Basic Rules Before Gambling

Here you’ll find our basic rules, which you should consider before you begin any online gambling. It’s really important to bear these points in mind to ensure that you stay safe and have plenty of fun while playing the most popular online casino. Whether you're new to online gambling or a pro looking to try something different, our tips are useful. And hopefully, they'll give your sessions a boost and your winnings. 

  • Budget: Before beginning any form of gambling on a new online casino, it’s a great idea to set a budget and end your session when your set amount is played through. 
  • Safety: We would never recommend an unsafe online gambling platform. But these sites do exist, and it's really important to check out the validity of the gambling license before creating an account. Read our guide on Safe Online Casinos.
  • Terms and conditions: Before signing up, you should always check out any platform's general terms and conditions. These should be clear, easily accessible, and fair.
  • Play for free: Playing games in demo mode is the perfect way to begin your online gambling adventures with the best online slots. This allows you to feel the game mechanics and speed before committing your real money.
  • Start small: If you're a beginner, we’d advise you to start with small bets. The same goes for trying out a new game for the first time on the fast payout casino. You won’t lose too much this way, and your budget will go further.
  • Know when to quit: Winning is a great feeling, but we’d always advise you never to chase your losses and try and ‘win’ them back. Quit whilst you're ahead and still enjoying your game.
  • Know the rules: Before trying out a new game, it's important to read over the rules. Check that you fully understand these, especially when it comes to the table and live dealer games which can be more complicated than online slots.
  • Always play for fun: Gambling should be enjoyable, and you should always play with the money that you can afford to lose. Keeping this in your mind will help you stick to a budget too. 
  • Read the small bonus print: Check out the terms first when claiming any no-deposit casino bonus or any other promotions. Familiarise yourself with the wagering requirements, max bonus bet, and time to claim and use the offers.
  • Know your RTPs: Understanding a game's RTP, volatility, and variance will serve your sessions well. Do you prefer playing with small wagers for a longer period of time? Or do you like high wagers with fast gameplay and good returns?

Our Beginners and FAQ Guides are a great resource to answer any questions about online casinos.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino for You

Choosing which online casino to join is a crucial step before signing up and can impact your gambling experience tremendously. There are thousands of casinos to choose from, with new sites launching every month. 

If you are completely new to the world of online casinos, you should read our Beginner’s Guide to Online Casinos. For now, we’ll cover the main factors you should be aware of and research to make an informed decision.

Country Availability

Not all casinos are available or allowed to operate in all countries. Ensure that the casinos you consider are available and licensed to operate legally in your country or state. We will always indicate whether our recommended casinos are available in your country or not.


Licensing and registration help keep online casinos in check and offer the highest levels of support to their players. If you choose a casino that is not licensed in your particular country or state, your protections as a customer are severely limited.

Ensure the casino of your choice has a valid license by checking their licensing information at the bottom of their website.

Relevant Guides: Gambling Licenses and KYC Guide

Payment Providers

There are many free play options available at most online casinos but if you are considering playing with real money, an obvious thing to check is what payment options are available. Ensure you check what options are available for withdrawal, as not all deposit options can be used to withdraw funds. 

Other important things to check are minimum deposits, minimum and maximum withdrawals, payout speeds, and fees. 

Game Providers

Of course, one of the biggest draws to choosing an online casino is which games they have to offer. While this is certainly an important factor, it is even more important to check which game providers they support and partner with. 

Reliable game providers are regularly audited to ensure they have fair gaming practices and will typically only work with reputable casinos.

Fair Terms and Player Treatment

Casinos vary in terms of features, bonuses, game selection, payment methods, and other factors, which can be overwhelming, but more important than that is whether they treat their players fairly. 

Terms should be clearly communicated on their website and promotional material and should be fair to you in terms of industry standards—for example, wagering requirements, maximum winnings, minimum deposits, etc., and dispute resolution.

Some online casinos use predatory practices to trick players, decline withdrawals without legitimate reasons and unfairly increase their profits at players' expense. 

We will always notify our readers whether a casino is not recommended or blacklisted with clear reasons why.


Customer support may be one of the most critical factors when playing at an online casino. Not only do they need to provide multiple channels for support in your local language but they need to be able to resolve issues quickly and professionally. 

An excellent gaming experience can quickly turn sour if the casino does not respond well to customer queries. 

We have an excellent guide on knowing Your Rights as a Player to help empower and educate you on interacting with online casinos.

