Guide to Online Gambling for Real Money

Gambling online for real money can be very enjoyable, and incredibly exciting too. It's not without its potential pitfalls though. The purpose of this guide to real money gambling is to make sure that you have a positive experience when betting and gaming online, by providing you with all the information and advice you could possibly want.

It starts with the following list of recommended real money gambling sites.

Choosing a suitable site is one of the first things you need to get right when gambling online. If you're looking to make a deposit online and start gambling now then you can join any of the above sites safe in the knowledge that they are all reputable and trustworthy operations. We wouldn't recommend them to you otherwise.

If you're looking to find out more about gambling online, or just gambling in general, then you should make sure to read through this page. It covers a variety of topics, and also links to a number of other pages that go into more detail on certain subjects. We've recommended the best sites to use for specific types of gambling as well.

An Introduction to Online Gambling

Gambling online for the first time can be quite scary. After all, you're risking real money that you've probably had to work hard for. So it's natural to be a little nervous. There isn't really much to worry about though. If you're sensible with your money, and make sure that you're careful about which sites you use, there is absolutely no reason why you can't have a great time from the moment you start betting or gaming on the web.

To get the best possible experience, however, we recommend that you learn as much as possible about what's involved in online gambling. You don't need to become an expert before giving it a shot by any means, but you'll definitely benefit from even just a little bit of knowledge.

Our introduction to online gambling is a good place to start. It features a number of articles covering the essential topics that we think you should really take the time to understand. These articles are all listed below.

Why Gamble For Real Money?

You may not be ready to start risking your own money just yet of course. That's fine, gambling is not really something you should rush into without some measured thought. There are some risks involved, which we'll explain shortly, so it's perfectly understandable if you're not entirely sure that gambling is for you. It's not for everyone, and we certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to start if they had any serious doubts about it. There are plenty of other ways to have fun, many of which don't cost any money at all.

There are lots of people who do enjoy gambling though, so it's safe to assume that it has great appeal for some. The chance to win money is obviously a big part of that appeal, although it's not just about the money for everyone. Many people bet on sports, play casino games, or play poker simply as a form of entertainment. They'll usually be happier when they win, of course, but they're often happy to lose as long as they've had some fun.

The question you ultimately need to ask yourself is simply whether the entertainment and chance of winning some money are worth taking the risks for. That's not a question we can answer for you, but we try to help you answer it for yourself in the following article.

The Risks of Real Money Gambling

As we've just mentioned above, gambling comes with inherent risk. Any time you place a wager of any kind, there's a chance that you're going to lose your stake. That's something that you have to be prepared to accept, as you can never be certain of winning.

Losing money doesn't have to be a problem of course. If you only ever risk amounts that you can afford to lose, then gambling is not really any different from spending money on any other form of entertainment. It is important to set yourself a budget and stick to it though, and it's vital that you stop if you ever feel like you are losing control.

Warning

Some people would have you believe that everyone who gambles ends up addicted, but this is nonsense. Gambling is addictive though, and it can be very easy for even the most sensible of people to get carried away from time to time. We strongly encourage responsible gambling, and urge you to always keep a limit to your spending.

The chance of losing money and the potential to become addicted are not the only two risks associated with gambling. There are others too, particularly when betting or gaming online. These include the risk of personal information being compromised, or of being cheated by a rogue site.

Such risks are minimal, but it's still important to be aware of them and do what you can to protect yourself. We strongly advise reading the following article, which features some useful advice for staying safe when gambling in both online and offline situations.

Popular Gambling Activities

There are a number of different ways you can gamble, but the following three activities are easily the most popular.

Sports Betting
Casino Gambling
Playing Poker

Sports Betting

Sports betting has been popular for many years, since long before the internet was around. The ability to bet online has certainly helped to make it easier to place a wager though, and it's probably more popular now than it ever has been. The fact that it's possible to bet on almost any sporting event taking place around the world has certainly helped.

If you're serious about your sports betting then you want to make absolutely sure that you use the right site. Any of the sites we recommend, including those listed at the top of this page, are fine for most forms of gambling. However, there are also certain sites that are particularly good for specific types of gambling. We therefore recommend the top sites in several different categories, including the best for betting on sports. You can find these recommendations on our page dedicated to real money sports betting, which also includes some useful advice for betting online.

Real Money Sports Betting
Casino Gambling

The popularity of casino games also predates the internet. You only have to look at the major casino resorts that have been around for years to know that. Again, though, the option to play these games online from the comfort of one's own home has given their popularity a major boost.

When choosing which online casinos to play at, there are several factors to consider. The value of the bonuses on offer is one particularly significant factor, as is the selection of games available. The quality of the software and the size of the jackpots are important too. It is these factors, and more, that we take into account when recommending the best places to play. Check out our advice for using real money online casinosdecime to find out more.

Real Money Online Casinos
Playing Poker

There is no question at all that the internet has helped poker, and Texas Hold'em in particular, experience a popularity boom. When an unknown player by the name of Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker in 2003 having qualified online, there was a mass increase in people playing over the web. All of them no doubt hoping to emulate Moneymaker.

Online poker has suffered something of a slump in more recent years, for various reasons, but it's still going strong with a huge number of players around the world. Poker sites have generally got better and better, and the software they use now is unrecognizable compared to the early sites. Our guide to real money online poker includes recommendations for the best places to play, and lots of other advice as well.

Playing Skill Games

Playing skill games for real money is another popular gambling activity. Unlike the activities just mentioned, however, this form of gambling has not yet fully taken off online. It’s probably just a matter of time until it does though, as there are several sites that offer a range of well-known skill games where you can compete against other players for real money stakes.

