Real Money Casinos
Online casinos are a prevalent form of entertainment nowadays, mainly because players can win significant earnings. However, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of different casino games, options, bonuses, and information available online.
To help you better understand how to make the most of your online casino experience, here’s a comprehensive guide of the industry and a couple of helpful do’s and don’ts.
Real Money Casino Vs. Free Casino Options
Considering there are thousands upon thousands of online casino options available nowadays, it might be confusing to figure out which casino to choose to start playing. Seeing how players require real money to play in brick-and-mortar casinos, it stands to reason that the same principle applies to their online counterparts.
Yet, there’s a pretty convenient advantage to starting with an online casino instead of a traditional one: you can try out some of the most popular casino games for free.
Compared to real money bets, free casino games typically don’t measure up, at least when it comes to excitement levels. However, playing for free can still be entertaining, as you can enjoy the gaming action, side bets, and bonus rounds free of charge.
If you feel like first trying your luck in “safe mode,” the process is pretty straightforward. To try out one or more online casino games for free, you’ll typically need to register for an account at your casino of choice. After creating your account, you’ll have access to a wide range of games to choose from, with the software as your opponent.
On the other hand, you’re usually not able to participate in live dealer casino games for free. Regardless, if you’re looking to get a better idea of how live dealer games work, some casinos allow free users to observe such games as spectators.
You should also know that quite a few online casinos welcome new players by offering free cash upon signing up without requiring a deposit. Put simply; this situation provides you with a unique opportunity to win real money by playing free casino games without any costs.
Types of Real Money Online Casinos
Among the various types of online casinos available today, it’s essential to know that there are two main categories.
According to the type of software the platform uses, there are web-based casinos and download-only casinos. While traditional online casinos are typically either one or the other, players can enjoy both options nowadays due to technological advancement
Unlike download-based casinos, web-based ones do not require players to download software to their local computer. If you’ve ever heard of the terms “no-download casino” or “flash casino,” these terms are synonymous with a web-based casino platform.
The main requirement for participating in web-based casino games includes a stable internet connection. This fact is that regular web access allows for a seamless gaming experience in animations, sounds, and graphics.
Games are typically available in browser plugins, and examples include Java, Macromedia Shockwave, or Macromedia Flash. All of these plugins also require browser support.
To participate and wager on the casino games on offer, download-only casinos require users to download software to their devices. As a result, users do not require browser support or plugins to enjoy games. The gaming process is possible because the downloaded gaming software connects to the casino service provider.
Since you don’t need to load sound and graphics from the Internet (instead, the software client cashes both), download-based online casinos typically run faster in comparison to their web-based counterparts. However, it takes a bit longer to download and install the casino software initially.
It is essential to point out that download-based casinos are generally less popular with casino players than web-based casinos. Despite the smoother (faster) gaming experience, this difference has to do with the potential for malware.
Real Money Casino Apps
Casino apps are just as widespread and popular as online casinos, and getting started with mobile casino gaming usually involves registering with your site of choice.
You’ll have two different options at your disposal if you’re looking to play on the go. The first option includes playing games directly through your phone’s web browser, while the second involves playing through an app.
As far as regulated online casinos go, most will make it their mission to encourage you to download and install their app.
On the one hand, a very smooth gaming experience is the direct result of playing casino games through an app. On the other hand, it’s the casino websites that offer by far the largest selection of games for users. In that respect, adapting the games to your input method and screen size is done with Java or HTML5.
iOS Casino Apps
In terms of supported platforms, real money casino apps are available mostly for iOS and Android users, though availability on Windows and Blackberry devices is limited.
When it comes to iOS, it all starts and ends with the app store. Typically, individual casino websites will make the process easy and convenient for users by providing direct links to their app store apps. However, if that’s not the case, you can simply search for the app within the store and get a hold of it that way.
The great thing about Apple devices in terms of casino apps is their popularity. In other words, the chances of an app developer designing a casino app that’s available for every platform except Apple devices are slim to none. So, if there’s a casino app of any kind, chances are it’ll be available for Apple devices almost by default.
Android Casino Apps
As a result of Google play having stricter regulations and rules regarding its apps, the process of downloading a casino app for an Android device is slightly more complicated. Google Play currently doesn’t allow any kind of gambling or casino apps. Instead, you need to download the desired Android app directly from the casino site.
Windows/Blackberry/Other Casino Apps
As aforementioned, there is only minimal availability of real money casino apps outside Android and Apple devices. The scope of mobile device availability becomes wider if the casino offers browser-based games.
If you currently own a Windows, Blackberry, or other device and are looking to enjoy real money online casino games, browser-based games are your safest bet.
