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Introduction to Online Casinos

Casino games are enjoyed by millions of people all over the world, and have been for many years. Ever since the first online casinos began offering their services over the internet, this form of gambling has grown even further in popularity. It’s now easier than ever before to play, and you don’t even have to leave the house.

Playing at online casinos can be a lot of fun, and of course there is also the opportunity of winning some money. It’s also really quite straightforward, even if you’re not particularly great with computers, and perfectly safe too. Despite these facts, the idea of playing online for real money can be quite daunting for some. That’s why we’ve we put together this introduction to online casinos.

In this section of our casino guide we’ll teach you everything you need to know in order to enjoy playing casino games on the web. It includes a collection of useful articles explaining what online casinos have to offer and how they work. These articles cover the bonuses and rewards you can benefit from online, and there’s also some advice for choosing where to play. There is also a handy online casino FAQ.

You can see a more detailed description of each of these articles below, along with a link to each article. Further down the page we’ve offered a step by step guide to joining an online casino, including our recommendations of where to play. We’ve also listed our top tips for playing online.

Understanding Online Casinos – Essential Information

Online Casinos vs Land Based Casinos

It’s fair to say that playing casino games over the internet is a different experience to playing in a land based casino. The basic principle remains the same of course, but there are several notable differences. In this article we compare playing live to playing online, and take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

About Random Number Generators

Randomness occurs naturally in a live casino, with the spin of a roulette wheel or the roll of a die, but it has to be artificially reproduced online. This is achieved with the use of computer programs known as random number generators. You don’t really need to know how these work to enjoy playing online, but we explain all about them in this article.

Fairness & Security at Online Casinos

People can be put off the idea of playing online for a number of different reasons. Two particularly common concerns are whether the games are fair and whether it’s safe to provide your personal details. Such concerns are largely unfounded, as most online casinos make sure that they are both fair and secure. Find out how in this article.

Online Casino Software Explained

In this article we explain how the software at online casinos works to provide accurate simulations of all the different games. We look specifically at the three main types of software used – downloadable, instant and mobile – and we also address the reasons why most casinos choose to use third party software providers.

Welcome Bonuses at Online Casinos

Welcome bonuses are offered by most online casinos as an incentive for new players to sign up. They are also known as signup bonuses, and they usually take the form of additional funds to play with. You typically have to make an initial deposit to be eligible, but some places offer a few chips completely for free. This article explains bonuses in more detail.

Rewards & VIP Schemes at Online Casinos

Once you have signed up at an online casino, they’ll want you stick around. This is why they tend to offer rewards based on playing activity, and have VIP schemes for their most valuable players. You can gain some real benefit from these opportunities if you play regularly, but you need to know how they work. You can find out how in this article.

Choosing Where to Play

Choosing which online casino to play at can be difficult, primarily because there are so many to choose from. Most of them are decent enough, but some are better than others. Ideally you want to choose somewhere that is top quality, and provides for any specific preferences you may have. This article gives advice on how to do this.

Online Casino FAQ

In this article we list a range of frequently asked questions relating to online casinos. We also provide detailed answers to these questions, along with details of where to find additional information if required. The topics covered include which games are available, how much money you need, legal issues, and much more.

Getting Started Online – A Step by Step Guide

If you want to play casino games online, but don’t really know what to do, this step by step guide will help you get started. We explain the importance of playing at the right places, and talk you through exactly what you need to do to open an account and start playing. The whole process is simpler than you might think!

Step 1Choose the RIGHT Online Casino

The very first step you need to take is to decide which casino you are going to join. You may have noticed that we’ve suggested choosing the right casino and not the best, and there is a good reason for this. Online casino players have their own ideas about what makes the “best” online casino, and not all players will agree on this point.

For example, a player that loves playing slots would probably consider the best casino as one that has plenty of different slot games and offers regular slot related bonuses. A player that prefers playing blackjack, however, is likely to view the best casino as one that offers good bonuses and rewards for playing blackjack.

The point we’re trying to make here is that you should really be playing at a casino that suits your own preferences. You should consider what is important to you, and then try to find a casino that offers what you want. The following are some of the questions you might want to ask yourself when deciding which casino is right for you.

  • Does the game selection include your favorite game(s)?
  • Are there bonuses/rewards available for your favorite game(s)?
  • Can you deposit using your preferred deposit option(s)?
  • Can you play in your preferred currency?
  • Do the minimum/maximum deposits suit your budget?
  • Do the minimum/maximum stakes suit your budget?
  • Is the game software compatible with your preferred device?

