So, you’re about to make your first leap into the world of online gambling. It can seem like a confusing place at first though, with many different types of games, loads of different sites, and bonuses that might not make any sense to you at all. Don’t worry though, as the online gambling world is actually a pretty easy one to understand, and once you manage to grasp the basics, you’ll find a whole world of excitement and entertainment waiting for you – as well as the chance to win some absolutely huge sums of money!
To help you as you’re starting on your online gambling adventure, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide, which will cover everything you need to know about every aspect of gambling online. From the games through to the bonuses, and from the odds through to the different sites, you can be sure that we’ve got you covered at site.
There are absolutely loads of different types of games at online gambling sites, ensuring that all tastes are catered for. From games that rely entirely on luck, through to games with a strong emphasis on skill, the online gambling world really does have something for everyone. Some of the more popular online gambling games are listed below, and you can find explanations on how to play a few of them further down this page.
These are the most popular online gambling games, and are based entirely on luck. Just like the machines in your local bar, you’ll need to spin the reels and try to line symbols up on a payline. Many also have fantastic bonus features, plus some even have progressive jackpots worth millions of dollars!
Roulette is a game found at land-based casinos throughout the world. The variety of different types of roulette is absolutely massive, and encompasses everything from traditional forms of the game, such as European roulette, through to new and exciting versions, like multi ball roulette. It’s a game of chance, and is extremely exciting.
Alongside roulette, blackjack is the most popular type of table game found at online gambling sites. It has a large element of luck to it, however the top players use optimal tactics to ensure that they have the best chance of winning. Beginners should start with the basic form of the game, before progressing on to more advanced types.
The other popular table game found at online casinos, baccarat is another game that is based entirely on luck. While the stakes at baccarat are often prohibitively high in land-based casinos, they are much lower online, meaning that everyone will have the chance to play James Bond’s favourite casino game when they play online!
Video poker uses the hand rankings from poker and is a single player game. The best thing about video poker is this: some versions have an RTP of over 100%, meaning that, if you play perfectly, you should make a profit in the long term. Playing perfectly is a lot harder than you might think though!
Poker is popular throughout the world, and many of the world’s best players are United States, both online and in the huge tournaments broadcast on TV. It’s a game that is easy to play, but incredibly hard to master, and the best online players can earn thousands and thousands in a single poker session.
There’s no need to head down to your local sportsbetting store anymore, as you can make all of your bets online. What’s more, online sportsbooks often have a larger range of markets, as well as better odds. You’ll have to use all of your sporting knowledge to pick a winner though!
Of course, there are also loads of other types of games found at online gambling sites as well. You should have loads of fun trying out all of them when you start playing!
You’ll notice that slots make up a large percentage of the games at any online casino, and this is because they are the most popular casino game. In fact, it’s not unusual to find upwards of 300 different slots at a different site. Luckily for you though, nearly all of them follow the same basic principles: you choose your bet size and then spin the reels, before seeing if you can line any symbols up on a payline. If you do, you’ll win a prize! The real fun comes when a bonus is activated, and details of how to activate bonuses are found at a slot’s paytable. Bonuses can come in many forms, from simple free spins through to perfectly animated games that resemble video games in their look and feel.
Roulette is an incredibly simple game to play, which is why it is so popular amongst online gamblers. Firstly, you’ll need to choose whether to play European, French or American roulette, or whether to play one of the many new and exciting variations. French roulette has the best odds for players, however European roulette is the most popular amongst United States players. To start, place one or more bets on the table, before then spinning the wheel. If the ball lands on a number or colour you’ve selected, you’ll win a prize. It really is as simple as that! Roulette is a game based entirely on luck, so a beginner will have the same chances of winning as an experienced online roulette player.
Blackjack is one of the world’s most iconic table games, and it combines luck with skill to create an exciting and enjoyable gaming experience. After you’ve placed a bet, you’ll receive a pair of cards, while the dealer will also receive two cards. You’ll only be able to see one of the dealer’s cards though. You then have to try to get as close to 21 as possible, without ever going over. Once your turn is finished, the dealer will take their turn, and you’ll win if you manage to get closer to 21 than the dealer. It’s a game that is really simple to play, yet tough to master! There are also various variations of blackjack found online, such as games that allow you to play multiple hands on the same turn.