Real Money Casino App Benefits
When stacked against the laptop/desktop experience of enjoying a real money online casino game, the app’s most critical benefit is the gaming accessibility. In other words, an app lets you play games virtually anywhere, anytime.
Think: how many times have you stayed in the comfort of your home, 10 feet away from your desktop or laptop, but ended up spending time browsing through your smartphone instead? Exactly.
What’s more, most games in today’s market prioritizes explicitly mobile gaming. Because of your tablet or phone’s smaller screens, many casino games work great on these smaller platforms, which further adds to the experience.
Real Money No Deposit Casino
When it comes to winning real money in online casinos without having first to put down a deposit, two of the most popular ways include free slots bonuses and free scratch cards.
Free Scratch Cards
As far as scratch cards go, the name pretty much says it all. Besides the fact that these cards provide instant wins, they contain hidden fields that reveal either matching symbols or a prize upon being scratched off.
Simultaneously, one of the best and most satisfying ways to benefit from scratch cards is to make sure to use them when they also bring a bonus. Bonus-wise, you’re looking at two basic types of scratch cards:
- Free games, which allow players to enjoy a preset number of free games on the scratch card (playable without a deposit);
- Free chips or freebies, which are valid for scratch card games.
Naturally, with scratch card bonuses, there are also rules that you need to follow if you’re looking to make the most of your no deposit gaming experience. These rules are as follows:
- Early Cashout Penalty: though not a mandatory occurrence, some offers incorporate this feature that causes users to lose either some or all of their winnings should they attempt to cash out too early;
- Bonus Cashability: there are cases where no deposit bonuses are cashable, which is to say that, after finishing a game, a player can cash out his winnings, but not the bonus;
- Bonus Cashout Limit: bonus offers typically come with a max cashout limit. Examples of such a limit include bonuses that don’t allow players to withdraw more than $50 or $100;
- Game Limitations: there are instances where bonuses only apply to a specific number of games;
- Wagering Requirements: before being allowed to cash out, a player must rollover the bonus a certain number of times, and this number represents a wagering requirement. Consequently, some of the best offers are either very low playthrough or without any wagering requirements.
Free Slots Bonuses
A no deposit slots bonus does not require a deposit and, as such, is intended exclusively for new players. The “no deposit” aspect signifies that players are not playing with their money, but can win real money when playing free slots.
In other words, not only do you get to familiarize yourself with the casino and try out its slot games but once you meet all the wagering requirements, you also get to keep winnings from the casino’s free bonus offer.
As far as the different types of no deposit slots bonuses go, you can typically expect free spins or free cash.
Fairly self-explanatory, claiming a free spins bonus requires that you register with the online casino first. The second step involves claiming the reward itself, though you should keep in mind that most online casinos provide only specific slots to offer free spins. Simultaneously, free spins traditionally go hand in hand with the particular casino’s wagering requirements. Here’s an example:
- Players can use the no deposit 25 free spins bonus only on specific slot games
- Before requesting a cashout, any winnings from free spins must be wagered 40 times
Another embodiment of the no deposit slots bonus is in the form of free cash, which can typically range from $10 to $60. Simultaneously, this type of slots bonus is usually applicable to all forms of slots that count 100% towards the wagering requirements.
For instance, if you have a no deposit slots bonus worth $20 and are looking to request a cashout, the wagering requirements may encompass something like:
- The bonus must be wagered on slot games a minimum of 60 times
- Games such as progressives do not count towards the wagering requirements
Real Money Casino Games
When users first sign up to play, they enjoy having a wide range of different software to choose from and play. In other words, a massive role in the success of various online gaming sites belongs to game selection.
As a result of this fact and to make sure players enjoy their gaming experience, the best real money online casinos offer a range of betting games. Examples of some of the most popular real money casino games are:
- Texas Hold’em
- Pai Gow
- Sic Bo
How to Play Texas Hold’em
You’ve undoubtedly heard of Texas Hold’em as one of today’s most popular and widespread poker forms. The basic rules of this classic card game are easy to understand:
- Step 1
Before dealing the cards, relevant players place the big and small blind bets
- Step 2
Each player at the table receives two cards face down, and each player can fold at this point if they want to. A round of betting follows each player’s decision
- Step 3
The dealer places three cards face up in the center of the table (community cards), after which players follow in another round of betting or folding
- Step 4
In addition to the previous three, the dealer adds another fourth community card. Another round of betting or folding ensues
- Step 5
The dealer finally adds the final, fifth community card before the final round of betting or folding
- Step 6
Following the final round of betting or folding, it’s time for the remaining players to turn their cards face up. Combining the five community cards on the table and the two cards in their hand, the hand’s winner is the player with the best five-card Texas Hold’em poker hand
Go to any casino, online or physical, and you’ll surely come across slots in some form or other. By far, one of the most popular games at any online casino, slots offer not only the most substantial prizes of all games in a casino but also countless options in the process.
