The idiots guide to gambling at online casinos

Gambling online is a great way to play your favourite casino games from the comfort of your own home, but if you’re not familiar with the concept it can be a daunting time. With so many casinos to choose from, unfamiliar terminology, payment choices, welcome promotions and uncertainty about legalities it can seem a bit overwhelming to newbies. At we hope to take some of the confusion away with our comprehensive guide for online casino newcomers, giving you all the info needed to dive head first into the exciting world of Internet gambling.

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How do I access and play online casino games?

Leading online-based casinos are as easy to use and navigate as any other website, so if you’re internet savvy on even a beginner level you will have no problems finding your way around an online casino. To get started, head to any of the casinos recommended in the casino table above at These venues are all highly reputable and tried and tested by us to ensure the perfect combination of game variety, player security, payment methods and high quality software.

Most games are available at these sites for free instant play in demo mode, so if you want to get a feel for how the games work before risking any money, simply head to one of the casinos and click the game of your choice to start playing.

Welcome Bonuses & Promos – when deciding you’re ready to play for real money, you’ll need to register for an account with the casino. This is a quick and easy process and simply requires standard personal details like name, date of birth, address, etc. You’ll then need to deposit some funds to your casino account using your choice of a range of secure payment methods. When doing so, make sure to take advantage of the welcome bonus for new players, which will vary from venue to venue. Some welcome bonuses are applied automatically, while others require you to enter a promo code upon making your deposit, so make sure to check the terms and conditions of the bonus before laying down your cash to avoid any disappointment. Welcome bonuses are an awesome way to boost your casino credits and give you more bang for your buck to start experiencing the huge range of games available. Casinos also run regular promotions, so make sure to sign up to receive marketing emails to keep in the loop of bonus offers and prizes as they become available.

Playing on the Web – if you’re accessing a casino from your PC or laptop, you’ll usually have the choice to access games in instant play mode or by downloading software. Some sites will require a download if you want to play for real money. Casino software at our recommended sites is free, quick and easy to download. Minimum hardware requirements are listed within each site, but generally don’t require a lot of data space or fancy operating systems. Many of our recommended casinos don’t require a download at all.

Playing on mobile – as gambling online has become hugely popular, players can now access their favourite casino games on the go anywhere they can secure an internet, 3G or 4G connection on their smartphone or tablet. Mobile casinos usually offer a condensed version of games, but as gaming software companies race to keep their fingers on the pulse of mobile technology, more and more games are becoming mobile optimised by the day. iPhone, Android, iPad, Blackberry, Nokia, LG and Windows Phone users can access mobile casinos directly over the web browser, by downloading casino apps (there aren’t many – Royal Vegas Casino is a great example) or by custom creating a Web app.

Only one account is required to access both the web and mobile formats at each casino, so you can use the same login details to play over whichever platform you choose.

Safe deposit options for newbies

All of the casinos recommended by us use a minimum of 128 Bit SSL Security, the same level of protection used in online banking by leading international financial institutions. Players can make secure deposits and withdrawals enjoying the peace of mind in knowing that their financial and personal details are protected at all times. There is no lack of choice when it comes to safe payment options, with popular options including:

Credit and debit cards – Visa & MasterCard

Direct bank transfers – wire transfer via your local financial institution

Web Wallets and Prepaid e-Vouchers – Neteller, Skrill (formerly Moneybookers), UKash, EcoCard, ClickandBuy, Paysafecard, etc

Deposits and withdrawals are available in multiple currency, just make sure to select your preferred currency when setting up your account. Most deposits are available immediately, but withdrawals can take from one to five depending on the casinos processing times and your chosen payment method. Refer to the banking section of the casino for full details regarding deposit and withdrawal times and any associated processing fees.

What games are available at online casinos?

Virtual gambling venues offer a much bigger range of games than you’ll find within the walls of any land based casino, with so much variety that boredom is not a possibility. The games offered at each venue will vary depending on the software providers they use, with a range of the following casino games available:

Slots – 243 ways, 1043 ways, five reel, three reel, video Slots, 3D slots, progressive jackpots, movie and TV themed slots

Blackjack – Atlantic City Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Spanish 21, Pontoon, Multiplayer Blackjack, Vegas Downtown Blackjack

Roulette – European Roulette, American Roulette, French Roulette, Multi Wheel Roulette, Premiere Roulette

Poker – Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud, Five Card Poker, Joker Poker, Aces and Faces, Deuces and Wilds, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi Lo

Table & Number Games – baccarat, craps, keno, bingo

Scratchies – internet scratch cards

Live Dealer – live dealer blackjack, roulette, baccarat, keno and lotto

Beginner friendly real money games

Many of our recommended casinos offer in excess of 500 games to choose from, so it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re a seasoned gambler, you’ll probably already know what game you are looking for, but for newbies it’s a bit like being a kid in a candy shop and not knowing which sweet thing to sink your teeth into first. We recommend these beginner friendly casino games to get an idea of the online game play format:

Classic Blackjack – you’ll find a traditional version of blackjack at every online casino, following the rules of standard 21 which are easy to pick up if you are new to blackjack. With tonnes of blackjack variations out there, you can’t beat the classic and this is the perfect starting point for blackjack beginners.

European Roulette – this single zero roulette game has a lower house edge than its American double zero counterpart and is the recommended go-to roulette game for new players. The rules are easy to follow and European Roulette provides a good platform to try out different types of inside and outside roulette bets.

Progressive Jackpot Slots – PJSs are slots where the jackpot increases each time the game is played, resulting in some huge prizes, some well into the millions. Progressive slots generally use pretty basic formats compared to some of the elaborately themed 3D slots available and provide a good way for players to get used to online play with a taste of the wins that are up for grabs. Popular progressives commonly found at our recommended casinos include Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Treasure Nile, Fruit Fiesta, Cash Splash and King Cashalot.

What to look for when choosing an online casino

To play it safe, your best bet is to use the casinos recommended at, as each of these comes with our seal of approval. However, if gambling elsewhere on the internet there are some important factors to consider when choosing a safe casino:

Ensure that the casino is licensed and regulated by reputable gambling industry bodies. Look for the eCOGRA seal of approval and licensing by such locations as the Isle of Man, the UK, Curacao, Antigua, Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney, Kahnawake and Netherland Antilles.

Check to see that the casino uses gaming software by reputable companies. Names you want to see include Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Bet Soft, NYX Gaming, Next Gen, Play N Go, Ezugi, etc.

Be mindful of welcome bonuses or promos that are exceedingly more elaborate than you’ve seen elsewhere. The golden rule is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always make sure you carefully check the terms and conditions of any bonus offer before handing over your cash.

Make sure that the casino offers a range of secure, reputable payment methods that you’re familiar with like the ones mentioned earlier in this guide. If the site requests that you simply email them your credit card details, get out of there immediately.

Head to the ‘about’ section of the casino and check to make sure the venue discloses who its run by, where they operate from, their contact details, any awards they may have won, etc. If none of this information is provided avoid the casino entirely.

We recommend as our top-rated casino site for players from United States, which has some excellent welcome bonuses available for new players along with a great range of casino games to choose from.

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