There is a first time for everything, and that includes the first time that you sign up with an online casino. There are hundreds upon hundreds of casinos out there though, so it can be daunting for somebody without any experience to try and find a good fit. In this article we are going to look at some of the most important factors when it comes to choosing an online casino as a beginner. What features are the most important to consider, and what are the red flags which mean that a casino should be avoided? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know when you are selecting your first online casino.
Newbies will often choose an online casino based on the fact that the brand is familiar or they have seen it advertised online or on TV. Obviously using this method means that you are limiting yourself to just a handful of the biggest online casinos. Instead of going for the obvious choice, it is worth your while checking around to find a better fit for you.
The first thing to check when looking at an online casino is whether it is properly licenced. European players should look for a British or Maltese licence, as these are a sign that the casino maintains the highest standards. Choosing a site with a strong licence may just save you some headaches down the road if you have chosen an unlicensed casino which may decide it doesn’t want to pay out your winnings. Most casinos are perfectly reputable, but all you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of any page on the casino and you should see which licence it holds. If you don’t find a license, then the best advice is to avoid that casino.
Now let’s get onto the subject of bonuses, because every fan of casino gaming is certainly going to be a fan of free money! However, it is very important to look at more than just the size of a bonus, as there are other important factors which must be considered to make sure you get the best deal. A casino may seem be offering a fantastic welcome bonus of €1,000, but when you look more closely there may be a lot of conditions attached. Most welcome bonuses are related to the size of your first (and sometimes second, third, fourth or fifth) deposits to the casino. But the most important consideration, and the one which influences the likelihood of your making a profit from the bonus, is the wagering requirement.
Casinos don’t just give out money for nothing, as that is no way to stay in business. So in general any welcome bonus you receive will come with a wagering requirement. This is the amount of money you have to bet in order to be able to withdraw the bonus. The wagering requirement will be a multiple of the bonus, and this varies greatly from one casino to the next. Imagine you receive a bonus of €100 based on your first deposit of the same amount. Casino A might ask you to wager 25 times the bonus (€2,500) while at Casino B the wagering requirement could be 65 (€6,500). This means that the second casino is asking you to bet an extra €4,000 in order to be able to withdraw your bonus plus any winnings, and that gives you less chance of being able to receive any kind of pay-out. Look for a reasonably low wagering requirement – less than 40 times the bonus is pretty good – and you have more hope of making a profit from it.
We have covered important areas like the license and the welcome bonus, but there is one aspect of a casino which should never be ignored: the games! Some people love the thrill of big progressive jackpot slots, others prefer live dealer roulette or blackjack, while some enjoy having a huge range of slots from different providers. As a beginner, you will probably want to have a mix of all of these so that you can find out which games tickle your fancy. Go to the Games section of a casino and browse to find out what kind of a selection they have. Some online casinos offer a couple of hundred games, while others can boast one or even two thousand.
One way to check out a casino is to look online for reviews about it. There are plenty of sites which will do all the groundwork for you in their casino reviews, telling you everything you need to know about a particular site. Some review sites will allow players to comment, giving you the opportunity to see what real people are saying about a site. Always take such comments with a pinch of salt, however. For one thing, some casinos are not shy about giving positive reviews to themselves while pretending to be a player. On the other hand, negative comments may be due to players not fully understanding the rules of a casino and can be unduly harsh sometimes.
A final place to check is the casino’s cashier section, to find out about their deposit and withdrawal methods and terms. Make sure they offer the payment method that you wish to use, because there is not much point in joining a casino where you are unable to deposit. Also have a look at things such as whether there is a withdrawal limit, and if so, how big that limit is. Check the terms and conditions to make sure that you are not caught by surprise when it comes time for you to withdraw some of your cash.
When you carry out all of the checks we have outlined above, you will be able to find your perfect casino in no time. Remember, it’s free to join an online casino, so if you don’t like the first one you find then you can simply become a member of another one that might be more to your taste. All that’s left is for us to wish you the best of luck, no matter which casino you end up playing with!