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The online casino industry is vast and if you’re new here, you may get lost very easily. Unlike their high-street counterparts, online casinos in UK only exist on the internet. This means that launching a casino online is much easier than setting up a real one, which is one of the main reasons why there are so many sites where you can gamble available out there.
Not a week passes without at least one new online casino launching in the UK market alone. And since online gambling became popular in the country (which was a long time ago), countless gambling sites have popped up. In an industry that’s developing at lightning speeds, it’s not so easy for new people to jump right in.
However, if you take your time to research a little bit into the topic, you’ll find that becoming an online casino gambler is very simple and fun.
Once you get the basics, the online casino industry will be clearer than the simplest of all mobile slot games. In fact, in this guide, we will cover most of the basics that you need to know before becoming a fully-fledged advanced, or even a professional, remote gambler.
Online Casino VS High-Street Casino
First of all, if you’ve been playing at land-based casinos, you’ll be at an advantage as you already know a lot of things about gambling, the different types of games available and the overall rules of casinos. However, don’t get too confident. Online gambling is very different from the old-school gambling. While we can’t deny that high-street gambling can be exciting, playing online has lots of pros over playing at your local casino.
Online Casino Is Available Everywhere
The main advantage of an online casino is that it’s available to you right there and right away. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing: you can just sit at your desktop or even grab your mobile phone and start betting in seconds.
Back in the day when gambling wasn’t so popular online, people used to drive to their favourite gambling jaunts, most likely after work. This meant extra expenses for the fuel and for the drink while they’re there. At the same time, it took quite a lot of time just to get started, not to mention the fact that brick-and-mortar casinos aren’t open 24/7.
Nowadays, though, there’s no need to drive anywhere or spend your money on anything other than actual betting. Besides, you can do it in the middle of the night if you like – what’s not to like about that? A decent online casino will have a team of support staff working 24/7 too, which will ensure that if there were issues to arise, they’d get resolved right away at any given moment.
Each Online Casino Is Different & Accessible
Another thing is that you can access thousands of casino sites online from the comfort of your home. Instead of a few local casino establishments that you’d be able to drive to in your area, you can play at hundreds and even thousands of online casinos. Whereas you’d think they are all pretty much the same, they’re often more diverse than you can imagine. Every online casino is different, which means that you can always choose exactly what you want to play and how you want to do it.
For example, one online casino may focus on 3D slots and another one may offer great table games. A third one will only have average games, but amazing bonus offers. The selection of an online casino is highly personal, depending on the needs of each player and what they want. Luckily, whatever the player wants, there’s always a perfect online casino for them. This isn’t necessarily true for land-based establishments, especially if we’re only counting the ones nearby.
What Makes An Online Casino Great?
To answer this question, we’ll have to see what an online casino consists of in the first place, because it’s not just games and jackpots, mind you. Like any gambling operator, an internet casino abides by strict rules and regulations. The management teams behind online casinos will also set certain rules for their customers – the players just like us and you. So, let’s take a look at all the things that make an online casino.
The Casino Bonuses
Obviously, a casino site needs to have games for us to play and bet on. However, casino operators have come up with their own ideas to draw players in. As the number of online and mobile casinos has increased, games alone became insufficient to attract enough players.
This also has to do with the fact that lots of new games are now being launched launch every week of every month. The value of a single game became less obvious unless it’s a branded blockbuster. Instead of adding more and more games to their collections, casinos came up with a better idea.
That novel idea is welcome bonuses. Nowadays, a good casino welcome bonus is no deposit – it can either make or break a site. Welcome bonuses are literally what the name implies: they’re certain gifts for new players. These are often deposit matches when a player is given a percentage of his first deposit as an extra bonus. This means that the more you deposit, the larger extra bonus you get for free.
Another way an online casino could attract new players is by offering extra spins on certain slots. The most popular slots are usually used for this purpose. In many online casinos, as all the seasoned gamblers will know, Starburst is frequently used for the extra spins which are part of casino welcome bonuses. They are sometimes given for free and more often for an initial deposit, rather than subsequent ones.
Yet, new players shouldn’t just grab the most attractive welcome bonus. Each online casino has various additional terms that limit the effectiveness of these welcome bonuses. For example, all the winnings made with extra spins might be awarded as bonus money. There might also be a limit as to how much you can win using these spins and so on. However, this doesn’t mean that online industry is mischievous and that no online casino is perfect for you.
