There are literally thousands of online casino websites on the internet: Nobody knows the exact figures, but the best estimate of industry professionals is somewhere in between 3.000 and 4.000. In other words, when you make a search for “online casino 2019”, for example, you will see a lot of results.
To find an online casino with the best bonuses and best games will be a quite challenging job, especially if you are a beginner. Every online casino claims to be the best and if you believe the numbers, each of them offers “amazing” bonuses.
So, how you can find the biggest online casino bonus and the most respected online casino operators among these options? Well, as always, we are here to help you: In this comprehensive guide, you can find everything you need to know about casino online sites, their bonuses, and payment options. We will also take a short look at online gambling history and answer your most commonly asked questions. Let’s start: This will be a fun and profitable journey!
The Short History Of Casino Online: What Happened So Far
We are sure that you heard the name “Microgaming”. It is a very much respected casino game provider but it is also the company who “invented” online casino sites. In the 90s, Microgaming was a small company that developed mobile slot games for Java-based cell phones. (Yes, mobile casino games existed even before the era of smartphones.) In 1995, Microgaming decided to offer these games on a website and put an option to play them with real money. Note that the internet was fairly new back then and online payment systems were not available at all. Microgaming partnered up with another company called Cryptologic to develop an online payment infrastructure. The idea was new and exciting, but nobody was sure it will be successful.
In 1996, Microgaming launched Inter Casino, the first online casino site in the world. The site contained 20 games in total, and more than half of them were slot machines. There was no legislation about online gambling back then, so Microgaming “invented” electronic gambling licenses too, in order to create a legal ground for themselves. The government of Curacao thought that it would be a good idea to create an agency for giving these licenses, as it would generate additional income for the country. In this respect, they became the first legal issuer of an online casino license in the world. The rest is history: Inter Casino was so successful, hundreds of online casino sites started to appear and other companies started to develop online casino games. So, if we have online casino games for real money today, we literally owe it to Microgaming.
Online Casino Vs Brick-And-Mortar: A Comparison
You may be wondering what is the difference between online gambling and land-based gambling. Well, the online casino sites offer you lots of benefits that you cannot find in brick-and-mortar casinos. Let’s list a couple of them to show you what are the advantages you get by playing online casino.
- No travel, no limitations. If you want to visit a Las Vegas casino, for example, you literally need to go to Las Vegas. You will make a travel plan, you need to set up a budget for accommodation and additional expenses, and you will be able to gamble only during a certain time frame. In other words, you need to be “physically” inside the brick-and-mortar casinos. Online casino sites, on the other hand, accept members from all over the world and they are available 7/24. No matter what time it is or where you are, you can start gambling in mere seconds. Play anywhere and anytime: No need for travel. Plus, you won’t need to set up a budget for travel expenses. You can even play games from your mobile device via online casino apps.
- The chance to try casino games for free. You cannot play the games in brick-and-mortar casinos for free. Online casino games, on the other hand, can be played both in demo mode and with real money. In other words, you can try them all without spending a single penny. Moreover, you will still be playing the same games: Their rules and odds do not change. So, you can easily try hundreds of games for free and find the best ones to play with real money.
- Higher payout rates. Did you know that the average RTP rate of slot cabinets in brick-and-mortar casinos is 85%? Online slot games, on the other hand, offer an average RTP rate of 94%. So the payout frequency will be much higher: You will win more frequently. Moreover, if you prefer to play in crypto-casino sites, the house edge will be as low as 1%. This is an amazing percentage because it means the overall RTP rate of the casino site is 99%. You will be paid more often at casino online sites. Online casino payouts are much bigger than their “cousins”.
- Constant bonuses. We will explain this topic thoroughly below, but for now, know that there are online casino offers for everybody on a constant basis. Whether you are a new member or veteran, you will be rewarded for almost every deposit you make. Brick-and-mortar casinos cannot even come close to these promotions.
- Instant support. If you have a problem in a brick-and-mortar casino, good luck: You will spend hours to be able to talk with someone that can help you and solve your problem. Online casino sites, however, offer instant support. By using the live chat option, you can start talking with a support agent literally in seconds. You can also use the telephone, email, and even social media channels for support.
- Authentic and still online. And if “authentic gambling experience against a real person” is the only thing that brick-and-mortar casinos offer, you still get that service in online casino sites too. Thanks to technology, real online casino sites are able to offer you live dealer games. You can join a live broadcast from anywhere in the world and play against a real dealer in real-time. This service is known as “live online casino” and it literally offers you the chance to visit a “real” casino without leaving the comfort of your home.
Real Money Online Casino Or Demo Play?
