Beginner Guide to Online Casinos
Thinking of trying the many slots, table games and live dealer games available at one of the multitudes of online casinos that are out there these days? You're not alone! Every day, people take the plunge and start playing at online casinos, and they come from all walks of life and various backgrounds. Some have experience playing at land-based online casinos, others have played a few card games on their phone or computer, and more still have no experience whatsoever.
No matter which category you fall into, it's wise to get started on the right foot so you can ensure your online casino gaming experience is both safe and fun. That's where our ultimate Casino Beginners Guide comes in. Here we take you to step by step through everything you need to know to get started playing online casino games, from setting a budget to choosing games and even increasing your chances of winning.
Ready to get started?
1. Set up Your Budget
One of the most crucial steps you can take to ensure your enjoyable experience is to start by thinking about monetary limits. It's way too easy to make repeat deposits and get carried away, then before you know it, you've played away a large sum of money and the guilt starts to kick in.
Luckily, it's very easy to prevent this from happening to you. Please take a few minutes to think about how much you can realistically afford to play with per day/week/month and stick to it. It would help if you were resolute in saying to yourself, "ok, I've reached my limit; that's it for this session".
Always make sure you're playing only with money you can afford to lose.
2. Read the Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions are a pain. They're so long and boring to read! Yes, we all agree with that, but those T&Cs are there for a reason, so it's in your best interest to read them, or at the very least the parts that are most pertinent to your casino gaming experience.
All reputable online casinos will detail their legal responsibilities to their licensing authority and their players. These T&Cs outline the operating company's details and registered address, their licence status, their services to players, and what is expected of you, the player.
In those T&Cs, you'll find important rules and regulations such as deposit and withdrawal limits, accepted countries, Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering practices that you must comply with, etc.
Players frequently foul these T&Cs simply because they didn't take the time to read them and violated them without realising it. This can often result in account closure, so take a few minutes to go over them before joining.
3. Learn the Games Rules Before Playing
One of the worst things you can do at an online casino is dive into games you're unfamiliar with and expect to learn as you go. That's not a wise thing to do, especially if you're playing with real money.
Online casinos offer a wide variety of games to explore, and there's a high chance there will be several games you've never even heard of. The best approach is to do a little bit of research into the basic rules of the games you plan to play. You can do this by exploring the many helpful guides on our website, then simply playing around in demo mode if the online casino has it (most do, depending on your location).
Once you're comfortable with the game in demo mode, you can switch to real money mode.
4. Evaluate the Casino Bonuses Conditions
Most online casinos offer bonuses to invite players to join and start playing. Bonus offers tend to boost whatever you choose to deposit, but it's important to remember that it is not free money.
Bonuses come with their own set of T&Cs, often laid out in a separate Bonus Terms section of the online casino. These layout in detail how the bonus is triggered (e.g. minimum deposit), the limitations on your gameplay that will then be in place (e.g. maximum bet per spin), what you have to do before you can withdraw (e.g. wagering requirements) and how withdrawals might be affected (e.g. winnings caps). Also keep a lookout for any free cash bonus no deposit casino that you can find, as these often tend to have a lot of other bonuses to consider.
Like with standard T&Cs, bonus T&Cs are there for a reason, so make sure you understand and agree to them before claiming any of the site's bonuses.
5. Choose the Right Payment Method
Online casinos offer a broad array of payment methods to enable players to deposit and withdraw quickly and easily. You can expect to find many options at your disposal, such as debit and credit cards, ewallets, vouchers, mobile phone payments, cryptocurrencies and bank transfers. But which should you choose?
The answer to that depends on your circumstances. You may find it handy to use the payment method you tend to use for most other purchases, offline or online. You might prefer to use something separate from your everyday purchases to keep better track of your spending. Or you might want to go for the increased security and anonymity provided by cryptocurrency transactions for your online gaming.
Think about your situation and choose the option that works best for you.
6. Start With Online Slots
So you know the game rules, have clued yourself up about the site's T&Cs and bonus terms and have made your first deposit. Now you're ready to play, but where do you start? Online casinos these days have thousands of games to choose from, which can leave you feeling more than a little overwhelmed!
Online casinos tend to have a logical arrangement to their games collection, with the largest category usually being the best online slots as they are the most popular and numerous. Giving these reel-based games a spin is a great first move for beginners as there are few variables and controls to complicate things.
Pick a slot you fancy, click through to the game's rules or paytable and see how it works, then choose your bet per spin amount and hit the spin button.
7. Move on to Online Roulette
Once you've had your fill of slots gameplay (not possible, but you might want to try something different!), Roulette is a great game to move onto. Roulette is probably the next step up from slots in terms of player involvement. The game is easy to learn, and it's simple to place bets, making it ideal for your next beginner experience.
If you've never played the game before, check out the basic rules then have a few shots in demo mode to gain some confidence. The basic idea is to choose numbers from 0-36 to place your chips, with the Roulette wheel spinning to reveal the winning numbers for each round. If you bet on a winning number, you get a payout!
A straight-up bet is the simplest option, and as you become more familiar with the game, you can progress to more complicated bets such as corners and streets, revealing exciting new experiences.
8. Practise With Online Blackjack
Slots and Roulette are almost luck-based games, so how about something involving a little skill? Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games globally because it consists of an element of skill (alongside luck!), yet it is still very simple to learn and play.
