want the most for your time and money. Luckily, the best betting websites frequently offer great bonuses and attractions for new and returning players alike. Tournaments and unique games are their specialties as well.
However, don’t just look at online casino websites that have great offerings, because it is important to research other features of casino sites as well. As an online casino expert and the author of beginners guide, I have delved into the vast ocean that is casino reviews. In my opinion, there are many factors that you need to be aware of before selecting your optimal casino experience. Especially, you should be aware of responsible gambling.
Legality of online casino software is pertinent to anyone I speak with, so ensuring that your chosen gambling house is safe and secure is a priority. Likewise, checking if your casino is legal in certain areas (such as in the United Kingdom, United States, or Europe), by verifying seals of authenticity will help you stay away from scams and governmental trouble.
My research has helped me make informed decisions about gambling and best online casinos, but now it is my turn to help the public with my casino guide, and to hopefully get you on the path to becoming just as savvy as me.
Online betting is something of an enigma in the legal sphere. While gambling is largely illegal in the United States, except for tribal locations, actual action against individuals who gamble online is almost never pursued. The key is that operating a betting institution is illegal in the states, but not in many other countries. Therefore, citizens in the states can access servers abroad without legal recourse.
In my experience, online gambling at your favorite casino site is prohibited if the country’s authority does allow gaming in general. While a casino accepts anyone as a user, the country may disallow accessing these sites. The first such territory is Japan, which for a long time came down hard on any form of gambling, and thus currently bans accessing gambling sites.
North Korea, too, forbids casino players in their state. Only tourists are permitted to gamble (locally) in the country’s casino monopoly, but any casino online is not welcome. Singapore, Lebanon, and even Poland are among others that disallow online gambling.
Even though these activities are rarely followed up with legal action, it’s best to stay on your toes. While it can be easy to hook up your Internet connection and experience a variety of games from anywhere, be mindful that doing so in these locations, whether you are a resident or a guest, could land you in trouble with fines or even jail time.
Approximately 70 countries allow companies that offer to gamble on their websites. Below, we’ll take a closer look at a few of them.
Online Casinos Features Reviewed by KatieWager.com[show/hide]
Online Casinos Safety and Fairness
As in the real world, there are both real casinos which are safe and other institutions which aim to steal your hard-earned cash. We’ll discuss some aspects of online gambling sites that users must look at. Failure to do so could lead to ending up at a disreputable site and stolen money or identity.
If a website is legitimate, it is licensed in its country of operation. Independent licensing agencies and oversight committees, such as those based in Malta, Gibraltar, or even the European Gaming and Betting Association, provide seals of proof that online casinos are genuine and within a protocol. Those sites monitored by these companies are deemed safe.
Independent Game Testing
House cheating is frowned upon all over the world. As such, agencies are dedicated to rooting out player-unfriendly machines operated by malicious casinos. Institutions such as TST and Certified Fair Gambling verify the integrity of games, ensuring that their estimated return to player (RTP) percentages are advertised correctly.
With all the hubbub over Internet security these days, it is reasonable to wonder about online casino data protection methods. The most secure sites used the most recent, up-to-date encryption methods to defend consumer passwords, account information and private details. Examples of these methods include TSL and SSL encryption.
The best casinos ensure that your money is deposited to your account in a timely manner and through a method that is convenient for you. While it is reasonable to wait for identity verification after any large win, the most trustworthy betting houses will provide a transparent window during which you can expect to wait.
Sending and receiving money through an online casino can be worrisome for some people, but the best sites provide a variety of payment and withdrawal methods. Typically, deposits are quick, simple and secure with encryption and a 128-bit Secure Socket Layer. Making deposits is best done with a payment method you feel comfortable with, such as a bank transfer or credit card transaction.
I have seen everything when it comes to deposits; this includes cryptocurrency, e-wallets, and bank checks. There is a method for everyone, but not all are created equally, especially if you’re like me and hate paying fees. Additionally, wait times will vary, so I suggest something that will get your money in and out of a website quickly. As for withdrawal methods, many of these are the same, just with different fees and processing times applied.
