Best Real Money Online Casinos
The 1990s were not a particularly amazing decade. Nobody knew how to dress properly and they used haircuts as a source of humor in their boring, pre-Twitter lives (it’s hard to find any other explanation).
What are some of the highlights of this glorious decade — what happened? Apart from South Park, it’s a grim look. Clinton made a TV personality out of his intern, Monica something, can’t remember now (which actually made his ratings go up). We all thought Bill Cosby was an epitome for a perfect family man and Madonna dated Vanilla Ice.
So, basically, nothing much of any interest (yes, we know, the O.J. thing, but let’s not go there). Except for one tiny thing. The 1990s saw the Internet get introduced to the world and the rise in technology changed our lives forever. The Information Age began and everything became easily accessible.
So did gambling. But, as was the case with credit cards in the beginning, people were skeptical about the safety of real money casinos which offer their services online. Nevertheless, it’s high time we change our perception. Of course, there are a lot of gray areas on the Internet. If you search ‘online casino real money’ on Google, you’ll find around 183 million results. As you’d expect, it’s hard to regulate all of this. But, that’s not to say there are no safe options. You just need to know how to recognize who are the good guys and who are the baddies. It’s time to find out which are the best online casino sites for real money.
Before we go into the intricacies of what separates one from the other, let’s discuss why you should conduct real money gambling online in the first place. First off, there’s the obvious advantage of the convenience of it. You can start playing games right from the comfort of your favorite chair. There’s no need to commute to a land-based casino which is in the other part of town (that is, if you’re lucky enough to have one in your hometown). You can always pop in for a few rounds to get a chance to win real money, meaning that you can go easier on your budget. Let’s face it, nobody’s going to go into a brick-and-mortar casino for just a few minutes on video poker.
Best online casinos also offer a mobile version of their software, meaning that you can play slot games from your Android and iOS devices while you’re on your way to work or while you’re sitting on the porcelain throne.
Furthermore, there’s also the speed of the game. You don’t have to worry about a casino being overcrowded and waiting in line to play your favorite table game. On top of that, rounds take place quicker, as there’s no physical shuffling of the cards, no need for players to move their chips in (and in live games, their decision-making comes with a timer). Effectively, fifteen minutes in a mobile casino is worth almost a half an hour in a land-based one.
Choosing the Best One
The major issue with online gambling (especially when you decide to do it for real money) is knowing where to play. As we’ve already said, when you do a Google search for online casinos, more than 100 million results will pop up. Naturally, not all of these are gambling sites, but it gives you a clear picture on how many of them you can expect.
Therefore, don’t just go clicking about blindly like a headless chicken, hoping for the best. It’s not enough to just visit a website and take their word as gospel. There’s a now-famous false quote of Abraham Lincoln where he says that you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. Although he clearly didn’t say that, you should still trust Honest Abe.
There are many review sites out there, and you should always read several of them before you create an account. Things you should look out for is the credibility and reputation a casino has. If ther
e are plenty of complaints around, there’s probably a reason for it. One major problem with most rogue websites and the main reason for the majority of complaints comes in the shape of late payments.
When it comes to making deposits and withdrawals, this is another pro online gambling houses have over their land-based counterparts. There are many banking options on offer, from credit cards to several different eWallet methods, including cryptocurrency (most commonly BItcoin). This is a great convenience as you don’t have to go and exchange your money for chips. It doesn’t take time, as depositing gets usually processed almost instantly.
When you request a withdrawal, standard practice is that they’ll ask you to mail them a copy of your ID or any other relevant documentation issued with your name in order to confirm your identity. This is a cause for skeptics to throw their toys out of the pram, but you shouldn’t worry. Most sites (the best ones for sure) use industry-standard encryption technology (usually 128- or 256-bit) which ensures that no third party can access your personal information.
Payments are a section where you should watch out. It’s only natural that there be time for the casino to approve your request and for the funds to be transferred over to your account. However, there’s a limit to that. Any site which takes more than seven business days is clearly not respecting your time. There’s no need for you to wait over a week to get your money, when there are better offers out there. A good rule of thumb is that you should be okay with anything up to five business days.
Rogue websites will never state that they are rogue and that they don’t respect their customers. Why would they? So, it’s paramount you check out some reviews beforehand. You’ll find many complaints where players have had to wait for their winning for months on end and still not receive them. Avoid such websites. You’ll fail to find concerns like this in a well-operated company.
You should also check out which license they have obtained. Some licensing commissions are fairly lenient to their licensees (Costa Rica comes to mind) and they don’t really check what business practices their subordinates implement. On the other hand, some regulatory bodies (such as those from the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, Curaçao, and Malta) demand a high set of standards, and their seal of approval is a clear sign they’re credible.
Without proper licensing, casinos have an option to add pirated software into their library, tilting the house edge heavily in their favor (which is already in their advantage as it is). Additionally, since there’s nobody to report to, there’s nothing stopping them from being dishonest towards you, barring any human decency. Is that something you want to bet on?
