Okay! You are a complete novice, you have never gambled at an online casino but due to the recent media hype, your interest has been peeked and you want to give it a go.
Which casino should you play at? There are so many out there, that you really do not know which one is the right one for you. The prospect of becoming an online gambler excites you along with winning some serious money, but you are cautious and want to choose carefully.
Detailed below are 10 critical questions that you should ask (and get answers to) before signing up with a particular casino.
1. What type of casino games interest me?
You will need to decide what type of game you want to play. There are literally dozens of casino games on offer from favourites such as blackjack, roulette, video poker, craps and slots to games that are not immediately associated with casino gambling such as bingo, lotteries, sports betting or skill gaming. Then of course there are specialist sites dedicated to just poker, where you can choose from a multitude of different game variations from Texas Hold’em to 7-Card Stud.
2. What kind of licences does the casino have?
There are two of particularly importance – a software licence and a jurisdiction licence. All online casinos use third-party gaming software, such as CryptoLogic, Boss Media and Microgaming – 3 of the best in the industry. In order to use this software, the casinos are required to sign long-term contracts that can cost many thousands of pounds, so you can be sure that these casino operators have long-term stable businesses. The most reputable online casinos also have a jurisdiction licence from where they operate, the most well known being Kahnawake in Canada. This means that the country of jurisdiction will be able to independently audit the payouts and ensure that the casino adheres to their strict rules.
3. What kind of security measures does the casino utilise?
This is of critical importance. You will be providing the casino with personal and sensitive banking data, so you need to make sure that it is able to handle this information over a secure connection. 128-bit SSL encryption achieves this is and is impenetrable to a potential hacker.
4. How long has the casino been in operation?
If the casino has been operating for 5 years or more, you can be reasonably sure that it is reputable.
5. What type of payment and withdrawal methods does the casino employ?
Some of the most common payment methods are NeTeller, FirePay, credit card and bank transfer. Make sure that the casino offers a payment method that satisfies you. Also of critical importance are the withdrawal methods available. What are they and how quickly can you receive your winnings? Are there any withdrawal charges? These are all critical questions.
7. What customer support options does the casino offer?
Customer support should be available 24:7:365 and be contactable by phone, fax, e-mail and live chat. This is a very good sign and it indicates honesty and a readiness to resolve any issues that may arise.
8. What type of starting or welcome bonus is on offer?
Look for a casino that offers a good welcome bonus and does not have a high wagering requirement (the amount that you must gamble before being able to cash-out). There are three basic types of welcome bonus offered by the casinos: a fixed bonus – triggered by a predefined minimum deposited by you; a matching bonus – usually a percentage of the amount that you deposit up to a pre-defined maximum; and occasionally a no-deposit bonus – requiring no initial deposit by you.
9. What type of loyalty programme does the casino operate?
If you intend to gamble on a regular basis, then finding a casino that rewards regular play is important. Often termed VIP or Comp programmes, they can come in different guises. Read the details carefully and compare it to other casino loyalty programmes.
10. What type of playing guides does the casino have?
The best online casinos not only provide a systematic guide to help you get started playing at the casino but also provide comprehensive individual game guides that teach you the basics of the most common games. Read these guides carefully and make sure that they are helpful and understandable to you.
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