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Online Casino FAQ: Your Questions About Games, Bonuses, Software, and More – Answered!

We receive a lot of questions about online casinos every day. We mean LOTS.

And while we’d love to answer every question individually, we receive so many of the same questions that it makes far more sense to post them with our answers on one page – this page.

Below, you’ll find general questions about gambling at online casinos. They span topics like casino bonuses, gambling laws, and banking.

If you have a question you don’t see answered here, email us and we’ll do our best to add it here.

Click the following links to find your specific question:

General

How do I contact the casino if I have a question or problem?

Each casino will have different ways you can reach out to them. These are the most common options:

  • Email – Either by using an email address or filling out a contact form.
  • Live Chat – You can contact them in real time from their website.
  • Phone – Call them using one of the posted phone numbers.
  • Skype – Contact them by Skype instant messenger. This is the rarest option.

If you have a question, there’s a good chance they’ve already answered it. You’ll find that most online casinos have FAQ pages where they answer all the commonly asked questions they receive. You should start there if you’re looking for an answer ASAP.

Can I play without using real money?

Yes. Most online casinos let you play for “play” or fake money.

However, keep in mind that at most casinos, you’ll still need to create an account. The only exceptions we know of are Bovada (US) and Bodog (CA). You can play (most of) their games without creating an account.

What should new online casino players know?

This is a vague question, so it’s a bit difficult to answer. But here’s a quick list of things we think all new casino players should be aware of.

  • Most casinos suck for one reason or another that DOESN’T have anything to do with their games – usually – because most casinos use the same half dozen software companies. They suck because of scams they pull or slow cash-out times. So it’s imperative that you do your research before joining a casino.
  • Players outside the US should stick to casinos that DO NOT accept Americans. These casinos are far, far better in every way (games, promos, safety, compatibility, banking, etc.).
  • Every casino offers a bonus or free cash offer. So don’t make the mistake of picking a casino for their offers. Make sure they’re honest, have games you want to play, and banking options you can use.
  • Banking is the least consistent thing about online casinos – the banking options they accept, the fees they charge, the time it takes to process payments, etc. This is the first thing about a casino we recommend scoping out.
  • The best games come from software companies like Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt, and IGT. Most of these companies only work with casinos that DO NOT accept Americans – unless you live in one of the states that have legalized online gambling.
  • The best casino software for Americans is BetSoft, followed by (arguably) RealTime Gaming and Rival Gaming.
  • Bonuses aren’t “free,” no matter what the advertisement says. You’ll have to spend money playing casino games to earn your bonus before you can cash out.

Those are the most important bits of advice we’d pass on to a new player.

What online casinos are rogue/blacklisted?

You can view an entire list of rogue online casinos on our dedicated page here.

How do you access an online casino that’s blocked in your country?

There are only two ways we know of.

The legit way is to access the casino from another country that’s NOT blocked. But we don’t think that’s what you’re asking.

To access a blocked site from your country, the only way we know of is to use a VPN. This routes your IP through a tunnel IP from locations all over the world.

However, we don’t recommend doing this.

Where is a good place for beginners to start?

If you’ve never gambled before, online or otherwise, we suggest joining a casino we recommend that accepts the banking option(s) you’d like to use.

Most casinos will have the same basic games – slots, video poker, keno, blackjack, craps, roulette, and other table games. So no need to worry about that.

If you just want to get your feet wet, slots, keno, and scratch tickets require the least amount of knowledge before you get started. But don’t let that stop you from playing other games. Since you’re not playing games with other players or real dealers (unless you’re playing a live dealer game), you can take your time without fear of holding the game up. You can learn the rules of whatever game you’d like to play at your own pace.

So with that in mind, we think blackjack, video poker (Jacks or Better), and 3-card poker are some of the easiest casino games to learn.

What can you do if you have a problem with an online casino?

This is tricky, and it sort of depends on the problem you’re having.

If you’re having a problem with casino staff, we recommend reaching out to the casino to see if you can speak to management.

If you’re having a problem with the casino that you don’t think management can help you with – say, they’re running a scam – our best suggestion is to reach out to the gaming commission that oversees them. They can investigate further, and may even be able to remove their license or fine them if they find that the casino broke any laws.