All real money online casino sites offer you the chance to play the games for free. Once you select that option, a virtual balance is applied to the game and you can play as long as you want without any limitations. No real cash online casino will force you to play with money: If you want, you can keep playing for free even after becoming a member and get a casual gambling experience. This option offers lots of advantages, such as:
- No financial risks. You won’t lose (or win) a single penny by playing these games in demo mode. All wins and losses will be “virtual” and won’t affect your balance.
- Finding the best games easily. If you are looking for the best games in a specific category, for example, pirate-themed slots, you can try hundreds of slot machines and find the ones that suit you the most.
- Learn every feature of the games. If you are trying a new game and trying to learn its rules, you won’t want to risk real money. Well, you can try that game in demo mode and learn all of its features.
- Practice strategies. Do you have a “system” for roulette games? Or, do you want to practice card counting in blackjack? With demo games, you can do all of these without risking any money and see if they really work.
Our recommendation will be trying all the games in an online casino in demo mode first. By doing this, you will get all the benefits listed above. And once you find the games that suit your needs, you can start playing the best online casino games and win real money. So there is no need to pick one option: You can use both options together and to your advantage.
Playing In An Online Casino: Step By Step
So, how to play online casino? If you are truly a beginner, you may be wondering how online casino works. No worries: Just follow these steps to start playing in an online casino.
- Step 1: Visit the website of the online casino and look for a button that says “join”, “signup”, “register”, etc.
- Step 2: Click on that button and fill out the membership form. Make sure to give actual and true information. You can become a member with fake information but you will have lots of troubles when you want to withdraw your winnings. Your email, telephone number, and address are the most important info in this form as they will be used to verify your identity in the future.
- Step 3: Log in to the online casino with your credentials and check the game collection first. As suggested above, there is no need to make a deposit at this stage. Just try all the games in demo mode and find the ones you want to play with real money.
- Step 4: Make your first deposit. Open your personal account page, click on the “deposit” button, and select a payment method that suits you best. Make sure to check the popular online casino promotions before making the deposit, there may be a bonus waiting for you.
- Step 5: After crediting your account with money, you are ready to play and win real money online casino! Remember that you don’t need to install any software to play games (and live casino online games), using a modern browser will be more than enough. To be on the safe side, just install the latest version of Adobe Flash.
Games You Can Find In Casino Online Sites
Online casino sites are richer in content than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Even the biggest casino building in the world cannot host more than 200 game tables. A standard casino online site, on the other hand, can contain more than a thousand games! You will be getting all the classic casino games with bigger numbers. In this respect, you can find the following games at online casino websites:
- Slots (classic slots, video slots, jackpot machines, 3D slots, VR slots)
- Table games (roulette, keno, craps, bingo, lottery)
- Card games (blackjack, baccarat, hold’em poker, stud poker, video poker, etc.)
- Exotic games (wheel of fortune, sic bo, red dog, etc.)
- Casual games (scratch cards, arcade games, virtual betting)
- Online casino betting (some casino online sites offer sports betting services too)
Remember that there is no single best online casino game: Every player has different needs and expectations. Slot games are probably the most popular option at casino online sites but you are not limited with those. Try all categories and find out what you like. Remember that there will be literally thousands of options available to you, so take your time and don’t stick with a single game category.
Online Casino Bonuses: For New Members
So, what are online casino bonuses? As mentioned above, they are the most common promotions at online casino sites that offer an advantage to all members in exchange for completing a certain action, such as making a deposit. We will divide the top online casino bonuses into two and explain them separately. Let’s start with promotions that are available to new members.
Online casino no deposit bonus: As the name implies, this bonus requires no deposit. As soon as you complete the registration, you are awarded a small bonus fund or free spins. For example, you can get a free 20 EUR balance for becoming a member and use that money to play online casino real money games. If you manage to score a winning with your bonus funds, however, you must complete a wagering requirement, which will be explained below.
Welcome bonus: This is probably the best online casino bonus for new members. It can be used only once and requires a minimum amount of deposit, for example, 10 EUR. The online casino matches your deposit with a certain percentage, for example, 100%. So if you deposit 10 EUR; your account is credited for another 10 EUR immediately. This bonus has an upper limit, i.e. 100 EUR, which defines the maximum bonus funds you can get. Do not deposit more than this amount. Usually, completing the deposit automatically activates the bonus but you may be asked to contact support team to “manually” activate it. Read the terms and conditions of the bonus to learn what you need to do and what is the minimum deposit amount.
