Online Gambling FAQ - Everything You Need to Know

Legal Questions on Gambling Online

The online gambling experts at OnlineGambling.com are in a perpetual state of research so you can understand everything from the basics to the finer details. Consult our frequently asked questions and other information regularly to eliminate any doubt or hesitation. A confident gambler is a winning gambler.

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General Casino

Where is a good place for beginners to start?

Gambling for real money online can be really fun! If you’re new to the game, you probably have lots of questions, so it’s a good idea to do some research about top online casinos and gambling sites. There is also lots of useful material online explaining the variations and games you can play.

Our FAQ answers popular questions that beginners, like you, have about online gambling, the best games, how to play safely, and which devices and software to use.

Are online casinos popular with gambling fans?

Very! Online casinos have become extremely popular in recent years, and there are hundreds to choose from. Some are tailored towards fans of online slots and table games. And others are perfect for those who love live casino games for a more realistic experience.

In 2018 you can easily find the best online betting sites, as well as apps, to get the most out of your newfound passion for gambling.

As mobile devices are becoming smarter, many online casinos have created apps to cater to their users’ needs. Even the cheapest device can be turned into an all-powerful casino in the palm of your hands.

How old do I need to be to participate in online gambling?

This depends on where you live. In the U.S. it varies from 18 to 21 depending on the state you’re in and the game you’re playing. A good Internet casino will comply with the rules and regulations set out by law and will make it easy for gamblers to find out this information on their website.

What makes online casinos better than land-based casinos?

Online casinos are becoming increasingly popular, and there’s no stopping them! But poker fans still visit land-based casinos all over the world, with many offering different styles, games, and atmospheres. It all depends on your own preference and gambling style.

A clear advantage of online casinos is that you can play your favorite games from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a device, perhaps the website’s software, and a good Internet connection. These casinos are usually open all year round, night and day, making it easy for you to play whenever you want. Another great advantage is that new players are usually given Welcome Bonuses that include free money to help you kick off your gambling experience. If you enjoy the atmosphere of a land-based casino but prefer to play from the comfort of your home, or on the go with a mobile app, you can opt for Live Casino options too.

Land-based casinos are all about socializing and enjoying the theatrical aspects of the experience. You’ll be embraced by the sounds of slot bells and cheers from other players, neon lights, and cocktail waitresses. Lots of fantastic land-based casinos have hotels, bars, and restaurants to let you fully immerse yourself in casino life. Some also have offers and bundles that include accommodation and food.

What type of gambling is best?

There are lots of options available to you, including sports, casino, horse betting, poker, and bingo. The best one will be down to you and your gaming preferences. Poker and bingo are very popular, so it might be worth trying those out to see if you like them. However, if you’re a big fan of sports then have a go at sports gambling! If you’re not sure which is best for you, try different ones to find your perfect match.

How can I trust that the results aren’t rigged?

Some people believe that online poker, for example, is rigged or fixed as they think that the specific website they’re using is choosing certain hands or cards to benefit themselves or other players. This isn’t the case. Every trusted website uses a Random Number Generator which picks cards at random from a normal 52-card deck. In this way, the games aren’t rigged at all. A safe gambling site with a good reputation will never fix their results. They have an eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) certification and authentic licenses to prove their reliability.

How many online gambling sites can I use?

As many as you like! By using more than one gambling website, you’ll have more variety in terms of games, promotions and bonuses, and banking options. Just remember to only sign up to safe and legal gambling sites.

What are the best online gambling sites?

There are lots of gambling sites out there for you to try. You’ll be able to find your favorite ones in no time! Make sure to look at the games they offer, promotions and bonuses, banking methods that are easy for you to use, popularity, and if they have a mobile application. If you’re feeling a bit lost, take a look at our list of top online gambling sites for inspiration and advice.

What devices can I use to gamble online?

    Most devices with a web browser will allow you to take a seat at an online casino. These include:

  • Windows PCs
  • Macs
  • Linux PCs
  • Android mobile devices (phones and tablets)
  • Apple mobile devices (iPhone and iPad)
  • Other mobile devices like Blackberry or Windows Phone

You may have to install and download software on your chosen device in order to play your top games, however, the majority of Internet casino sites have an ‘Instant Play’ or ‘No Download’ option, letting you play directly from your browser without needing to download anything.

