How to Choose an Online Casino in 2018
These days, it seems like there is a new casino being launched every day. While we can assure you that isn't actually the case, there are still hundreds if not a thousand or so options for those looking to play their favorite casino games online. If you glance at any of these sites, they all seem to look the same - flashy graphics, some sort of bonus, and all the same games.
There are, in fact, many differences that you probably haven't noticed once you get past the home page of these sites. We want you to make the right decision when you are making a choice to play casino games online, which is why we have dedicated this entire page to how to best choose a casino. By the time we are done, you'll be able to make an informed decision that takes into consideration everything that matters to you about each site.
Recommended Online Casinos
Now, we know that many of you don't have the time to read through this page, or maybe you just want to get to playing, so in the interests of those of you, we have compiled a list of some the casinos we have recommended the most over the years. These sites, which appeal to a wide audience, feature some great game choices along with some of the best promotions we have found in the industry. By starting with any of these sites, your casino journey will indeed be a pleasant one.
Different Ways to Access Online Casinos
When the industry first started, there was only one way to play games from your home. Nowadays, there are several delivery methods for these games. Let's take a brief look at those now.
Originally, the files required to play casino games were so large that you had to download a piece of software to your machine.
These software packages sometimes could take hours depending on the strength of your internet connection, so in some cases, it was easier to send someone a disk with the software. Thankfully, we have come a long way from those days, but there are many players who still like to download the software right onto their PCs.
As early as 2001, the first casino games that did not require a download were released. These games, built in Java, were buggy and very slow (again based on the average person's internet connection speed). As the speeds grew faster, it became easier to play from within a browser, and with the introduction of better languages like Flash and HTML5, these days, the no-download games are just as good as the ones originally downloaded to machines.
With the introduction of the mobile phone came the first mobile casino games. Of course, the screens on these devices were very small and weren't great from a detail perspective, but there were still ways to display the results of a hand of blackjack or spin of the reels. As the smartphone was introduced, there was a much better display with which to play games, and today there are hundreds of casino games that you can play right from the browser of your phone or tablet.
The industry has come full circle with the introduction of downloadable casino apps for Apple and Android devices. These apps allow you to store your login info as well as have graphics that are slightly crisper. They are quickly becoming the favorite way for players to access casinos sites, although Apple and Android still block certain countries like the United States from downloading these apps.
What to Look for in an Online Casino
Now that you have seen the different options as far as where you play the games is concerned, it is time to turn our attention to what you should be looking for in a casino site. Our team of experts has reviewed hundreds of casinos for this site, and we asked them to come up with this list of the most important attributes of online casinos.
This is one of the most important factors in choosing an online casino. You are sending your money digitally to a company and counting on it being there when you want to withdraw it or play your favorite games. We look for sites that have gaming licenses from recognized jurisdictions, so we feel more comfortable if something were to go wrong.
We also want the games to be playing properly, so we look for software companies whose games have been certified by a third-party auditing firm. These companies are proud to tell you that they have passed regular audits, so you will see the logos of these auditing firms openly displayed on websites of casinos and their software partners.
As we mentioned, you may think all casinos are the same, but when it comes to available games, they can be vastly different. For example, did you know that you could find a casino with well over a dozen variants of blackjack alone? With no physical real estate limiting the number of tables, an online casino can offer literally hundreds of games in their lobby (and many do).
Of course, the quality of the games is just as important as the volume, so we look for sites that offer games from the top vendors. This ensures you an excellent user experience when playing your favorite slot machines or table games. Companies like Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech lead the field from a technology point of view, so if you find a site with one of these logos, you are in good hands.
When you are playing at a casino, the house always has the edge. So, to try to win back some of that edge, you need to find sites that offer the best deposit bonuses and promotions. These give you a chance to win extra money, which goes straight to your potential for profit. Bonuses can be in the form of match play bets, free spins, or straight bonus dollars which must be converted by playing a certain number of hands or spins. Casinos are well aware of the costs of these programs, so the edge is still in their favor, but if you play things right and maximize your potential for free stuff, you could find yourself on the right side of the ledger.
Many casinos also offer a loyalty or VIP program as an incentive to keep players loyal to their brands. As with any loyalty program, the more often you play, the higher your VIP status, and this can unlock the door to enhanced bonuses, free cash, and even VIP travel. The main thing is to register for a VIP program at any casino you play - sometimes it isn't automatic, so make sure you don't miss out on anything!
The final piece of the puzzle is the one we hope none of our players ever really need - customer service. We look for sites that make it the easiest to get a hold of them in the unlikely event that you have an issue. Sites that offer live chat agents allow you to contact them in real time without having to make a long-distance call. We also love when a site offers social media customer support, as it shows they have nothing to hide from the public eye. Sites offer all different levels of support, and our reviewers test the departments before rendering a recommendation.
We weren't kidding when we told you at the beginning of this page that by the end you would be able to make an informed decision! Now, you can still head to the sites we recommended above, but you will know what you are looking at and will also know how we came to the conclusion that those are the best sites.
For those of you who may be more adventurous, you can also check out our review section where we have hundreds of casino site reviews ready for you to read.
From there, we think you will be able to make the right choice for your casino play, and we hope that you have the best time playing at whichever site you choose. Remember - casinos are meant to be for entertainment purposes, so find one that you are going to enjoy spending a lot of time with!