Basics of Online Casinos

Basics of Online Casinos

If you're considering playing at online casinos, then you may be wondering how to get started. You may also have some doubts about whether it's the right decision for you, or you may even have some concerns about whether it's safe to play online. Others may simply want to know more about how online casinos work and what they have to offer.

This section of our casino guide is here to help you with all of your online casino needs. We've written a collection of articles featuring information on all the basics that you need to know and we've provided a plethora of useful advice as well.

These articles include details of the advantages of playing online and an explanation of how online casinos compare to the way games work in a live casino. There are some tips for choosing where to play, along with a guide to opening an account. They also cover subjects such as live dealer games and the bonuses and rewards you can earn.

You can find all these articles below, with an overview of what each one covers. There are also some recommendations concerning the best places to play. It's natural to be apprehensive about playing casino games on the web for real money stakes, so we've also explained the fairness and safety of online casinos. To finish with, we've provided some information on the companies that provide the software that powers many online casinos.

Recommended Reading for Beginners

Playing casino games is a very straightforward form of gambling. One of its most appealing aspects is the fact that you don't need to know much to get started. With that being said, we don't recommend that you start playing for real money without at least some understanding of what's involved. This section will teach you everything there is to know about playing online, but if you've never played a casino game before, then you might want to start with our beginner's guide or our game guides.

Beginner's Guide to Casinos
Casino Game Guides

Online Casinos: Introductory Articles & FAQ

Advantages of Playing Online

There are certain aspects of "real" casinos that cannot be replicated over the internet, so in some respects playing online cannot match up to the overall experience of playing live. Playing online does have several advantages of its own though, which we take a closer look at in more detail in this article.

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Random Number Generators

Online casinos don't have physical decks of cards, dice to roll, or roulette wheels to spin. Therefore, they have to use sophisticated software to reproduce game results in a way that's comparable to live games. In this article we explain an important part of this software: random number generators.

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Online Casino Myths

There are several myths relating to online casinos, some of which get repeated so often that many people actually believe them to be true. In this article we set the record straight. We've listed a selection of the most common myths and explain the truth behind them. Reading through this will ensure you are not ignorant of the facts.

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Choosing Where to Play

There are literally hundreds of internet based casinos, possibly even thousands. It's great that there's so many choices for players but it also makes deciding where to play a little more challenging than some of us would like. This article features some useful advice for choosing the right place for you to play online casino games.

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Joining an Online Casino

Joining an online casino is a relatively easy process that usually takes just a few minutes. We've made it even easier with this step-by-step guide. It takes you through the whole process from start to finish, with clear advice on what to do and a couple of things to be on the lookout for when signing up at a site.

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Casino Bonuses & Rewards

The bonuses and rewards available at most online casinos can be very valuable. They can technically improve your overall chances of making a profit and at the very least they will help your deposits last a while longer. This article explains all about how they work and how to take full advantage them.

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Live Dealer Games Explained

Today's online casinos are almost unrecognizable in comparison to the early versions because they have evolved so much. There have been many interesting developments that have helped them provide a much better gaming experience and the introduction of live dealer games is one of the most advanced.

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Avoiding Rogue Online Casinos

The vast majority of online casinos are perfectly safe to use but unfortunately there are also a few that are not. Some places engage in unethical behavior and even though such places aren't common, they obviously need to be avoided. Find out how this is possible by reading this article.

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Casino FAQ

Do you have a question relating to online casinos? There's a very good chance that it's a question we've been asked before. There are several questions relating to online casinos that we hear all the time, as most people want to know the same information. The following are some examples.

  • Are online casinos legal?
  • How many online casinos can I use?
  • What games can I play online?
  • What's a casino VIP program?

If you want to know the answers to these questions, please visit our casino FAQ. It answers a number of other frequently asked questions as well.


Recommended Online Casinos

One of the less enjoyable parts of playing at online casinos is choosing which one to use. There are so many options that it becomes all too easy to get very confused when trying to determine which ones are the best. In one of our articles linked above, we provide some useful advice for choosing where to play even though we're well aware that many of you don't really want to think about this decision. You'd rather just have someone tell you where to play and we can do that as well.

