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The world of online casinos can be as confusing as it is exciting. With a veritable smorgasbord of possible sites to choose from, and even more choice when it comes to games, it can be difficult to know where to start.
If you are embarking on your first tentative steps into the world of iGaming, or if you are a seasoned veteran looking for your next place to play, it is essential to understand what you’re dealing with, and how to find the right online casino site for you.
That’s why we are here, to act as your Sherpa as you take your next mission into the mountains of the online casino world, we are here to guide you along your way, and help you make all the right decisions to ensure you have the very best experience possible.
There are so many options available, and some of them are utterly brilliant, we want to make sure it’s simple for you to find the most suitable sites, games, promotions, payment methods and more, because we understand that everyone is different, and likes and dislikes are subjective.
That’s why we make sure we give you all the possible information so that you can make an informed decision. We are not here to tell you what to do, we are simply here to make it easier for you to decide what to do for yourself.
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Who Are We?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that we are independent from any online casino operators or software developers, we are not paid to tell you where to go or what to do.
We are, above all else, online casino fans, we love to play at our favourite online casinos, and we want to share the wealth of knowledge and experience that we have with you to help you on your way.
When we review an online casino, it’s because we’ve tried it, when we tell you if a new title or good or not, it’s because we have played it, all the opinions stated here are our own, and are taken from our own experiences.
We know how scary the iGaming world can be when you first start to explore it, because we’ve been there, we’ve come past those initial fears and found the right sites and games for us, and we want to make that process easier for you than it was for us!
So, now that’s out the way, let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to keep in mind when looking for your next, or indeed your first place to play online casino games.
Trustworthiness and Safety
Whether you are new to the iGaming scene or not, being comfortable in the knowledge that you and your money are safe is of the utmost importance when it comes to picking the right online casino to play at.
The first thing to look out for when it comes to knowing if you can trust an online casino is licensing. Players in the UK are very lucky in this regard, in that the UK’s regulator, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is one of the most trusted and respected regulators in the world.
Due to a law change a few years back, it is now necessary for all online casino operators offering services in the UK, wherever they are based, to hold a license with the UKGC in order to legally provide their games and services to British players.
Any online casino that holds a license with the UKGC will display this on their website, but if you are still not convinced, the UKGC website has a list of all regulated and licensed casinos, so you can make doubly sure before you make your first deposit.
It’s also worth looking at other licenses casinos hold, especially from other trusted regulators such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
While any casino that holds a UKGC license can be trusted, it is sometimes useful for peace of mind to see that your chosen site has been licensed by a variety of trusted regulators.
Beyond that, we aim to provide reviews of all the online casinos available anywhere on the internet, and if a site is not to be trusted, we will tell you in no uncertain terms if that is the case.
We will also give you information on licenses, any questionable or unethical practices that a casino does or has engaged in, and anything else that is necessary to ensure you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
Picking the Right Site for You
When you are sure that you know how to spot a safe and trustworthy online casino, it is then time to find the right one for you, which can be quite a quest due to the countless sites that exist, and the many new additions that appear on a regular basis.
First impressions are, obviously, important, and the chances are you’ll be tempted at first by the appearance and theme of a site.
When it comes to how online casinos look, there is pretty much something for everybody, whether you want bright colours and immersive themes, or a simple, subtle approach, the choices are vast across the board, but there’s also a lot more to consider than that.
Behind the look of the site, the next thing you’ll notice is likely to be the promotions that are on offer at a site, and more specifically the welcome bonus.
The majority of online casinos offer welcome bonuses, and they are normally advertised front and centre on the homepage, so you notice them as soon as you arrive.
While welcome bonuses and other promotions will always look tempting, there’s things to be aware of, because if something looks too good to be true, the chances are it is.
While some welcome bonuses are substantially larger than others, these will normally come with a barrage of terms and conditions that can take the sheen off the excitement in a hurry.
This small print normally comes in two shapes, firstly, wagering requirements, which can often necessitate wagering up to 40x the bonus amount in order to gain access to any winnings you manage to accumulate from your bonus funds, this means for a £10 bonus, you would have to deposit and wager £400 before you can withdraw any winnings.
On top of that, you will often find maximum withdrawal limits, meaning that even if you do manage to meet the wagering requirement, you will be limited to being able to withdraw a certain amount of the winnings from your bonus money, however much you happen to win.
While some online casinos offer no wagering requirements at all, these are normally attached to smaller bonuses, a small amount of free spins is usually the chosen method, but if you are a hobbyist who is not looking to spend big amounts, then these promotions can often be more lucrative for you than the bonuses that look bigger.
This is also the case for other promotions, so be sure to read through the terms and conditions and make sure you know exactly what you are dealing with, don’t be convinced by shiny looking bonuses until you know exactly what you are being offered, and what hoops you may have to jump through in order to gain it.
Of course, when it comes to online casinos, one of the most important factors to consider is the choice of games on offer.
It is fair to say that there is no online casino in the world that does not offer at least some games that you will enjoy, but when there is so much choice, you can afford to be picky, and that is something that should be taken advantage of.
If you are new to the iGaming world, then it is worth working out what games are right for you before you start spending money.
While slots will normally take centre stage at sites in the modern market, it is worth noting that the RTP of these games is often fairly low.
RTP stands for return-to-player and is the opposite of the house edge, meaning that the RTP refers to how big or small a return you are statistically likely to get from playing a game.
If a slot has an RTP of 96%, for example, that means that on average, for every £100 wagered, the player will receive £96 back.
It is important to be aware that these averages are taken from millions of hypothetical plays and should not be used as a guarantee, there is no way to be sure that you will not lose all of the £100 you bet, and no way to be sure that you won’t double it.
However, the RTP of a slot is important because it refers to the likelihood of winning, and the RTP of slots is not that high.
If you are looking for the safest bet, then the right choice is probably blackjack, which has a 98% RTP if played the right way (make sure you read a strategy guide beforehand to ensure you are aware of the best way to play).
Whatever game type seems the most suitable for you, be it slots, table games, live dealer options which offer a true to life experience, instant win games, bingo, or anything else, find a site that will let you play for free first.
Free play options give you the opportunity to try out your chosen game type, check you like it, and get to grips with how to play it before you spend any money. Freeplay is one of the most important tools when you are first starting out at online casinos, and full advantage should be taken of it.
It is also worth researching software developers. Many different providers supply games to different sites, from giants of the industry, to up and coming independent studios, so whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it. Be sure to check out our software reviews to make sure you are fully aware of the best software developers for your chosen game type, because they will have different specialties.
As with any online transactions, the possible ways to pay at an online casino are becoming more varied on a near daily basis, with new technologies and options being added all the time.
There are very few online casinos that offer every possible payment method, so be sure you know the way you want to pay, and find an online casino that provides you with that option.
If you are a traditionalist, then payments and withdrawals via debit and credit card may be the way you choose to go, although there are still sites that allow deposits and withdrawals to be made by cheque if preferred.
Beyond that you have various eWallets, online payment cards, and other options. Cryptocurrency is also starting to find its way into more and more online casinos, so if you want to bet with bitcoin or another popular cryptocurrency, you will be able to find an online casino that allows you that opportunity.
Only when you have found a site that looks and feels right for you, has the correct licenses and a strong reputation so you know that you and your money will be safe, offers a good variety of the game type you want, from a selection respected software developers, and provides you with the ability to deposit and withdraw with your chosen payment method, should you sign up and start playing.
It seems like a lot, and when you’re on your own, it is, but that’s what we are here for. Together, we can ensure that you find the right online casino for you, and ensure you are playing your favourite online casino games at the best site for you before you know it.