Utilizing the Free Play Feature

All online casinos offer a free play feature. This allows players to sharpen their skills and practice prior to playing in a real money game. Since online gambling is one of the most popular activities on the internet, many interested parties have come across a casino and have wanted to try their luck at various games. Finding and registering at a casino is extremely simple and streamlined so anyone can do it.

Learning the Rules

The main issue is many of these new players do not know how to play specific games as they may not be familiar with the rules, procedures of playing online or any strategies. There are plenty of books and articles available online but these can only assist up to a certain point. Theories, strategies and tips are excellent background knowledge; however, actually playing in a game is a considerably different experience.

If new players immediately begin wagering money without having a game plan they will lose heavily at which point they will give up on online gambling. This results in online casinos losing long-term, potential customers.

How Free Play Works

It is in the best interest of both parties to play free games first. All players are required to register at online casinos. However, they have the option to choose free play and are immediately awarded play credits which cannot be cashed. The player can then select the specific game they want to practice and the limit they would like to try. If the player loses all those credits, they can be reloaded into that game.

Ironing out Wrinkles

New players should not take the free play options for granted. This opportunity should be treated as a stepping-stone into real money wagering. With new players there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out. First, it is important the new player learn and understand the rules of the game they wish to play. The best way to do that is read and then play in a live game. This will improve their comfort level for when they decide to deposit.

Second, new players need to learn the mechanics of actually playing. In online gambling, this is simply selecting the correct button to click and when to do so. Luckily online gaming is much more user friendly and easier to play than in a live, land-based game. The tough part of online game play is mastering the strategy behind the game. This is especially true for blackjack and video poker where incorrect play reduces payouts.

Third, players should learn and practice correct bankroll management which is one of the most vital skills to have in a live, real money game. The best practice is to treat the play credits like they have deposited their own funds. Make textbook plays and try to stretch the given amount of credits. As the old saying goes, “what you do in practice, you’ll do in a game.” This adage is especially true for online gaming.

Fourth, once the player is established, free play can help them iron out any errors or incorrect plays they have made in real money games. When specific situations present themselves it is important to minimize your losses and maximize your wins. These situations can be practiced repeatedly in a free game.

No Deposit Bonuses

A recent trend in the online gaming community is the release of a hybrid between playing for free with real money wagering. This is known as the no deposit bonus which is a promotion offered to new signups at a casino. This allows them to try out a few games with no initial commitment. Although the bonus is usually not large, they can play with the minimum number of bets at the maximum number of games.

This is a promotion that all players should take advantage of since it is essentially free money. If players have utilized the stepping stone of free money play, learned the rules, implemented correct strategies and practiced, they should have no problem transitioning into real money games.

Within free money play there are plenty of lessons that can be learned and applied to a real money environment. As a player continually experiences these lessons they learn how to handle every situation that comes their way.

The free play feature is one of the best tools available to player’s at all online gaming sites. Unfortunately most players do not take advantage of this and end up losing a fortune. You do not even need to spend an extended period of time in the free play section, just use it as a warm-up area.

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The Most Popular Online Casino Games

If you are new to the online gaming world, you may be wondering what the most popular games are across the industry. This is a complicated question to answer because each player’s tastes, casino needs, bankroll and likeness for games currently in development will vary greatly. When conducting research on this topic, everyone will have a different opinion as to what constitutes the best online casino games.

The “One-armed Bandit”

The “one-armed bandit,” or slot games, are a symbol of old and new Las Vegas –style gaming. Slots have a history of over 120 years so they tend to top the list at all online gaming sites as being the most popular game. This is also consistent with land-based casinos which determine why there are so many different variants of slots.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of slots is the game is only based on chance; there are no specific skills needed. As a result, new players are typically attracted to online slot games. The actual activity of playing slots is non-threatening since it is you versus a random number generator. There is no outside judgment or pressure from others when you lose.

While other casino games may have a total of ten different variants from the original, slot software developers may release ten variants each month to cater to the tastes of different clientele. Many slot games are based on movies or what is currently the craze in pop culture. For instance, at this time HBO series, Boardwalk Empire, is popular. Therefore, one slot software developer has created a game based on the series.