Below are our top ranked online casinos, each of which come highly recommended and have a lot to offer.

We don't just rank the best overall casinos either. We rank them in a number of specific categories too, as this makes it even easier for you to find somewhere that's right for you. Ideally you want to play somewhere that suits any personal preferences or requirements you may have and all of our different rankings will help you to do exactly that. Below are some of our more popular categories.

Online Gambling & The United States

Unfortunately for gamblers in the United States, betting and gaming online from this region isn't as straightforward as it should be. The legal situation is somewhat confusing; one reason being that there's gambling legislation at both the federal and state levels. Online gambling is completely legal and fully regulated in some states but the number of states with these standards is very limited at this moment in time. On the other hand, some states don't have ANY laws specifically relating to online gambling.

You don't need to worry about breaking the law by playing at online casinos if you do live in America though. The relevant laws are generally aimed at those that provide gambling services and not those that use them. You do have to be particularly careful about where you choose to play though, as the lack of clarity with US gambling laws means many of the biggest gambling companies simply refuse to accept US customers. There are still some options available to you though, and you'll find the best selections in our rankings specifically for Americans. You may also be interested in our detailed guide to online gambling in America.

Online Casinos for Americans
Online Gambling in America

Fairness & Safety of Online Casinos

Many people have a hard time trusting online casinos with their money, and concerns about fairness and safety are also common. Such concerns are entirely understandable, although they are also largely misplaced. If you would like to try playing online, but are anxious about doing so, then please let us assure you that you have nothing to worry about.

Online casinos are perfectly fair and safe. They provide realistic games, they won't disappear with your money, and they will pay out if you get lucky enough to win.

There's one important provision to the above statement. It's entirely true, but it only applies to trustworthy and reputable casinos. There are, unfortunately, some places that cannot be trusted. If you avoid those, though, then you can have a lot of fun playing casino games online. You just need to stick to dependable gambling sites such as the ones that we recommend.

In case you still have some doubts, we should explain just why we are so confident that online casinos can be trusted. Most of them, and certainly the ones that we recommend, are licensed and regulated by appropriate governing bodies or licensing authorities. This means that they have to adhere to certain procedures and practices. There are all kinds of rules about what they can and can't do, and these rules are primarily in place to protect the players.

You don't need to know all the rules and regulations, but below we've covered a few of the most important ones. Once you have read through this information, hopefully you'll feel more confident about playing online.

Privacy Polices & Encryption Techniques

Licensed casinos are usually required to protect the personal information of their customers, and other relevant data. They do this through a combination of privacy policies and encryption techniques. A company's privacy policy will set out what information they hold about you and how that information is used. It prevents them from selling personal information and spamming their customers.

Encryption techniques are used to protect customer data from unauthorized access. Most operators use advanced security software to ensure that all data is sufficiently encrypted, so that it cannot be stolen or hacked. Financial transactions are encrypted too, so information related to your credit card is also fully protected.

Segregation of Customer Funds

A licensing requirement for most online casinos is that all funds belonging to customers (i.e. any money that's in a customer's account) must be kept separate from funds used for operating their business. This helps to ensure that they are solvent and not using customer money to keep their business afloat. It also means customers are protected in the event of a casino experiencing financial difficulty. If they fall into bankruptcy, or shut down for any other reason, customers should still receive any outstanding funds owed to them in full.

Software Testing & Result Auditing

One of the most common concerns among online casino players and those who are considering playing online, is that the games are not fair. Many people worry that it's not possible to win any money and that the games are fixed so that players always lose. This is absolutely not the case, as there are plenty of people who do win money.

In any case, licensed casinos are subject to having their software tested and their game results audited. The testing and auditing is typically carried out by reputable third parties that check to make sure the game software behaves in a realistic manner and that the overall results are in line with statistical expectations. This ensures that any genuine faults with the software can be identified and corrected and that any casino that found a way to cheat its customers will be revealed.

Casino Software Providers

Most of the top casinos on the web don't develop their own software for the games they offer, but instead they use third party software providers. Some use a single provider, while others use several different ones. There are many companies that specialize in developing and supplying software to online casinos, some of which produce extremely high quality games.

The following section of our casino guides explains more about these providers and also features details on the most successful and most popular options.

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