Online Casino Bonus Basics

Casinos use bonuses as a way to attract new players, but these bonuses come with strings attached in the form of terms and conditions. These terms and conditions can be limiting, and if players don't follow them, they may forfeit their bonus and any potential winnings. 

Some of the most common bonus rules are wagering requirements, maximum bet, and minimum deposit requirements.

  • A casino bonus is a promotional offer that casinos offer to new and existing players. The most common type of bonus is a deposit match, where the casino matches a certain percentage of your deposit. For example, a 100% deposit match bonus up to $100 means the casino will match your deposit up to $100. 
  • Bonuses usually have wagering requirements, which means you have to play a certain amount of money before you can withdraw the bonus money. For example, a $100 bonus with a 20x wagering requirement means you have to play $2,000 before you can withdraw the bonus. 
  • Bonuses can also be cashable or non-cashable. Cashable bonuses can be withdrawn, but non-cashable bonuses can only be used to play. 

Casino bonuses are a great way to get started at a casino, but make sure you read the terms and conditions before you claim a bonus.

The amount of money that you can win from a casino bonus is often limited. Additionally, bets placed on restricted games do not count toward the wagering requirements. It is often better for novice players to play without a bonus.

Find out more in our Casino Bonuses Guide.

Understanding Maths in Gambling

If the thought of complicated maths equations brings on an instant migraine, don't worry we will lay out what you should know in an easy-to-understand manner.

All casino games are configured to give the casino an advantage, referred to as the 'house edge'. The house edge is the percentage of wagered money the casino can expect to make in the long run. Knowing how this impacts you will go a long way in managing your expectations.

The main calculations you need to understand are RTP, Wagering Requirements, Volatility, 

Return to Player (RTP)

Casino games have a long-term theoretical return-to-player (RTP) value, which means that, over time, players will tend to win back a certain percentage of their original investment. However, this does not mean that players will necessarily win back their entire investment in any one session. The RTP is a statistical value, and individual game rounds can vary greatly. Casinos can rely on statistics to be profitable in the long term. While individual players may get lucky and win in the short term, the overall results will eventually catch up with the expected RTP. 

For example, if a particular game has an RTP of 94.7%, statistically, over time, you could expect a 94.7% return. On a $100 wager, that would equate to $94.70, while the casino could expect $5.30. Bare in mind these are statistical averages and not an indication of what you can win on any particular bet.

Wagering Requirements

Wagering requirements are incredibly important before deciding on a casino bonus. This will be the total amount you need to wager before being able to claim any winnings from bonus funds. This has briefly been discussed above, but one thing to look out for is whether the wagering requirements apply to the bonus funds only or the deposit and bonus funds. This makes an enormous difference in the total that needs to be wagered. Don't get caught by surprise when you try cashout - make sure you understand the requirements. Quite a lot of casino complaints online are related to this.


One of the most important factors is volatility (also known as variance), which relates to how big individual wins are and how often they occur.

Problem Gambling and How to Gamble Safely

Gambling addiction, or problem gambling, is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for those affected. It is important to approach gambling with caution and consider it a form of entertainment rather than a way to make money. 

Problem gambling can lead to financial ruin, relationship problems, and mental health issues. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, there are resources available to help. 

The first step is to admit that there is a problem. This can be difficult, but it is necessary in order to get help. Once the problem is acknowledged, several steps can be taken to gamble safely. 

  1. Set limits on how much money you are willing to lose. 
  2. Set limits on how much time you are willing to spend gambling. 
  3. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose. 
  4. Never chase your losses. 
  5. Know when to walk away. If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, there is help available. 

There are various resources and support for those affected by gambling problems.

You can find out more in our Responsible Gambling Guide.

Learn With Our Gambling Guides

Don't stop learning the basics of online gambling with our guides. Our team of experts aims to cover every aspect of online gambling in this section. Whether you gamble at an online casino in Europe or a fancy online casino UK, our guides will help you improve your overall gambling experience and ensure you play safely.

Robin Storm

Robin Storm

Author & Casino Games Expert

868 Articles
Robin works tirelessly to make gambling fun and worry-free for all players. With his impressive industry experience, he is passionate about being able to play casino games in a fun and safe environment, ensuring players avoid all the hassles that may appear.
Expert On:
Safe Gaming
Land-based Casinos
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Fact-checked by Julia Attard


Senior Author & Online Casino Expert

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