The other primary attraction to slots is the adrenaline rush and resulting flow of endorphins during the game. Therefore, slots can become extremely addicting because when they payout, they payout big. The chance at winning a million dollars or more in once single sitting is irresistible. This is also why many people play the lottery.

Traditional Card Games

Conventional card games like blackjack and poker are also among the most popular online casino games. Almost all online gaming sites offer blackjack and poker so there is no consensus as to which site is best. Many online casinos allow the player to download or participate in practice games that can be played for fun, to sharpen one’s skills or simply warm up prior to playing at real money tables.

Video Poker

Dating back to the 1970’s when personal computers were first released to the public, video poker made its debut as the first cyber-version of one of the most popular casino games, poker. Like blackjack, video poker allows skilled players to have an advantage over the house. The exception is with bluffing and reading tells as you cannot bluff or be bluffed by a computer.

Other Top Online Casino Games

Other games that are gaining popularity include baccarat, keno, roulette and virtual bingo. As these games continue to increase in popularity at land-based casinos they also grow at online gaming sites. For instance, baccarat is becoming one of the primary money-makers in Vegas for Strip casinos. Online gaming companies see this growing trend and make baccarat readily available at their casinos.

New Versions of Old Games

Online gaming software development companies take these original games and create multiple variants. This gives players the chance to try a new twist on an old game and mix up their usual routine. There are different versions of almost every game available online. Other than slots, the most popular are from the original video poker, blackjack, poker, keno and bingo.

In games like slots, keno and bingo it is simple to create many variants, software developers simply need to change the theme. The rules do not change (except bonus rounds in slots), the graphics and characters within the game change. For instance, there is a football-themed keno game featuring the kicking of little footballs when a number is drawn.

On the other hand, in games like video poker, blackjack and regular poker there are a few variations that actually change the rules. Although the house edge is not modified, there are added side bets, different payout schedules and other modifications to the regular game.

There are so many real money games available online. Some online gaming sites pride themselves on offering over 300 playable games which provides something for everyone. The most popular games continue to be those originally introduced in major gaming hubs like Las Vegas. Slots, card games and video poker reign king at online gaming sites.

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How to Evade Rogue Casinos

Rouge casinos are those that do not credit bonuses once all requirements have been accomplished, delay payment or renege on their commitments to the player. Although these casinos are few and far between, all online gamblers should learn how to spot and avoid them. These casinos are short-lived due to bad press as a result of their unethical business practices.

Review Blacklists from Watch Dog Organizations

The easiest method for finding rogue casinos is by reviewing blacklists of online casino watch dog organizations. These websites exploit the fraudulent casinos to protect players and ensure for a safe gambling environment. There are a few trusted watch dog websites that report the facts when a player is mistreated. Since these sites are popular in the online gaming community, all it takes is one bad experience to significantly bring traffic to the casino down.

Review the Casino’s Website

Finding and scrutinizing blacklists is the first step. After awhile, players must learn to identify rogue casinos by reviewing their website. Although the watch dog lists are constantly updated, it is possible one may have been overlooked or not reported by the gambling community. Another possibility is an online casino may have some questionable practices and may not have reached the rogue classification just yet.

Luckily, identifying a rogue casino is not a daunting task. There are two simple points to look for:

  • Review the owner and address
  • Review the licensor, software provider and auditor

These two points of information to review will easily reveal whether the casino is rogue. First, if the casino does not list the company that owns them you should immediately stop considering this establishment and move on. If the owner is mentioned, look to see if the company is listed on the stock exchange and if they own other casinos. If this information is available then there is a good chance this casino is legitimate.

Second, examine the licensor, software provider and auditor of gaming operations. All legitimate online gaming sites need input from these three service providers. Therefore, the reputation of these providers is a reflection on the legitimacy of the casino. If any of these required providers is not listed, the casino is most likely rogue and should be reported.

The licensors have been authorized to regulate gaming in a specific country under that jurisdiction. Some of the most reputable jurisdictions include Kahnawake, Malta, Antigua, Curacao and Gibralter.  Those that should be avoided include Belize, St. Kitts and Venezuela due to an overwhelming number of rogue casinos originating from that locale.