However, the speed of your transactions is largely based on your location and chosen method. With all the research I’ve compiled, I’ve made a beginner’s guide to deposit and withdrawal methods that you can take advantage of. Do mind that results may vary between casino.
Depositing is the most straightforward option in an online casino. They are more than happy to accept your money, and so are very accommodating with limits and speed. Most often, people use their bank cards. While fast and convenient, they often carry small fees of up to 5% that can add up over time.
To the contrary, bank transfers are amazing because they have low fees, but they can take about a week to process. Cryptocurrency is another go-to payment option as it is quick and anonymous, but some dislike paying the network fee involved.
In the table provided, you can browse the specifics of each deposit method. Each of these statistics will vary slightly depending on the casino you choose.
|1. Bank Deposit
||Up to 5%
||~ 1 Business Day
|3. Wire Transfer
||3-7 Business Days
||None to 1%
|4. Credit Card
||~1 Hour (Blockchain)
||~ 1 Business Day
||~ 1 Business Day
I personally go for wire transfers every time I get into a different casino. The wait time is a bummer, but you pay almost nothing in fees. I don’t mind waiting because I am usually busy writing reviews for other casinos in the meantime. If I need some quick cash, I’ll just use my credit card because that method is widely accepted at all casinos. If you want my advice, never use a standard bank deposit if you value your hard-earned currency.
Although withdrawing is the part the casino understandably enjoys the least, they give customers all the usual methods, albeit with some time restrictions involved. Using your credit card for withdrawal sees an average of 2-4 days of wait time before the transaction is processed and may include miscellaneous fees and limits as low as $1000 per day (max withdrawal).
Bank transfers offer a near unlimited withdrawal limit, but can take up to 2 weeks for delivery. Casinos that offer Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can typically pay in short fashion with low fees, but this option isn’t available everywhere. The same goes for e-wallets; you’ll struggle to find a reputable establishment accepting them!
Check out the average fees and processing times below!
|1. Bank Deposit
||1-2 Business Days
||None to $50
||~ 1 Business Day
|3. Wire Transfer
|4. Credit Card
||~1 Hour (Blockchain)
||~ 1 Business Day
||~ 1 Business Day
If I must move a lot of cash, wire transfers are my go-to because the fee is not generally percentage-based; it’s usually a one-time fee. If I am doing smaller amounts, I like using cryptocurrency if it’s available to skip out on the common e-wallet and credit card fees. Stay away from frequent bank deposits, as the continuous flat fees could destroy your balance.
Advantages of Gambling Sites
Playing in an online environment only helps your game. You have the freedom to play wherever and whenever you want, and you don’t need to deal with traveling costs such as admission fees, parking fees, etc. Additionally, there are no distractions with online games.
Brick-and-mortar establishments use flashy gizmos and loud buzzers to distract participants, giving the house more of an advantage. If you want those amenities, online live casinos with live dealers are out there for you to peruse. You need not worry about the locality of the online casino. Even if it’s a British casino, the establishment is not UK limited. UK players will rejoice at the fact they can play at a UK casino with people from all around the world.
Casinos in the UK are frequently limited in their customer benefits, but you’ll get great benefits online because there is more competition in the connected world. The latest bonuses and a list of the best top games are concurrently available, whereas in the real world you are restricted to what is around you. Loyalty schemes are also more competitive online.
They offer perks for the casino’s top performers by giving them access to tournaments, greater max bets / max withdrawals, and even personalized live chat support. At home, it’s just you and the monitor. What’s more is your record of gaming: it is constantly saved to your profile, allowing you to analyse your strategy. Finally, and probably the greatest perk, is the fact that you get unlimited access to an entire library of games.
Want to play a round of casino hold ‘em? You can do that while playing a game of casino live roulette on your other monitor. The sky is the limit, as you don’t need to physically travel between gambling entertainments. You aren’t held down by your local casino—you can play everything!
