Gambling Online: How To Get Started

startedOnline gambling is fun, exciting, and more accessible than ever. Real-money casino games and slots can be played on desktop or mobile devices, and there are thousands of bonuses for players of all wallets. But without a firm grounding in getting started, players can soon lose their way. Luckily, with a few easy pointers players can enjoy gambling sensibly without risking losing all their cash.

Here, we take a look at the best ways to get started, and what to do once you’ve found a game and a site you like.

Setting Up A Gambling Account

Online casinos and gaming sites make registering a breeze. All you need is to of legal age where you live and have a permanent address. When you sign up, you’ll need to choose a unique username and password with which you can log-in when you visit the site. Some casinos require downloading software to your desktop or mobile before you get started.

Always choose a password that isn’t easy to work out, and change it regularly. While the best gambling sites have top-level security, it’s important to look after your own details.

Picking The Right Online Casinos

Choice can be a great thing, but when it comes to online gambling sites there is a HUGE choice out there. Casinos and gaming sites vary in the number of games, the level of bonuses and the quality of the VIP programmes. Some sites charge for deposits while others waive all fees. And where one casino has great customer support 24/7, others may shut up shop at 5pm.

The first thing to do is work out what’s most important for you. Is it a lot of games, big-money bonuses, or English-language support?

Before you even start, figure out what games you want to play. Luckily, most casinos let you try out games for free before you open your wallet. If 5-reel slots with bets from 1c are your priority, don’t sign up to a casino that only has games with $10 minimum bets. Similarly, if you want to access a good welcome bonus for slots players but you discover it only allows roulette and blackjack gambling to contribute, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Choosing The Best Games

The beauty of online casinos and betting sites is that you can try out lots of games that may be new to you. Free-play, or ‘Practice Play’ versions give you a taster before you make a deposit. You will also find basic instructions on how to play.

Make good use of these free-play versions. If you charge onto a real-money table without understanding the rules you could end up broke. Consider printing out a ‘cheat sheet’ too. These are handy sheets with optimal bets for games like roulette and blackjack. Keep one pinned up on your monitor so you can refer to it before making a bet.

By practicing on free-play tables, you’ll get a feel for which games have the best (or lowest) house edge. You can also formulate a strategy for spending your bankroll.

Understanding The House Edge

When it comes to picking the right games, it’s important to know the house edge. The house edge is the statistical advantage that the casino or slots site has over its customers. Every game has a payout percentage, or RTP (Return to Player percentage). The RTP is the amount given back to players for every $100 wagered. For example, a slot with an RTP of 96% pays back roughly $96 for every $100 gambled. The remainder is taken by the casino, or the house edge (in this example, 4%).

Of course, players can get lucky and hit a massive jackpot, then take their winnings and run. But for players regularly playing games over the long term, the house always has the upper hand. Players, then, have to find games that guarantee the best returns for them.

Typical House Edge In Online Casino Games:

Online Slots: 2-9%
Online European Roulette: 2.7%
Online American Roulette: 5.26%
Online Blackjack: 0.8% (dependent on optimum strategy)
Online Baccarat: 1.06-14.36%

Managing Your Gambling Bankroll

If you’re getting started in online gambling, it’s important to know that you are going to lose more than you are going to win. Payouts and odds are always skewed towards the casino or betting site. As a smart gambler, you have to find ways to navigate those unfavourable odds.

Start off by sticking to the most sensible bets. In roulette, that means playing the outside wagers that pay even-money (1/1). Bets like Odd/Even and Red/Black can better ensure long-term profits, although they aren’t that exciting.

Similarly, in blackjack avoid bets like ‘Insurance’ which pay 3/2 if the dealer has a blackjack. The statistics don’t back up the returns, and it’s a bet you should avoid.  In baccarat, meanwhile, a 9/1 payout on the dealer and player having a ‘Tie’ (the same hand) sounds good but it’s not a scenario that comes up often.

Picking The Right Stakes

Before you start gambling, choose your stakes and stick to them. Don’t gamble more than 5% of your bankroll on each wager. You can cash out for free at most casinos, so make use of it. If you find, say, $100 of winnings in your account on top of $100 in stake, cash-out the profit to your bank account or e-Wallet and start again with your original roll. That way, you can essentially ‘freeroll’ with your budget.

Chasing Losses: It’s easy to chase losses, increasing your stake to make up for money you’ve lost earlier. Don’t fall into the trap: you will just end up losing even more money. Set yourself a loss-limit target and stick to it. If you go on a downswing, choose a time to stop. Log off, take a day off, then come back and start again. Drop your stakes if you need to; most casino games let you play for tiny amounts.

Consider Making Small Targets: As well as loss limits, it’s important to set win targets too. if you’re a slots player, for example, give yourself a target of 10x coins to win. Once you’ve achieved that, cash the winnings out and start again. If you’re on a roll, cash out and increase your coin bets gradually. Don’t forget to check for the right games and select the best games for generous payouts.

Understanding Online Betting Systems

There are many betting systems out there to “help” players make a profit. Arguably, there is no single system that can make you a millionaire. However, with many casinos allowing free-play, it’s fun to try one out. The Martingale System is the best to try out. This old system can be used on roulette or blackjack and requires players to double their bets if they lose a hand or spin. You keep doubling your bets until you win. You then revert back to your original stake and bank the profit.

While the Martingale sounds good – you can end up winning a packet – it doesn’t take into account big downswings (periods without a win). In any case, it’s possible you may go bust before hitting that elusive win

How To Manage Gambling Bonuses And Free Offers

Once you’ve picked the right casino and games, you need to make the casino work for you. If you’re confident of playing enough games online, a deposit bonus could be the answer.

Deposit bonuses are the casino’s way of rewarding you for loading up your account and playing. The best deposit bonuses are reserved for new players: make an initial deposit and play as many games as possible in your first week or two. Your wagers will “contribute” towards a bonus amount – say, 30x the value of the deposit. If you manage to gamble enough, the casino will match your deposit 100 or 200%.

Casino and betting bonuses are important if you are serious about gambling online. Played the right way, they can unlock some serious cash to boost your bankroll. The beauty of online casinos is that offers keep coming long after you sign up. Shop around, open multiple accounts, and take advantage of the bonuses that are right for you.