Thanks to the internet, gambling has become more accessible than ever. The online gambling sphere has significantly improved the quality and standards of what is available. In fact, the earliest online gambling sites are nearly unrecognizable when you compare them to the quality and accessibility we have today. People can gamble from the comfort of their homes without the need to put on their best gear and leave the house. Playing online also gives gamblers more options with the potential for higher payouts.
If you have not placed bets or tried real money games over the internet yet, the overall idea may seem daunting to you. How and where do you get started? What types of games are there? What is the sign-up process? Don Gambler has arrived to answer all these questions and more! Please, read on to learn more about online gambling and its different facets.
What is Online Gambling?
In a nutshell, gambling websites facilitate online gambling. These websites are accessible like any other; you simply click on a link or type the relevant address into a web browser. Some websites house a variety of gambling options, while others are more limited or choose to specialize in one aspect of the iGaming industry. A poker site would be one example of this – it is a site that focuses on poker play rather than slots.
Online casinos use advanced software that helps make it possible to gamble online for real money. This software is either embedded into the website or, in some cases, you must download a software client.
Either way, such software is essential for running any gambling website. Sports betting sites utilize software that lets you find, choose, and place your wagers. On the other hand, online casino platforms and poker rooms employ software that enables you to play relevant games. Daily fantasy sports platforms use software that lets you draft teams and enter them into contests.
To gamble at these websites and bet for real money, you need three essential things:
- A device with internet access, e.g., computer, smartphone, or tablet.
- A user account.
- An amount of money you can spend and feel comfortable loosing potentially.
The first requirement is quite obvious since you cannot gain access to any website on the internet without an internet-connected device. The only possible access to gambling websites in their earlier days was with a Windows PC since the websites were not compatible with anything else. Gradually, an increasing number of websites began introducing Mac support. Today, you can access these websites with any device, even phones and tablets! Any standard browser tool will suffice.
How to Choose the Best Gambling Sites
The first factors to consider when choosing good online casinos or betting sites are relatively basic. They include the software, reputation, customer service, and more. You can also choose based on the site’s layout, UI, etc. Below are some of the essential factors to consider, discussed in detail:
If an online casino doesn’t have a good reputation, they have nothing. There have been many instances where online platforms have defrauded their players. The standard cheating processes are as follows:
- The casino is not willing to pay you 100% legitimate winnings.
- The casino offers rigged games and offers smaller theoretical RTPs than advertised.
- The site claims a bonus abuse condition and refuses to pay out winnings based on that accusation.
It also helps to be aware that a casino with zero complaints does not mean it is honest. It takes time for a newly launched casino to gain a reputation, so you should always be cautious. The same rule applies to older, reputable casinos. They might have a few complaints even though they are fully honest and abide by moral principles. Stick to the online casinos we recommend, and you can’t possibly go wrong.
Every gambler most likely has a favorite game and is inclined toward it when searching for an online casino to play at. The best casinos offer various games from reputable providers and let you filter them by game type or provider to make navigation easier.
The games offered by a casino should be fair and operated by RNGs (based on the game). Reputable casinos only feature games from providers who have their games audited by third-party companies and expert auditors.
Many countries do not allow online casinos to operate in their territories. The casino you choose must accept players from the US for you to use its services. A reputed casino may ask you for your proof of residence, and if you have not been truthful, you may be in trouble. Never lie when signing up with a casino because it will come back to haunt you.
All reputable casinos need licenses to be able to operate legally, and they provide security for the customers. If a player feels they are receiving unfair treatment from a casino, they can refer to the regulator who issued the potentially-abusing casino’s license. Respectable regulators usually remain neutral and try to resolve disputes fairly.
Remember that certain disreputable regulators do not have contact addresses or forms for anyone to reach out to them. Hence, it is advisable to stay away from them. US players are best to play at locally approved sites or casinos licensed in the jurisdictions of Curacao, Malta, or Gibraltar.
Since the terms and conditions of online casinos vary, a casino must offer professional customer support to help customers in need. The faster the customer support is, the better. Resolving a player’s problem or query within minutes is necessary for a platform to be taken seriously. Casinos offering round-the-clock customer support, ideally via live chat or phone, are considered more trustworthy than others. Try to steer clear of sites that only provide support via email – or worst yet, nothing at all.
Signing Up to a US Gambling Site
You must go through a quick registration process to obtain an account at a real money gambling website.
- When accessing a gambling site for the first time, you will find a button with text saying something along the lines of “Join Now.”