What happens if I get disconnected during the game?

This depends on the gambling site you’re using, whether you’re on a sports betting site or a poker site. It also depends on the game. For example, when playing poker and you’re disconnected, your hand may be folded and you’ll return to the following game. It’s always best to check with your preferred gambling website and the game you’re playing.

Do I have to download special software or buy equipment?

No, you don’t have to. Many online gambling sites have an Instant Play option where you can play without having to download any software. However, online gambling software tends to provide a better experience with its high-quality visuals and usability.

What happens if I forget my login details?

Usually, you’ll be able to recover your username or password on the gambling website. You’ll be prompted to input your email address so that the company can send you instructions on how to recover this information or reset your password.

Where can I gamble for real money?

Gambling for real money online is easy and simple. Most online casino sites will have the option to play for free, using free chips, or play using your real money. You may get a welcome bonus to help you out. Then, you can continue to play using your own funds to earn more.

Where can I play games for free?

There are a number of online sports betting and casino sites with options to play for free. This is great if you want to brush up your skills before gambling with real money at an online casino or if you simply enjoy playing but don’t want to cash in any money. Check with your favorite websites to see the free games they offer.

Banking

What banking methods can I use?

For gamblers in the U.S, there are lots of banking methods to choose from. In 2018, e-wallets have become more popular. They let you make secure deposits and withdrawals, keeping your banking details safe. The most well-known e-wallets are:

  • Paypal
  • Skrill
  • Neteller
  • EFTs (or wire transfers)

Using credit and debit cards are also popular. Some players prefer to use cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

How much money do I need to get started?

Most online casinos will greet you with a welcome bonus as soon as you make your first deposit. The deposit you must make can be as little as $10 - it depends on both the casino - or sports betting site - and the game.

Will I be taxed on my winnings?

This is dependent on the country you’re playing in. In the U.S., you’ll be taxed on your winnings. You’ll have to declare your winnings for tax purposes according to laws and regulations.

What are the safest deposit options?

When you join a new online casino site, you must ensure that it’s safe and secure to use, especially as you’ll be depositing your own real money to the website. Safe options include:

  • Credit and debit cards
  • E-wallets (Skrill, PayPal etc.)
  • Prepaid card (e-Vouchers, like Paysafecard)
  • Wire transfers
  • Bank transfers

All the top online casinos that are safe and recognized by eCOGRA will protect your details as best as they can, regardless of the deposit method you use. Some gambling websites won’t accept certain methods, so check with them first, and then decide on the best deposit option for you.

How long will it take to withdraw my money?

This depends on the casino or sports betting site you’re using. Each website has their own rules about the time it’ll take to withdraw your winnings and in how short a time period. Check with the company to be crystal clear.

Will I get charged on payouts?

Again, this is dependent on the online gambling site. Some will charge a small fee for payouts, while others won’t. This is one element that you should look into before joining an online casino.

Are there limits on deposits?

Online casinos usually have their own minimum deposit limits. This information will be found on their website. Regarding a maximum deposit limit, it’s common to see an option to set your own limit. You can set your limit to a maximum deposit of $500 per week, for example. This will help you keep track of your money and spending, and help curb a potential gambling addiction.

Do I have to use my local currency?

Nowadays, most online gambling companies will let you choose your preferred currency. This is hugely useful when you’re playing games on a site from a whole other country with a completely different currency. Real money online casinos will allow at least five currencies, with the most common being:

  • Sterling Pounds (£)
  • Euros (€)
  • US Dollars ($)
  • Canadian Dollars (CAD)
  • Australian Dollars (AUD)
Bonuses and Promotions

What is a welcome bonus?

A welcome bonus is a promotion you’ll normally receive when you first sign up to an online gambling site. This reward is either a monetary balance or loyalty points. Or, the welcome bonus might let you play a certain game for free. It’s a great way for you to begin your online gambling experience, and beneficial for the site itself as they can attract new customers using these rewards.

Can I withdraw my bonus money?

Generally, you won’t be able to withdraw your bonus money. You can only use it to play real money games. Once you win your own money from these games, you can then withdraw these earnings.

What is a no-deposit bonus?

