The online gambling industry has been growing significantly over the last few years. Worth around US$60 billion in 2019 it is expected to grow by 50% to US$90 billion as soon as 2023. This move online has been so successful for a number of reasons, including technological development, increased connectivity, accessibility of devices and a changing player demographic. The online gambling industry has been able to tap into the changing scenery to create immersive and attractive experiences for players of all levels, from the highly experienced poker player through to the novice who has never visited a casino, land-based or online.
There are loads of different casino games to pick from online, including poker, blackjack, roulette, bingo, sports betting, slots, and live casinos games. The sheer number of different games available can be overwhelming to someone who is new and inexperienced, and the various options can lead to analysis paralysis, where there are simply too many options to choose from, and players will abandon the pursuit altogether. To counteract this, there are many guides available for playing at an online casino to help guide the novice.
Beginners guide to online gambling
Know local online betting laws.
Betting laws differ around the world, from country to country, and in the US and Canada, there are different laws state by state and province by province. Laws in the UK, Europe, and Canada tend to be more relaxed than in the US, though individual states are now legislating on online gambling, with some already taking steps to legalise it.
Find the right Casino
- Identify the type of casino; mobile, instant play, downloadable
- Check reviews online
- Check deposit limits, and how easy it is to withdraw winnings
- Look for a wide variety of games (more on that later)
- Check the terms and conditions
- Check the level of support offered: top online casinos will have very responsive 24/7 support for new players
Try the free games
New players need to first find the kind of casino games they like to play before parting with their hard-earned cash, and most online casinos will offer players the opportunity to play some games for free to get a taste of what is on offer. Whilst players may not be able to withdraw any winnings from the free games, it can help players decide if they like games of luck or skill, solo or table games.
Certain games will give players a better advantage if the aim is to win money, including Baccarat, Craps, Video Poker, and Blackjack, as the house advantage is lower. Other games can be learned quickly and provide hours of entertainment, including Keno, Roulette and Slots, through the returns to the player are significantly lower.
Find the best bonus
Operators have cottoned onto the need to attract new players in the current market, and this is good news for new players. All online casinos worth their salt will offer a welcome bonus. This may be in the form of free spins on the slots or matching an initial deposit (this can also be double, or triple matched). Some will have progressive bonuses to encourage repeat custom, and others will offer a VIP section or rewards programme. New players should find the one that best suits the games they want to play to get the most out of the freebies on offer.
Learn the basic strategies and rules
Novice players should start with the easier games before moving onto the more difficult ones. Games like Roulette will give players a feel for how to play bets and learn casino etiquette before moving onto more complex games like poker, where the strategy is more difficult. Players can also look online for how to guides for any casino game, to make sure they know at least the basics before heading over.
Stay safe online
It is hugely important to take all the necessary precautions online. When visiting an online casino, players will need to part with pertinent personal information as well as bank details, so need to ensure that the site they are visiting is legit and has taken appropriate steps to keep its players safe. Players can look out for the SSL Encryption marker, which is shown by the padlock in the top corner and the ‘s’ in https in the browser URL. Players can also do a quick google to make sure the casino they are planning on using is licenced, has regular independent audits to ensure fairness, and has not been blacklisted for unfair or unlawful practices.
Beginners must always remember that online casinos are designed to make money. For the House. No matter the game, the house has an edge. This means that cumulatively, players will lose. There will be wins here and there, and some players may even hit the big numbers, but overall, the house will make money. Players need to understand that 99% of the time, luck will determine success, and 1% skill plays a part.
All players must also only bet what they are willing to lose. There are a few individuals in the world of poker who have made a living by gambling, but generally speaking, online gambling is designed to be entertainment, and not a means to generate an income.