Beginners Guide

New to gambling online? Let us help you better understand how gambling at online casinos works before you get started.


Breif history of online casinos

Internet gambling really started to take off in 1994, as this was the time when the software provider Microgaming was formed. The first actual online casino is disputed though, but Microgaming claims that they were the first. Another big name around this time was Cryptologic, so it can be said that these two software providers developed quite a bit of the framework that allowed online games to be played.

At first online casinos had many problems due to slow internet speeds, which meant that games would crash. Also, there wasn’t a lot of security at the beginning and many people did not trust these online casinos.

However, online gambling was soon developing with higher levels of security, better software and bonuses and when high-speed internet was introduced, online casinos greatly improved.

Faster internet meant that games were smoother and it also opened up new opportunities. One of these was the live casino, where players were able to stream a game in real-time with a real dealer.

Smartphones and tablets then acquired 3G data, which then meant that players were able to play casino games on their mobile devices.

New technology is constantly being released and right now there is a focus on virtual reality.

Overview of how online casinos work

An online casino is an online version of a traditional casino. With an online casino, players are able to play and wager on casino games through the internet, which means they are able to play at home.

There are various factors that you do need to know about online casinos, so that you ae able to choose and play at a reputable and trusted one.

Online casinos may differ in terms of their odds and payouts, the security that they offer, the way that you are able to access the casino games, their banking methods and so much more.

An online casino will also have a software provider or multiple providers behind them, which supply the games that you are able to play.

If you want to play at an online casino, you will first need to register an account. Once you have an account, you will need to deposit money into the casino so that you have funds available to play the games that they offer.

Safety and security measures implemented at online casinos

A reputable online casino will have a license with a legitimate governing body. In order for an online casino to gain such a license, they will undergo strict and comprehensive scrutiny.

In terms of safety, many players want to ensure that their personal and financial information is secure at an online casino. Online casinos will use sophisticated encryption technology that ensures that any data you submit is transferred properly to the online casino. This encryption technology will scramble your data so that no-one is able to interpret it. This is the same technology that banks use, so you can be sure you are highly protected. Online casinos will also use firewalls in order to protect your information even further.

It is vital to research the online casino, check their privacy policies, read independent reviews and find out more about the security that the casino offers.

In terms of software and games, make sure that the casino has certified their games, that they are regularly tested and audited by independent agencies and use Random Number Generators to ensure fairness and randomness. You will often find that a casino will display their certification at the bottom of the site.

There are also third parties like eCOGRA that test and certify online casinos and aim to protect players. If the casino has the eCOGRA seal of approval, they will proudly display this on their website.

Download software vs. no download instant play

Download software is thought to be better than instant play because it offers better graphics, sounds and gameplay. With a download casino, the graphics and sounds become stored on your computer, so when you select a game the experience will feel smoother. Also, download versions usually offer all the features of the online casino and also has more games to play.

The no-download instant play version is where the software is powered by Flash technology, which allows you to play straight from your web browser. You will need to have the Flash plug-in installed on your system in order to play at the online casino. The casino will then load in your browser, offering a hassle-free way to play. With instant play, you are able to play on any desktop or laptop without having to download the software again. Flash casinos are changing as the internet becomes faster and there are some software providers that will offer all their games through instant play.

Playing online casino games on mobile & tablet devices

With the advancement of technology and mobile connectivity, you are now able to play at online casinos on the go with your tablet or smartphone.

Many online casinos will just require you to visit their mobile version of their site through your mobile browser, which means they offer instant play on tablets and smartphones. Other online casinos will require you to download their dedicated casino app, where you will be able to access and play games.

Playing online casino games on mobile and tablet devices means that you are able to play anywhere you want to, which makes it very convenient. You will usually have access to fewer games on these devices, but the games list is always growing.

On mobile devices, you will be able to play slot games, table and card games and some online casinos also offer a live casino for these devices.

