Despite the bad rep attached to gambling, it continues to grow in popularity. More and more people place bets not only to make money but to entertain themselves. For this reason, online casinos thrive because they allow people to remain anonymous and to take pleasure in gambling in the privacy of their own homes. Another factor that adds to the appeal of online casinos is convenience. Be it baccarat, blackjack, craps, poker, roulette, and slots, you can play any time of the day and even while you’re in your PJs or underwear, which is impossible to do in land-based casinos. Perhaps the best advantage is that you can play at multiple tables at once. Hopping from one casino game to another, boredom is less likely an issue when playing online. Most casino sites also capitalize on providing more game variations to increase the level of thrill or excitement among players. If you’re looking for variety, checking the list of games and different offers, as well as the prizes at stake, level of difficulty, and mechanics for each game is your best lead. Free trials are also a great way for you to get a feel of the game before you play for real money.
While reviews and website information can easily reveal that game variety you can expect from an online casino, the legitimacy of the casino site is an entirely different story. To ensure that pure pleasure from the game, you must not let yourself get ripped off. To protect yourself and ensure that your online gambling experience is entertaining and safe, you need to learn more about online casinos before you make your move. Why? Because once you are hooked on gambling over the Internet, you can be blind to the tell-tale signs of a shady game, and by then, it would be a little late to make your way out.
Knowing the basics
Before, some online casinos specialize only in a game or two, such as video poker and online bingo. Although there are still a few casinos that continue this practice, most online casinos you’ll find nowadays offer their players a wide variety of online games. There are two main types of online casinos: the downloadable kind and the Flash- or Java-based. The first one would require you to download their game software before you can start playing, while the second type has the applications to run in your browser. Both have interesting graphics, animation, and sound, but the downloadable software often offers more types of games and are found by most players to perform better.
Keep in mind, though, that you cannot determine the legitimacy of an online casino based on how the game applications can be activated. Downloadable software does not make an online casino more or less legitimate than a Java-based gaming system. To choose an online casino to play at, you would need to take a closer look at a few things, so you won’t end up getting duped.
Spotting scam casinos
* Judging the book by its cover
Casinos, whether Internet- or land-based, are known to be flamboyant and polished in appearance. If the casino page that you are directed to looks pretty common, your warning bell should start to tinkle. A generic-looking site implies that the online casino did not take the time to create an identity or plan with care. Why should this matter? It spells out that it is in too much hurry to take your money. If you have done a bit of research on established, ergo, trusted online casino, you may have observed something about its graphics, layout, and color schemes, which make it distinct. Now, if you run into a casino site that looks familiar but carries a different name and URL, your warning bell should be ringing like crazy. Obviously, that copycat casino is trying to fool you into thinking that you’re in a trusted environment.
* Being brand-conscious
Take note of different casinos under one brand. They are “sister” casinos, and it is important that you remember that. Why? Going back to tip #1, you should know that affiliate casinos or those under a single brand may or may not have the same look, so they are the only exception to the rule. Also, keep track of names and URLs, as some scam casinos may trick you with labels.
* Telling temptation from desperation
Another tell-tale sign is the bonus offer. It’s standard practice for legitimate casinos to allow players to gamble on house money, something that gamblers always find hard to resist. However, if the bonus offer sounds too good to be true, most likely, you’re being scammed. If you are a newbie to online gambling, join forums on the topic and ask around for the standard bonus range from seasoned players. Take note of different casino games offered on these sites.
* Observing that wine and casinos have something in common
An online casino’s track record is your only guarantee. Check reliable, independent casino reviews, and if you can’t find anything on the casino, you need to lay it off for a while. If it is a scam site, you wouldn’t want to be its first victim; if it’s legitimate, you still wouldn’t want to play the guinea pig. Factors to consider when choosing an online casino
Take the time to find out where the casino is licensed. Unlike land-based casinos, online casinos are mostly accessible to all parts of the globe. Although there are places known to license casinos with questionable integrity, the main reason you should be aware of this is that jurisdiction could be an issue when a problem comes up later on. Getting the license information should give you an assurance that you can file a complaint in case of the casino’s bad practice. Most online casinos are licensed in the Caribbean or South America, as the US, Canada, and the UK (except for UK sportsbooks) refuse to license online gambling still.
The software the casino uses should have been verified and approved by the Interactive Gaming Council. Don’t simply look for the IGC seal of approval. Visit the IGC website and navigate to the Membership page. If an online casino with an IGC seal doesn’t appear in the IGC membership list, that casino is bad news.
Always read the fine print. The terms and conditions should be clear. After reading it, you should be able to understand fully what is expected of you as a player, how the payouts are made, and where complaints may be made and how they’re handled, among other rules. If it’s in a language you cannot read or understand, don’t make a deposit.
Other important information to take note of
The online casino should be able to tell you whether a third party audits its payout or not. More than that, it should offer the name of the company that validates their random number generator, as well as the software and e-cash provider. In addition, there should be a 24-hour player support, or customer service. A toll free number through which you can reach the support team immediately is a good sign. If all that you can find on the site is an email address, try sending an email and see if you can get a response overnight. If you don’t hear from them within that period, it’s either a scam site with a fake email address or a legitimate casino with bad customer service.
Online gambling should be a pleasant experience for those who like to bet and take risks. But just because you’re a daredevil, it doesn’t mean you deserve to be scammed. While each step is not fool-proof, these tips used altogether can help you find an online casino that you can trust.