For many of us, the idea of heading to the casino for a day of doubling down and letting it ride involves a long drive or flight, usually to the gambling meccas of Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Casino gaming was something relegated to the fringes of society, and unless you lived in those locales, or near a tribal casino operating on reservation land, enjoying your favorite games of chance and skill only happened on special occasions.
Things sure have changed though, and today you can enjoy a genuine casino gaming experience right from the comfort of your own home. Whether you play on a laptop, personal computer, tablet device, or even your smartphone, online casinos are always just a few clicks away.
Real money casinos operating online are capable of replicating the exact odds and probabilities used in games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and many more. Even better, cutting edge gaming software is used to bring the sights and sounds of an action packed casino right into your living room. You’ll hear the cards being shuffled, chips splashing into the pot, and in the case of live dealer venues, a living, breathing dealer communicating directly with you.
Most importantly, however, you’ll be sure that every card dealt, every wheel spun, and every hand played is 100% fair and accurate. By integrating state of the art random number generators with independent oversight by third party regulators, real money online casinos bring the same level of safety and security as venerable brick and mortar establishments throughout Nevada and New Jersey.
Though various media outlets like to say that online poker and gambling is illegal because of the highly controversial Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), casino games like slots, table games, and video poker are not prohibited by law. This means you can explore several distinct online casinos that offer real money gaming, choose the one with the right look, feel, and software for you, and deposit funds directly from your checking account, credit card, or virtual wallet all without running afoul of current laws.
How It Works
The best online casinos are designed to replicate the live casino experience in every respect. First you’ll need to register on one or more online casino websites, just like signing up for a Player Rewards card at a brick and mortar casino.
Spend some time researching the online casino industry through to be sure you bring your business to one of the many reputable and respected venues serving American customers. Unfortunately, there are always a few bad apples in the bunch, but these online casinos quickly ruin their reputation within the industry, and a simple search for blacklisted online casinos will tell you which rooms to avoid.
Better yet, read through the reviews on this web site to find out which casinos deserve your play. My reviews are real ones, not just advertisements. If an online casino ha a bad reputation I don’t hide it.
After you’ve signed up for an account, the next step is to decide on a deposit method and amount. For the most part, depositing real money to an online casino is quick and painless, and most sites will accept debit and credit cards (Visa and Mastercard typically), along with wire transfers, or transactions through your preferred virtual wallet (Paypal, Skrill, Neteller).
Your available deposit methods vary based on where you lie, but the cashier area of the online casino will have your options listed.
Don’t forget to read up on the room’s bonus offerings and other promotions, because usually a simple code entered along with your first deposit will earn you a 100% or higher match from the casino. These bonus funds are a great way to get started, as you can explore the various games being spread and try your hand without dipping into your actual bankroll.
Conversely, the withdrawal process for claiming your winnings involves the same methods, and you can also request a paper check be sent to your mailing address from most casinos. Fair warning though: while deposits are completed instantly, withdrawals tend to incur a waiting period, the length of which is determined by your withdrawal method and the policies of the room itself.
Navigating an online casino all depends on the software system used to power the room, but you’ll usually encounter the industry leaders like Real Time Gaming (RTG), Microgaming, or PlayTech. Used by the vast majority of legitimate online casinos, RTG and Playtech software is intuitive and easy to learn. Players are greeted by a colorful lobby that lists the available games, usually with graphics and other images to show what each game is all about. Games can be played for varying stakes, from the penny slots to $25 per hand blackjack bets on up, and the stakes will always be listed along with the game’s title or when you open the game.
Upon selecting your game of choice, the real fun begins in earnest. You’ll be transported to a virtual table, complete with green felt and betting squares just like the tables in a live casino.
When playing table games like blackjack and baccarat, an area of the screen will be reserved for clickable images of chips, ranging from $1 up to $100 for the most part. Placing your next bet is as easy as clicking these chip buttons, and once you’ve made the wager you like, simply clicking bet will start the next hand, deal, or spin.
Online casinos today are a treasure trove for gaming aficionados who love variety and trying new things. The wildly popular RTG software platform boasts more than 200 unique casino games, and more than 100 virtual slot machines to choose from. Due to space and personnel limitations, most brick and mortar casinos today can only offer about half of this number, so firing up an online casino should give you twice the choice in terms of entertainment value.
Most rooms divide their game menus into five core groups: slots, video poker, table games, specialty games. Often, the slot machine menu can be further divided into progressives, video slots, and 3-D lots, while most specialty games are actually just variations on classic table games.
The following list should give you a great idea of the games you can expect to find on a top online casino, and if you see a clickable link, head to that page for a detailed primer featuring how to play and strategy sections.
Slots – Lucky Last, Santa Strikes Back, White Rhino, Naughty or Nice?: Spring Break, Texas Tycoon, Mayan Queen, Cash Bandits, Hillbillies Cashola, Loch Ness Loot, Sevens and Stripes, Diamond Mine Delux, Vikings Voyage, Mermaid Queen, Fruit Bowl XXV, Golden Lotus, Jumping Beans, Count Spectacular, and The Three Stooges.
Video Poker – Jacks or Better, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus, Deuces Wild, Joker Poker, Sevens Wild, Aces and Eights, All American Poker, Double Jackpot Poker, and Mystery Bonus Poker.
Table Games – Blackjack, baccarat, craps, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Hi Lo, Let ‘Em Ride, Vegas Three Card Rummy, Match Play 21, Face Up 21, Perfect Pairs, Casino Hold’em, and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker.
Specialty Games – American roulette, European roulette, Sic Bo, casino war, keno, Bonus Bingo, Red Dog, Pontoon, Caribbean Stud Poker, Caribbean Hold’em, Caribbean Draw Poker, 5 Diamond Blackjack, Lucky 8s, and Hot Dice.