However, that all said, one of the risks of playing at offshore sites is the lack of accountability and recourse you have, especially if you’re an American.

The closer you get to playing at a legit casino (like one from the US), the more options you’ll have for resolving problems with a casino.

Where are online casinos located?

If you gamble at an online casino in the United States, like in New Jersey or Delaware, the casino’s servers will (usually) be located in that state, or at the very least in the country.

Offshore sites are located all around the world.

For example:

  • Bet365 – England
  • 888 – Gibraltar
  • Paddy Power – Ireland
  • 5Dimes – Costa Rica
  • Bovada – Canada (supposedly)
  • Bodog – Antigua

Every area will have their own gambling commission and rules to follow. Some areas are more lax than others. So when choosing a site to join, a lot can be said about a casino based on where their headquarters are.

Why does the house always win?

It’s because every game is structured or designed to give the casino an edge, no matter how big or small. And it’s that edge that the casino makes their money from in the long run.

Do online casinos have any way to tell if you’re cheating?

As far as we know, it’s not really possible to cheat an online casino, shy of hacking the software.

Casinos should be able to spot that, but how long it takes them is questionable.

It’s not a casino, but a good example is the Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet scandals. Those went on for a few years without anyone knowing. The company had to bring in an outside source (the Kahnawake Gaming Commission) to investigate. And they probably had to have their software tested.

We’d imagine an online casino would be the same. And they’d make that happen sooner rather than later if they noticed a player or two winning obscene (and unnatural) amounts of money from their games.

Which online casino has the most players?

This data isn’t shared, as far as we know.

We’d assume the more honest, legit, and popular companies would host the most players. Based on total revenue (which does include betting, poker, and casino, both online and off) we’d say sites like Bet365, 888, Paddy Power, William Hill – and others who are more or less public companies, or in the public’s eye – have the most casino players.

What are the tricks employed by online casinos to attract and retain gamblers?

The most common tactics that online casinos use are promotions – things like deposit bonuses, free cash offers, and VIP schemes.

The bonuses and free cash offers are used to get players in the door. The play-through requirements force them to stick around long enough to clear the offer and possibly lose some money in the process.

The VIP schemes, which often reward players with cash back in exchange for points earned during play, keep them around. Some casinos also offer reload bonuses, which are free money offers to existing customers to encourage them to make another deposit.

Are there any online casinos in Manila?

Many online casinos accept players from Manila. A couple examples include:

  • Paddy Power
  • Bodog88

You can find more by Googling. Just make sure to check each casino you find against a rogue casino blacklist.

Do online casinos cheat?

They sure do. And it surprises us when they do because there’s so much money in being legit. Google 888 or Bet365 and check out their Wikipedia page – they earn billions of dollars collectively.

Anyway, you’ll find that most online casinos that cheat don’t cheat through their games (although it does happen). They cheat players by simply not paying them, tweaking terms and conditions as needed, and by forcing bonuses onto players so that they can’t cash out without breaking the casino’s rules.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of online casinos?

There are lots. We’ll sum it up to the biggest ones.

The biggest advantages of online casinos are convenience, lower stakes, and promotions.

The biggest disadvantages are dealing with legalities, shoddy casinos, and banking challenges such as available banking options and processing times.

Are there any legit online casinos?

There are many legit casinos online. There are many that are licensed, regulated, and treat their players very well. You can see a list of our recommended casinos here.

Where can I find the payout percentages for a casino?

It varies.

Sometimes you can find them on the company website of whoever audited the casino’s software and games. Other times you may find them posted on their website, like at Golden Palace.

How old do I have to be to play at an online casino?

That depends on the casino and your location. In every case we’ve seen, the age is either 18 or 21.

Will the casino report my winnings to the IRS?

It’s unlikely if it’s an offshore casino.

However, if you’re playing at an online casino based in New Jersey or Delaware, then yes, they will report your winnings. That’s why you have to give them your social security number when you sign up.

If I have won a large amount of money, should I cash it out all at once?

That’s up to you…and to an extent, the casino, too.

If the casino is safe and trustworthy, do whatever works best for you. If the casino is sketchy, then get your money off as fast as you can – and find another casino to join.

Some casinos do limit how much money you can withdraw per day/week/month. You’ll want to read their banking page and/or terms and conditions – or simply contact them – to find out if your casino does.

