A Beginner’s Guide to Online Casinos for 2020

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Gamers have become smart in their choices of online gaming venues. Gone are the operators who thought a glitzy bonus would suffice. Today’s gamers have the highest standards when it comes to where their money goes, and they no doubt only choose the best online casinos.

But how do you find these? How do you read the actual website to establish if the operator is indeed what it’s cracked up to be? It’s easy to act on someone’s recommendation, certainly, though we prefer a different approach.

Apart from pointing you in the direction of the house names in the industry, we help you understand every important aspect of the casino experience that has a bearing on your gameplay and bankroll.

Different Casino Games – Each Its Own World

Games are always up on everybody’s list. It makes little odds whether you are recreational or a competitively-minded player. Having a plump choice of games to pick from is quite essential to guaranteeing yourself a good time. But what sorts of games are there really? Well, the simple answer is – a lot.

The bulk of each portfolio is made of the so-called “video slots”, although you can just refer to them as “slots” these days. They are the online heirs of the land-based slot machines, only much, much better.

 A number of online casino games.
The best casinos come with the worthiest gaming titles.

Apart from the slots, the best online casinos will feature a broader category of games known as table games. The term is used to indicate that you need a special table to be able to play them, and in this category, you can find timeless casino classics, such as Blackjack, Baccarat, and French roulette.

In a completely different section, you will have video poker, which is a one-on-one version of the original game, and it’s one of the best-paying types you’ll ever find on an online casino. Keep this in mind. Let’s check each and every one of these games individually and see what they have to offer.

The Slots – Fun Way to Become a Millionaire

The slots are the simplest and perhaps most amusing of all games you’ll find at a casino. They have a rather basic concept, which asks you to allocate some funds and then click the “Spin” button. It’s here where the real fun starts, though.

Available jackpot slots.
You’re one spin away from becoming a millionaire!

The developers know that there used to be some constraints to the gameplay and they have begun introducing lively 3D elements and avatars, tantalizing bonus levels, and even the promise to turn you into a millionaire in a single spin. In fact, playing the slots resembles playing a high-production video game, which is another advantage of choosing these games in the first place.

Table Games – Dealing Cards and Spinning the Wheel

Most table games were the product of French nobility getting bored out of their skulls, and we have to thank them for that. Today, you will find every version of these games available at the best casino sites. You won’t have any trouble figuring the gameplay at all.

It’s quite simple and the rules, while are easy to grasp, provide you with quite a bit of room to theorize about the game and how to beat the casino. It’s not at all so difficult with French roulette where the house edge is only 1.35%. Yes, we do know a thing or two about the house odds, so stick around to learn more.

Table games at online casinos
Measure your own skill against the casino by opting for the table games.

Blackjack is also known as 21 and the rules of the game are just as simple – make sure the total of the values of the cards is as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it. There are a few things to consider along the way, of course, but this only makes the game more exciting.

Cool casino tip: The terms “Banker” and “Player” bets are simply the types of wagers you can place in the game. The “Player” is just one of the two available options you can back, but there can be many actual players staking on either option. Remember, “Banker” tends to win slightly more often.

Baccarat will ask you to choose between two types of bets, the “Player” and the “Banker”. With Baccarat, the bet you are backing needs to score closest to 9 without going over it. Otherwise the sum gets 10 subtracted from it. The game is quite easy to grasp, and yet there are things that make it delightfully sophisticated.

Always Have the Trump Card in Video Poker

Jacks or better video poker.
Video pokers pays handsomely.

Video poker games are a variation of the game we have all grown accustomed to see in movies with a plot where the villain faces off the protagonist in a game of wits, and their testing ground is not surprisingly – poker. However, video poker is a “you against the machine” scenario.

Cool casino tip: Poker is not available as part of the offer of an “online casino”. There are separate websites that serve as “card rooms” exclusively. Do differentiate between video poker and the regular game of poker as you know it.

You basically play against the house, which uses the microprocessor of the gaming software to play out the cards. Everything is randomized, but more importantly – video poker offers some of the largest payout rates. In some cases, the return you could expect to make is over 100% of your original investment.

This could be a bit confusing so allow us to elaborate. Most casinos promise to pay out around 97% of what you had invested. Do you now see why a return of 100% and above is tempting?

Live Games Bring the Show Home

Even the best online casinos may appear a wee bit detached on occasion. But those same digital oasis of gaming action know how to keep you entertained throughout your entire stay. Live dealers are the answer to your craving for human contact.

Live options at online casinos.
Keep your eyes on the game.