While deciding to gamble online instead of download casinos may be an easy task for you, choosing which device to play on may be more complicated. There are two schools of thought when going to entertain yourself with some online gambling: PC or mobile gaming. Online casinos are now optimized for browsers, applications, and mobile devices, but there are differences between the two.
PC appeals more to the old-school at heart, those who are comfortable sitting in the same place for hours as they trudge away at their favorite games. This is great for people who don’t do a ton of travelling, or those who work from home and could multitask playing a game of baccarat while they reply to emails. Generally, a physical ethernet connection is stronger and more reliable. Graphical and visual fidelity is typically greater on desktop computers; however, these computers are generally more expensive up front.
Mobile games are the future. You can have an instant play anywhere your phone or table can go. Software providers in the last decade have tapped into the potential of mobile devices and apps now run almost as smooth as desktop-based games. You are limited by your battery life, though, and these offerings can take up some serious juice. Furthermore, when playing mobile games, slowdowns are more common due to connection issues or weaker hardware, but that’s a small price to pay for the freedom it offers.
Below, we’ll take a brief look at the pros and cons of PC and mobile online gambling.
- Stable Connection
- Powerful Hardware
- More Game Options
- Easier typing
- Can’t play anywhere
- Expensive Setup
- Old PC Issues
- More complicated downloads
- Mobile-only games
- Connection Problems
- Less Game Options
- Sluggish Performance
- Graphic Issues
- 4G/Data Usage
In the past, I preferred to use my laptop for online uk gambling. It was a nice, convenient way for me to enjoy a game of video poker or a hand of blackjack. With new technology, though, I can use my Android Galaxy S9 to play my favorite slot games wherever I go. I travel a lot these days, so having my pocket-enabled gambling machine is amazing.
It’s a miracle that there are many online casinos and apps for my phone (don’t worry, they’ll work on your Apple products, too!) I pretty much only play convenient mobile games at this point, but I always keep a spare battery around, just in case.
Online Casinos Bonus Offers
Internet betting houses are always running promotions and bonus package for novice users and high rollers. Some of the best bonus offer can be found if you search hard enough. For example, great casino bonus funds can be had with basic deposit bonus packages. While this “free money” may seem at first seem too good to be true, there is always one stipulation: wagering requirements for bonus money.
Wagering requirements are a set of rules for the cash bonus to be paid out to the player. Typically, a user will have to play anywhere from 10x-100x of their deposit bonus amount to be earned. This means these bonus offers are indeed free money (match promos etc.), but you may have to bet more than you previously expected.
Aside from that, the best casino bonuses are those which give you more value for your dollar. For example, free bonus spins on selected games are a great bonus offer for new players. Let me tell you—spins are a great tool for the budding gambler. Because they are often included as a welcome bonus to give you a taste of the online gaming life, a free spin or two can “reel” you in to the jackpot slots or more alluring offerings.
Although, bonus spins and other games’ bonus terms apply when frequenting any casino, and they will only be available on selected games. You may not be able to choose your favorite game, but an offer like this is too good to pass up. Using any of these deals is critical to keeping your edge. Below, we’ll take a gander at some of the more frequent bonuses you can take advantage of.
Nothing greets better than bonus cash! Welcome bonuses award users for their first deposit by matching anywhere from 25% to 200% of their deposit. Free spins are also common as well, giving new players a chance to test their luck on the best slots on the market with no cost. There’s only one bonus offer per player, however, so use it wisely!
No deposit offers are rare, but totally worth the effort you put in. If you create an account with the casino, they will give you a small amount of money (about $5 or $10) to play with. Anything you win with this money is yours, provided you meet the playthrough requirement or make an initial 1st deposit. Details vary by location, but this is one of the best bonuses and promotions out there.
Players aren’t satisfied with one-time offers. To meet consumer demand, casinos will drop additional deposit bonuses throughout the year. These promotions can include anything from increased loyalty points or free slot games. Although these offers typically come around during holidays, they can be monthly, weekly, or even on a daily basis! Max bonus rules still apply.