Online Casino Bonuses: For Veterans
Online casino sites offer bonuses for current members too. In fact, these are more advantageous than the new member offers, because they can be used multiple times. Welcome bonus, for example, can be used only once but the online casino deposit bonus for current members can be used indefinitely, so you get something with every deposit you make. Here are the most popular of these promotions:
- Reload bonus: This is almost the same as welcome bonus, but can be used multiple times, for example, every week. The deposits of members are matched with certain percentages and awarded bonus funds. This promotion has an upper limit too.
- Cashback bonus: You can win back some of your losses on a constant basis, for example, every week. Usually, the refund rate is around 15-20% and there is an upper limit of the funds that can be refunded. Again, this bonus can be used indefinitely and every week, for example.
- Live casino bonus: The online casino dealer Same as reload offer but the bonus funds are usable on live casino games only. For this reason, match rates are usually higher.
- Online casino tournaments: Online casino sites organize slot tournaments regularly and every member can join them. To win a tournament, you need to score the highest winnings or place the biggest bets. Tournaments have prize pools and the members in the top 10 share it among themselves. Usually, other members get consolation rewards too, such as additional free spins.
If you stay as a member long enough, you can get an invite to the VIP Club of the casino or accumulate enough loyalty points to increase your membership status. Such members get personal bonus offers and exclusive match rates too. In fact, VIP members get invites to real world events from time to time. If you are interested in becoming a VIP member, we suggest picking a new online casino as it is easier to increase the membership status in them.
Online Casino Wagering: The Most Important Bonus Term
All of the bonus offers above have a common feature: wagering requirement. This means you don’t get to use the bonus funds or withdraw them until you reach a certain wagering total. This requirement has a rate and that rate defines how much money you need to wager. For example, if the rate is 25x and your bonus funds are 100 EUR; you need to wager 2.500 EUR first (100 x 25). Wagering means using the deposited money to play games, so just crediting your account is not enough. Also, note that different games contribute at different rates towards the requirement. For example, slot game wagers contribute 100% but card games contribute only 15% (sometimes even less). It is important to read the terms and conditions of bonus offers in order to learn the wagering requirements. You won’t be able to use the bonus funds until you met these terms. We especially check how fair these terms are in our online casino reviews, and recommend you only the advantageous ones.
Payment Methods In Online Casinos
Online casino sites support multiple methods for making deposit and withdrawals. The process is as easy and practical as shopping from an online merchant. First, let’s take a look at the most common payment methods you can use at online casinos:
- E-wallets: Online casino real money PayPal sites are quite common, as PayPal is the most popular e-wallet service. But it is not the only one you can use: Casino online sites accept Neteller, Skrill, ECO Payz, and lots of other service providers too. E-wallets are our recommended payment method for those who prefer to use banking systems, as they are practical and safer than credit cards or bank transfers.
- Pre-paid cards: Online casino Paysafe and Astro Pay are the most popular pre-paid cards among gamblers. Note that this option can be used for deposits only, most of the pre-paid cards cannot be used for making a withdrawal. You purchase these cards with real money from stores and they come pre-loaded. Usually, entering the code on the card is enough to complete the transfer.
- Credit cards: You can of course use your VISA or MasterCard to make an online casino deposit or withdrawal. Credit cards are the most common online payment method and supported by almost all online casinos. They are fast and practical but not as secure as e-wallets.
- Bank transfers: If you are not in a hurry, bank transfers will be a quite safe payment method to use. However, they are also the slowest: It may take a week for your deposit to arrive at the online casino site. This delay removes the instant play advantage of online casinos, so use this option only if you have no other alternatives.
- Cryptocurrencies: If you know how to use them, cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) are the safest payment method. Moreover, they offer unmatched privacy, speed, and fewer fees than all the other methods. However, they are not very practical and require certain technical knowledge. Moreover, they are not supported by every online casino.
- Mobile payment: If your mobile carrier allows it and the online casino supports it, you can use your mobile phone to make a deposit. Note that this option is also for deposits only and cannot be used for withdrawals. After making the payment, you pay back to the carrier in installments.
There is no best payment method: You can use all of the options above at an online casino and play casino games. All options have pros and cons, and it is up to you to find the one that suits your needs the most. For most of the players, e-wallets will be a good choice (and our recommendation) but you can pick any method you like.
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We believe that you are now well informed about online casinos: To continue your journey, pick one of our suggested casino online sites and create an account. We review lots of online casinos on a constant basis and evaluate their features: the game collection, bonuses, payment methods, customer support, online casino software… We have pretty high standards to find the best online casino deals and we recommend only the casino sites that managed to satisfy us. Our professional team finds the best online casinos out there for you, so you can focus on games only. We regularly update our reviews and lists, so visit our site often. And if there is a particular online casino you want us to review, you can always contact us: We will be happy to hear from you. Good luck and may the Lady Chance be with you!