The Regulations And Customer Protection at Online Casinos
Let’s put it this way: an unregulated online casino is not worthy of your attention. Too many scams exist on the internet and that’s one reason why regulation is so important here. There’s a lot of attention given to each online casino to make sure that they’re safe places for people to play at.
Luckily for us, the United Kingdom is one of the most liberal countries in the world regarding gambling. As such, it also upholds some of the strictest conditions and terms for online casinos. As a result, every online casino is first approved by the regulation experts to be able to call itself a trustworthy and safe site.
In the UK, it’s the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, a part of the government, that does this job. It monitors all the sectors of the gambling industry, be it The National Lottery, land-based or online casinos. If a casino site breaches the rules set by the government, they have to deal with all the legal repercussions. This makes all the players feel safer when spinning slots at their favourite online casino.
Aside from the licence issued by the UK Gambling Commission, casinos use the services of independent auditors that prove that the games on offer aren’t rigged. There’s a popular myth that many games at any given online casino are written in a way to always favour the operators themselves. This couldn’t be much further from the truth. Yet, it may be true at unregulated and untested or, in other words, illegal, black-hat casinos.
What do we learn from all this? For one, you should be careful when looking around for an online casino to play at. Make sure that they hold a proper licence for offering gambling services. Also, see if their games are monitored and their payout statistics are open to the public.
Banking At Your Online Casino
Unlike your high-street casino, an online casino won’t accept cash. Not that they wouldn’t like to, but it’s simply not possible. Since it’s a remote gambling industry, the funding has to be remote too, which makes the variety of online or mobile casinos even more diverse. There are dozens of ways to pay virtually or online. However, no online casino accepts all of these ways, which means all of them focus on specific payment methods only.
It goes without saying that the players often choose their top online casino based on its accepted banking options and this makes sense. If you love a casino, but it doesn’t allow you to pay the way you’re used to paying online, what’s the point? Having said that, all the best online and mobile casinos offer as many banking options as possible.
These might range from direct bank transfers or transfers by a bank card to all sorts of other options. These include e-wallets, online banking services, cryptocurrencies, prepaid vouchers and payments by mobile or even phone bill. This makes the fun of an online casino accessible to all kinds of people. You don’t need to have a bank account or even a mobile phone to gamble online, because there are always alternative ways to make a deposit.
Everything is regulated in the online gambling industry and banking all the more so. First, an online casino has information on all your transactions. Don’t worry, though, as this information is always kept confidential. They keep it for all kinds of things: to offer help if your behaviour suggests problematic gambling, to offer privileges if you’re an active, loyal player and more. Certain rules will also limit how much you can deposit or withdraw at once. That’s to make sure both you and the online casino stay financially stable.
A legal and trusted online casino will always be socially responsible. What does that mean? Compliance with social responsibility code is required from all the casinos by the same governmental body that regulates all the other aspects of the gambling industry. The UK Gambling Commission is a stern fighter against addiction and problematic gambling – that’s what social responsibility is about.
A good online casino will never profit from the misfortune of an addicted player. It will always help him or her deal with the addiction instead. This is done in many ways. First of all, the gambling site needs to provide all the information related to problem gambling. It lets everyone know what the symptoms of problematic gambling are and what to do if you think you’re suffering from it.
It provides the necessary links to go to if you want to stop gambling, but can’t manage. There are multiple bodies that help problem gamblers both in the national and private sector. The first one to help, though, is always your online casino. So, when trying to choose a mobile casino to join, make sure it provides this information. If it doesn’t, you should become suspicious and proceed with caution and great care.
Another thing that the internet gambling sites do to prevent irresponsible gambling is self-exclusion. Self-exclusion is basically an option for the player to limit their own actions at an online casino. This includes restricting certain payment options or blocking your account altogether. A concerned punter may block access to their favourite online casino for a week, a month or even indefinitely.
This helps immensely, because (believe it or not) at least 1% of the population in the UK are potential or actual problem gamblers. While the number looks small, it’s not so small when you realise how many people it encompasses and it’s their actual real lives being affected.
The Online Casino Games
The fact that online casinos UK aren’t ‘real’ doesn’t mean their game selection is any worse. Sometimes, it can even be the opposite. This has to do with another very important fact. For the past few years, the remote gambling sector has been more popular than that of the land-based casinos.
This means that more people are playing online. In turn, the sheer number of people means larger roster is required in the game selection to keep everyone engaged. And that’s what every online casino aims to do in their own way.