High rollers always receive preferential treatment. Commonly known as “whales”, these players are enrolled in a VIP program and loyalty scheme with the online betting house. The more you deposit and play, the more points you earn towards your account. As you rise through the ranks, you’ll earn exclusive rewards such as tournament invites, free spins, and other goodies.
Software providers want players to check out their newest games. As such, online casinos will often run promotions for certain games, such as live casino games or mobile slots. The prizes may be additional payouts, VIP points, or even a free play or two. Some of the best casino bonuses can be found in these game-specific offers.
Ever wanted to get paid to play on mobile? I certainly have. Now you can with device-specific promotions. Though rare, these bonuses reward players who gamble on Apple or Android products. It’s all about exposure for these institutions and you can reap the benefits of these exclusive bonuses!
Wide Choice of Games
The main allure of Internet betting is the sheer volume of amusements ready at any given moment. Games exist for everyone. This includes everything from slots, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and craps to new custom lotteries and bingo games being released steadily. Online-only offerings are popular as well; live streaming table games and player competition around the globe is only possible on online sites.
A great part about playing casino games online is that you can browse any of the recommended casinos that I list in this guide and still have a fantastic selection to choose from. When I discuss variety, I must personally recommend live dealer games, which have become increasingly popular over the years. You can play live roulette, live blackjack, etc.
I’ve had some great fun in these live games, and because they are new and exciting, providers are making more and more of them to bolster the user experience. Some people enjoy classic slots. Others prefer playing blackjack online. Some, still, want to play 24 hours a day. These are all things you can do with top-tier game selection from the comfort of your pajamas.
Exciting, yes, but remember to practice responsible gaming when attending a casino for real money. Bad decisions can have a ripple effect, and a grand choice of games won’t help you climb out of a low spot. Below, we’ll look more closely at the specifics of each category, and dive into how new players can best enjoy them.
Slots make up the greatest number of online gambling entertainments. They are simple: click a button, watch the reels blur past, and collect your winnings once they stop. Casinos slots vary from the traditional 3-reel machine to the 7-reel behemoths made possible by software providers. This form of gambling allures players because of its straightforward nature.
But if you’re looking for skill, investigate fruit machines. These are special slots that use fruit-based symbols to multiply prizes. Player skill comes into play with options like “nudges” and “holds” which affect the slot’s outcome. Using these selections in the correct positions is the difference between a jackpot and a losing spin!
Video poker entered the scene before the turn of the century. As such, it has developed a huge following both in land-based casinos and over the Internet. Conceived from the original 5-card draw poker game, dozens of spin-offs are available in online betting establishments. The goal is to generate the best possible hand from 5 random cards with a single chance to replace any number of them. The better your hand, the more you win!
Blackjack is without a doubt the most played card games, both in physical locations and online. Trying to get 21 sounds simple, but the strategy behind the game is infinite. Tons of varieties of blackjack exist, including everything from the standard version to competitive live versions of the risking game.
Baccarat is another offering popular with high rollers and casual players alike. Due to the streaky nature of the game, the possibilities are endless. At online betting houses, live versions and hi-lo variants dominate the scene. Because a player can win huge on the side bets, baccarat continues to please on the web.
Ah, roulette, one of the most hypnotizing games available on the market. Watch the ball go ‘round and ‘round the table and hope it lands on your number! This classic game dates back hundreds of years. Thanks to the ingenious minds behind casino software, now you’ll have access to it everywhere.
The game has several variants. Among them are American and European roulette with their own betting rules and procedures. In general, the European version is more profitable, so aim for that game! If consistency isn’t your thing, put money on green for the max bonus bet!
Rolling dice is a fine art—but can you master it? Online casinos offer virtual dice rolling algorithms to be used in craps and sic-bo. For craps, make a max bet (there are many to choose) and let them roll! Strategize your bets based on previous rolls and hope to strike gold. Sic-bo is more about the luck in itself: each round is purely a win or loss for one side or the other. This game is widespread in Asia, but has moved online in recent years to please the masses.