Playing for real money vs. playing for free

Online casinos can sometimes offer free play or a demo play, which means that you are able to play their range of games for free without having to use any real money. These games are played with play money or fake money, so as you are not playing with real money, you will also not win real money. However, playing for free does have its benefits as you are able to learn how a game is played, the rules of the game, how to win and if there are any strategies that you can use or practice. You are then able to master a game and how it plays before you start using any real money.

Real money games are games that you play with real money. Once you have opened a casino account, you will need to make a real money deposit with one of the offered banking methods. Once you have money in your casino account, you can start playing games for real money. You will only be able to play with the money that you have in your account, but you are able to win real money.

It is a good idea to first play for free so you can learn a game and then play for real money.

The differences from one software provider to another

There are a number of different software providers and these do differ from one another.

Firstly, the software provider used will determine if you are able to download the casino software or if you are only able to play through instant play or both as well as if the online casino is compatible on mobile devices.

The other main difference between software providers are the games that they offer. Software providers will offer different game titles, so they do not offer the same games. This means that one online casino will have different game titles to another online casino.

One provider may offer one type of slot game, for instance, and another provider will offer something different. This is also true of table and card games and live casino games.

The software provider is also responsible for the graphics that you experience and these may differ from one provider to another.

Make sure that the online casino you choose is powered by top software providers. This ensures that you get the best gambling experience. Also, a casino that is powered by more than one provider means you will have access to various casino titles.

How to make deposits at UK online casinos

Players in the UK have plenty of choices when it comes to making online casino deposits. All good UK online casinos will accept major credit and debit cards as well as leading e-Wallets and bank transfers. You should choose a deposit method that is right for you.

Once you have decided on the method, go to the cashier at the online casino, select the deposit method and enter your required details and the amount you wish to deposit. Once you have followed all the instructions and entered the information needed, you can start playing. You will find that most deposit methods are instant, which means that you will be able to start playing games a lot quicker.

When you make a deposit, make sure that GBP is an accepted currency at the casino so that you do not need to deal with conversions. When the online casino uses GBP, you will find it easier to not only make the deposits of the amount that you want, but also manage your bankroll a lot more effectively as you will know what you have.

You should also check if the casino charges any fees for using certain deposit methods.

Options for withdrawing your winnings from UK online casinos

Just like UK players have plenty of options to use for making deposits, they also have a number of options available to make withdrawals from an online casino.

Withdrawals usually take longer than deposits, so you need to check with your online casino how long each method takes so you can choose the fastest one.

Withdrawals that are made with credit or debit cards can take up to 3 days; withdrawals with e-wallets can take up to 24 hours; bank transfer withdrawals can take up to 10 days and cheque withdrawals can take up to 28 days.

As you can see the different withdrawal options will take different times. You also need to check if there are any fees associated with your chosen withdrawal method.

As a UK player, it is a good idea to use an online casino that allows you to withdraw funds in GBP, so you know exactly what you are getting out from the casino as you will not need to deal with any conversion fees.

Also, many online casinos may require you to provide verification before they will process your withdrawal. You may need to provide a proof of identity and other such documents so that the casino is able to confirm that you are who you say you are. You will usually only need to do this once. After you have been verified, you will be able to freely make withdrawals.

The advantages of playing online vs. offline

Playing online offers convenience. Players do not have to leave their home and travel to a casino in order to play real money casino games. All they need is a desktop or laptop and an internet connection and they are able to start playing their favourite games online.

Another advantage is that online casinos have more games than land-based casino because they are not restricted by floor space. They are able to add more and more games to their platform, which means that online players will have a greater selection to choose from.

Also, at an online casino, you will never have to wait for a seat to be open at your favourite game. You are able to play whenever you want to.

Security at online casinos has greatly improved over the years and players are now able to enjoy a safe and secure gambling experience.

There is a range of payment methods to choose from at online casinos, so you are not limited in how you can deposit and withdraw funds at online casinos.

A major advantage that an online casino has over an offline one is that they are able to offer bonuses. These bonuses aim to attract players and can often be quite generous. In essence, a bonus is free casino money and there are all types of bonuses that you can claim.

