Gambling John is in the house with the beginner’s guide for online gambling. Let’s be real, all of us were gambling noobs at some point. It takes a lot of failed attempts, bad choices, and sleepless nights to become a shrewd gambler.
As my gift to you, ladies and gents, I will sum all of my previous knowledge and experience into this blog. And yes, I encourage you to make the same mistakes I did. It will help you grow. Just remember that this is an online gambling guide. I don’t make up the rules.
The rest is entirely up to you – your character, gambling strategy, and Lady Luck’s favor. Let’s roll!
Why People Love To Gamble
Because it’s a lot of FUN. Period. Gambling doesn’t have to be a dirty word. I get that things can go overboard once greed starts clouding your best judgment, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a satisfying experience altogether. I know, I may be biased, but this is an online casino gambling blog after all.
If you won’t take my word for it, maybe this legend will convince you otherwise:
“I want people to understand, gambling is not a bad thing if you do it within the framework of what it’s meant to be, which is fun and entertaining.” – Michael Jordan
It sure beats boredom
Today’s trying times tend to cause a lot of boredom. In fact, it is considered one of the most common negative psychological effects of social distancing. But online gambling can remedy that.
Look at it this way: At face value, boredom can seem like a trivial problem. Sometimes it’s even necessary to spark creativity. But push comes to shove and it can lead to a cascade of problems, such as the inability to follow protocols, poor life choices, and depressive episodes. That’s why online gambling can have such a positive effect on our well-being. Heck, even sports betting (which isn’t my forte, man) is better than sitting on one’s hands. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, no?
Opportunity to score big
Who doesn’t love to win real money? Nowadays, most gambling sites are teeming with online casino games that offer huge prizes and jackpots. For instance, a poker player in Finland scored a whopping $24 Million on the Mega Fortune online slot with just a $0.25 bet per spin! Just google it!
So with games like poker, slots, blackjack, and sports betting, you actually never know when you’re gonna win a fat amount of moolah. Make. It. Rain.
Great selection of games to choose from
Since we are mentioning online casino games, I am just gonna say – online casinos beat brick-and-mortar casinos in terms of quantity and quality. Yes, I’m aware this sounds like heresy. Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of the brick and mortar casinos but we need to address the fact that some online casinos have over 5,000 online slots in their gaming library. And those are just slots, man.
Other top online games include video poker, live dealer games, roulette, baccarat, texas hold ’em – and you can access all those endless game variants with just one click.
Gamblers often get high even if they lose. Watching a “pill” spinning around the roulette, not knowing where it’s gonna land causes adrenaline and endorphin spikes. Even goading your opponent to fall into your bluff trap can be exhilarating.
People seem to be satisfied with relatively small wins and will tolerate even smaller losses. My two cents is that you should be conscious of the fact that, in the long run, you are more likely to lose than win. Why is this important to grasp? Well, losing could actually, at least for a brief moment, boost the positive response to a win. But the ultimate thrill occurs once a player starts gambling with real money.
Gambling is not difficult to learn
Although this may seem odd, gambling is not that hard to figure out actually. There are several games that may require some heavy thinking and calculations, but most of the casino games have pretty simple rules.
Of course, the ultimate goal with all online games is to win. The better you study the rules of the game and develop strategies, the closer you are to that goal. That’s why I am here, man.
Things You Should Know Before You Start
Before we sink our teeth into the online gambling industry, I wanna draw your attention to several key things. Call them disclaimers or just good common sense. That said, open your eyes and prick up your ears, my fellow gamblers, what follows next is really important.
The house always wins
Yes, ladies and gents, this is a harsh yet irrefutable truth. The house is like Tom Brady – it always wins. Think about it: Do you think casinos would open their doors (real or virtual) if they knew the odds aren’t in their favor?