In Blackjack, you play against the dealer and your goal is to get as close to 21 as you can without exceeding it to beat the dealer. After placing your bet to play, you'll get two cards to start with, while the dealer also gets two (depending on the variant you play).
You then decide whether you want to obtain additional cards or stick with the two you have. The dealer will then decide the same, based on set rules, and the cards will be revealed. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer's, you win!
Various additional bets and side bets increase the intensity and thrill factor, so you'll never get bored playing Blackjack games at casinos.
9. Understand Which Game is for You
Once you've explored slots, Roulette and Blackjack, you may find you have a preference based on your experience. Everyone is different, which makes the world such an interesting place, so it's no surprise to find some people who only play Roulette, others who never stray from slots, and others whose sole passion is Blackjack.
There is a lot of variety at online casinos, and you're likely to find games you've never heard of before. It's worth trying a little bit of everything to see if you find something that appeals to you. When comparing games, think about your enjoyment level, how easy you find the gameplay and rules, what kind of emotions are brought up and how much you played and won.
10. Find the Highest RTP Slots
Speaking of winnings, there is a tip many players follow to increase their chances of winning, particularly when it comes to slots, and that is to go by the game's RTP.
The RTP, or Return To Player, is the average percentage of all played funds paid out to players throughout many millions of spins. It's the opposite of the house edge, the percentage of played money that the online casino keeps as profit.
The RTP of a slot can vary, but the industry average sits somewhere around 96%. It's not uncommon, however, to find slots with an RTP of 97%, even 98%, and it's these higher RTP slots that some players seek out as a way to increase chances of winning.
While this is a pretty good strategy, it's important to remember that other factors come into play, too, such as a big dose of luck!
11. Learn Some Advanced Strategies
Many players swear by strategies to give them an edge when playing certain games. While there's not much you can do to boost your chances of winning playing slots (except in some situations where increasing your bet amount does influence your win potential), other games, especially those involving skill, can be more profitable if you learn some strategies.
Blackjack strategies are common. They're quite simple to learn and, if done correctly, they can significantly boost the RTP of the game. Most Blackjack strategies revolve around knowing the rules for when the dealer must take another card and exploiting this small weakness, while others play on specific types of bets, such as when to split or double down.
There are many strategies for Roulette, too, most of which involve the simple 50/50 bets of Red/Black, High/Low and Odd/Even. Others are slightly more complex, considering the previous bet amounts to slowly increase your profits over time.
Remember that with most strategies, the element of luck is still too much of a defining factor for them to be effective in any meaningful way. They're fun to try; just don't expect to become a millionaire overnight!
12. Make Frequent Withdrawals
Another excellent tip for enhancing your casino gaming experience as a beginner is to withdraw often. If you're lucky enough to win, enjoy the feeling, but don't go chasing it. Cash-out while the going is good. Why? If you have funds sitting in your account, you'll be more inclined to play them away. Withdraw them right away, and you can spend them on whatever you fancy or simply save them.
You can always make another deposit if you feel like playing on, but you can't undo played away winnings. Just remember that it's important to try and play at the best online casinos that payout quickly, so that you're not waiting a long time to take out your winnings.
13. Remember It's a Game
That takes us nicely into the last but perhaps the most important piece of advice when playing online casinos games as a beginner. Online casino gaming should be about having fun, nothing else. The moment you start getting frustrated because you're not winning, it's time to stop and take a break.
It's way too easy to play these games as a way of trying to make money or hit that life-changing jackpot win (let's face it, who wouldn't want that?), but that's a slippery slope. You can end up trying to chase your losses, betting with money you can't afford to lose and ending up in a lot of financial and emotional trouble. It is not worth it.
Try to see online casino games as a bit of fun, and don't take it too seriously if (when!) you lose. Don't play to win; play to enjoy. Then if you do hit a lucky streak, it'll be a bonus.
Online Casino Guide FAQs
Still have questions unanswered about playing at online casinos as a beginner? Check our FAQs section below.
What is the easiest game to play in a casino?
Just like in land-based casinos, slots tend to attract the most players as the games are easy to play and don't involve a lot of decision making. Simply choose your bet per spin amount and hit the spin button.
Which casino games are easiest to win?
If casino games were easy to win, online casinos wouldn't be in business! Some games are somewhat easier to win than others, though a lot of it depends on luck. Look for games with a higher than average RTP and learn a few strategies to increase your chances of winning.
How do I start playing casino games online?
To start playing online casinos games, check out our in-depth reviews of the top online casinos, choose the one that suits you best, then sign up by entering a few basic details. You can then make your first deposit at the site and start playing.
What are some things to know before going to a casino for the first time?
The most important things to check first are the site's licence status, the bonus terms if you're planning to claim any of their bonuses, what payment methods are offered, what forms of support are available and, of course, if they have the games you want to play.
How can I increase my chances of winning at a casino?
The best advice is to bet wisely, learn the rules of the games you plan to play, and take note of variables such as RTP and volatility. Bet with confidence but also know when to quit.
What are the best online casinos for beginners?
Some online casinos are more beginner-friendly than others. We like 888casino, Unibet Casino and Vulkan Vegas Casino for their top-notch customer service, a wide range of games, clear user-friendly interface and attractive welcome bonuses.