Beginners Guide Part 1: The Basics
Are you new to online gambling? Would you like to learn more about how online casinos work?
Then you’re in good hands.
The idea behind this guide is to explain how casinos work, teach you about casino bonuses, software and, eventually, how to choose the best online casino. Everything you need to know to get started today.
On this first page I’m going to first answer a few common questions we get from first timers about playing online. Then I’ll show you the process works from start to finish.
Beginner’s Casino Guide
People that have never played online before have a lot of preliminary questions. They’re worried about being safe and legal online. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think it’s a good idea to lean towards being more cautious than not. You don’t want to deposit money online to later find out you’re breaking the law, or to see that the casino you’ve signed up to is a scam, and that they’ve taken your money.
With that in mind, I thought it’d be helpful to answer the most common questions we receive.
Are online casinos safe?
Generally speaking, yes. Online casinos are safe.
What you have to understand is that there is more money (for casinos) in being safe and legit than not. It’s no different than brick and mortar casinos. The Venetian wouldn’t be in business very long if they were ripping players off. Do you understand what I mean?
That said, you still want to do your due diligence before signing up to play. All you need to do is make sure the casino is licensed, audited regularly for fairness and that they use the latest encryption technologies to keep their games and your information safe. You want to make sure that they aren’t going to sell your information to 3rd party companies, too.
How do you know a casino is good or bad?
Truth be told, I think it’s a good idea to assume that a casinos is guilty until proven otherwise. There are hundreds, possible thousands of online casinos and out of those there are only a handful that we can recommend. So assuming all casinos are bad from the get go will keep you and your money safe.
While reviewing casinos the giveaways will be whether or not a casino pays their players, is licensed and what their current customers say about them. The answers to these questions will be the best indicator as to the quality of the casino.
Are online casinos legal?
That depends on where you’re trying to play from. I can’t speak for all countries, but I know that around 35 states in the US have no laws specifically prohibiting online gambling. Those that do have laws are very vague, and people break them everyday without being punished. That’s not to say that you should break the law, or that you won’t be punished, though.
The best answer to this question is to Google it. Google something like “your state + gambling commission” and read the information that comes up. You might also try asking your local authorities.
The reason why we can’t get more specific than that is because we’re not lawyers. We don’t know what the laws are in your area. So we’d be doing you an injustice telling you that things are ok or not ok, when in fact they might otherwise be.
Finding a Casino and Signing Up
Once you figured out all the preliminary stuff, your next step is to find a casino. Following our recommendations is the fastest way to get started. We research each site to make sure they’re licensed, honest and have a variety of games and deposit options. That’s the criteria you want to use if you choose to find a casino on your own.
Once you find a casino you’ll sign up. The process is straight forward, like filling out a credit card form. You’ll give your name, email, birth date, phone number and address. This is mandatory information if you want to gamble online for real money.
Once you’ve created your account you’ll download the software to your computer, open it up and log-in. Flash players will log-in directly to the casino’s website.
Making a Deposit
Before you can play games for real money you’ll need to make a deposit. There are too many deposit options to list, but the most common options include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, NETeller, Skrill (Moneybookers), UKash, Western Union and Pay Pal. Minimum deposit requirements are right around $10, although this varies from site to site.
Making the deposit is easy enough. It’s similar to making a purchase online. Just click on the deposit button, choose which option you want to use, enter in your details and hit submit. The money will be ready within minutes for credit cards, and anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days for everything else.
Finding and Playing Games
Once you have money in your account you’ll be ready to play the games (although you can play for fake money, too). All the games are categorized (slots, video poker, table games, specialty games, live dealer games, etc) so you can quickly find them.
You don’t have to worry about understanding the rules 100%. Each table will have the rules and payouts posted. So you can learn how to play as you go. The table minimum and maximum bets are posted, too.
The games are simple to play. Every game is as simple as point and click. You don’t need any fancy tools or programs – just a mouse and keyboard.
Withdrawing Your Winnings
The last step is to withdraw your winnings. This is like making a deposit, only in reverse. You’ll choose your option, fill out the necessary details and hit submit.
Keep in mind that withdrawals take longer to process and clear compared to deposits. Depending on the method you won’t see your money for 1-3 weeks, and it can take even longer if you’re an American player. You’ll also need to submit your ID and another form of identification, like an utility bill, before the casino will send you your money. But once you submit this information you won’t be asked to do it again. This is completely normal and done by 100% of legit outfits. It can be frustrating so I normally keep a copy of my drivers license/passport and a recent electricity bill on my computer for convenience.