The most popular and reputable online gaming software providers are Playtech, Rival, Cryptologic, Real Time Gaming and Microgaming. Those providers that are not up to par are Casinova, Elke and COA. Many gaming sites indicate the use of proprietary software. This does not mean that site is not reputable but probably should be avoided altogether or well scrutinized.

The most reputable auditors of gaming operations include, Technical Systems Testing and eCOGRA. The most reputable online gaming sites release monthly reports from the auditor of their casino. These are usually posted on the casino website so it is important to also review these reports.

Also, it is important to verify when the casino was established. Those that have been around for a long time are usually reputable or else they would not have lasted this long. Although it is incorrect to assume any new casino is rogue, it is simply best to approach with caution.

Use Word of Mouth

Another method of avoiding a rogue casino is through word of mouth and personal experience. There are numerous online gaming forums where players interact with one another. This is an excellent method for exchanging information. Everything from delays in withdrawals, bonuses and their conditions, technical problems to payment issues are communicated. If the general consensus in the forums accepts the casino then it should be safe.

Reliable Casinos do not associate with Second-rate providers

Generally good casinos will not associate with rogue entities. Also, safe casinos will not utilize second-rate providers. This includes those that audit the gaming operations and those that process financial transactions. Reliable casinos will only utilize reliable third-party sources to manage their legalities.

Online gaming sites are big business so most of them are safe and reliable. However, like in any industry, there are a few bad seeds that you must avoid. Utilizing the tips presented above will help you identify, report and steer clear of these unethical companies.

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How to Decide if Joining an Online Casino is right for you

If you are looking to fill your spare time at home with some type of entertainment, online casinos are an excellent option to consider. You can sit in the comfort of your computer which eliminates travel costs. This expense is considerable as it can accumulate if the casino is a great distance from your home. Also, most online gaming sites provide welcome bonuses and other promotions like freeroll tournaments. This is not a typical practice at a land-based casino.

Welcome Bonuses

These lucrative welcome bonuses are an attempt to draw new customers to that casino or network of casinos. The amounts range depending on the specific casino and their current promotion. A popular trend is to add weekly deposit bonuses in addition to sign up bonuses. This is a great method for retaining new players and could be profitable for the skilled gambler.

Referral Programs

Mmost online casinos have referral programs where you receive a percentage of their losses or a lump sum for referring individuals to the casino. This is such a popular practice that online business entities have popped up as a result. They advertise and refer visitors to different gaming sites. In turn, the online casino pays the website a specific amount for each player that signs up and participates in a real money game.

Banking Bonuses

The methods of earning do not stop at the above mentioned as many online casinos offer a banking bonus. This entails depositing a specified amount of money through a specific deposit method. The percentage is typically around 10 percent but can usually be stacked onto a welcome or weekly deposit bonus. Some of the most common online deposit methods include, credit card, eCheck, Moneybrokers and NeTeller (for international clients).

Generally the casino will not give bonuses for using a credit card. Since online banking companies contact the gaming site directly, they usually create a cross-promotion to entice new players to sign up for their service. By offering a monetary incentive, this technique is successful.

Conduct a little Research

With so many online casinos across the globe, it is not difficult to conduct a small amount of research and determine which site is best for you. In addition to welcome, weekly deposit and banking bonuses search for those casinos that also provide giveaways. You will find many companies that offer sweepstakes for cruises and other luxurious vacations.

While conducting research, keep in mind that promotions are constantly changing to remain competitive with other casino sites. Look for the best deal that fits your needs so that you can immediately take advantage of the promotion before it expires. Also, if you have friends interested in joining a casino you may want to take advantage of a referral bonus.

There are many comparison sites available on the internet that will review a plethora of casinos. They usually provide the pros and cons of different sites, current promotions, links to the site, deposit methods and games. It is best to review a trusted review website to help narrow the choice and make an informed decision. All review sites display a list with their top picks and why.

The No-Deposit Option

During your research you will notice most of the online casinos require a deposit to begin playing at the site. On the other hand, there are a few casinos, known as no deposit casinos that do not have this requirement. Each company’s system is different so be sure to peruse the site to learn exactly how it works.