Maybe in some utopist coo-coo land in a galaxy far, far away this might happen, but the reality is plain and simple – they need cash to keep the wheels spinning. Casinos are pretty darn good at math and all chances lean on their side, by a hair. That’s the main reason why casinos have a sustainable business model. Well, that and a whole bunch of inexperienced players that feed it.
Gambling with what you are ready to lose
Speaking of inexperienced players, playing with money you aren’t ready to lose (or you don’t even have) is exactly why casinos tend to have a bad reputation outside gambling circles.
It is of utmost importance to determine the amount of money you are ready to say goodbye to and stick to that plan. Be adamant, strong-willed, do whatever mojo works for you. Just don’t reach into your piggy bank every time you exceed your gambling limit. Better to walk away than to keep digging yourself out of a hole.
Find the right online casino
Choosing an online casino is like finding the right car. It has to be reliable, safe, and above all else inexpensive. With that in mind, look for trusted online casinos, the ones that are fully licensed and approved by the gambling community.
We also help players by searching for good bonuses and finding the best online casinos. All gambling sites have their own terms and conditions, so don’t be lazy and read some of them. It can be a boring task, but it’s still a better story than Twilight.
Casino Games Guide
Casino games are the heart and soul of online gambling. From the early beginnings of the brick-and-mortar casinos to the newest online casinos, gambling games evolved into all sorts of different categories.
These categories consist of classic card games like poker, blackjack, but they also include roulette, craps, and of course slots. There are dozens of subcategories, but we are gonna focus on the essentials. If you’re not fully familiar with them, here’s a brief overview of several casino games and their rules:
Roulette belongs to one of the most popular casino games. In fact, the roulette wheel itself is often associated with a high gambling life.
The rules are quite simple – you have a whole bunch of people sitting at the table, placing their bets on numbers 0 to 36, and screaming at the little white ball (also called pill) to land on their number. Once the ball stops at a certain number, the croupier (dealer) announces winners, if there are any. Although this game is heavily based on luck, there are still several betting strategies you can take advantage of to improve your chances of winning.
There are several types of roulette, but the most popular are European roulette (0-36 numbers) and American roulette (0-36, plus there is a double zero 00). To get a better insight into roulette, check our comprehensive roulette strategy guide.
Blackjack is one of those live dealer casino games where players go head to head against the dealer. This card game combines skill, chance, and luck in an exciting standoff – trying to get a score as close to 21. If you exceed 21 or the dealer is closer to 21 than you are, you lose.
Although there are several types of blackjack, and the rules may vary a bit, here’s what happens in a nutshell. First, you place your bet. Then, you are dealt 2 cards. You combine their value, and you can choose one of the following options.
- Stand – If your cards are close enough to 21, you may decide to “stand”, meaning you don’t want to take any more cards.
- Hit – If your cards are too low, you can ask the dealer to “hit” you which means you wanna draw as many cards that you think will bring you closer to 21. Obviously, this comes as the risk of exceeding that magic number 21.
- Split – In classic blackjack, you can choose to split your initial 2 cards into 2 hands and practically increase your chance of winning. Of course, your bet ratio will be smaller than when you play with only one hand.
- Double down – Imagine you got dealt amazing cards and you want to make the most of it. You can double down, where you basically double your original bet. The main downside to this strategy is you can get only one extra card.
- Surrender – If you get really bad cards, you can always “surrender” and lose only your original bet.
For more info, check out our blackjack strategy guide.
IMHO poker is the most popular casino game ever. Period. This card game is truly an international game enjoyed by all players from Canada to Australia. From its origins in 16th century Germany until today, poker developed many renditions and variations.
Most online casinos offer a standard 52-card pack version, with one or two joker cards included. Players are dealt 5 cards and they can exchange one, two, three, or even the whole hand. After that, the bets are made and the game is on. The aim is to have a better combination than your opponents. You can play it against other players as well in the form of video poker, where you play against the casino.
Although this is a game heavily influenced by luck, a player that understands the value of his/her hand and basic principles of betting will better navigate each poker game. The most basic card/hand values are as follows.