- Tapping or clicking on that will either take you to a page with a form to fill in or open a pop-up page with a sign-up form.
- You then fill in that form by typing in your details, e.g., your name, date of birth, email address, etc.
- You will also be asked to complete a KYC process by offering more personal details such as your proof of identity, a utility bill, etc.
- Once that is out of the way, you must make your first deposit. You usually get several deposit options, with credit/debit cards being the most popular. You choose how much you want to deposit and are ready to go once that is done.
Below are the most popular types of rewards US real money online casinos offer to their players.
A sign-up welcome bonus is designed to attract players to a particular casino site. It usually offers free bets or matched deposit bonuses. This type of bonus means that the online casino will match the player’s deposit. For example, if you deposit $100 and the site offers a 100% match bonus, it will give you an extra $100 credits to play with. Therefore, you will be given some reward after signing up and depositing some money.
Some sites offer players free credits, letting them become accustomed to the site and understand the games before using their money.
If you are a fan of slot games, go for a casino site that offers free spins. As its name suggests, this bonus offers free slot spins, allowing players to play for free and still win rewards. Free spins also determine if you enjoy using a site’s services and games before fully committing.
Player-friendly betting sites will often offer risk-free bets to new customers. If the free bet hits, the bettor keeps the profits. On the other hand, if it doesn’t come through, no funds are lost. These types of incentives work well as an introduction to various sports leagues, making it easy to bet on them even if a player isn’t a pro gambler.
Casino Games and Sports to Bet On
Once you enter the world of online gambling, you will be spoilt for choice regarding the game selection websites offer. The following are some of the most popular casino games you will find in a regular US online casino, accompanied by sports bets most popular iGaming sites
Slots are the most well-loved games in any casino, be it online or land-based. Usually, these come in the most variety at online casinos – you will find varying types, versions, themes, and whatnot, to suit varying player requirements. One plus side to slot games for real money is that they are simple to understand.
An online slot game is a digitized version of the classic fruit machines (and their types) you find at land-based casinos. The online versions typically come with extra symbols such as wild symbols, scatter symbols, multipliers, and bonus rounds.
To trigger a payout, the player must line up identical symbols, with the number of paylines varying from game to game. The paylines in video slots can go up to 1024, where certain combinations trigger a payout. Players get high returns if they land high-paying symbols.
Online slots are special because they are random and truly based on luck. However, it is crucial to vet the game provider since some vendors can manipulate the outcomes. Reputable game providers use RNGs (random number generators) that determine fair outcomes of spins.
Roulette is among the oldest casino games in existence and still maintains its popularity in the modern world. Roulette is a game of chance where players place bets on a number or groups of numbers. Such numbers are typically colored red and black. After the players place their bets, a little metal ball is spun around a wheel, and the carousel moves in the opposite direction. You win if the metal ball lands on your chosen number.
A regular online roulette game has a live dealer or croupier, a real layout, a real metal ball, and a real wheel. Many changes have been made to the game’s rules. However, the basic ones have stayed the same over the past decades.
Roulette comes in different types, and that also defines the house edge. A fine example of this would be European Roulette, where an online platform will have a house edge of 2.7% since this variant features one zero. In contrast, American roulette comes with two zeroes, raising the house edge to 5.25%. The casino’s house edge also changes in French roulette where the percentage is 1.35%.
Blackjack is a game with North American roots. Also famously referred to as 21, blackjack is a banked game, which means partakers play against the house instead of against each other. The players attempt to get a hand total closer to 21 than the dealer. They also have to be careful not to burst the game (go beyond 21).
This is a strategy-based game since every decision you make on a single hand impacts the outcome. Hence, understanding the game rules is crucial. However, learning a strategy can be a smart approach if you want to win. In a regular blackjack game, the player and the dealer receive two cards each at the beginning. Remember that the house typically has the upper hand because several rules favor the house.
Video poker was introduced in the late seventies and is famously referred to as “poker slots.” Video poker has plenty of things in common with online slot games. It is a simple game where players are dealt five cards each after placing bets individually.
A video poker game comes with only one betting interval, which means you can bet on one game in a single go. Normally, a video poker game does not include a live dealer, and the players do not interact with each other. It is a game that involves elements of skill, and the players must make decisions that will impact the outcome.
Baccarat is one of those games that draw in a lot of high rollers. The game was likely founded in Italy in the 1400s. It later became popular in France, but at this point, the game had spread to every corner of the world.
The name is derived from the Italian term for zero. Some cards, such as kings, queens, jacks, and tens in a regular card pack, contain zero value.