When signing up at a no deposit casino keep in mind that they may also offer other promotions such as a welcome bonus for first-time players or other incentives. If you have a set gambling budget, consider depositing at one of these types of casinos to incur additional incentives.

Budget Limits

Another nice feature that you may want to research is budget limits. If you are on a budget, you have the ability at most casinos to set limits on the amount you deposit each week. This will ensure you are only spending a pre-determined amount.

The online gaming business has exploded over the past five years to become a vast network of competing casinos. There are so many available that every player has the ability to find one that fits their needs. A number of promotions, no deposit options and budget limits are all factors that should help you decided whether a specific online gaming site is right for you.

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An Overview of Online Casino Bonuses

There are many different types of bonuses offered by an online casino. In many cases, the various bonuses can be stacked on one another to make for an excellent payout. This is one of the most important areas to consider when searching for a casino to deposit your money.

There are nine primary types of online casino bonuses. These include:

  • Match bonuses
  • Weekly/monthly bonuses
  • No deposit bonuses
  • High roller bonuses
  • Banking bonuses
  • Loyalty rewards bonuses
  • Starting balance bonuses
  • Feature promotion
  • Other promotions

Match bonuses – These are the most common type of promotional item offered by online gaming sites. Casinos are able to alleviate a great deal of risk related to giving out free money by utilizing match bonuses. Percentage based match bonuses force the player to deposit money in order to receive the bonus. The amount of free money and the requirements to acquire the bonus change on a regular basis.

Weekly/monthly bonuses – This bonus is implemented to retain players after their welcome bonus has been collected. From the player’s perspective, this is one of the best ways to take advantage of the casino’s generosity. Weekly/monthly bonuses work in the same manner as match bonuses in that you receive a specific percentage based on your deposit. Typically you are only eligible to collect one bonus per period.

No Deposit Bonuses – These are rare in the online gaming industry as there is too much risk involved with awarding free money and little stipulations. A no deposit bonus does not require you to deposit money. Instead, you download the software, install it, register for a real money account and make a claim. These bonuses tend to be at the lower end of the scale since the money originates from the casino’s own pocket.

High Roller Bonuses – As you may expect, these are those offered to players willing to commit a great deal of money on first deposit. The percentage match is less than 100 percent, usually in the range of 40-50 percent. The size and amount varies per casino and the actual type of promotion. Make sure to read through the terms and conditions to ensure it fits your personal needs.

Banking bonuses – Banking bonuses are available as an incentive for players to use specific deposit methods other than a credit card. Many casinos have difficulty processing credit cards because of the ban on online gaming in various countries. This is one bonus that is stackable with match bonuses. It is important to point out banking bonuses are typically up to a specific maximum per deposit per period.

Since the online gaming community is tremendously competitive a great deal of money is spent attracting customers to the casino. Concurrently, they must keep the player at the casino for an extended period of time. Therefore, casinos have created loyalty rewards programs to reward players for continuing to play at that gaming site. This is also a common practice at land-based establishments.

Starting Balance Bonus – This is a relatively new concept to the online gaming industry so they are only currently available at Microgaming casinos. The casino gives the player a specific number of credits to play with for a pre-determined period of time. Once the time expires, any winnings over the original amount are granted to the player. The player then must deposit a specified amount and fulfill a certain number of requirements to withdraw.

Feature Promotion – This bonus is one in which specific websites have been given authorization to offer a special bonus to new players. These usually expire within a specific time period. Therefore if you ever come across one that interests you, it is imperative to sign up immediately or else the promotion may expire. However, if you do miss a specific bonus, they do occasionally come around again.

In addition to these bonus types, online gaming sites also utilize other promotions like freeroll tournaments and sweepstakes. In some instances casinos will utilize a free entrance into a large tournament valued at a specific amount. If you are a good tournament player, this is an excellent opportunity to make some money. However for those new to online gaming, it is a much better deal to receive a monetary bonus.

There are many ways to take advantage of all an online casino has to offer, including bonuses and promotions. Online casinos are much more generous than land-based as they are constantly offering different promotions to move ahead of the competition and be crowned king of promotions in the online gaming industry.

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