Playing online slots is incredibly simple: all you have to do is spin the reel and sit back as you watch the symbols landing. You receive a prize if you land a winning combination of symbols. When it comes to the slots games process, here’s how to play slots online:
- If the slots you’ve selected offer this option, the first step involves choosing how many pay lines you want to have active
- In the next step, you’ll need to specify how much money you’re looking to bet
- The third step involves the enjoyable part: spin the reels and enjoy watching how the symbols land on each of the reels
- At this point, you can sometimes either start a bonus feature or win an instant cash prize
- (Optional Step) If you’ve selected starting a bonus feature in the previous step, this step involves following the instructions to complete the game
- Lastly, your casino account is where all winnings find their way.
How to play Pai Gow
Not as mainstream as Texas Hold’em, Pai Gow is still a popular variant of the traditional poker where you play against the dealer. The game works as follows: of the total of seven cards the player receives, their goal is to come up with a five-plus-two card poker hand. To win the game, the player must beat both of the dealer’s hands with their own.
While almost every video poker game uses the same basic principle, there are numerous video poker versions available today. Regardless, when playing, your main goal is to get a qualifying poker hand (which is usually either a pair of jacks or something more substantial), after which you win a prize. Naturally, the size of your prize will correspond with the strength of your hand. Here’s how it works in detail:
- The game starts with making a single bet (in Pai Gow, this is the only bet)
- Using a 53-card deck (standard 52-card deck and the Joker), the dealer then deals seven cards to themselves and each player
- Next, from the seven cards they receive from the dealer, each player makes both a five-card and a two-card hand
- It is important to remember that the two-card hand must be lower in value than the five-card hand
- Usual poker rules apply to the best five-card hand, with the two-card hands being either high card hands or pairs
- The Joker allows for the highest value hand and is the wild-card; it provides the possibility to create a five-of-a-kind hand, which is stronger than a straight flush
- If both the five-card and the two-card hands beat the dealer’s two hands, the player takes the victory. At the same time, the dealer wins if the opposite happens
- However, if the player wins only one hand, and the dealer wins the other, such a result is called a “push,” and the player gets their bet back
Keno is straightforward as a result of the fact that it uses only luck and requires absolutely no skills or strategy to win. The game merely involves picking your numbers and matching numbers you’ve selected. You win a prize if you match enough numbers you’ve marked off with the ones you’ve drawn. Here’s how Keno works:
- Observe the Keno grid and choose a few different numbers (you typically select no more than 20)
- Before selecting how many games you want to play, you first need to use the on-screen controls to choose how much to bet
- To learn whether or not you won, simply wait for the drawing of the numbers Depending on how many numbers you’ve hit, your payout will vary accordingly
The logic behind playing casino craps involves players betting on the value of two dice. The Pass bet is the initial action in the game. However, before the game ends, you’re also able to make other bets. It may sound confusing at first, so here’s a detailed guide to the game:
- The first step involves placing a bet on either the Pass or Don’t Pass line;
- The rolling of the dice happens in the second step. If you bet on Pass, a 2, 3, or 12 is a loss, whereas a 7 or 11 is a win. Your current game ends then and there if the dice lands on any of the values mentioned above. If the dice lands on any other number (called a point number), however, the game continues
- Assuming the dice hasn’t landed on the numbers mentioned above, this step involves placing more bets, with each option laid out on the table
- The dice roll retakes place. This time around, you double your money if the dice lands on the point number, but you lose if the dice rolls a 7
- Dice rolling continues; the players bet on each throw until either a seven or a point value is rolled, which ends the game
- The game starts again once the next shooter takes hold of the dice.
Roulette also works a straightforward way – use a board to place your bet and then spin the wheel. You become a winner if the ball lands on your number. When it comes to playing roulette online, here are some more details:
- The first step involves choosing the worth of the chips you’re playing with
- Placing the bets comes second, as you only need to click on the roulette board;
- The third step requires you to spin the roulette wheel
- Following spinning the wheel, you observe the color and number in which the ball lands
- You win real money if you select the number and (or) color in which the ball landed
Another highly popular game present in online casinos galore, the main goal when playing Blackjack is straightforward: you need to beat the dealer in getting closer to 21, but you can’t go over.
The game starts with two cards, after which you’re able to add more cards to your hand. However, you have to know how close to 21 you’re getting with each card you add. The same process applies to the dealer.