Can I make money from playing at online casinos?

You can, yes. Although that doesn’t mean you’ll make a profit. Most people don’t, outside of those who win massive 6- and 7-figure jackpots.

What happens if I lose my username and/or password?

All casinos have a link you can click if you forget or lose your username or password. They’ll send you an email with steps for retrieving yours, or for setting up a new one.

If push comes to shove, you can always email the casino.

Can I get addicted to online gambling?

You sure can. According to statistics:

  • Three to five gamblers out of every hundred struggle with a gambling problem
  • As many as 750,000 young people, ages 14 to 21, have a gambling addiction

If you feel you may have a problem, most casinos have a self-exclusion option you can use to ban yourself. You can also email the casino and ask that they block you. You can also visit Gamblers Anonymous for advice.

If you’re unsure if you have a problem, then we suggest that you .

How much money do I need to gamble online?

This depends on you, the games and stakes you’re playing, and how long you want your bankroll to last.

We think $30 or $50 is a reasonable amount for an hour of playing penny slots. And we’d recommend doubling or tripling that for every hour you want to play a table game, like blackjack or 3-card poker.

It goes up from there.

Can I use more than one gambling site?

You sure can. In fact, you may need to if there are specific games, promotions, or banking options you’re after. If anything, joining several casinos gives you variety.

Is Casino UK a safe online casino?

They’re no longer open. They were acquired by Roxy Palace Casino. And based on the handful of reports and ratings we’ve seen, yes, they’re a safe casino. Average, but safe.

What’s the best online casino in Canada?

Our top picks are:

  • Betway
  • Bodog
  • Bet365

What’s the best online casino in the USA?

Our top picks are:

  • Bovada
  • BetOnline
  • Slots.lv

What’s the best online casino in the Europe?

Our top picks are:

  • Betway
  • Bet365
  • 888

What’s the best online casino in Australia?

Our top picks are:

  • Jackpot City
  • Ruby Fortune
  • Bet365

What is the Gambler’s Fallacy?

It’s the belief that a random event can affect the outcome of future events. That rubbing a coin or blowing on dice will (positively) affect the next outcome.

But this is folly. All outcomes in a casino are random.

Can I chat with other players?

Not usually. It’s just you and the casino software.

The exception is if you play live dealer games. Not only can you chat with the players at the table, but you can also chat with the dealer running the game.

What is a “rogue” casino?

It’s a casino that does shady stuff. This ranges from stealing from players to changing terms on the fly to forcing bonuses on players (so they can’t cash out). And, yet, they’re still in business.

You should avoid rogue casinos at all cost.

What is self-exclusion?

Self-exclusion is when you ask/tell the casino to ban you for a specific length of time. This can vary from one hour to one day to three days to weeks, months, years, or even for life.

Most casinos have this option in one form or another. It’s to help players cool off if they’re having a rough time playing, and to prevent problem gamblers from gambling.

Software/Download/Compatibility

Do I have to download the casino software?

Not at most casinos. Most casinos will have a browser or no-download casino where you’ll be able to log in and play their games from your internet browser. Just keep in mind that for some casinos, this means you’ll have a smaller selection of games.

Do any casinos have a download for Macs?

No, most casinos will not have a Mac-compatible download. Instead, you’ll play from their no-download or browser casino (mentioned above).

What online casinos can I play on my iPad?

Most casinos will have either a mobile app, a mobile responsive site, or dedicated mobile site for phones and tablets. Our reviews will tell you what each casino offers.

What is better – the Flash version or the download version of a casino?

We haven’t noticed a difference between the two, at least in terms of graphics or game quality. So, for that reason, we prefer the Flash (no-download) casino, since that means you can play from any computer. And you don’t have to download a bunch of resource-hogging files.

Do I need a PC with Windows to gamble online?

If you want to download the casino’s software, yes, you’ll need Windows. But you don’t necessarily need a PC to do this. You can use an emulator or dual boot setup if you prefer to use a Mac or Linux OS.

What do I need to play an online casino game?

A computer, tablet, or phone with an internet connection. An email address, physical address, and phone. And money, if you plan to play for real money.

What is a casino skin?

A casino skin is a casino that shares the same software, games, banking, and sometimes even the same customer support as other casinos who also use the skin.