Smartly-dressed and particularly seductive, the live dealers are professionals trained to use state-of-the-art software to allow you a glimpse into the setting of a land-based casino without actually being there yourself. We’d argue that all Evolution Gaming backed casinos are quite superb in execution, allowing you to enjoy fantastic bonuses and all the perks of the best online sites, but still have an authentic land-based experience.

You can even see the other croupiers in the background having a game with someone else right as you are being dealt cards or waiting for the roulette ball to drop in the sector you want it to.

House Odds – Is the Customer Always Right?

Remember when we mentioned how much some games tend to pay? Well, it all has to do with the house odds which are more commonly referred to as the house edge. This is the natural advantage a casino has over you, with every bet you place. It’s a built-in feature that casinos have, and it will do you the world of good to learn how to spot it and tell when it’s worth playing.

French roulette is one of the best titles to play, as the house edge is only 1.35%. In other words, the casino will theoretically win 51.35% of the time. It’s not a negligible edge, but one of the most accommodating available. Besides, all table games are more dependent on skill than the slots, and that’s why even the best online casinos always feel challenged when their customers choose to play these games.

Are There Games Without House Edge?

For the sake of argument, we will say that poker replaces the term “house edge” with “rake”, the bounty which the card room claims to keep the facilities running, collect money for prizing pools, and of course – profit. However, we already explained that poker is not part of an online casino’s typical offer, and you will find it a separate portal altogether.

This is an important distinction. Many brands allow you to share your funds between the casino and sportsbooks (if they have them), but if you opt for poker – you will need to deposit new funds.

Is House Edge and Payout Percentages the Same?

We would like to differentiate between these two terms. The house edge simply indicates how often you will win. When you look at the payout rates or Return to Player (RTP) rates as they are known, you get an idea of how much of your general investment you will get back.

Payout percentages documentation.
Ruby Fortune’s RTPs.

There’s something else about the nature of RTPs, though. They are true when you have played a substantial number of times. The spread is quite significant, and you will need to play between 10,000 and 100,000 to get the numbers right.

In other words, the advertised 97% rates (for the sake of example) can either fall short of this mark or far exceed it in the short term which in turn drives gamers forward.

Offline vs Online – Which to Choose?

There’s an inexplicable attraction to the glitz and glam of land-based casino properties. The clink of glasses, whirling of roulettes and swooshing of cards across the air is a crescendo of gaming opportunities beyond one’s wildest dreams. And yet, there’s an even better way to access all of this, and more, without moving a digit.

This is where online casinos come in. Naturally, there is a strong pushback from land-based casinos, but with the arrival of augmented and virtual reality, the land-based properties are struggling.

Cool casino tip: Every casino features a form of novice bonus, be that a matched-player treat, free play, free spins or others.

The top online venues will offer you delightful bonus options, daily rewards, fantastic loyalty schemes, exclusive promos, with just a dash of the one-off special bargains, and all of that – spruced up with the seasonal goodies. The bonus system in online casinos is superbly developed offering you countless opportunities to multiply your riches on the spot.

Offline casinos do have their charm indeed and if you are the sort of player who needs to live and breath the gambling experience in this way, then an offline property may indeed be a preferred choice. But remember that the best casino sites come with an unrivalled portfolio of options, which you are more than welcome to explore. The choice is all yours, and it’s quite rich.

Legality of Online Casinos across the World

Legality used to definitely be a bit of a thorn in the sight of the industry, but it’s all been changing for the better. One after another, legislations are embracing online casinos and they are operating in a safe and legal environment.

Legal authorities.
Reputation is everything.

Major breakthroughs have been made in Europe this year and the United States is a patchwork of local laws that is finally shaping up to be distinctly in favor of the online gaming venues. Asia is no exception either, with land-based and online casinos entering the market each and every day.

As to the specifics, you will need to stay up to date with our dedicated guides for each separate jurisdiction. They are updated in real time as new laws come into effect. If you are eager to keep up to date with the latest developments, check out Gambling News’ news feed. We’re here to catch you up on the news from the iGaming world and beyond.

Choosing the Right Site for You

Every casino comes with a clear focus on something. Some prioritize banking, others take extra pains to provide you with exceptional games, and of course the best online casinos we recommend come with all of these features and more. But how do you really pick the one that’s best-suited for you? You can choose by at least several criteria, such as:

  • Licensing & regulation
  • Choice of games & RTPs
  • Bonuses & promotions
  • Localized banking methods

We recommend that you pay attention to what we hold to be the defining features that you need your casino to have before you can trust them indeed.