With so many of them around, they had to come up with a way to make themselves stand out from the crowd. In hopes of attracting players, they’ve started giving out promotional offers, which have now become an essential part of any site. As a player, this is something you can and should benefit off of. Most websites offer a welcome bonus when you first sign up and make your first deposit. These are usually match deposit bonuses of 100% and upwards. With bonuses, you basically get free playing chips which give you more rounds to play and, as a result, you have additional shots at landing a big win.
You should be aware though, that all bonuses come with wagering requirements. Wagering or rollover requirements represent the amount of money you need to cycle through a game before you can ask for a withdrawal.
There are also no-deposit bonuses which give you free spins and to get them you don’t have to put any of your money in the account. But, logically, wagering requirements they come with are higher and it’s more difficult to win this way. Oftentimes, they’ll offer free spins that are reserved for new additions to the library in order to popularize a certain game.
Terms and Conditions
Before you make an account, you have to go through the terms and conditions a casino sets upon its players. Yes, this can be rather tedious, as it’s a long bit of text and they don’t make it easier for you by using administrative, lawyerish language. However, you have to make yourself do this.
The best way to find a difference between some of the best online casinos and bad ones is in their T&C section. You have to watch out for predatory terms which allow them to use any kind of situation against you. Usually, this isn’t stated clearly. For example, whenever we stumble upon a phrase ‘in our sole discretion’ it makes us raise our eyebrows. This basically means they can interpret the clauses the way they want and the way it suits them, from case to case. One often-found term is that you cannot play games in a professional manner, while professionalism is determined ‘in their sole discretion’. So, there’s nothing stopping them for denying you a big win just by saying ‘you were being a pro’.
In T&Cs, they also state which wagering requirements you need to fulfill for certain bonuses, which just gives you further motivation to read up on it.
Real Money Casino Games
When playing online, you have a greater selection of games. Since there are no actual physical barriers with games, what’s to stop an online casino from having over 5000 slot machines? On top of that, you don’t always have to chip in with your own money to play a game. Most casinos offer their software also as free games, so you can test out a game that caught your eye before grabbing for the checkbook. There’s no difference in whether you play for fun or for money regarding the actual game — the outcome probability doesn’t change and neither does the gameplay.
When you’re playing in an online casino, the house advantage is lower. Let’s take slots — the most popular casino game — as an example. Every slot machine comes with an RTP, short for Return to Player. RTP represents how much money will go back to the player in the long run (keywords being ‘in the long run’). As such, it’s the opposite of the house edge.
Physical slot machines come with RTPs ranging from 85–90 percent. Online slots, on the other hand, usually have an RTP between 92% and 97%. With this in mind, you clearly have better chances of winning money if you spin Internet wheels.
Have in mind, though, there’s a reason why we highlighted ‘in the long run’. An RTP of a machine is measured during its virtual lifetime — over millions and billions of rounds. As a result, RTP doesn’t represent a guarantee you’ll win. An RTP of, say, 95% doesn’t mean you’ll lose only five rounds out of 100. What it actually signifies is that for every $100 wagered, a player will receive $95. But, again, not during a single session.
In essence, you should aim for the highest RTP possible. Afterwards, when you find several games with the same RTPs, it’s down to your personal preferences which game visually appeals more to you.
Another advantage to online slots are progressive jackpots. There are a lot of online casinos who participate in a networked system of progressive jackpots. What this system means is that players from different casinos who play the same game (with a progressive jackpot) all contribute to the same pot. So, more often than not, these games reach great heights, many a time over $1 million. The problem with this is that you have greater competition in getting to that jackpot, but if you land the prize, it can change your life.
With games of skill, such as Blackjack and poker, usually, the more skill involved, the lower the house edge is. But, using the same logic, the more skill involved, the less likely it is you’ll be good at it. To be a good poker player, it takes years of practice and experience. You need to train your mind how to read all the hand possibilities, both yours and your opponents’. There’s also the added stress of avoiding physical telltale signs we give out while playing.
When you’re doing it online, it’s easier to win a round and earn money. First off, you have the advantage of not being physically in the same room as others. You don’t have to fret about your poker face and whether you’ve looked to the left while Dr. Cal Lightman analyzed you.
It’s wise to play online in your early career. You can always keep your hand rankings next to you, so you can check them out mid-game and see where you’re at. This is especially helpful if you’re playing Blackjack. You can keep your basic strategy charts next to you at all times. So, you can consult them what the maths suggest your best move is. Until you learn when you should hit and when to stay, use the charts before moving on to more complex strategies. As you’d expect, in a land-based casino, the dealer won’t really let you do this.
Oh, and, sadly, no, Craps still doesn’t make sense, no matter where you play it.
Make the Switch
Although this might seem to some like a bit of a grim reading, it’s not all doom and gloom (and darkness in your room). There are clear advantages to playing on the Internet and we’ve given you a heads-up on what you should be aware of. Now you know how to spot a place where you should play at. You also know how to spot the ones you ought to avoid, there’s no reason not to go online.
Best online casinos offer fast payments, lucrative bonuses, and a great selection of games. When you find a website that suits your wants and needs, you can start playing from the comfort of your own home.