Skins are more or less businesses in a box. Larger companies (sometimes called networks) put these businesses together to make it easier for operators to get their online casinos started.

The biggest difference between each skin is how they look, and sometimes their promotions. From there, everything else is (usually) the same.

What online casinos use RealTime Gaming software?

Five examples of casinos who use RealTime Gaming software include:

  • Bodog
  • Bovada
  • Slots.lv
  • Planet 7
  • Vegas Casino Online

What online casinos use BetSoft software?

Five examples of casinos who use BetSoft software include:

  • Bovada
  • Drake Casino
  • Slots.lv
  • Bet365
  • Bodog

What online casinos use NetEnt software?

Five examples of casinos who use NetEnt software include:

  • BetVictor
  • Guts
  • Betsafe
  • SuperLenny
  • 888

What online casinos use Playtech software?

Five examples of casinos who use Playtech software include:

  • Bet365
  • Coral
  • Titan
  • Europa
  • William Hill

What online casinos use Rival Gaming software?

Five examples of casinos who use Rival Gaming software include:

  • Bovada
  • Slots.lv
  • Bodog
  • Ignition
  • Slots Capital

What online casinos use IGT software?

None that we know of. But you will find IGT’s games (which are tons of fun) in brick-and-mortar casinos. We’ve played several in Las Vegas, as well as in casinos found on the Oregon coast.

What online casinos use Microgaming software?

Five examples of casinos who use Microgaming software include:

  • RoxyPalace
  • PokerStars
  • Bet365
  • Betsafe
  • SuperLenny

Games

What is the variance in online casino games?

The simplest way to understand variance is that it’s the ups and downs, or wins and losses, that happen over the course of a game.

For example, if we were to flip a coin – you’d take heads and we’d take tails – and we bet $1 on who was going to win each time, in the long run, we’d both break even.

In the short term, however, it could go either way – you could win more money, or we could, even though it’s an even money game/bet. That short-term fluctuation is variance.

Which games have the best odds?

Here are the games with the best odds (per the Wizard of Odds):

  • Baccarat – 1.06%
  • Blackjack – .28%
  • Casino War – 2.88%
  • Craps (Pass/Come, Don’t Pass/Don’t Come) – 1.36-1.41%
  • Pai Gow Poker – 1.46%
  • Video Poker – .46%

Those are some of the best games to play in the casino. But keep in mind that these odds will change based on the variation you’re playing, whether or not you’re using optimal strategy, if you play the side bets, and the payouts of the game.

Is it possible to count cards playing online?

No, not at a normal blackjack table run by an RNG. However, from what we understand, you can count cards at live dealer tables. But online casinos don’t seem to like it when you do. 5Dimes has it in their terms that they will close your account if they suspect you’re a card counter.

How do online casinos catch card counters?

It’s near impossible – or at least pointless – to count cards online. Because of how algorithms work, decks are more or less infinite, not to mention they’re reshuffled after every hand.

The only games you can count cards at are live dealer games. And, like brick-and-mortar casinos, online casinos aren’t too keen on it (like 5Dimes, who will ban you if they catch you).

Online card counting isn’t talked about much, but we’d imagine casinos catch card counters by watching each player – how much they bet, when they change their bets, when they sit down to play, etc. Advantage players often stand out like a sore thumb – they’re not hard for casino staff to spot.

Do casino betting systems work?

No. The main reason why is because betting systems have no effect on the game itself. They don’t change the rules or improve your chances of winning in any way. So the odds or house edge stays the same – in favor of the house.

Can I cheat?

First, the obligatory statement: we don’t recommend or condone players who cheat online casinos. It’s immoral, unethical, and – in some cases – illegal, which can land you (and your bank account) in hot water.

That said, it’s a lot harder to cheat online, since online casinos run on software. You’d have to find some way to hack their software, which is likely easier said than done.

Can I play casino games on my mobile?

At most sites, yes. You’ll either download an app, play from your browser (mobile responsive casino), or play at a separate mobile version of the site.

What online casinos have progressive jackpot Caribbean stud?

There are many casinos that offer progressive Caribbean stud. That includes casinos running on software from:

  • NetEnt
  • Cryptologic
  • RealTime Gaming

You’ll find dozens of casinos to choose from in that short list.

