It was only a few years ago that only a handful of people knew much about Bitcoin (BTC). The cryptocurrency was largely the territory of “geeks” and tech-savvy people who were the early adopters of a technology with the potential to change the world.
As dramatic as this may sound, the impact that Bitcoin has had and will continue to have should not be underestimated.
Far more people have their eyes on Bitcoin nowadays. This is perhaps not surprising after it almost hit a price of $20,000 for 1 BTC at the end of 2017. More importantly, these days, you can buy all kinds of goods and services online with the cryptocurrency.
The online gambling industry has also embraced Bitcoin. BTC is a natural fit for online casinos, poker rooms, bookies, and other gambling platforms for a number of reasons.
If you are interested in learning how to gamble with Bitcoin, this guide will provide all the info you might need.
Some Bitcoin Basics
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or a digital money system that is spread globally. This means that Bitcoin doesn’t use physical items such as bills or coins. It’s stored online in the so-called wallets and traded on BTC exchanges.
Imagine that having a Bitcoin wallet is similar to having a bank account. You can use the money in there to buy stuff or transfer cash to other people’s wallets. The only difference is that you can’t “physically” withdraw your Bitcoin, but you can exchange it for fiat currencies like the US dollar or Euro.
One of the main characteristics of Bitcoin is that it is decentralized. This means there’s no government or another authority that issues BTC or somehow controls the process. Instead, every user has access to the blockchain. This is a system where all Bitcoin transactions are registered.
The decentralized blockchain system makes Bitcoin transparent and anonymous at the same time.
The combination of transparency and anonymity is one of the main reasons behind the success of BTC. As you’ll discover later in this page, it’s also why online gambling with Bitcoin has proved so popular.
If you want to learn more about the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, please check out the following page. It goes into much greater detail about Bitcoin and the technology behind it.
What Kind of Bitcoin Gambling Platforms Are There?
The first Bitcoin gambling platforms were quite simple. They offered stuff like dice or the easiest-to-develop casino games available. Fast-forward a couple of years, and you can find almost everything right now.
For a start, there are plenty of Bitcoin bookmakers on the market. You can bet on pretty much any mainstream sport with Bitcoin, with plenty of betting options. The following page has more details if this is what you’re interested in.
Next up are the online casinos. There are many traditional operators that have implemented Bitcoin recently, so you can play the games of some of the most popular developers like Microgaming and NetEnt. There are also completely unique BTC-only casinos that have their own games.
If you are interested in this option, the following page is the one to check out.
As time goes on, more and more online gambling products that support Bitcoin are available. You can find bingo sites and other exciting games, and there are sure to be some unique new options developed, too.
Provably Fair Gambling
One of the main reasons so many operators are working with Bitcoin is the opportunity to create provably fair games. This is part of the blockchain technology, and it verifies the fair play of every spin/deal or anything else related to gambling.
The players can rest assured that they are not being cheated when this approach is implemented. Sound interesting? Check out the following page for more details on provably fair gambling.
It’s worth noting that there are two types of Bitcoin gambling operators available. The first group consists of platforms that work exclusively with BTC or at least exclusively with cryptocurrencies. The alternative is to go for an old-school gambling service that simply has implemented the currency as one of the many payment options in its cashier section.
The main advantage of hybrids is the quality of the service and the reputation. Usually, we’re talking about casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites that have been around for ages. They are licensed by proper operators and have been improving their software for ages. The design, user interface, and gameplay are polished.
In comparison, the strictly Bitcoin options are usually raw and somewhat limited. However, they utilize the complete range of BTC and its advantages.
We cover those advantages in the next section. Before we get to that, though, there’s one more page to tell you about. The following page lists our top recommended Bitcoin gambling sites and explains more about the differences between hybrids and BTC-only sites.
There are plenty of reasons why Bitcoin is considered a natural match for online gambling. The cryptocurrency has many advantages that work in favor of both the players and the operators.
Some of the benefits are available only if you sign up for a platform that only works with crypto, so have that in mind.
Privacy – You can stay anonymous, and there are no boring KYC procedures or any other requirements you have to fulfill. Plenty of BTC operators won’t ask you anything. This is especially useful for players from countries where online gambling is illegal. The USA is the best example of that. Bitcoin will allow you to play and have fun.
Speed – The BTC transactions and withdrawals, in particular, are much faster than traditional payment options like credit/debit cards and wire transfers. You won’t have to wait for a couple of days to get your money.
Low Transaction Fees – The fees are almost non-existent, and usually, the operators cover them on your behalf. Also, the platforms have much lower costs when it comes to developing a cashier section. As a result, they can provide better odds and lower margins.
Promotions – Some of the biggest casino, poker, and sportsbook bonuses online are available to BTC users. The amount of extra cash you can get is much bigger compared to fiat currencies.
Security – If you protect your Bitcoin wallet properly, there is no risk of your account being hacked since you don’t share any details with anyone, unlike with traditional gambling websites.
Tax-Free – Some governments are trying to change that, but Bitcoin is currently tax-free. You won’t be required to declare anything or pay anything to the state.