Live Casino Plays
If the atmosphere of a real casino is your gig, online establishments provide a live streaming service for gambling. Chat up the dealer, talk with other gamblers, and see the game unfold in real time! This option is very popular with those who don’t have the ability to travel, but still, want that full-fledged gambling experience replete with good-looking dealers and banter. All types of games can be played live including poker, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and others.
Online Casinos Tournaments
If you want to win big and not put much of your gambling stack at risk, consider tournaments. These are amazing player-versus-player events which allow you to play a single game for play money. The person who wins the most in the time allotted is the winner. Bust, and you’re out of the tournament!
Slot tournaments are the most played but hold ‘em games, blackjack and other tournaments are available. These games aren’t just for high rollers, either. Anyone who can afford the reasonable buy in price has the chance to win some of the best payouts in online gambling. In my opinion, another great feature of tournaments is that you can play them on any device, including your mobile app or other casino software, and that they are extremely flexible.
While land-based casinos typically only offer a few tournaments a week due to time constraints and venue space, the joy of online gaming is that they can be hosted 24/7 and at any size the website desires. Some tournaments could have as few as a handful of participants, and others could accommodate hundreds.
Now, if you don’t feel up to snuff, or even intimidated by the tournament listing, providers usually host play money tournaments for new players. That means there’s no buy in, but no rewards either. I know it’s a great thing for people to play casino games for free like this, but keep in mind the best real money tournaments are often held in the online sphere as well. There are so many chances to win, you just need to be on the lookout for the latest casino tournament!
Best Software Providers For Gambling Sites
You might not be aware that casinos are almost never responsible for the outcome of the games they provide for users. When you download casino software, those games are created by professionals at large gaming corporations. Some institutions use only a single provider, but most casinos top the charts by offering several providers.
There are several details you should be aware of before checking out these providers. The first is Return-to-Player Percentage (RTP). All outcomes in casino slots or other amusements are controlled by a random-number generator (RNG) which is programmed by the software developer.
How well the RNG manipulator is designed can greatly affect your enjoyment of the game. The RTP is a function of how much the player will win or lose. By law, software providers must list the average RTP of the game in its description. Choosing games with higher RTP will, on average, yield greater results. Variance, though, is the determining factor.
You additionally need to be aware of the framework on which the game is constructed. Some software plugins can be instantly played by anyone, but some require the latest hardware to run. In general, games on HTML5 infrastructure are desirable. Old, unmaintained casino slots may break over time because they aren’t kept on the same grid as newly released material.
Obviously, graphics and sound of games are important for enjoyment. There’s nothing I like more than seeing a European Roulette wheel light up my screen as the ball tumbles around. Good games have high-quality visuals and audio, but the best games don’t sacrifice performance. Poor providers will release products that run sluggish on mobile devices.
Overall, the best software providers are mobile-friendly, publish good RTP numbers, have a variety of games, and have games that run well for years.
- 850+ casino games available to play;
- Leader in Live Gaming technology;
- Founder of PlayItForward, a charity based on changing lives on the Isle of Man.
- Creator of Back Office, a management system provided to operators for marketing and business purposes;
- Pooled Jackpots featured in multiple slots across multiple genres;
- 95-98% Return-to-Player payout.
- 600+ casino games across all channels;
- Offers trading platforms for businesses;
- Has virtual sports as an option with integrated betting interface.
- Nearly 20 years of experience in the industry;
- Original gaming content, including SuperBet, Select-a-Play, Slide a Wild, etc.;
- Focuses on business solutions in addition to providing high-quality entertainment.
- Over 70 years of experience;
- 240 different licenses to date;
- High-quality, idea-driven games.
- Focus on HTML5 software;
- Specialized in 3-D gaming, but other options available;
- Offers account management services + customer support.
- Company purchased by Amaya to further software goals;
- 300+ games, chiefly advanced video slots;
- RTP of 90-97%.
- Over 300 classic and new titles;
- Novel game concepts such as Feature Guarantee, Suit ‘em up, and Jackpot Pyramid;
- Provides analytics, which enhances business visions for both beginning and established casinos.