Licensing & Regulation

Love it or hate it, the legality of your casino matters and we are here to explore it in full. You want to choose a licensed casino over one that is classified as “offshore”. There are national licenses and there are those issued by third-party jurisdictions, such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the Government of Kahnawake, Curacao, and others. We’re well familiar with the lot of them.

Choice of Games & RTPs

Since you will be spending time at the casino, it helps to know that you have access to a delightful choice of games and that all of these games pay well. The best online casinos will make sure to display the RTPs for the majority of titles. With gaming platforms such as Microgaming, you can even access a detailed break-down of the payouts available for each separate game.

Payouts per separate game.
The payout percentages at Microgaming.

Bigger Bonuses and Better Promotions

It’s always worth starting off with a bonus or participate in a promotion. We’ll help you get all the details and tell the genuine bargain deals from the rest. All bonuses come with rather tempting sums, but we will only draw your attention in the direction of those that will benefit your gameplay the most.

If you are a fan of the slots, you may look for a casino that offers lots of free spins, but rest assured that if you prefer table games, we can come up with enough suggestions for iGaming venues that provide you with extra money to enjoy Blackjack, roulette, and the like.

The Best Banking Options

Once you have completed your session, you will most likely want to cash out your money. It’s easy enough, but part of picking the best online casinos lies also with your choice of the website that will provide you with the necessary banking options. Some casinos come with “localized banking”, which means that different payment features will be available in different jurisdictions.

We’ll help you always know the full list of payment solutions available at the casino of your choice and in your country. We’re proud to have a truly global footprint and be privy to those specific details that will help you navigate the iGaming world with a destination in mind.

Mobile Casinos – Take the Show on the Road with You

Just because you need to hop out of your home doesn’t mean that you should stop enjoying yourself. Mobile casinos are becoming widespread and they are in fact surpassing their purely desktop counterparts. The best brands in business have already set up their facilities and the experience has been streamlined to offer you the same treats tailored to the specifics of the mobile experience.

Casino mobile apps.
Always bring the casino along with you.

You can play directly in your web browser, which is convenient, but you can get an even more personalized piece of software by downloading a dedicated (native) app from the casino. Not all casinos have apps, but all of our top recommended spots will be suited for the needs of recreational and avid gamers.

Keep your eyes opened for our list of top mobile apps and make sure to read on to find which ones are best.

Gamblingnews.com Approved Rankings

As an organization, we have our own internal criteria that guarantee the frankness of a casino’s offer. We understand risk and therefore seek to guarantee the safety of our readers by issuing genuine recommendations. GamblingNews has developed a ranking system which examines every individual aspect of what a casino has to offer.

We point out the ones worthy of your attention and make sure to dismiss any operator that simply doesn’t make our cut. Our integrity criteria are high but fair and we seek to create a genuine reference list for all those who are on the look-out for a worthy casino.

Exclusive Bonuses and Loyalty Scheme from Us

Having worked in the industry for years both as professionals and as providers of iGaming services & media coverage, we have cultivated healthy relationships with key players in our area of expertise. As a result, you will always find great bonus recommendations right here on our pages.

Casino promotions.
Starting with a bonus is a fantastic idea.

We’ll explain the theory behind growing your capital from a minnow to a high roller. Whether you love slots or prefer the table games’ variety, there’s always something to enjoy and cherish, expanding your knowledge of the iGaming sector and building your wealth. Rest assured that you will always find yourself a treat to help you progress!

If you are looking to get a hand over the best online casinos, you will need to do a bit of research first. There are many segments of the casino you can study, but we’ll recommend the best paying
ones. We’ve put a short list of recommended reads for your convenience:

  • Bob Dancer’s Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner will allow you to gain an insight in how to defeat one of the highest-yielding casino games where skill is everything.
  • Introduction to Probability by Charles M. Grinstead will really help you achieve a sharp mind. Probability is often mentioned in online games but rarely understood. Discover its significance and how it helps you become a better gamer.
  • The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova is an exciting read all by itself. As a PhD. Researcher and hugely successfully poker player, Konnikova understands the human psych and how to play it. If you are interested in real poker at an online or offline casino, this is a
    great book to read. Complement it with Konnikova’s other writings to shape the mentality of an accomplished pro.
  • Looking for inspiration? Follow the story of Greg Elder in Gamblers Fight Back, his personal account of how he gave up everything and moved to Las Vegas with only $6,000 to his name, overcoming hardship and becoming a millionaire in the end.

What to Do Next?

GamblingNews is a growing ecosystem of gambling guides, helpful tips and a constant stream of news and events. As a respected outlet, we will constantly strive to provide you with genuine information and useful recommendations. The world of iGaming is definitely intricate, but our service is a guiding light through the maze.