- No pair – Starting from the bottom, this hand is actually worth “nothing”. The only way you can win is if your opponent also has a no-pair hand but you have higher cards in hand.
- One pair – This is the most common combination where you have one pair and the other 3 cards being different ranks. An example is K, K, 10, 9, 3.
- Two pairs – This time your hand has two pairs instead of one, and one card of a different rank. An example is Q, Q, J, J, 7.
- Three of a kind – This means your hand has three cards of the same rank and two cards of different ranks. An example is K, K, K, 10, 9.
- Straight – This combination is a sequence of five cards, but not all of the same suit.
- Flush – This five-card combination consists of all cards of the same suit, but not the same sequence of cards. For example, you are having a flush if you hold Q, K, 10, 6, and 3 of hearts.
- Full house – If you are having three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank, you are having a full house.
- Four of a kind – Also known as quads, this hand consists of four same cards, like four aces, or four 5s. The fifth card is practically irrelevant.
- Straight flush – This is the highest hand when you use a standard pack, without any wild cards. A straight flush is a sequence of five cards of the same suit. An example is 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 of clubs. Also, the highest-ranking straight flush is known as the royal flush and consists of 10, J, Q, K, A of one suit. Being one of the highest hands in poker, the odds of getting one are 1 in almost 650,000.
- Five of a kind – This is the strongest hand as is possible only in decks with wildcards (jokers). For example, you can have four J and a joker card. Also, you can have three wild cards and two of a kind.
For more info – you’ve guessed it – take a look at our poker strategy guide.
This cousin of poker is probably the most demanding poker game. Yes, there is a certain amount of luck involved, but skilled players know this game relies on calculation and probability. There are several players and a live dealer, and the main goal is to win the pot that contains all players’ bets. The best hand in each round gets all the chips from the pot at the end of the round.
The card value and scoring are the same as in regular poker, with the exception of the deck not having any wild cards. In this version of poker, players are dealt two cards each, face down, and 5 cards are dealt face down at the center of the table. After that, a player left of the dealer starts the first round of betting.
Depending on their hand, and calculation, players can do the following actions:
Texas hold ‘em moves
- Check – A simple bet, usually one where you don’t have to place any chips in the pot.
- Bet – You place a number of chips in the pot, based on the value and strength of your hand.
- Raise – Players must put more chips to meet the requirements of the previous bet.
- Fold – you withdraw from the current deal if you think your hand is not strong enough.
After the first betting is made (by all players), three out of five cards at the table are turned face up. These are also called the “community cards” and this part of the game is called the flop. After the second betting interval, the fourth card at the center is turned to face up (this is called the turn).
The same goes for the fifth and last card, and then it’s time for the final betting round or the river. The players use their two cards in hand and five cards at the table to make the strongest combination possible. Check our Texas Hold ’em strategy guide for the deets.
Back in the day, baccarat was one of the most popular games, especially in French casinos. Nowadays it’s played all around the globe, online casinos included.
Usually, baccarat is a high stakes game, which may explain the appeal among certain players. It is a game of pure luck where players can bet on the player or the bank (dealer). The main advantage of this game is that the dealer does all the work for you. Your only “job” is to sit back, relax and keep betting.
The main idea behind the game is to bet on the party which you believe will be closest to number 9. K, Q, J, and 10 are worth 0, while cards from A to 9 are worth the number they represent.
First, you place your bets, trying to predict who is gonna win this round. Then the dealer deals two cards for the player and two cards for the bank. Then it is the matter of simply adding a calculation that determines who is the winner. The hand that is closest to 9 wins. If you guessed who was gonna win, you double your initial bet.
Slots are by far the most numerous among online casino games. Some online casinos have over 6,000 slots at your disposal. This massive number is a testament to its popularity, hands down.