What types of games can you play in an online casino?

If you can find the game in a brick-and-mortar casino, chances are you can find it – or something very similar to it – in an online casino.

That includes:

  • Slots
  • Blackjack
  • Pai gow poker
  • Baccarat
  • Video poker
  • Pai gow
  • Craps
  • Roulette
  • Keno
  • Progressive jackpot games
  • 3-card poker
  • Caribbean stud
  • Let ‘em ride

And lots more – including variations of games listed above.

What are progressive jackpots?

Progressive jackpots are pools of money that are awarded when you make a specific hand or hit a specific combination of symbols.

These pools are built by all players who bet the max or make the side bet. A portion of each bet goes to the jackpot. And it continues to build until someone wins it.

What are live dealer games?

Live dealer games are brick-and-mortar casino games (like blackjack, roulette, sic bo, etc.) that are streamed live. These have higher (minimum) stakes and live player and dealer interaction. It’s just like being in a casino, only you get to play from home.

Why is there a table limit?

We think the biggest reason has to do with the casino and the amount of risk they’re willing to take on, because in the short run, anything can happen – especially at games where the house edge is small.

If the casino didn’t have a table limit, you could sit down with $500,000 or $1 million, bet it on red or even at roulette, and if you won, you could hurt the casino financially.

So, before casinos accept higher-stakes action (we’re talking tens or hundreds of thousands or more per hand/spin), they want to make sure they can handle the short-term variance, and that there’s a chance they’ll be able to win their money back. That someone won’t just be looking for a quick thrill/win and then leave the casino high and dry.

While playing online, is there a time limit for each hand?

No, that’s one of the benefits of playing online. You can take your time without having to worry about holding up the action. The exception would be live dealer games.

How do I win a progressive jackpot?

There are three things you need to win:

  • Make the max or side bet
  • Luck
  • Make the winning hand or combination that wins the jackpot

What is the most profitable casino game to play?

It’s going to a table or video poker game that you happen to know the optimal strategy for. If you’re willing to count cards, we’d say blackjack. But we don’t think you can go wrong with optimal strategy for blackjack, video poker, or 3-card poker while earning comps.

Outside of that, we recommend learning how to play poker.

Are there any limits?

Yes. Most table games will start at $1 and peak at $500-$1,000. Most slots and video poker games will start at $.01-$.05 and peak around the same max per spin/hand.

But it does vary from casino to casino. We suggest reading our reviews if limits play a large role in your decision of where to play.

Who licenses and regulates casino games?

This is (usually) the job of the gaming control board or gaming commission. These are state, region, or country-appointed agencies who oversee the casinos operating in/from their area. They make sure they’re following the laws/rules for that area.

There are many gaming commissions. .

Are casino games fixed or completely random?

Random. There’s no way casinos would make money with fixed games. Not for long, anyway.

But they’re not completely random, either. And that’s because online casinos use random number generators (RNGs), which are mathematical (and solvable) algorithms. We suggest you read our RNG page to learn more.

Banking

How do I make a deposit to an internet casino?

It’s no different than shopping online. Each banking method will be different, but the gist is this:

  • Go to the cashier.
  • Choose your banking method.
  • Enter your details – card number, bank account number, e-wallet address, etc.
  • Enter how much you want to deposit.
  • Click submit.

Depending on the method you choose, your deposit will take anywhere from 0 mins to 60+ minutes to process and be available for play.

Can I track my previous deposits and withdrawals?

Yes. At most casinos, you can view your payment history. This is where they’ll show you every deposit and withdrawal you made within a specific time frame.

How quickly can I cash out my winnings?

The process of asking for a cash-out is fast. It’ll only take you a few minutes.

However, processing the transaction and getting the cash-out in your hands is another matter altogether. It depends on the banking method, the casino, and where you live.

On the quick end of things, Bitcoin is nearly instant if the casino is available 24/7 to process requests. E-wallets (like Neteller and PayPal) are fast, too, taking minutes to a few hours.

From there, the delay only gets bigger. Credit cards can take a few days. Cash transfers (Western Union and MoneyGram) can take 3-7 days, as can bank wires. Paper checks can take 1-2+ weeks to get to you.

And that’s once the casino processes your request, which can take a few hours to a few days.