Disadvantages of Bitcoin Gambling
Of course, Bitcoin has some negative sides, and you should be aware of them before gambling with the cryptocurrency. Here the biggest ones.
Volatility – The price of Bitcoin is going up and down all the time. This could work in your favor sometimes, but it’s hard to predict what will happen. This adds a certain uncertainty factor when you use BTC.
Not User-Friendly – If you are not tech-savvy, you might need a bit of time to get used to working with Bitcoin. The good news is that the user interface of most wallets and casinos is getting easier to deal with. Most people should manage rather quickly.
Security – It’s a bit strange to have the same point in both sections, but the reason is simple. While the online gambling operators can’t steal money from your wallet, there is a bit of a problem with Bitcoin exchanges. Some of them were hacked in the past. That doesn’t happen too often, but it’s not impossible, either.
Uncertainty – Plenty of states are trying hard to somehow regulate Bitcoin. As a result, we don’t really know what the future of the cryptocurrency holds.
Step-by-Step Guide on Bitcoin Gambling
If you are convinced that you want to gamble with Bitcoin, there are a couple of steps that you need to complete.
Buying Some Bitcoin
Obviously, if you want to gamble with Bitcoin, you will have to buy some first.
The first step in this process would be to open your own wallet. Simply find a reputable service online and register your own account. You can learn more about the whole process by checking our Bitcoin wallets page.
Once you have a wallet ready, you can now proceed to buy BTC. Most of the online platforms allow you to use a credit/debit card or a bank account to get the cryptocurrency. Make sure to check what the exchange rate is on the biggest Bitcoin exchanges.
Finding a Bitcoin Gambling Operator
The next thing you need to do is find a reliable gambling operator that accepts Bitcoin. As we already mentioned, there are two options here. You could look for a service that is exclusively working with cryptocurrencies or pick a traditional one that simply accepts BTC.
Whatever you decide, there are a couple of other factors you should always consider. For a start, the reputation and the license of the online gambling operator are of crucial importance. You don’t want to lose your money to some shady company that could scam you.
The next thing you need to take into account are the games offered. Some Bitcoin platforms cover various products like sports betting, poker, and casino. If you want to try them all, it’s better to find such an option. Of course, there is the alternative to go to a website that specializes in the one you like the most.
Finally, the overall quality of the service matters a lot. The trustworthiness of the support, the user interface, the mobile version, the variety of games, and other factors should be part of your evaluation.
If you don’t have the time to do your homework, you could always stick to our list of trusted Bitcoin websites we referenced earlier. Here are a few recommended sites to consider if you want to jump in right now.
After you join a gambling website that works with Bitcoin, it’s time to complete your first deposit. Usually, the process is very simple. The bookie/casino/poker room will give you the address of a BTC wallet. Go to your own wallet, and send the desired amount. The money will soon appear in your account.
The withdrawal process is similar. Once you wish to cash out, open the cashier section of the gambling operator. You will be asked to provide a Bitcoin wallet and enter the amount you wish to withdraw.
Many platforms will send the money instantly, and you will have it soon. However, some have a pending period before the transaction is processed. There’s nothing to worry about unless it takes more than 1-2 days for that to happen.
Is Gambling with Bitcoin Legal?
The simple answer to this question would be yes. Unfortunately, it’s not QUITE that simple.
For a start, it depends on your country’s legislation. Many countries have yet to introduce regulation related to Bitcoin, which creates something of a grey area.
We’re not lawyers, so don’t take this as legal advice, but we feel that gambling with Bitcoin is probably fine if there are no laws that specifically make it illegal.
If your country has laws that specifically make Bitcoin gambling legal, then, of course, you have nothing to worry about. If your country has laws that do make it illegal, then obviously you need to think very carefully about how to proceed. We would certainly not encourage you to intentionally break a law that you’re aware of.
For most of you, this will probably be a non-issue. We’re not aware of many laws that apply directly to Bitcoin gambling, so the chances are good that you have nothing to worry about.
Tips for Gambling with Bitcoin
Many of the traditional tips for online gambling apply to Bitcoin, too. For a start, you should always stick to reliable operators with a proper license and guaranteed fair play. The promotions are also important, as you want to get as much extra value as possible.
There are some tips that apply to Bitcoin exclusively, though. For example, you should always keep your eyes open for games with a zero house edge (casinos), no betting margin (sports betting), or no rake (poker). Plenty of Bitcoin operators have such products, which are close to impossible to find on traditional gambling websites.
When you can, you should always stick to provably fair games. They are the bread and butter of Bitcoin gambling, as the fairness of the games is bullet-proof. No gambling commission or other regulator could match it.
If you want even more useful advice, be sure to check out the following page
The Bitcoin gambling world is developing rapidly, and the future seems bright. If you decide to give it a try, you’ll find that there are a lot of interesting opportunities.
Just make sure that you fully understand what you’re getting into. The information on this page and the others we’ve linked to tell you most of what you need to know, but it wouldn’t hurt to expand your knowledge even further.
Our Bitcoin section has plenty of other pages worth checking out, and they provide lots of information on various topics related to this popular cryptocurrency.