Online casino reviews should serve as a guide in helping you choose an online casino to open an account with, which is precisely the purpose of this page. Yet, gauging the value of an online casino based on a review can be a tricky matter, for far too often, online casino reviews will be biased - on both ends of the spectrum. There are those disgruntled gamblers, who in all respects, are at fault for their very own lackluster experience inside an online casino, i.e., bonus abusers or those who did not read the terms and conditions for opening an account. On the contrary, there are unethical affiliates who write stellar reviews about a rogue online casino they are promoting - just so they can earn a quick buck.
While there certainly are gamblers with legitimate complaints, as well as affiliates who choose to promote only the best online casinos in business, all online casino reviews should be reviewed as well, in a sense. It's checks and balances at its finest. That said, when reading online casino reviews, look for objective writing free of fanfare descriptions and marketing lingo, as well as factual information backed by third party sources. In essence, the more detailed and transparent the online casino review is, the better.
A safe bet for picking an online casino can be from a friend’s recommendation or word of mouth. However, it is possible to miss out on a less popular but better-suited option for you. The online casino could just be starting up and may not have many users but it may offer better bonuses and service.
Here are a few general tips to consider when choosing an online casino:
Look Beyond the Flashy Lights and Sounds
Online casinos are similar to land-based ones in that it’s easy to get distracted. That’s why casinos exist, to draw you in and entertain you. Even if you see huge welcome bonuses and tournament prizes, don’t start spending money without looking around. Stick to why you came to the website. If you just want to play slots, don’t join because their video poker has cool graphics. How do the slots look? Are your favorites available? What are the bonuses offered?
Select an online casino that has been running for at least two to three years. That way, they are established and have proven to be trustworthy. Make sure it is licensed by a reputable agency and see if they have two servers, one for all the game logic and one off-site server where your personal information is stored safely from hackers. If they are licensed, you won’t have to worry about identity theft. It is also important to see if the website is owned and operated by a reputable gaming company. With that in mind, make sure the software used has a good standing in the market. Check unbiased reviews online for examples of stable, high-quality gaming systems.
Banking and Customer Service
If all is well so far with your online casino choice, check the banking options. You should have options when it comes to deposit and withdrawal methods. Note the minimum and maximum deposits and bets for the games offered and see if they fit your bankroll. Most online casinos offer round-the-clock customer service if you run into trouble with your banking or service. Not all welcome bonuses are created equal. Read the fine print in the terms and conditions because it may be a match bonus, as in matching up to a certain amount of your deposit, or you may be only allowed to play a certain game. Also, it may be a (non-cashable) sticky bonus. Like so many things in life, there’s usually a catch when it comes to welcome bonuses.
A quality online casino will provide great bonuses because it can afford to do it. Expect to see anywhere from a $10-$10,000 bonus when signing up. However, these may come with certain wagering requirements, like 10x or 15x the total of the deposit and bonus. Therefore, if it’s a 100% bonus on a $10 deposit with a 10x wagering requirement, you may have to play through $200 to receive your bonus. It’s always important to read the conditions associated with any bonus. It’s rare to find an absolutely free bonus so be careful.
Play Before Paying
Online casinos are cheap for a reason. They aren’t limited to the floor space associated with land-based casinos. Look for an online casino that offers free play for practice before signing up. It’s a good idea for any beginner starting from scratch. That way, you aren’t invested before even experiencing what the site has to offer. Usually, there are classes and tutorials on how to play. Get advice on strategy from informative sites like this one.
This page was updated on May 21, 2010.