Whether gambling online is a serious pastime for you or a casual hobby, it can be quite daunting to choose from the hundreds of online casinos available online today. After all, every online player has their own unique personality, likes, dislikes and favorite games. Just as every player is different, so are online casinos. Below are the basics to consider when shopping for an online casino that meets your gambling needs and then some.
It’s about the games
When it comes to online casinos, I come to play and I play to win. But first and foremost, I come to play. That means you’re not going to keep playing a game you do not like. Even if you play a game that is common to all casinos such as poker, if the interface is weak, you are almost guaranteed a quick “exit”.
Because online casinos only contain games where bets are involved, you may think that your choices are limited, but you can not be further from the truth. Many companies are proud to think outside the box and offer new and innovative games that raise the bar when it comes to graphics, sound and playability. It is a good idea to get an idea of which online casinos have games you are interested in playing. Companies like Rival and Cryptologic are just two of the many best online casino software providers pushing the envelope for every game they post.
Also know that each software vendor has its own style. Rival, as I mentioned above, has fantastic games, but tends to cater to the younger crowd of online casino players. They focus more on graphics and games that appeal to “video players” more than anyone else. Where as Cryptologic has an ability to take classic games and make them fresh and exciting again.
When playing online, you naturally want to make sure that they get access to their money as quickly and conveniently as possible. Most online casinos offer simple deposit processes where you deposit money into an account for use in the online casino. However, not all casinos work in the same way. RTG and Playtech incorporate their own software methods to manage money while Cryptologic uses “Ecash.”
Look for peer reviews
An online casino will tell you everything to get you to gamble at their online casino. Can you blame them? They want to make money. It is in their best interest to sell their online casino as the largest and best. Therefore, the best option for researching an online casino is to search for customer reviews on gaming review sites.
Online players are passionate about the casinos they love and are toxic to those they hate. Before spending a dime, read some reviews and take advantage of the experience of others. There are so many websites out there that offer first class reviews from third party online casinos. Even if you play at the casino, it is best not to play at a casino.
Be careful with sign-up bonuses
Registration bonuses for me are the candy that a shady stranger uses to lure a child into a van. They say nothing for the online casino’s games or customer service. I’ll use another parable. They’re like an advertising incentive from a car dealer out there to pull suckers into a salesman’s claws. Bottom line, there’s always a catch. In the scenarios above, you are either kidnapped or have the old “switcharoo” pulled on you and end up paying much more than you wanted for a car.
Online casinos are no different. Often, the sign-up bonus will offer an exorbitant amount of free money. That’s what it says on the surface. But what they are not telling you is that if you want the money to pay off, you have to pay an even more exorbitant amount in stakes until you reach your minimum that allows you to withdraw money … if you have any winnings that are.
Are you a Mac or a PC?
Although every online casino is PC-friendly, the same cannot be said for Macintosh computers. However, online casino executives are not blind, and many have developed platforms that are compatible with both PC and the growing number of Mac users. So if you are on a Mac, your choice is quite limited. If you’re on a PC, the online casino world is your oyster.
ECOGRA -certified casinos
There are a number of third party online casino guards out there, all of whom monitor the casinos to make sure they are playing fair. The most reliable of them all is eCogra (short for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). There is no way to ensure that an online casino is completely fair 100% of the time. However, seeing that a casino is eCogra certified is the best way to know that gambling is as fair as it can be.
There are other names out there, but none are as universally reliable as eCogra. While others can certainly do their job as well as if not better than eCogra, their reputation is certainly strongest. In theory, anyone could start a watchdog company and make a seal. By joining an eCogra certified casino, you know that they are betting on their reputation that your gaming experience will be a fair one.
Know the law
Although it should not be, online gambling is largely banned in many places, including the United States. In those places where it is legal, it is heavily regulated. Therefore, whether online gambling is legal in your area or not, it is important to know the law before you start using it. An online casino that gives you access does not necessarily mean that their services are legal where you are. It is difficult for governments to regulate the internet, and often the player is the one in danger. If your money is seized, the casino has its money already since it is legal for most casinos to accept deposits. So before you make a deposit, you need to take a closer look at online gambling laws that are specific to where you live, for a hassle-free gaming experience.
For me, the most important thing when I play at casinos is that I feel comfortable with the casino, the game, the graphics and the general appeal to improve my experience. That said, I compare them before I play.
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