The player opts for betting on three single bets; the player’s bet, the banker’s bet, or a tie. The player places money on any of the three sections and then waits for the dealer to move.
Sports Betting Markets
Americans don’t just like their fruit machines and their roulette – they also enjoy betting on their favorite sports. From soccer, basketball, and baseball to ice hockey and tennis, the best US bookies keep online sports betting very much alive in the legal US markets. Players can bet on UFC, American football, MMA, NFL, and so much more. One can even wager on who will win the next presidential elections.
We suggest looking out for sportsbooks who offer consistently fair and competitive odds and strong live betting and in-play options. Can’t seem to find them? Come back and consult Don Gambler – we always have fresh, tested recommendations on the menu!
Casinos and betting sites offer various options to deposit money and withdraw winnings, from simple credit/debit cards to cryptocurrencies. Some banking methods are limited to just deposits, while others let you cash out winnings directly to your original deposit method.
With so many options, choosing the right banking methods can be hard. Below are some of the easiest and most popular payment methods offered by online casinos:
Credit or Debit Cards
Regarding online casino banking, the most popular choices are debit cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards. Major companies such as Mastercard, Visa, and American Express have become leaders in internet payments.
That said, credit cards are still among the most widespread means of transferring payments at online casino sites. At this point, most online casinos in the US accept deposits via Mastercard and Visa cards.
Today, online gamblers have access to a wide variety of e-wallet services, making it possible for them to make payments easily and quickly. Aside from PayPal (the first to offer such services), players use Neteller and Skrill for online transactions.
These digital wallets operate on the principle of letting users register for electronic wallet accounts and fund them with money. After registering, the users can make payments online directly from their accounts. After this step is completed, the users’ banking details are no longer needed and remain secure on the digital wallet’s server.
Developers paved the way for an entirely new money management format with cryptocurrency. And with the release of the first cryptocurrency, i.e., Bitcoin, many other aspiring cryptocurrencies followed suit.
Put simply; cryptocurrencies are an anonymous, decentralized means to transfer funds between peers without a financial institution involved. Cryptocurrencies are perfect for online gamblers who wish to remain anonymous while gambling.
Bank transfers are some of the oldest and most secure options for depositing and withdrawing money at an online casino. For this, players must verify their bank accounts at their chosen online casinos. That allows their banks to contact them in case of any fraudulent activity detected on their accounts.
The bank transfer casino banking option is available globally, with most casinos offering it for deposits and withdrawals.
The time it takes for bank transfers differs from bank to bank. However, generally, it can take 3 to 5 business days.
Vouchers and Prepaid Cards
Users can purchase vouchers and prepaid cards from any corner store or convenience store. These come in three types: reloadable, disposable, and virtual cards. Users get various options to deposit using the prepaid payment method, each associated with a particular territory.
Pay by Phone
Users can make deposits via pay by phone at any casino offering this payment method. It is a very secure option and it protects the user’s financial information. It is also a quicker way to join the gaming tables as the user only has to provide their mobile number. However, withdrawals are not supported.
Casino gambling is legal in many US states. Nonetheless, that does not mean that online gambling is allowed in all states with land-based casinos.
Some states have even passed bills to ban all forms of remote gambling (online gambling) despite thriving casino industries. One fact to note is that no federal law explicitly prohibits online gambling or casino gaming of any kind.
On the bright side, at this point, six states have legalized online casino gambling:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
Aside from that, below are the states where legislation has also been proposed:
- New Hampshire
- New York
New York appears to be the most likely contender for legalized online gaming this year since two proposed bills have gained enough support to be pushed through. Kentucky has also added another bill legalizing online poker to a sports betting bill passed in the house (in March 2022).
There are also several grey states with no explicit prohibition of online gambling in state legislation. Global gambling companies often operate in these states but are not regulated.
What is Don Gambler about?
Don Gambler is your one-stop shop for guides to all kinds of online gambling sites, be it casinos, sports betting, casino games, etc.
Is online gambling safe?
Yes, online gambling is safe if you register at a reputable, appropriately licensed casino.
Can I gamble online for free?
In most cases, yes. Many gambling sites allow players the chance to play many of their offered games for free.
What devices can I use to gamble online?
While the obvious options are PCs and laptops, many of the best operators now let players bet from their mobile devices.
How much do I have to spend on online gambling?
Online casinos and sportsbooks have minimum deposit amounts set for users. While the amount varies from site to site, the most common amount is $10. You can contact your chosen gambling sites´s customer service if you are uncertain about their minimum requirements.