The disadvantages of playing online vs. offline

Many players still prefer going to offline casinos or land-based casinos as they have a certain ambience and buzz to them, which can’t be recreated online. Online casinos have tried to bring online casinos closer to the real-life experience through live casinos, but many still don’t think it is enough.

There are online casinos that will charge fees for making deposits and withdrawals, which can soon add up. At an offline casino, you will not be charged fees for playing.

As the casino is online and relies on software, technical errors can occur during play, when making deposits and such. When these problems occur, players will not be able to play until the error is fixed. At an offline casino, if a human error occurs, there is a pit boss to resolve the issue and if any machinery breaks down, players can go to another machine or table, whilst the broken one is being fixed.

It can take a while for online casinos to process withdrawals and players can wait days before they see their money. This is not the case at offline casinos as you are able to get your winnings as they occur.

eCOGRA and How it Benefits you as a Player at Online Casinos

eCOGRA stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance and is a UK organisation that has been in operation since 2003 and certifies and tests online gaming software across the world.

Sites that have been authorised by eCOGRA will show the seal of approval at the bottom of the website. If you click on this seal of approval, you will be shown more detailed reports. These sites are reviewed regularly to ensure they continue to comply. eCOGRA ensures that games are fair and random, payout rates are correct, money is safe and that the online casino operates ethically.

As a player, eCOGRA works for you to ensure that your gambling experience at one of their approved online casinos offers you fair gambling and also protects you in the case of disputes.

As a player in the UK if you ever have a problem or an issue with an online casino that you are unable to resolve, then you are able to ask eCOGRA to step in to act as a mediator. eCOGRA then aims to resolve any disputes and their free service is fully authorised by the UK Gambling Commission. If you wish to use eCOGRA to help solve issues with the casino then the casino needs to be a member of eCOGRA.

UK Gaming Commission and How it Benefits you as a Player

The UK Gambling Commission was created to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. The aim of the UK Gambling Commission is to prevent gambling from supporting, being associated with or a source of crime and disorder. They also ensure that gambling is practised in a fair and open way and also want to protect children and other vulnerable persons from being exploited through gambling.

The UK Gambling Commission then reviews the software and policies of an online casino that they license to ensure that it is fair. If a UK player has a dispute with an online casino that is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission they are able to make a complaint against the casino. The problem will then be investigated for you and hopefully, they will be able to resolve the issue.

The UK Gambling Commission is then able to protect UK players who play at UK licensed online casinos.

Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney Gaming Commissions and Benefits to Players

There are other licenses that an online casino can obtain, which acts the same way as the UK Gambling Commission.

The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority aims to keep games fair, protect minors and prevents money laundering.

The Gibraltar license requires an online casino to go through numerous tests and audits before they are able to get this license.

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is thought to be the strictest of all gambling licenses and was created to ensure fairness of online gambling operations.

These licenses offer players a type of promise as they show that the online casino is real and legitimate and it has gone through tests and audits to obtain a license from a governing body. A player can then be sure that games are fair and that they will receive payouts. The online casino will also be held accountable for any problems or issues.

An online casino may hold more than one license from a governing body, which can mean extra protection to players. For instance, the casino may have a UK license and a Malta gaming license. This shows that players in the UK are protected as well as other players in Europe, for instance.

Knowing when to stop and avoiding problem gambling

When gambling online, you need to be able to practice self-control and know when to stop. You should never chase your losses as this will just lead to further loss if you are not careful.

When you choose to gamble, you should only gamble with money that you are prepared to lose and not money that has been put aside to pay bills like rent, for instance.

It is then a good idea to create a budget and to stick to it. Once the money has gone, don’t deposit more, but rather walk away.

Gambling addiction is a real problem that affects a person greatly. A gambling addiction or problem is not restricted to just financial issues as it can also destroy personal relationships and as finances worsen it can often lead to crime in order to carry on funding the habit.

If you are unable to control your gambling and gamble with money that you don’t have then you most likely have a problem.

If you or your family think that you have a gambling problem then you should seek professional help immediately so that you are to tackle the problem and get the help you need to stop gambling.