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it covers some of the main factors that are important to online casino players. It’s also worth noting that not all casinos are open to players in all parts of the world. Therefore the right option for a player in the United Kingdom, for example, is not necessarily going to be the right option for a player in the United States.

This is precisely why we don’t just list the “best” online casinos at play-casino-games-now.com. We have our top overall rankings which provide a very good indication of where we think you should be playing, but we also recommend the top casinos in a variety of different categories.

We rank the top casinos by region, for instance, and the top casinos for high rollers. We provide lists of recommended places to play specific games too.

Our Online Casino Rankings

In addition to our rankings, we also provide detailed reviews of a number of our recommendations. These reviews are very detailed, and enable you to find out everything you need to know about an online casino before picking one that’s suitable.

Our Online Casino Reviews

Step 2Open Your Account

Before you can start playing at your chosen casino, you’ll need to open an account. You can do this by visiting the relevant casino’s website, and looking for a button or link that says something like “join now” or “get started”. This button or link will usually appear in a prominent position somewhere on the home page.

Join Example Planet 7

When you click on the relevant link or button you will be prompted to provide a few personal details. You must enter these accurately, as you will probably have to verify them with identification documents at some point – usually when you come to make a withdrawal. If there are any discrepancies between the information you’ve provided and your ID documents, you may have some problems getting your winnings.

The details you have to provide will almost certainly include the following:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Home Address
  • Email Address
  • Telephone Number

Some places will automatically generate your username and password once you have provided your details, but you may have to choose your own. If you do, please make sure you use a strong password. Even though online casinos take lots of precautions to prevent player accounts being hacked, a password that is hard to guess is still a good idea.

After your account is opened you may be prompted to download some software. This will install the casino’s software client, and all their games, onto your computer. Not all casinos have this option though, and they simply make all their games available directly from their website.

Step 3Deposit Funds

Once you’ve opened your account you’re almost ready to start playing. You now need to get some money online to play with. To do this you must make a deposit into your account. Most online casinos make this as easy as possible, and offer a variety of different banking options. These typically include the following:

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • E-wallets (such as Neteller, Skrill and PayPal)
  • Bank Transfer
  • Check
  • Money Transfer Services (such as Western Union and MoneyGram)

To make a deposit you must be logged into your account, either directly on your casino’s website or in the software client. You should be able to see a button or link that says “banking” or “my account”, and you’ll need to click on this.

Vegas USA Banking Example

You’ll then be given a list of the available banking options, and you must choose which one to use and then enter the relevant details. If you’ve chosen to use a credit card, for example, you’ll need to enter the details of that card. You’ll also have to enter the amount you want to deposit. Once you’ve done all this, the funds will be added to your account ready for you to play with.

We should mention that you may be entitled to claim a welcome bonus when making your first deposit at an online casino. You should check out the details of any such bonus before making your first deposit. They are usually added to your account automatically, but you may have to enter a bonus code or deposit at least a certain amount.

Step 4Play!

With funds in your account you are now ready to start playing. Some casinos offer a choice of downloadable games or instant games played directly from your browser, while others offer just one option or the other. Either way you’ll find plenty of games to choose from, and all you have to do now is decide which ones to play.

Please note that it’s advisable to make sure you understand the rules of a game before you start playing it. Although the rules for most games are fairly standard, they can vary a little from one place to the next. Casinos generally publish the rules of all the different games they offer, and it’s a good idea to take a couple of minutes to read through them.

Step 5Sign Up at Multiple Casinos

This is an entirely optional step, but one worth considering as there are a few advantages to signing up with multiple online casinos. For starters, there are all the welcome bonuses on offer. You have the opportunity to claim a welcome bonus at each new place you try, and these can offer some excellent extra value. You’re not guaranteed to make a profit from them, but they can increase your overall chances of winning some money.

Casinos don’t just give bonuses to their new customers either. They also look after their existing customers with a range of bonuses, rewards, special offers and promotions. If you have accounts with multiple casinos then you will benefit from a wider range of these than you will if you play at just one place. Not every promotion or offer will appeal to you of course, but there’s a good chance that some of them will.

Having accounts at multiple casinos also gives you a more extensive choice of games to play. Although the game selection at most casinos is more than enough to keep anyone entertained, it can be nice to try something new. Even just playing a different version of your favorite game can help keep things exciting.

