So, you’re ready to take your first steps, to move from a casual gambler, to someone who is ready to roll with the big boys. Real money gambling is exciting, and there is no end to the amount of games you can play or casinos you can play them on.

However, before you toss your first dice or spin your first slot, you need to ensure that you are dealing with a reputable casino that will treat you and your money fairly.

Recommended Online Casinos to Play for Real Money

Online gambling is not the big and scary industry that it once was, and contrary to popular belief, not everyone is out there to scam and steal your money.

Gambling is a highly lucrative industry, simply because the house always wins in the long-run. They don’t need to steal money when millions of players are giving it to them.

However, there are some risks that gamblers face. There are sites that are not as reputable as others, sites that use outdated security and sites that don’t pay as much attention to player safety as they should.

There is also a wealth of software out there, and even when you narrow your choice down to reputable and trusted casinos, you still need to decide which software to use.

In this guide we aim to help you make that decision, ensuring that you can gamble safely and securely, and that there are no obstacles between you, the games you love and the potential profit you make. No one expects you to crawl the internet trying online casinos and reviewing them all one after another.

We have done all of that for you, so you just need to find the one that suits you the most and then join. It’s as simple as that.

You can read more reviews, and play for real money action in the below casino categories:



Top Ten Tips when Playing for Real Money:

   •    Familiarize yourself with your chosen game. Play for free or for a small amount as you learn the ropes, and then move onto real money play.

Start slow. You’re not going to make a fortune straight away, but you might lose one. 
   •    Budget wisely. The best gamblers understand what they can afford to lose. They know their limits and you should know yours.
   •    Adopt the right mentality. You should always assume that the money you deposit is already gone. You should never expect to win. That way you will limit the frustration and anger you feel when you lose.
   •    Take some time to cool off if you hit a losing streak and begin to feel frustrated.
   •    Never increase your stake when you’re losing. Instead, look to increase when you’re winning and to decrease when you’re losing.

   •    Find the lowest house edges and the highest RTPs, otherwise you’re heavily handicapped before you even begin.
   •    Don’t be tempted by big jackpots, look at the specifics first. Make sure they’re worth it.
   •    Find the best casino bonuses — always look to get the most value for your deposit.
   •    Complain. You’d be surprised how many free bets you can get if you make complaints regarding the speed of their servers, the quality of their games or the competency of their support staff.

What About no Deposit Casinos, Can I Play for Real?

bonuses are not a sign of trustworthiness when it comes to online casinosCasinos that offer no deposit bonuses are often just as trustworthy and genuine as those that don’t.

With these casinos you are given a lump-sum as soon as you join, often without even needing to register your payment method. They do this to draw you in, to show you what games they have to offer in the hope you will stick around even when that deposit has gone. 

You can’t withdraw the money they give you,  but you can gamble it just like you could a real deposit.

If you win money, then you will need to play-through those winnings several times before you can withdraw (play-through rates differ from casino to casino) but that money will then be yours to keep.

These deposits seem to benefit the player much more than the casino, but they are a fantastic marketing technique as well.

No deposit bonuses are often small amounts, rarely more than $20. This means that players can sample what’s on offer, without the casino losing too much money.

Most players will turn their backs on the casino when that bonus has gone, but a significant percentage of them will make a deposit and continue to play, and that percentage ensures that these bonuses are as beneficial to the casino as they are to the player.

Types of Online Casinos

There are several types of casino out there, with some fitting into more than one category:

they offer bonuses for real money players

Comprehensive

This category covers the majority of the industry’s biggest players. These online casinos will license software from many providers so that they can offer hundreds of slot machines, table games and more. They also provide big bonuses and the best ones tend to offer loyalty schemes as well.

you can have casino games live with others around the world

Community

These casinos provide some multiplayer action. They are often attached to forums, and in the case of the Fortune Lounge Group, they are attached to other casinos. As a player, the main benefit of these casinos is the social aspect. In the case of the Fortune Lounge Group, and other communities like them, there is also the added benefit of having one generous loyalty scheme that applies to many different websites.

using real players for real money games

Live Dealer

A fairly new creation, Live Dealer sections add an extra level of immersion to the online casino experience. They use real dealers, real tables and real cards, with the players and the payments being entirely virtual. This mix of offline and online gambling is an experience that all gamblers should try at least once, and one that many players swear by.

live casinos with tv's and presenters

TV Casinos

Like the live dealer option, this provides some element of immersion, perhaps even more so. These casinos have TV channels, with presenters dealing cards and spinning roulette wheels, whilst players make their bets at home. This is a rare category, and one that is occupied by just a handful of casinos, but it seems to be growing more and more popular.