Some online gambling websites offer its players a no-deposit bonus. This is money credited to your online account without you needing to put any money in first. You can use this “free money” to play your favorite titles.

How do I withdraw my bonus money?

Unfortunately, you cannot withdraw your bonus money. This money is solely to use to play real money games. After playing these games you might win some money. Only then can you withdraw your earnings, not the bonus money.

Casino Games

What is the most profitable game to play?

Slot machines can create a large profit, and its popularity and wins advantage casinos greatly. However, this game is all due to luck. One day you could win big, the next you could be losing. Popular card games like Roulette and Blackjack are very profitable. You can learn some tricks and discover the best tips from pros in this field, to help you win more by being smart. Sharpening these card skills could help you make any game profitable.

What games give the best odds of winning?

When looking at the house edge of top online casino games, it was discovered that these four games have the best odds:

  • Blackjack
  • Baccarat
  • Roulette
  • Craps

A house edge is a ratio. It uses the average loss a player makes and the initial amount the player bets to create a percentage. For example, a simple game of Blackjack has a house edge of 0.5% meaning for every $10 you bet, you’ll only lose 5 cents. The higher the house ratio, the worse the odds of winning.

What is a live casino?

Live casino is a really popular option at online casinos. This type of online casino broadcasts video feeds online with real-life croupiers initiating the game from an actual table. It’s a great option for those who want to have a more human and realistic experience but can’t get to a land-based casino. You’ll get all the action and thrill of live play, but still from the comfort of your home, on your PC or mobile device.

Can dealers and other players see me?

No. During a live casino game, you and other players are only able to see the dealer, but not the other way around. Players are only identified by screen names, and this is all that the dealer can see.

What is a rogue casino?

A rogue casino is one that deliberately cheats, has poor standards, and doesn’t look after its members. Sometimes rogue casinos are even guilty of criminal acts. Rogue or blacklisted casinos break laws and regulations, and therefore cannot be trusted. Do your research to ensure you’re heading to a safe, secure and reliable online casino.

Is card counting allowed on online Blackjack?

Card counting has been given a better reputation and more plausibility due to its glamorous image in Hollywood movies. Card counting during a game of Blackjack is allowed but it’s frowned upon. It’s also harder to do online than it is to do at a land-based casino. This is because players who want to count cards have no way of knowing if the computerized deck of cards has been reshuffled during the game. If this is the case, then card counting during online Blackjack isn’t worth doing at all.

However, if you’re playing live Blackjack on your favorite online gambling site, you can still count cards if you want. You can see the live dealer as well as the cards, so you’ll know for certain if the deck has been reshuffled or not.

Are free spins actually free?

Not really. They’re free in that you don’t have to directly pay for them, but you have to deposit your own real money in order to receive these free spins. For example, the offer might be “Deposit $50 and get 250 free spins”.

What is a rollover?

A rollover is also known as a playthrough or wagering requirement. It’s a multiplier that states the number of times you have to play through a bonus before you can withdraw any winnings.

What is a progressive jackpot?

Progressive jackpots are most common in slot games. The jackpot amount in a progressive jackpot rises as players put coins in the slot machines and spin the wheels. Video poker and bingo games can also feature progressive jackpots. They can give players some of the biggest prizes around!

Sports Betting

What is the difference between sports betting and online casino gambling?

If you watch sports and love following different matches, you can turn this passion into money. Online sports betting sites, or bookmakers, are based on research and the ability to spot the best betting options. You have to predict sports results and place a wager on the outcome you believe is most probable.

Online casino gambling, on the other hand, is all about playing the games using your real money to place bets. Games include Blackjack, Baccarat, Slots and much more.

What sports can I bet on online?

There are heaps of sports you can bet on online, including:

  • Basketball
  • American football
  • Hockey
  • Baseball
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Boxing
  • Horseracing

Choose the sports you follow the most, particularly the ones you’re most interested in. Some sports betting sites will specialize in a specific sport so have a look around to find your perfect online betting site for your favorite sports.

Are there limits on how much I can bet per game?

Sports betting sites, or bookies, have their own rules about the maximum amount of cash you can bet on their site. This can differ with the type of game, and of course, the online betting site. Always read the rules on the bookie’s website to be sure of the monetary limits involved in your favorite sport.