What deposit methods are available?

This is too long a list to cover here. And it depends on where you live.

The most common options include:

  • Credit/debit card – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover
  • E-Wallets – PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, Mondex
  • Bank wires
  • Cash transfers – MoneyGram, Western Union
  • Prepaid cards

The individual options (individual brands/companies) – available on a regional basis – will be some variation of the main options listed above.

What withdrawal methods are available?

This, like deposits, will depend on where you live and what the casino accepts.

You’ll have the same options listed above, plus additional options like e-checks and paper checks.

Are there withdrawal limits?

Yes, although this will depend on the withdrawal method and the casino.

For example, at 5Dimes you can get a cashier’s check up to $7,500. The limit on money orders is $9,500. The limit on Bitcoin is $10,000. And the limit on bank wires is $9,500.

Limits are usually per request, week, or month.

The best way to find out about a casino’s limits is to read casino reviews. All that info is covered there.

Why was my credit card rejected at an online casino?

It’s hard to say. It could be because you didn’t have enough funds to cover your deposit. Maybe the bank thought your request looked suspicious and paused access to protect your account. Or maybe your bank doesn’t allow online gambling transactions (as they’re not supposed to in the United States).

The best way to find out is to ask your bank or credit card issuer.

Is there a minimum deposit for online casinos?

Yes. Again, this is something that depends on the casino and banking method. But the minimum deposit for most options will vary from $5 to $20. Other casinos have slightly higher minimums around $50 or so.

Can you use Bitcoins at online casinos?

You can, yes. Some “fiat” casinos that accept Bitcoin include Bovada, Bodog, and 5Dimes. These are often referred to as hybrid casinos.

There are Bitcoin-only casinos. They accept only Bitcoin for payment and offer many of the same games and betting options that you’ll find at hybrid sites.

Can I play in USD/AUD/CAD/etc.?

That depends on the site. But there are online casinos that let you play in different currencies. The best way to find one is to read our reviews.

Why do I have to verify my identity?

This is so the casinos know that you are who you say you are. Otherwise, anyone could make deposits and withdrawals using stolen credits pretty easily.

Is it safe to use my credit card at online casinos?

Yes, as safe as it is to shop online at places like Amazon or Wal-Mart. But only if you play at legit online casinos.

Can I deposit without a credit card?

Yes. You can also use debit, prepaid, and gift cards.

These are by far the best and fastest options, with the highest limits (usually). But if you can’t use plastic, then we suggest getting a cash transfer, sending a bank wire, or using an e-wallet.

Can casinos delay my payments even if I have done nothing wrong?

Yeah, they can. Their terms and conditions usually say as much.

There’s not much you can do other than wait. Just make sure you help them out and send as much information as they ask for, assuming it’s reasonable. For example, offshore casinos DO NOT need your social security number.

However, if it’s obvious you’ve done nothing wrong and/or the casino’s giving you the runaround, then we’d suggest you double check that they’re a legit casino in the first place.

Are there limits on how much I can withdraw, even if I have won a big jackpot?

Often times, yes. Most casinos will limit you to a couple grand per week, every week, until you’re paid in full. Other times it simply comes down to the banking option – you’re only able to get so much money per request.

Will casinos charge fees for withdrawing the jackpot?

We don’t know of a casino that does, although you may have to pay fees for cashing out using a specific banking method.

Promotions

What are casino bonuses?

These are cash offers the casino extends to both new and existing customers. The most common type of bonus is the match bonus, where the casino matches a percentage of your deposit. However, there are many types of bonuses, such as refer-a-friend, re-deposit, welcome or new player, and bonuses for specific games (slots, blackjack, craps, roulette, etc.).

What is a welcome bonus?

A welcome bonus is for new customers. The most common offer is a match bonus, but casinos also offer cash bonuses and specific game bonuses. These are also known as new player bonuses.

When can I withdraw my bonus money?

Assuming you can withdraw your bonus money – because many bonuses are for play online – you can cash out your money once you fulfill the rollover or play-through requirements. The general idea is that once you accept the bonus, you need to wager so much money before the casino will let you cash out. This is to prevent people from abusing the system.

What types of casino bonuses are there?