Poker is the game that arguably started the online gambling revolution, and it has come a long way from its roots in dusty back rooms and seedy casinos. Nowadays it is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with some huge stars – including United Statess such as Daniel Negreanu and Jonathan Duhamel. There are many forms of online poker, however the most popular is Texas Hold Em. The goal in this game is to make the best five card poker hand, using the two cards dealt to you, as well as the five cards in the centre of the table. If you want to get to the end of the hand though, you’ll have to get through four rounds of betting, and there is a huge amount of skill attached to the game. For new players, the best place to start is at a micro-limits cash game, or even at the practice table, playing with practice chips.
Sportsbetting, as you probably already know, is the process of betting on one of many different sports. Each potential betting option will have odds attached to it, and the higher the odds, the less likely something is to happen. There is certainly a skill to sportsbetting, and it is only really suitable for those with a strong knowledge of the sport they are gambling on. If you’re thinking about betting on sports, it is worth signing up with a few different sites, so that you can always ensure that you are getting the very best odds available for your chosen selection. Start with the basics, by betting on single selections, however you can start betting on more complex selections, such as bets involving multiple selections, once you become more confident.
The odds are effectively the chances you have of winning, and are usually expressed as a percentage. So, if a game’s odds (or Return to Player, as they are often called) are 98%, this would mean that you would, on average, get C$98 back for every C$100 you bet. Most slot machines have an RTP of between 95% and 98%, while the RTP at roulette ranges from 1.35% through to 5.26%, depending on the variation of the game you choose to play (French roulette has the best odds, while American roulette has the worst). The RTP at video poker can actually often be over 100%, however this is only possible when playing perfectly – something that only the most experienced video poker players are able to manage.
When it comes to blackjack, the odds are once again calculated with the assumption that a player will play perfectly, meaning that new players are likely to receive worse odds, as they will make a number of errors. Because the different blackjack variations can vary slightly though, the RTP for each game will be slightly different. In general, it should be around the 99% mark though.
Sportsbetting is perhaps the type of online gambling with the biggest focus on odds, and each selection will have its own odds, assigned by the online sportsbook. In USA, these odds are generally expressed as a decimal. So, for example, if the odds on the Toronto Maple Leafs winning were 1.5, and you bet C$10 on them winning, you would stand to make C$15 back if the bet is a successful one. So, the higher the number, the more you could win – but the less likely the result is to happen.
The odds in poker are quite complex and not entirely suitable for a beginner’s guide to online gambling. If you’d like to find out about them though, you can check out our guide to understanding odds, which also contains further information on the odds found at various other areas of online gambling.
One of the most important things to look for when you sign up to an online gambling site is the welcome bonus, as this is your ticket to getting free money when you sign up. There are two main types of welcome bonuses, and they are:
These are arguably the best type of bonus, as they are given to you simply for signing up. They aren’t usually too big though, and often consist of free spins, rather than actual money to play with.
These are awarded when you make a deposit at the site, and are expressed as a percentage. So, an online gambling site might offer you a “100% first deposit bonus” meaning that they’ll add an extra 100% to your first deposit. There is nearly always a maximum limit to the amount you can claim.
You should remember a couple of things about bonuses though, as they aren’t always as good as they seem. The first is the rollover requirement, which will be found in the small print. This tells you how many times you have to wager the bonus (or occasionally the bonus and your initial deposit) before it can be withdrawn. A good rollover requirement is anything less than 35x, however some sites have much higher requirements.
The other thing to remember is that some sites only allow a maximum total amount to be withdrawn from funds won from a bonus. So, a site might say that you’re only allowed to withdraw 5x the bonus amount. Therefore, if you happen to win a really big prize thanks to your bonus funds, withdrawing it all won’t always be possible. We’ll let you know about the small print in the bonuses in our different reviews of online casinos though.
Now you have a good overview of how to gamble online, so all you need to do now is head to one of the sites that we recommend and sign up. You’ll then be able to start playing all of the great games on offer, and you might even manage to win some money in the process!