Despite these advantages, we should point out that there is absolutely nothing wrong with limiting yourself to a single online casino if that’s your preferred approach. It may even be the right thing to do if you find somewhere that offers everything you could possibly want. It’s also worth noting that you may get better overall value from a VIP program or loyalty scheme if you focus all your play at one place. This could be particularly relevant if you play very regularly or for high stakes.

We would still recommend that you at least try a few different online casinos though, even if it’s just to see what they’re like. You can always go back to your favorite one afterwards, but you might well find somewhere even better.

Top Tips For Using Online Casinos

Our advice doesn’t end with helping you get started. We also want to help you have a positive experience each and every time you play online. We can’t guarantee that you will of course, but if you follow our top tips you should certainly have a good time more often than not.

Try New Games

One of the biggest benefits of playing at online casinos is the wide selection of games they have to offer. This is something we suggest you take advantage of. Even if you have a favorite game, or a few games that you prefer to play, it’s well worth trying out something different every now and then. Trying a new game can be a lot of fun in our opinion, particularly if you tend to play the same games very regularly.

Most online casinos have a “play for free” option, so you can even try new games without risking any of your own money!

Look Out for Progressive Jackpots

Another benefit of playing online is that you have access to a lot of progressive jackpots. These are jackpots which grow over time until someone wins them, and they can grow to be very large indeed. We wouldn’t recommend spending a fortune trying to win one, as you only have a small chance, but it’s not a bad idea to risk a few dollars for a big prize every now and then.

You’ll find progressive jackpots linked to a range of different games. The biggest ones are typically linked to slot games, but certain table games have them too. There’s usually one available in Caribbean Stud Poker for example, and you’ll even find them in some versions of blackjack and roulette.

Subscribe to Receive Newsletters & Updates

It’s always a good idea to stay up to date with what’s happening at any of the online casinos you play at, so we recommend that you subscribe to receive newsletters and updates if this an option. It is at most places, and you can usually choose to receive them via e-mail or text message. This might result in you getting some e-mails or texts that you’re not really interested in, but the benefits outweigh this minor issue for most players.

Perhaps the biggest benefit is that you’ll know about any special offers or promotions going on. Offers and promotions at online casinos tend to be time sensitive, and they frequently provide genuine added value. You really don’t want to miss out on anything for the sake of checking a few e-mails or texts.

These newsletters and updates can also include other information that you should be aware of. They might cover some important changes to the terms and conditions, for example, or a new deposit option being made available.

Check Bonus Terms and Conditions

This is a vital piece of advice that you absolutely must bear in mind in our opinion. The bonuses at online casinos can offer some great extra value, but you should always check the relevant terms and conditions before accepting one.

Bonus terms and conditions usually include certain requirements you have to meet, or specific rules you have to follow. It’s very important that you fully understand them, as you may end up voiding a bonus otherwise. This will probably cost you any associated winnings from a bonus too, which can be very frustrating if you’ve just had a good win!

Remember to Withdraw

One of the biggest mistakes made by online casino players is not withdrawing after a win. It’s all too tempting to leave the funds online and try to win even more. This frequently results in players losing all their winnings, or at least a big chunk of them.

We strongly advise that you make a withdrawal every time you have a reasonable sized win. You don’t necessarily need to withdraw everything, but you should take some of your winnings out at least. You can always choose to deposit again another time if you want to. You’ll be far less likely to give all your winnings back if you’ve actually withdrawn them though, which is obviously a good thing.

Take Regular Breaks & Monitor Your Spending

There is a lot of fun to be had from playing casino games on the web, but it is vital that you don’t get carried away and spend too much time or money. The majority of players have a positive and enjoyable experience at online casinos, and if you want to do the same you have make sure that you stay in control. It can be very tempting to play all the time, and even to spend money that you need for other things, but these are temptations that you must resist.

The best way to avoid online casinos taking over your life is simply to make sure that you take regular breaks. There’s nothing wrong with spending some of your spare time playing, but you shouldn’t be looking to play at every opportunity. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with spending some of your spare money at online casinos. You don’t want to lose money you can’t afford though, so you should keep a close eye on your spending and make sure you’re not going over budget.

This last piece of advice actually applies to any form of gambling, online or otherwise. There is a certain thrill to playing casino games though, which makes it quite different to other forms of gambling. That fact, combined with the easy accessibility of online casinos, makes this advice particularly relevant here.

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