There are many types of bonuses, such as:

  • Welcome, New Player, or Sign-Up
  • No deposit
  • Reload
  • Loyalty
  • High roller
  • Refer-a-friend
  • Cash-back
  • For using specific payment methods.

Keep in mind that some bonuses are called different things at different casinos.

What is a casino comp?

According to Wikipedia:

Comps are complimentary items and services given out by casinos to encourage players to gamble. The amount of comps that a player is given usually depends on what game they play, how much they bet, and how long they play.

Why do casinos offer a no-deposit bonus?

We’re not entirely sure why. But we can guess.

Our thinking is that no-deposit bonuses are a lower-barrier offer. The player doesn’t need to make a deposit or a deposit of any specific size to play and try out the casino and their games.

In other words, a $25 or $50 bonus gets players in the door with little risk to them. Once they get started, the casino assumes that enough players will like what they see enough to make a deposit and continue playing (to off-set the costs of the bonus).

How do I earn casino points?

You earn points by playing real money games.

What can I use VIP/casino points for?

This varies from casino to casino. The most common option is for cash back. But points can also be used to buy things from the casino’s gift shop, to pay for trips, or for bonuses.

VIP points may also be used to determine your VIP level if the casino has a multi-tiered program. This, too, can determine what types of perks you get (for the points you earn).

What is a non-cashable bonus?

This is an offer you can only use to play at the casino. If you win any money and want to cash out, the only money you’ll be able to cash out is your winnings. The bonus stays with the casino.

How do I claim a sign-up bonus?

This depends on the casino. At most casinos, all you have to do is create an account and make a deposit. The bonus money will be put into your player account.

At other casinos, you may have to input a (sign-up, coupon, bonus) code, or contact support BEFORE you make your deposit.

Can I just withdraw the bonus straight away?

No. Casinos want you to wager so much money before you can cash anything out. Otherwise, it’d be too easy to abuse the system, and the casino wouldn’t retain any of their players – or their profits.

Can I open more than one account and claim a bonus multiple times?

No. Every casino states in their terms and conditions that they do not allow this.

How can I avoid abusing reload bonuses?

Our recommendation is to set a limit for how much you’re going to play with on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. If you have trouble sticking to your limits, you can always see if your casino has the option to set limits.

How do casinos profit from no-deposit bonuses?

They make money from players who make a deposit and continue playing after their no-deposit bonus is gone. The money casinos make here outweighs the expense.

What does it mean when a promotion comes with a 40x wagering requirement?

It means you need to wager your deposit OR your deposit AND bonus 40x.

For example, say you got a $500 bonus. The casino is asking you wager 40x the bonus. You’d have to wager $20,000 before you can cash out.

Now, say it’s a 100% match offer (deposit $500 to get a $500 bonus) and the casino wants you to wager the deposit AND bonus 40x. In this case, you’d need to wager $40,000 to fulfill their terms.

Some casinos do not allow you to meet wager requirements by playing games like craps or roulette. How come?

There are a couple schools of thought.

Our thinking is that the odds for these games are just too low. A little bit of variance in favor of the player, and the casino wouldn’t make a dime.

The other school of thought – and the more likely reason for games like craps and roulette not being allowed – is that players would simply abuse the system. All they’d have to do to make money is place bets on red and black or even and odd, and they’d make money because the bonus money wasn’t theirs in the first place.

How can I be informed of new bonus offers?

There are three ways:

  • Check our website periodically for updates.
  • Periodically visit the casino’s promotion page.
  • Sign up for the casino’s newsletter.

The best option is the last one, because you’ll be the first to hear about any new offers they may have.

Can the terms and conditions of promotions be tricky?

They can be, sure. The trickiest part is determining what specific games apply or don’t apply to the clearing of your bonus, or how much they may apply.

The trickiest games are usually the table games with the low house edge. Each casino has different rules for what they allow you to play to clear their offers, and to what extent those games help.

Security/Fairness

Are online casinos safe?

That sort of depends on your definition of safe.

But as far as theft of money or personal information is concerned, most casinos are safe, yes. They have technology in place to prevent hackers from stealing your info.

Are online casino games rigged?

Not at legit casinos. Most have their software tested for randomness, or fairness to the player. And there’s no good reason for a casino to rig their games when there’s plenty of money for them to make by offering fair games.

