A World of Gaming Pleasure Awaits Online

By Ben Hamill - January 05 2016
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If you love to play casino games, you're probably already familiar with brick-and-mortar casinos. If you love travelling to a casino, you may not yet have played at an online casino. This article will try to cover some basic facts about online casinos.

Online Gaming is Hugely Popular

More people gamble at online casinos than at land-based casinos. The advantages of gaming at home are pretty obvious: you don't have the costs of travel which include food and lodging in addition to flights, car costs, and the like. To get to a land-based casino may take hours; to boot up your computer so you can play online may take minutes!

Gambling online is safe, fun, and much more varied than any land-based casino can be.

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Safety

We love the fun and variability of online casino gaming but, really, safety is, or should be, your first concern when choosing an online casino. There are by now thousands of casinos. Not all are safe. There are independent companies that certify the safety and fairness of casinos. Any casino that wants your trust will have on their homepage a link that takes you to the most recent report of the certification company.

The first thing this report tells you is that your money is safe. The trustworthy casinos have sophisticated encryption so your personal data are safe. The report certifies that it tested the casino's Random Number Generator (RNG) and that it is in good order.

RNG

The RNG is the software that determines the outcome of every card, spin, or roll of the dice. Because online casinos use a RNG, they have exactly zero influence on the outcome of any game. The report will also tell you the recent payout percentages for every class of game offered by the casino.

Payouts

The payout percentage ranges from 95% to 99%. The fluctuation is simply a matter of luck. Two players can win a jackpot in consecutive spins of a slots game or the jackpot can build to stratospheric heights because many days can also go by without a winner! The vicissitudes of gambling, from both the players' perspective and the casinos' perspective, determine to a large degree the payout percentages for any given period. A casino that pays out less than 95% of all money wagered should be avoided.

The fact that a jackpot in the six or seven digit range can occur more often than is statistically expected means that online casinos have to be properly capitalized. If the casino doesn't have the money to pay winners and has too many winners in a short period of time, it will go bankrupt, close its "doors" and leave the winners empty. The independent report will also indicate that the casino can and will pay out all winners.

Once you've determined that a given casino is professionally run and can be trusted with your money, you're ready to have fun!

Games

A full-bodied online casino will have many hundreds of games. No land-based casino can possibly offer so many games; the cost of a building big enough for so many games would be prohibitive.

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As in land-based casinos, the largest group of games online is slots. An online casino should have hundreds of slots and should add new ones every month. One big advantage of playing online rather than at a land-based casino is that your favorite slots game (or your favorite of any game) is always ready to play. You never have to wait online. There could be a hundred gamers playing the same slots around the world and you won't have to wait!

Slots online are equally as attractive as slots at a land-based casino.

Many online casinos specialize in progressive jackpots for slots and slots tournaments. Online progressive jackpots can grow to over $1,000,000. Tournaments usually have no entry fee; when there is an entry fee it is generally in the area of $25.

Video Poker

Online casinos offer video poker in many forms. Big casinos will have over 50 different types of video poker. There are many poker players around the world. You can play poker with real opponents at a land-based casino. You can do the same at many online casinos. But the one element of poker with real opponents is that you have to deal with bluffing. Video poker gives you the fun and excitement of poker without the bluffing.

Table Games

Online casinos will also have dozens of variations of blackjack. In subsequent articles, I'll talk about the arcana of some blackjack variations. Online blackjack caters to the player in ways that no brick-and-mortar casino can. Online, you can vary your bet from one cent to tens or hundreds of dollars. Try betting one dollar when you're sitting at the $10 table on land!

Other Games

There is for all practical purposes no space limitation online. It isn't free to add another page to a casino that already has hundreds of pages. But I dare say that it's cheaper than building an annex to a land casino! There is so much room online that they can have a large selection of bingo, scratch card, and parlor games which are really fun games with a decidedly childlike atmosphere.

Sports Betting

Many online casinos also have a sports betting "room" where you can bet on many games in many sports throughout the world.

Tutorials

The online casinos I like the most have extensive tutorials that teach the basics of every, or almost every, game they offer. While these tutorials are thorough and very informative, there are many tutorials at independent sites online. You should never have to play a game online for real money before you know how to play it.

Mobile

Many online casinos have a mobile subsidiary. I'll discuss mobile in separate articles as we continue this series.

To Be Continued

This is the first of what I hope will be the most extensive series of articles about online casinos, what they offer, and news emanating from them.

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