Let’s take a look at all the game categories you’ll find at your online casino. This should give you an impression of the fun that awaits you, whether you’re a casual player or a high-roller.
By far the most popular online casino game type, video slots deserve a wiki entry of their own. There are so many video slots and they’re all so different that it’s hardly possible to give an comprehensive overview. They were all inspired by the one-armed bandits and classic slots, of course, but they’ve advanced much further since.
Some online casino slots are classic slots, too. Classic slots usually have three reels and one or three paylines. They’re very simple and very limited in today’s perspective. The image of a fruit machine and the lucky sevens is still prevalent though. Therefore, games like that are still released on the internet up to this day.
Modern video slots are much more complex, however. They will usually have at least five reels and at least ten paylines. But this number can vary from ten to a hundred, a thousand or even more. That’s because in some games, paylines are dropped altogether and different payout systems are employed.
Another thing that sets video slots apart are graphics, music and various gamification techniques. New online casino slots often have unique themes, special characters, symbols in the reels and so on. Two different slots might be incomparable and played in totally different ways.
Finally, most people visit their online casino to play very specific slots because of their unique features. Many games take a simple concept of, say, a wild symbol, and turn it into something entirely new. That’s how stacked wilds, roaming wilds, wild overlays and other kinds of features came into existence.
These are all the reasons why video slots are the most popular games at any online casino. The bonuses are most often targeted on slots and the featured games are almost always slots too. So, stop reading, get in there and try some.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
This type of online casino game is a kind of a video slot, but with a plot twist. The difference here is that instead of a fixed reward for landing special symbol combinations, the players can win jackpots. But don’t get us wrong — the fixed payouts aren’t really dropped. They all remain in place. It’s just that there’s an additional way to win a lot more.
Progressive jackpots are dynamic amounts of cash that can be won by any player. These jackpots can vary from a few quid to a multimillion pound sum. The size of the jackpot depends on the number of players spinning that specific slot at a specific online casino. Each bet adds to the total of the game jackpot and it just keeps growing until someone claims it.
Not all the progressive jackpot slots have their own jackpots. Some games are connected to a network that runs at the online casino where the games are played. If that’s the case, the jackpot is common to all of them. When a player wins it, it restarts on all the games. However, this also means that it grows much faster because many different games add to the common pot.
Ultimately, the common jackpot may not be limited to a single online casino. Some games and game networks are so vast that they span over multiple casinos. This makes the jackpot grow even faster, but it’s won more often too because lots of games offer it. If you’re a high-roller and want to become rich in a minute, play this kind of game. And make sure to bet the maximum amount allowed to increase your jackpot share if you actually hit it.
Online Casino Table Games
Online casino table games category appeals very much to the classic casino fans. Table games are the core of the gambling industry (or used to be, anyway) and every online casino exploits that. Put it another way, few casinos have no table games at all. Even though they’re not as popular as slots, you can still see that they make an important part of the online casino identity.
The table games we’re talking about are numerous, but two of them are much more popular than the rest. It’s blackjack and roulette, the two games that were offered at the very first casino houses. Current online and mobile casinos will offer different variants of these games, including different bet limits and different rules altogether.
Blackjack is a card game that looks very simple, but is actually very hard to master. Your goal is to collect the cards with the total value as close to 21 as possible. However, if you go over the top, you lose instantly. Get closer to the target than the dealer and you’ll win. Seems simple, but it takes a lot of counting and memorising previously played cards to seize a win.
Roulette is another classic casino game. In it, players bet where the ball on the roulette wheel will land. A betting table includes numbers from 0 (or 00) to 36, just like the roulette and its numbered fields. Different variants, such as European and American, includes different rules, but basically it’s the same guessing game based on chance.
Other online casino table games include baccarat and poker. Both are card games, with baccarat being a little similar to blackjack but easier to crack. Poker is entirely different and it has dozens, if not hundreds, of different variants. The basic concept is still the same, though, whatever variant you play.
Live Dealer Games
All of these online casino table games are available in live dealer versions. Many people, even though they love the comfort of an online casino, miss the authentic feeling of a land-based casino from time to time. The chatting with other players and the dealer, the real faces and the overall social experience aren’t there at simple online casino table games. This genuine feeling is partially recaptured with the live dealer entertainment.
So, what are the live dealer games? They’re basically the same online casino table games, except that the dealer in those games is a real person. A real, professionally trained casino dealer. It’s the real person that deals the cards or spins the roulette and talks to the players. As a result, such games make the players feel as if they were actually playing at a real gambling house instead of an online casino.