One thing you need to know about online slots is that they are fast-paced, providing players with a lot of chances to win big. Also, the good thing about slots is that they come attached to certain bonus promotions like the welcome bonus, for example. This is why online slots are a great way for players to fulfil wagering requirements for those bonuses.
Slots are easy to learn and play and every slot is a story for itself. They are often presented to players as themed slot games, so don’t be surprised if you stumble upon slots with titles from some popular movies. One of my favorite titles is “Basic Instincts”, courtesy of the iSoftBet game provider.
There is a logical link between online casinos bonuses and slots – most of the bonuses come with tons of free spins, which players can use on online slots. This is a perfect way for new players to get to know the slot game and hone their skills, without the risk of losing any real money. Read our slots strategy guide for more info.
When it comes to the game that is heavily based on luck, I believe craps are second to none, man. I mean, you are rolling dice and trying to get the number you placed your bet on. It doesn’t get any more exciting than that.
The basic rules are simple and a no-brainer. You as a player (shooter) first make a wager and after that you throw the dice, hoping for lady luck to be on your side. However, there are several types of bets you can make before you shoot those dice:
- Pass line
- Don’t pass line
- Come bets
- Don’t come bets
- Place bets
- Field bets
- Proposition bets
- Hop bets
As you can see this game offers shooters and other players involved a wide range of strategies and tactics. Our advice is to check our craps strategy guide and get all tips and tricks before you try this game. Yes, the mechanics of the games are easy but choosing the right tactic is crucial if you want to make some winnings.
Online Casinos vs Land-Based Casinos
Some folks are still hooked on land-based casinos and that will never change. But the reality is different If you ask me. New online casinos are sprouting every day, like shrooms after a cloudburst. They are mimicking all aspects of brick and mortar casinos from casino games, atmosphere, bonuses, and promotions to VIP memberships, sport betting games, and live dealer games.
We made several important points to try and compare these gambling cousins. Let’s break them down one at a time.
Obviously, the modern way of life and fast-paced living definitely go in favor of online casinos. Not all people have time (and money) to drive to some city to place a bet on their favorite roulette. It’s too much of a hustle, bro.
Online casinos are perfect for players who like to gamble on to go. Now you can play every casino game and place bets directly from your mobile device. If you want to gamble online, all you need is a stable internet connection and you are ready to roll some dice, bluff at poker, or spin a roulette, all from the comfort of your home.
As we previously stated, going to brick-and-mortar casinos is sort of old news. I mean, yes it is cool to go on a Las Vegas trip, get married by a fake Elvis, and see all those awesome casinos – but it is way too expensive, man. I am not saying you shouldn’t do it once in your life, but going to land-based casinos is not convenient (and possible) for all players.
On the other hand, gambling online is instant. Nowadays, making a deposit or placing a bet is just a click away. Also, with so many payment methods available like e-wallets, cryptocurrencies, and bank transfers, players can rest assured they can withdraw their winnings in no time. I am a great fan of land-based casinos, what they represent, and may they live forever, but I am also a realist – online casinos are winning this race with each new day, slowly replacing the old ways of gambling.
Online Social Life
Let’s face it, social networks are a huge part and basically the virtual extension of our regular lives. This is one of the main reasons why online casinos are thriving today. People feel connected, they can communicate with other players in live dealers’ rooms, just like in the land-based casinos.
Sometimes, players don’t feel comfortable facing their opponents in a flash. I remember my first time playing poker at a real casino table, I was nervous as a mouse and my opponents could see right through me and read all my plays. This mash-up of anonymity and interconnectedness is what is drawing so many players to online casinos.
How We Review Online Casino Sites
Every online casino that we review has to be legit. This is a big must. We don’t approve casinos that don’t have any gambling licenses or are no strangers to scamming and fraud.
Second, we focus on promotions and bonuses. This is a key indicator if a casino is good or bad. Lack of bonuses, high wagering requirements, special requirements that can be found only in terms and conditions are signs of red flags.
