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New To Online Casinos

See also - Introduction | Which casino? | Payment options | Sensible play | Jargon | Free games

Our beginner's guide

Thankfully where once online casino gambling was seen in the same light as porn, over recent years it has become much more mainstream and is now frequently advertised on everyday sites including MSN and Yahoo.


As a newbie you probably question the credibility of the industry and indeed this is not undeserved. There have and continue to be casinos out there that rip off the honest gambler. Either by fixing the outcomes of bets or just never releasing your winnings. Thankfully these cases are very rare, online casinos can make plenty of money by playing fair and most do.

All of the casinos featured on this site are well established and respected in the community, indeed many of them have a history in land based casinos before their venture in online casinos (such as Ritz Club and Crockfords).

Most of the better casinos are independently audited by creditable parties, (namely Price Waterhouse Coopers) and publish the details of their monthly payouts online.

In most cases the danger comes from making an honest bet, not from being ripped off. So here are a couple of topics to introduce you to the world of online casinos.

What Kind Of Newbie Are You?

Before we go any deeper into our guide lets determine what you need to know:

I'm a virgin gambler

I'm a gambler, but have never tried it online

Virgin gambler

If your only experience of gambling is on the lottery or on a slot machine in the pub then you are in for a treat. Typical games in online casinos have far lower house advantages hence you have a much better chance of winning.

"Better odds in a nutshell"

If you play on a Maygay or Barcrest slot machine, it will typical payout around 20-30%, unless someone has been filling it up over a couple of nights you will be lucky to get placed on the board on the first few coins. Now compare this to a casino game like European Roulette where the house advantage is 2.7%. It is down to pure mathematical chance and is not affected by how many people have played it before and doesn't require any insider knowledge as you would in sports betting.

The best casino game to play is Blackjack which has a house advantage of 0.6-0.7% (depending on the Blackjack variation). However Blackjack is not a game of pure chance some knowledge of optimal play is needed to achieve these odds. Generally speaking the games with the lowest house advantages require some playing skill and are not purely games of chance.

New to online gambling

In some ways online casinos are better than their physical counterparts and in some ways they are not.

The main benefits of online casinos are:

  • The online casinos industry is highly competitive and has a lower cost base compared to their physical counterparts, hence promotions tend to be exceptional, far better than the complimentary free drinks.
  • Game rules tend to be more favourable hence house advantages are lower. It is also easier to 'shop around' for the casinos offering the best terms.
  • Convenience, you can enjoy gambling in the comfort of your home without any distractions such as noisy punters and smokers.
  • Some online casino software have the option of automatic optimal play so inexperienced newbies can play to perfect strategy without learning the game.

The main drawbacks of online casinos are:

  • Lacks the social atmosphere of a real casino.
  • Takes time for your winnings to be processed (usually 3-5 days, depending on your payment method). In some cases casinos will first issue a PIN before any withdrawals can be made for added security.

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