Is my personal information and credit card number secure?

Yes. Online casinos use SSL certificates to encrypt all information that goes to/from their casino. This is the same type of technology that banks use, that would take crooks forever to hack – IF it’s even possible.

Legal

Are US players legally able to play online?

This is a gray area, and it largely depends on the casino and the state.

If you’re a resident of and play at an online casino from one of the states where it’s legal, then it is legal to play online.

However, if you’re playing at an offshore casino from one of those states – or any others who have legal online gambling – then it’s most likely illegal – at the very least for the operator.

From there, it depends on the state. Some states have made it illegal for players to gamble online, but none we know of have gone as far as to prosecute an individual for it.

To the best of our knowledge, IT IS illegal for an offshore casino to operate within the US, which is why they don’t. And it’s illegal for banks and payment processors to (knowingly) process transactions to and from offshore online casinos.

Should online casinos be legalized?

We sure think so!

An online casino is no different than a brick-and-mortar casino. And by making online gaming legal, you’re protecting American players, creating new jobs, and stimulating the economy.

Are online casinos legal?

In the US, the only online casinos that are operating legally are those in states like New Jersey and Delaware. Nevada, too, if you want to include poker.

Outside the US, most countries or jurisdictions allow gambling and have rules in place for operators and players. So, assuming you’re gambling at a legit casino, yes, it’s most likely legal.

How do I know if online gambling is allowed where I live?

One way is to visit our laws and jurisdictions page. You can also contact a lawyer or your local gaming commission/agency.

Are online casinos unethical or immoral?

That depends on who you’re asking. We don’t think so – and that much should be obvious.

As far as the casinos themselves, that, too, depends. The best and fastest way to find out is to read our reviews or check out Casino Meister’s blacklist page.

Signing Up

How do I register at an online casino?

All casinos will have a “join now- or “sign up now” link. Once you click that, you’ll be asked to fill out a form with your personal information, such as your name, address, email address, and so on.

Do I need to give the casino my real name, address, phone number, and date of birth?

Yes, because they will need this information to verify you are you, and before they will fulfill any cash out requests.

What personal information should I not give?

Avoid giving the casino your social security number or mother’s maiden name. The exception to this rule is if you’re joining a legal online casino in the US. They need your SSN so that they can report any winnings/losses to the IRS.

I want to play at the casino for free but need to give them my information first. Will they use my info to advertise to me?

More than likely, yes. They’ll want to try to get you to make a deposit.

However, reputable casinos will stop if you ask them to. And many email programs require that they have a link at the end of each email that, when clicked, will unsubscribe you from their newsletter.

Miscellaneous

How do casinos make money?

Each casino game is designed in such a way to give the house an edge (the “house edge”). This edge can be as little as half a percent (blackjack), to as much as 15+ (slots) or 30+ (keno) percent.

The edge for each game comes from how each game is designed (like the 0 or 00 in roulette), how hard something is to accomplish (a royal flush), the payouts for each outcome (3:2 or 6:5 for a natural blackjack), or the rules of the game (can’t split more than twice or doubling down as much as you want in blackjack). Or any combination of these things.

How do casinos make money from the house edge?

The simplest way to explain this is by example.

Say you’re playing a game with a 1% house edge. For every $100 you spend playing this game, the casino expects to receive $1 (1% of 100). They might receive more or less every round. But in the long run, this will average out to $1.

When you figure that they are dealing dozens or even hundreds of hands per hour – PER TABLE – it’s not hard to see how they can make astronomical amounts of money. And that’s just for their table games.

If you want to see for yourself how much money you can expect to lose to the casino (in the long run), simply multiply how much you’re betting by the house edge (in decimal form).

How do casinos make money from the RTP?

RTP stands for “return to player,” and is simply a different way of showing the casino’s house edge.

For example, instead of saying a game has a 1% house edge, you’d say that the game has a 99% RTP.

You can figure out the house edge – and what the casino makes per wager in the long run – by multiplying the RTP by the amount of your bet.

Is eCOGRA legit?

We’d say so. They were set up and are based in the UK, where (online) gaming is fully legal and regulated. They’re an internationally recognized and approved testing agency who has won the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) ISO approval.

All that would be hard to accomplish if they weren’t “legit.”

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