Online casinos have been steadily gaining popularity over the last decade, especially among young adults. However, your first experience can be daunting: not only are there so many casinos to choose from, but each site hosts thousands of games. Not knowing where is the best place to start can be hugely off-putting and cause a great deal of anxiety.
However, once you start playing, you’ll find that online casinos are actually really user-friendly. Not only are the majority easy to navigate, but the games themselves are straightforward and easy to learn. Some, like online slots, don’t even require you to know any rules before playing.
To try and remove some of the mystery from online casinos and make them more accessible to new players looking to have some fun, we’ve put together this little guide to some of the online-specific features you’ll come across.
Creating an Account
All online casinos will ask you to sign up for an account if you want to play. Because these accounts are specific to each casino, make sure you do your research first and pick a good casino that offers the games you want to play. You’ll need to enter your email address, name, date of birth, and possibly mobile number for security checks to validate your account. It’s that simple.
Once you make a deposit, you will also need your bank or debit card details, or you can use an e-wallet as a middle-man if you want an extra layer of security. Most sites have a limited number of games that you can play for free to give you a chance to sample everything on the site before choosing to make a deposit. Take advantage of this feature to get some free practice in.
New Player Bonuses
The online casino marketplace is saturated with casino sites, so to attract new players, most will offer some sort of incentive. There are two main types; deposit and no-deposit bonuses. As the name suggests, deposit bonuses require you to make a deposit of your own cash, which the casino will usually offer to match up to a maximum value. You probably won’t be able to withdraw the bonus, but any winnings you make will be yours to keep.
No deposit bonuses come in the form of free spins, free plays, or free money, which you can use without having to deposit any of your own money. You won’t be able to withdraw it, but you can keep any winnings you made with it. Some no-deposit bonuses can be quite restrictive by limiting you to a certain game or even a specific slot. However, one of the biggest and most trusted names in the industry, 888 Casino, gives you £88 to spend however you wish, split it between different games as you try them all out, or head straight to your favorite. What you do with this no-deposit bonus is entirely up to you.
Picking a Game to Play
There’s a big difference between the way different casino games play. Some are entirely based on luck, like slots and roulette, while others involve a degree of skill on the player’s part, like poker, blackjack, and baccarat. Pick a game that you are comfortable playing, and choose a table/machine with stakes that you can afford to lose, not the amount you would like to win.
All online casino games are run by a random number generator (RNG) to ensure the results they give are fair, so you don’t have to worry about software being hacked or rigged. However, as in land-based casinos, the games are all skewed to have a house edge. The house edge is the percentage you can expect to lose over an average gaming session, and it ensures that the site will make a profit. Look for games with a low house edge when you’re starting out, as you are less likely to end up bankrupt straight away.
Manage Your Money
Any online casino operating in the UK is required to promote responsible gambling. This means providing several tools to help players manage their bankroll. Players can set deposit limits that stop them from spending too much money, set time limits to keep gambling sessions infrequent, and even self-exclude from all gambling sites for a set period of time.
Putting aside a small amount each month to use for gambling is a great way of budgeting. You know that when it’s gone, it’s gone, but also that next month you will have another deposit to play with. Some players have separate accounts for their gambling funds so that they are never tempted to dig into savings. Others only use their winnings to play more games. Make sure you find a funding system that works for you.
New players are in for a good time at any of the UK’s licensed online casinos. The games offered are of the highest quality and include the widest selection anywhere in the world. It might seem scary at first, but once you’ve got started with a site, you’ll see just how easy they are to use. Don’t forget to pick up a starting bonus for the best way to bulk up your initial balance.