Types of Games

Online casinos offer a wide variety of games, and you can often find as many games and as much variety in an online casino as you can in the biggest land-based casinos in the world.

In fact, as there is no limitation on space, there is often considerably more variety in an online casino than there is in an offline one.

A typical online casino will include:

online slot machines for real money games

Slot Machines

Whether you know them as “Fruit Machines”, “Pokies”, “One-Armed Bandits” or simply “Slots”, these machines are one of the biggest earners for the casino industry, and it has been that way for many decades. Online slot machines are often much more interactive and advanced than their offline counterparts, and any given online casino will have at least 300 different types on offer. These include slots that are based on famous trademarks, such as Playboy, Jurassic Park and Game of Thrones, as well as Bonus Slots, Retro Slots and Progressive Slots.

virtual table games in an online casino

Table Games

You will find a number of virtual table games in an online casino. These include the basics, such as roulette, craps and blackjack, as well as less common games like Cyberstud Poker and Red Dog. Basically, anything that is played on a virtual table with a dealer present, is included in this category.

Video poker uses five Card Draw rules

Video Poker

In an offline casino, video poker machines can often be found alongside slot machines and they are generally considered to be the same by the casino. However, video poker requires a little more skill and knowledge, and unlike slot machines, it is possible to use this skill and knowledge to consistently beat the house. Video poker often uses 5 Card Draw rules, with single-hand games and multi-hand games available.

you can find many online poker games for real money

Poker

Poker Games like Three-Card Poker, Caribbean Poker and Cyberstud Poker can be found alongside other table games in an online casino. All of these are played against the house, and the house edge is much higher than usual. However, some casinos also have separate poker rooms, where games like Texas Hold’em and Omaha are played in a player-to-player format, with the house taking a small cut from each hand, known as a “rake”.  

bingo games for real money can earn you a good profit

Bingo

Separate bingo rooms are also common on online casinos. You can find a wide assortment of games here, all with differing stake levels, numbers of players, and features. Online bingo is generally considered to be more exciting and diverse than offline bingo, as many more additional features and mini-games are added. 

scratch cards these can be just as fun and get you real money as slot machines

Scratch Cards

Virtual scratch cards don’t get as much attention as other online games, or even as their offline counterparts. However, with the addition of mini-games, bonuses and multiple jackpots, these can be just as fun and just as diverse as slot machines.

What Software do the Best Casinos Use?

Software do the Best Casinos Use

You may have noticed that a lot of casinos have the same games and even the same layouts. This is not a coincidence.

The truth is that the casinos are not the ones creating those games. Instead, they license all of the software they use on their site from one of several developers.

Collectively, these developers create software for all of the online casinos you have ever played at, only allowing for a few exclusive tweaks and changes on behalf of the online casinos.

With that in mind, who are the main players in this industry?

Microgaming

Microgaming were the very first online casino developer, and they remain as one of the biggest today. They launched as an online casino, and claim to have been the very first. After receiving countless requests from competitors looking to license their software, they realized they could make more money simply focusing on development and licensing. Some of their biggest games include the Avalon and Thunderstruck series.

microgaming 10 tips for real money casino players

NetEnt

Short for “Net Entertainment”, this is one of the industry's most advanced and most exciting developers. Net Entertainment pride themselves on big, bold aesthetics, as well as unique gameplay. Their list of games is not as extensive as many of their competitors, and they focus more or less entirely on slot machines, which means online casinos often use them in conjunction with another developer. Their most popular slots include Gonzo’s Quest, South Park and Aliens, all of which have a Return to Play average of between 95% and 98%.

Playtech

Playtech may have not been the first, but they are arguably the biggest. Their superhero slots (all officially licensed by Marvel) and their Chain Reactors series have helped to secure their status as a leading developer, whilst their variety (theirsoftware covers everything from lotteries and binary options trading to social gaming) means they are equally popular with gambling sites. 

Realtime Gaming

Also known by the abbreviation “RTG”, Realtime Gaming is often considered to be the third biggest developer, behind Playtech and Microgaming. However, many casinos prefer them over their richer competitors, as do many players. One of the things that sets RTG apart from their competitors is that it allows licensees (the casinos who use the software) to tweak the house edge on all of their games. This gives the casino more room to maneuver and allows for greater customization. 

Cryptologic

Currently owned by the Amaya Gaming Group, who are one of the biggest names in online gambling, Cryptologic licensed their first software back in 1996 and have built an impressive reputation in the years since. They work with many aspects of online gambling, but their primary focus is on creating slot machines for the desktop and mobile markets. Their biggest games include Valley of the Scarab and Cubis.