Usually, such games are broadcast from a dedicated studio of the company that operates the online casino. Real players are usually not allowed to play there as it isn’t a real casino house. In some rare cases though, real casinos will also broadcast their tables for online players to gamble at. In any case, there’s no difference for the online casino player.
Like with everything else, live dealer games are monitored. You’re probably seeing a trend there already. If a dealer makes a mistake, the round is usually cancelled or other means are taken. Above all, fair play is of utmost importance, whether it’s an algorithm that deals the cards or a real person. So, if you still think that mobile casinos simply can’t compete with their high-street cousins, try live games and then think again.
Which Online Casino Is The Best?
Now that we know what makes an online casino, recognising a good site from a bad one is a piece of cake. At least, it may seem so in theory. In practice, on the other hand, there are so many online gambling sites that it’s difficult to check them all out. Even if you did, it would take you days upon days to find the perfect match.
Luckily, Top Online Casinos UK is there for that exact reason. To do the hard work for you and help you find an online casino that would be your best match. So, instead of navigating hundreds of casino sites, you can just check the top lists and casino reviews that we upload regularly on our site and find something that will suit you in minutes.
Our reviews are written by competent specialists of the industry who have years of experience in the gambling sector. They base their statements on personal experience as well as thorough knowledge of what else is out there. So, you can completely trust their opinion on what a good online casino is.
The same applies to our top online casino lists and new online casino lists. We’ve spent a lot of time playing at various gambling sites online, so we can easily compare them and select only the best of the best. Some might say that, hands down, an online casino with free bonus and no deposit is the best. But if you’re still hesitant or don’t have the time to check the top ten sites, don’t worry. Here are a couple of highlights to help you even further.
Advantages Of An Online Casino
First of all, we’ll describe the advantages you should be looking for at your online casino. If they aren’t there, you should probably skip the site and move on to another one. For example, transparency is very important. Does the casino tell you everything about its licences, game information and even things like recent winners? Does it have a thorough FAQ page?
Secondly, customer support should be professional, friendly and available at all times. This includes weekends and early mornings at 5 AM. Thirdly, the online casino site should be encrypted for safe payment operations. On top of that, it should be easy to use. In our minds, the best online casino should have an advanced search system with filters based on game type, developers, features and theme too.
Finally, no online casino will be great without social media presence and constant attention to its customers. This includes news, social media profiles, various promotions and special events that are often updated. Obscure casinos, especially ones that don’t offer a casino welcome bonus with no deposit, don’t spend enough time keeping their customers excited and up to date. So, if you find an online casino that does it all, you can be almost sure that you’ll love it there.
Drawbacks Of An Online Casino
Similarly, here are a few things that should be like big red flags, so if you find an online casino like that, avoid it. In the best-case scenario, there are better casino sites to choose from. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll save your money and personal details from unwanted attention.
The first drawback of an online casino is the lack of an official licence for gambling activity. It doesn’t have to be issued by the UKGC. There are other regulatory bodies that make sure gambling is safe and fair, such as the Malta Gaming Authority. Secondly, the site should provide as much information as possible at their site. FAQ pages should be extensive and other information should be detailed.
Similarly, a good online casino will provide information about their licences, partners, associates, affiliates and related institutions. This is usually found at the bottom of each online casino. If the information isn’t there, you should probably avoid playing at that site. Why not seek out an site that’s licenced and call itself an online casino with free bonus and no deposit?
Finally, there should be plenty of games, promotions and special bonuses like VIP scheme, refer-a-friend programme, social media events, etc. There are many great casinos which don’t have all of these things, but some do. If you don’t like what’s on offer, you can probably find something better, so don’t settle if you’re unsure.
There is no simple answer as to which online casino is the best. Each player focuses on different aspects, so if a site works for one gambler, it won’t necessarily work for all. We could only give you guidelines, just as we do in our casino reviews and best gambling site lists.
We hope that these points will help you navigate the world of casinos more easily. Whether you’re playing on mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop, all of these tips and warnings stand true. So, the next time you’re looking for a perfect online casino, remember what you’ve just read.
The online casino industry is on a steady rise for the last few years. This means that the number of casino sites is only going to increase. We will also see new strategies and lures to attract new players. New games will be developed even faster than before. Will it be the virtual reality? Social games? Whatever the case, the tips above are going to be ever more topical.