Why do different sites show different odds?

Different sports betting websites get their odds information from different sources. That’s why the odds might differ slightly depending on the site you’re using. They could also be determined by the company’s profits - they may change their odds depending on whether they need more profits themselves, or if they’re doing okay money-wise.

Is there live streaming of the games?

Yes! Lots of online sports betting companies offer the option to watch live games while you bet on them. It has now become commonplace for bookmakers to have live streaming, especially as it’s so easy to do with modern technology.

Is a racebook the same as a sportsbook?

A racebook is a type of sportsbook that has detailed information exclusively about horse racing. A sportsbook will cover all kinds of different sports and may sometimes include a section about horse racing. It has become more popular for bookies to have a separate racebook.

What is a betting exchange?

A betting exchange is quite like a stock market. It lets gamblers play the role of a bookie. Betting exchanges let you trade sports bets as if they were stocks.

Poker Games

Is it easy to learn poker?

Yes! It’s very easy to learn online poker. All you need to do is learn the different hands and rules. It’s easy to play, but can be difficult to master. This needs practice and skill.

Is poker a game of skill or luck?

Both! The great thing about poker is that you need both skill and luck to achieve great things. It’s always best to learn how to play poker well - to learn about the different hands and methods. However, because of the randomness of the cards, you’ll be dealt, the game is also about luck.

Are there different types of poker?

Yes, there are different variations of online poker:

  • Texas Hold ‘Em
  • Omaha
  • 7 Card Stud
  • Razz
  • Five Card Draw

Try different variations to discover your favorite.

What is a ‘rake’?

Rake is a small percentage of money that comes out of the pot and goes back to the poker site. Sometimes, online gambling companies won’t make much money from their poker players, so a rake can be a good way for them to get some back. The amount is usually minimal.

Is there a time limit for each hand?

Most tables set a time limit for each hand played. This should give you enough time to think about the best move to make, but it won’t be so long as to keep other players waiting!

Can I request a hand history?

On a lot of online poker sites, you will have the option to save your hand histories. This could be up to 100 of your previous hands. Likewise, you can see your hand history on a specific table if that’s easier.

Can I play alongside my friend?

Yes! Playing with friends or even family is an option on some casino websites. It can be a really fun experience. Check which companies offer this option.

Safety and Security

Do I have to provide identification at an online gambling site?

Yes. Identification is extremely important at online gambling sites as this ensures players are meeting the minimum gambling age requirements. This is intrinsic to both yours and the company’s safety.

Who do I contact if I have a problem or complaint?

Online gambling companies should have customer service details where you can call, email or even live chat with someone from the team. A reputable online casino or bookies will ensure that your problems or complaints are dealt with effectively.

Is my personal data safe with online casinos?

Normally, yes. There tend to be many safety features installed on these websites making sure that your personal data - including bank information - remains safe and secure. Make sure your data stays in good hands by checking the credentials and certifications of an online gambling site. If an online casino or bookmakers has been in the business for a while, has lots of members, has good reviews, and holds the correct gaming licenses and accreditation, then they can be trusted. Always play at legal gambling sites to avoid online gambling fraud.

Is it possible to cheat in online games?

Yes, it is possible to cheat while playing at some of the best online gambling sites. Unfortunately, there are some players who like to find a way to break through sophisticated security methods. If an online casino suspects a player of cheating, they will freeze the player’s online account.

What are the best tips to avoid fraud?

Unfortunately, online gambling fraud can be quite common. It’s crucial that you play at safe and secure legal gambling sites to lessen your chances of becoming a victim of fraud. Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check that the site has reputable software
  • Look for gaming licenses and regulations like eCOGRA
  • Read the terms and conditions
  • Use strong passwords
  • Log out of your online gambling account once you’ve finished playing - especially important if you’re using a public computer
  • Use anti-virus software

Is online gambling addictive?

Online gambling can become addictive due to its 24/7 availability and easy access on different devices. To help avoid a gambling addiction, set a time limit for weekly gameplay or a money limit on weekly deposits, for example. If you believe you might be addicted to gambling, speak to a family or friend and seek some help. The best online gambling sites offer support and advice on this topic.

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