You can read more information on this gambling activity on the following page. We explain the main differences between games of skill and chance, and look at the various different types of skill game. There also some details on the leading sites that offer such games.

Real Money Skill Games

Best Games For Real Money Gambling

One of the advantages of online gambling is that there is a truly amazing selection of different games that you can play for real money. It would be virtually impossible to play them all, and this helps to keep playing online interesting and fun. There are certain games that many people play repeatedly though, for various reasons. The following are the most popular.

Blackjack
Video Poker
Slots
Texas Hold'em

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the best known casino games. You'll find several blackjack tables at most land based casinos, and you're unlikely to find an online casino that doesn't offer at least a few variations of the game.

There are three primary reasons why blackjack is so popular. Firstly, it's very simple to learn the rules. Secondly, unlike many other casino games, your actions have a direct influence on your results. Although blackjack still involves a great deal of luck, there is a significant amount of skill involved too.

The third reason is the fact that blackjack has one of the lowest house edges to be found in the casino. This makes it an excellent option if your aim is to get as much value for your money as possible. For more information on blackjack, and a list of the best places to play, please see the following page.

Real Money Online Blackjack
Slots

Walk into any land based casino and you are certain to see at least a few slot machines, and the biggest venues have literally hundreds of them. Almost all online casinos offer a wide variety of different slots too.

Slots are purely luck based games, as there's nothing you can do to affect the outcome of a spin of the reels. That doesn't stop them being incredibly popular though. They are very easy to play, as there are no real rules to learn, and they are one of the few casino games where it's possible to win huge amounts of money from a small stake.

Please check out the following page for more about playing slots online, including our recommendations of the top casinos to use.

Real Money Online Slots
Video Poker

Video poker games are also very popular in casinos. Most land based venues will have plenty of machines available, and you'll typically find several different variations at online casinos. These games are appealing for a variety of reasons.

They're mostly easy to play, although there is some strategy to learn for the best chance of winning, and they usually have a very low house edge. Many of them have jackpots too, meaning the opportunity to win big sums of money. Take a look at the following page for more information.

Real Money Online Video Poker
Texas Hold'em

Texas Hold'em is the most widely-played poker variant. It's long been a popular game, but the advent of internet poker saw its popularity increase dramatically to a whole new level. Although other poker variants are available online and in live poker rooms too, none of them come close to Texas Hold'em in terms of the number of people playing.

Poker is arguably the best form of gambling if the goal is to make consistent profits, as the opponents are other players rather than the house. Unlike casino games, and even sports betting, there is no built-in advantage to overcome. Anyone can make money from poker if they are prepared to learn all the strategy involved and become better than their opponents. There's still some luck involved in the game, but skill has a far greater effect on who wins and who loses in the long run.

The following page will teach you all you need to know about playing Texas Hold'em online for real money.

Real Money Online Texas Holdem

Legalities of Real Money Gambling

The legal status of online gambling varies around the world. In some regions there is clear legislation and regulation, while in others the situation is more complicated. Since most our readers come from the following regions, we'll provide a quick overview of these areas here.

United States
Canada
United Kingdom
Australia

Please note that you can find more information on the gambling laws in these regions, and many others, in our section dedicated to this topic.

United States

Real money online gambling in the United States sits in a kind of legal grey area. There are no federal laws against simply betting or gaming online, but some states do have legislation that technically prohibits this. However, millions of US citizens gamble online every year and we have never once heard of someone getting in trouble for playing a few hands of blackjack.

The laws in the United States mostly target banking institutions and gambling sites themselves. It most definitely IS illegal to start your own gambling site and accept players in the States. It's also illegal to operate any type of financial institution (such as a payment processor) that facilitates payments to and from such sites.

If you're just a simple gambler in the United States, you probably don't have anything to worry about. However, we're going to tell you up front that we are not lawyers. If you have any questions about the law, you should seek a licensed attorney for advice.

Please note that, in recent years, several states have introduced legislation that legalizes certain forms of online gambling with licensed operators.

United Kingdom

The UK is a very pro-gambling nation. Online gambling has been 100% legal there for years and citizens are free to gamble when, how, and where they want. There is a regulated licensing system in place that allows for gambling sites to operate in the region, whether they are physically based there or elsewhere.

If you live in the UK and want to gamble online, you're good to go. There are dozens of legal sites to choose from, and some of them even accept PayPal as a payment method. The only thing you shouldn't do is start your own site without getting the proper licenses.

Canada

The online gambling laws in Canada are unclear, which means they are open to interpretation to some extent. This has resulted in a similar situation to the US, where it's really something of a grey area. Also similar to the US is the fact that there are laws that apply to the whole country, and local laws too.

There are some state-owned gambling sites, which operate legally and are legal to use, but outside of those things are not so straightforward. What is definitely illegal is to operate a gambling site in the country without the express permission of the government. There is no law that makes it specifically illegal to use a gambling site though, so our view is that it's reasonable to do so without fear of any legal consequences.

Australia

Online gambling in Australia is governed by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. This made it illegal for Australian based companies to offer certain forms of gambling to Australian residents. Sports betting was the biggest exception, but any company wishing to offer online sports betting has to be fully licensed and comply with a strict set of regulatory requirements.

From the consumer point of view, the relevant laws are fairly straightforward. There is nothing that specifically makes it illegal for an Australian to use a gambling site of any kind, whether that site is based in Australia or not. Residents can therefore choose to use whichever sites they want without breaking the law.

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