So many online casinos have “flashy” promotional pages that distract players from the gist. Players like to have options and this means lots of bonuses, free spins, and cool promotions. This gives them a chance to get to know the casino before investing further. The number of games and software providers is also the main indicator if a casino means serious business (or not). Just by looking at the list of software providers, a keen eye can determine if the casino is worth your time or not.
We also give special attention to the banking methods of the casinos. Some casinos offer numerous ways of depositing and withdrawing money. Some offer only a few. Are they safe? Secure? Are there any fees when making deposits or withdrawals? What are the deposit/withdrawal limits? Are some payment methods restricted in some countries? These are just some of the essential questions we take into consideration when reviewing all online casinos.
Lastly, we think that a mirror of every online casino should be the professionalism and efficiency of its customer support. If the support is bad then the overall reputation of the casino may be at stake. After all, players will have tons of questions and dilemmas while visiting a certain gambling site.
Online Casino Gambling Laws
We put a strong emphasis not just on the legitimacy of online casinos, but also on their legality. The reason is simple. Neither the casino owners nor the players don’t wanna mess with the gambling laws. The gambling laws vary from country to country, but they all have something in common – if you break them, you’ll face consequences, my friend.
Not to scare you, but some countries have penalties of up to 12 months in a prison sentence. That’s why we need to keep all things transparent, legit, and without any funny business. Players from the United Kingdom and the United States have stricter laws, meaning they actually can’t gamble in most online casinos.
Whenever we are doing a new online usa casinos review, these two countries are regularly found on our restricted country list. Sorry, guys. Tough luck.
Interesting Online Casino Perks
Online casinos have the freedom to offer players a ton of incentives and perks which land-based casinos are not able to do. Let’s break down some of the more interesting ones.
Although present in brick and mortar casinos, progressive jackpots are so much better at online casinos. Why? Well, there are tons of people that play these bad boys every second, from all over the world, increasing the jackpot prize to enormous figures.
While land-based casinos are limited by the number of people playing, online casinos don’t have this problem.
Every decent online casino has a VIP program or Loyalty program of some sort. While land-based casinos usually offer regular players special seats at the table, free drinks, and vouchers, online casinos took this to another new level.
Once you become eligible for a VIP program, you can accept better wagering requirements, cashback percentages, and tons of prizes, monthly or weekly rewards. Of course, casinos like to send birthday presents to all of their loyal players.
Online gambling wouldn’t be possible without casino games (thank you Captain Obvious). They are the main engine of every casino. All casino sites offer various categories and numerous online casino games, courtesy of well-known software providers.
Usually, the best way to have top games is to have tons of them. In this case, with quantity comes quality. It’s no surprise that most casinos have dozens of game providers. Some of them are specialized in live casino games, some for slots, but they all tend to bring the newest and the best gaming titles. With this diversity, players can never be bored, which is definitely something casinos are gunning for.
Our Best Online Casinos
Finding the best online casinos is like searching for a unicorn – it doesn’t exist. There are good casinos and there are bad casinos. We know it is a pain to look through all of them one at a time. That’s why our aim is to provide players with an insight into some of the best gambling sites. Here is the list of what we think are truly worthwhile casinos (click on image to read review):
Online Gambling Guide: Summary
In 2015, it was estimated that there are 173 million online gamers worldwide. This number has increased drastically since then and continues to do so every day.
Ever since their humble beginnings, online casinos were a force to be reckoned with. We hope this online gambling guide was helpful and that you learned something new and valuable. As you can see, online gambling is not that scary and not that hard – you just have to try it. Baby steps. Many people have prejudice when it comes to gambling and rightfully so.
There are online casinos that give bad rep to the whole gambling industry. There are tons of bad casinos, yes, but there are tons of good ones, too. Our insight into the world of gambling, strategy, games, and online casinos is here to serve you. Use it wisely, play smart, and above all else, have fun. We got you, Bro!