In my opinion, there are two gambling providers that rise above the rest. The first is Microgaming. There’s a ton to be said about the company, but foremost they lead the world with the best jackpot games in high roller casinos. They consistently pioneer technology for mobile casinos and boast a wide selection of top games including the licensed and regulated Game of Thrones slot.
My second favorite provider is Playtech. The sheer variety that Playtech offers is astounding, but mostly they are all about catering to the player by offering operators a management system that gets games to them quickly, efficiently, and in a neat package.
This “Omni-channel” approach is great for mobile casinos, live casinos, and makes for simple customer service across all platforms. Oh, and they made Age of Gods online slot, which I’ve been playing all the time for the past couple of weeks.
Scam Prevention in Online Casinos
Wherever there is a good thing, fraudsters will try to exploit it. Unfortunately, some websites prey on the unsuspecting customer. They will put up fake casinos to get people to deposit money. They may even have games to play but will never allow you to withdraw winnings.
They might close your account with no explanation. They might just take your money and cut communication. With all the legitimate casinos out there, these scams can sometimes be difficult to spot. To help you on your journey, there are a few things you can research about your casino of choice.
Tip 1: Check LicensureI can’t stress this enough: if the casino you’re looking at is not licensed with an agency such as the UK Gambling Commission, Gibraltar Gambling Commission, or other regulatory body, then you have no business giving them your business. Period. Most businesses will show a seal on their website to indicate as such, but you can always check the regulator’s website for a list of licensed websites.
Tip 2: If it’s too good to be true…
… then it probably is. Casinos boasting about giving crazy, out-of-the-ballpark deposit matches, offering bonus rounds or extra spins for free, or giving out unheard of sign-up bonuses are not to be trusted. A scammer will often try to lure in victims with great deals and then pull the plug on them when it’s too late. Don’t take the bait. If a promotion seems too good, be wary.
Tip 3: Keep your credentials safe
This is convenient because it allows websites to remember your credentials, but this is bad if misused. Be sure the casino will allow you to turn off cookies and other tracking methods. If they don’t, I would be cautious going to that casino.
Tip 4: Read Reviews
You’re already doing this one! Reviewers like me have little reason to lie about our experiences with casino offers. You can find reviews on social media, review sites, blogs, etc. If there is foul play with withdrawals, account closure, or the random nature of games, the good citizens of the Internet will certainly let you know about it. Someone else’s experience can serve you well and save you a ton of headaches.
Both new and experienced players have questions regarding online casinos. A lot of the wording is technical or confusing. Due to this, we’ve compiled some basic questions that people ask regarding Internet betting houses. We’ll answer these in a manner that is easy to understand.
1. Is There Any Difference Between Desktop And Mobile Versions of Online Casinos?
In terms of content, there are rarely any differences between versions of casinos. However, a certain quality of life features may be missing from mobile versions. Lower resolution and less-refined audio are typically present on phone games due to lesser processing power. Games run on older operating systems are less optimized as well, but the actual content is generally the same.
2. What is Better – Download Casino or Instant Play?
Instant play technology for casino applications has the unique benefit of being able to be played anywhere. Typically run in a Flash environment, these offerings use less processing power and save memory. However, the Flash versions are typically slower. A downloadable client has the benefit of better graphics and speed. Thus, it should always be used on your main computer. However, the client must be downloaded anywhere before you are able to use it.
3. Should Players Pay Attention to the Number of Casino Winners?
Absolutely. The more winners a casino has, the more reputable it is. You have a greater chance to win in a casino that has previous winners. Users should keep in mind the odds of hitting the jackpot. Just be careful of websites advertising too many winners — this could be a ploy for scams.
4. What are Bitcoin Casinos?
Bitcoin casinos come in two varieties. The first only accepts Bitcoin as a payment and withdrawal method. Therefore, you gamble with cryptocurrency exclusively. The second type accepts both cryptocurrency and traditional forms of payment. Because Bitcoin is a digital currency that is anonymous, quick and cheap, many users prefer it over legacy payment methods. These kinds of casinos are legal, but consider your local legislation concerning cryptocurrency.