You double your bet if you’re able to beat the dealer. However, you lose your stake if you exceed 21 or the dealer wins. You also receive an enhanced payout if you get Blackjack (a 10-value card plus an ace). Here’s the process in detail:
- The game starts with each player, including the dealer, receiving two cards. Typically, the dealer only reveals one of their cards
- Next, you’ll need to get the overall value of your cards by adding them up. In doing so, keep in mind that aces are worth 1 or 11, whereas J, Q, and K cards are worth 10
- In the third step, you’ll need to decide whether to stand (maintain the cards you already have) or hit (get another card in your hand)
- Do your best to get as close as possible to 21, but remember that you’ll lose if you go over 21 irrespective of the following hand of the dealer
- Following your move, the dealer will make their move while having to follow several rules. For example, one such rule involves them having to hit when they have 16 or less
- You lose if the dealer gets closer to 21 than you, and vice versa. Similarly, you win if the dealer goes over 21, but not if you also went above 21
- You receive a prize equal to your stake if you win the game. However, a bonus that’s worth 3:2 is what players getting Blackjack receive
Baccarat is a type of casino game that’s a favorite because it relies solely on luck. The game involves choosing one of three options, which is Player, Banker, or Tie. Following your selection, you go through the dealing of cards, and the winner is the hand that’s closest to 9.
The calculation of scores in baccarat may sound complicated at first glance but is reasonably straightforward. The score results from adding together card values; however, one only uses the second digit of the numbers if the score exceeds 9.
Here’s an example: let’s say you get a score of 15 – in this case, you would only use the five and ignore the 1. You use face values for all other cards, except for aces, which are worth one point. Here’s some more info on this game:
- The first step involves two choices: one that has to do with whether you’ll bet on the Player, Banker, or Tie, and the other on how much money you’d like to bet
- In the second step, both the Banker and the Player get two cards face up. Additional cards can be added to hands in certain situations (more on that later)
- The following step involves adding up the values of the cards, and declaring the winner
- Here’s the exciting part: betting on the Player pays out 100%, correctly betting on the Banker pays out 95% of the wager, but you receive an 8:1 payout if you accurately predict a tie
Payment Methods & Withdrawals
Winning real money at a casino is undoubtedly a cause for celebration, but there’s an important decision to make before breaking out the champagne.
When it comes to regulated casinos, there are several methods you can use to get the money you’ve won back into your bank account.
The method you end up using will depend in part on what each casino offers, and in part on which deposit method you chose. Some of the most common options include the following:
- Debit card – this withdrawal method is typically only available in certain casinos;
- Cash at cage – in some cases, you’re able to collect what you’ve won at the cage of license-holding, sponsoring casinos;
- Paper check-in cases where your deposit method does not allow for withdrawals, a paper check represents a handy default option. Not only can you receive checks in the mail, but banks also welcome them;
- Bank transfer or ACH transfer – you can also receive an e-check to your account electronically;
- PayPal – in cases where you made your deposit using PayPal, you also have the option of withdrawing your winnings the same way;
- American Express
- ecoCard & ecoPayz
- Interac Online
Rogue & Blacklisted Real Money Casinos
While a real money online casino can be plenty of fun, there are always precautions you should take to make sure you get the most out of your experience. Background research is still a must before gambling with any online casino.
For example, suppose you notice a pattern of complaints against a specific casino in terms of customer service quality, speed of payouts, or fair play. In that case, you should steer clear of that particular online casino.
Furthermore, in addition to software that boasts robust security protocols, online casino games that involve real money should also have fair payout percentages. The safest way to ascertain whether a real money casino is suspicious is to notice things like undisclosed fees, faulty software, or any suspicious pattern of events.
Here are some examples of real money casinos that you should avoid at all cost:
- All-Star Slots, plagued by unethical practices with affiliates, payout problems, and rigged games
- African Palace Casino, with issues such as questionable withdrawal practices, excessive wagering requirements, and long payout times
- Babe Casino, which has problems like unreliable software, long payout times, and unresponsive customer service
- Rushmore, which is known for slow payouts, misleading fine print for bonuses, and constant “technical issues
- Cool Cat Casino, which often confiscates winnings and is known for long payout times
As with any branch of the entertainment industry today, gambling also has both benefits and downsides. The advantages of real money online casino play include, among others, a wide choice of games, more excitement than playing for free, loyalty points redeemable towards different items, and winning massive jackpots.
On the other hand, if you don’t play sensibly, you can lose money quickly, which, in itself, is reason enough to exercise restraint and caution when playing.
Regardless, with thousands of different options at your disposal, it is safe to say that real money online casino play is here to stay. As long as you have fun carefully, there is no reason not to enjoy yourself and have the time of your life. Good luck!