Williams Interactive

Often shortened to WMS, Williams Interactive is a slot developer whose games often feature alongside those created by bigger and more widespread developers such as Playtech and Microgaming. They create both online and offline slots and have won the hearts of gamblers worldwide with games such as Ruby Slippers.

IGT

IGT is a global gaming company that has a substantial portfolio and has supplied all areas of the gambling industry, both online and offline. If you buy lottery tickets or play electronic slots there is a good chance you have encountered an IGT creation in the real world, and if you’re a big fan of online slots, then you’ll have almost certainly seen their creative genius in action with games such as Cluedo, Ghostbusters and the immensely popular Cleopatra.

BetSoft

BetSoft are one of the most underused and underrated developers in the industry. They focus primarily on 3D slots, but whilst these are very popular with gamblers (and deservedly so) the same can’t be said for online casinos. BetSoft slots are some of the most visually stunning games you will find, and they also have video poker and table games.

Between them, these developers are responsible for thousands of slot machines and table games, and there is a long list of pros and cons for each of them.

They also have their own ways of doing things in regards to security, random number generators and house edges.

It pays to know as much as you possibly can about all of them, which is why we have discussed them each at length on our software guide.

What Else Should you Know?

because of demand, all mobiles now hare real money casino appsMobile

There are now more mobile internet users than there are desktop users. Mobile gaming is not for the minority anymore, and for online casinos, offering mobile capability is not a choice, it’s a necessity. All of the major developers mentioned above have mobile versions of their online casinos.

These can be downloaded through the respective App Stores, or they can be played directly through the website. In some cases, you may need to change your OS settings in order to play gambling games like this, but this is not always necessary.

Many casinos will also insist that you deposit and withdraw through the main website, even if they allow you to win and lose that money through the app. This is a security measure, and one that is adopted for your benefit.

If you want to play for real moneyyou will need to deposit money saftlyPayments

If you want to play for real money (“fun” play games are available on most casinos) then you will need to deposit, and how you do this is down to your preference and to the casino’s availability.

The most common way is to use a debit card, and this is also one of the most recommended. Credit cards are also popular, but you may incur a fee if you use a credit card to deposit, and on the off chance you are allowed to withdraw back to it (most online casinos won’t allow this) your money will be available as credit only, and not accessible as cash.

This is okay if you have big debts that you want to minimize and if you don’t have access to cash, but for players who want to see the money they win, and players who don’t have any debt, it’s not advised.

PayPal, Neteller Skrill and Payoneer are also common, and some casinos will allow you to use e-Checks, prepaid cards, bank transfers and other methods.

The whys and hows of payment processing are far from simple, which is why we have created an extensive guide looking at them in a little more detail. To read this guide for yourself and to learn more about online casino banking options.

Online casino gambling is legal in most countriesLegal 

Online casino gambling is legal in most countries, and in others there are loopholes that make it possible. But gambling laws are not universal. Far from it.

In the United Kingdom, for instance, gambling is legal and widely available, but due to a new tax law introduced in 2015, online gambling providers have faced a number of obstacles and this has forced many of them to stop providing service to UK customers.

In the US, online gambling is technically illegal, but this doesn’t stop overseas sites from providing such services to players based in the United States.

It is up to the player to determine whether gambling is legal in their location or not, and they should never assume that it is legal just because they are allowed to join a site and deposit some money. Overseas gambling has created a lot of loop holes, opening doors that were previously locked tight, but not all of these sites are what they seem.

That’s why it is important to do your research, to read guides like the ones available on this site, and to only join casinos that have been recommended for players in your region.

find casino games for real money that talk to youConclusion

It’s easy to think that an online casino doesn’t actually do anything. After all, they pay someone to design their site and they pay someone else to host it.

They then license secure payment methods to accept deposits and withdrawals, before licensing all of the games that make up the bulk of their site’s content. That’s why so many online casinos look like replicas of one another, and it is why there are more and more online casinos launching everyday.

However, it’s not that simple. It takes a lot of time and money to get all of these things right and to provide a valuable service at the end of the day.

That’s why some casinos cut corners. It also takes the right balance of games and bonuses in order to create the perfect casino, which is why the best of the best select games from several providers, cherry-picking the ones they think their members will enjoy the most.

As a player, you’re entering a readymade, highly competitive industry where casinos have tried their hardest to differentiate themselves from their rivals in order to attract your business.

The only thing you need to do is find the games and the bonuses that work for you, before sitting back and reaping the rewards. And with our extensive guides and recommendations, we aim to make that process even easier for you.