Top 10 Beginner’s Online Casino Guide

Beginners Guide

The world of online casinos can be both overwhelming and perplexing, especially for new players. Here’s our top 10 beginner’s guide to make it easy for someone new on online casino.

Since I began playing in 2001, my knowledge of gambling and mastering the online dimension have grown immensely. I would like to share my knowledge and experiences of playing online with you to make your introduction to the world of online casino an easier and more enjoyable process!

In the following guide, I have answered ten important questions I faced as I began playing at online casinos. I hope this top 10 guides will give you some tips and tricks in your journey to online casino.

The Top Ten Questions Beginners Ask on Online Casino Guide

  1. What is an online casino?
  2. Is it safe for me to play at online casinos?
  3. Is it legal for me to play in online casinos?
  4. Are online casinos fair?
  5. Can I really win?
  6. How do I withdraw my winnings?
  7. How do I deposit money in an online casino?
  8. Am I a compulsive gambler?
  9. How are the casinos rated and reviewed at johnniepoker.com?
  10. Which games and strategies are preferable?

After several years of online gambling, I continue to enjoy, play and succeed in online casinos. However, one big difference nowadays is that I am more selective of where I play. I enjoy smooth gameplay, realistic and aesthetic graphics, bonuses (extra money provided by the casino), great jackpots and fast payouts. That is why [eafl id=”119″ name=”Las Vegas USA” text=”LasVegasUSA”] Casino stands as my favorite casino – offering all the best in the features that really enhance an online gambling experience.

1. What is an online casino?

An online casino is an internet-based mechanism of gambling that allows real people to play in a virtual environment. Although you do not necessarily have to gamble real money, you have the option to participate in real, live bets with other players and the online host. Most casinos offer the spectrum of classic games like BlackjackPoker, Roulette and Slots, but there is also an emerging area for alternative games. There are two types of casinos: The first are the Download Casinos which include the majority of online casinos. Download casinos require you to download and install a free software program before you can play. It usually takes no longer than 15 minutes to complete this process and it is worthwhile since these download casinos have the best flow, graphics, sounds, and features. The second types of casinos are No Download Casinos. They offer you instant play from any web browser because they use Flash or Java Technology.

2. Is it safe for me to play at online casinos?

When we began playing at online casinos, we were naive in terms of what casinos were safe to play in and which weren’t. However, with over 6 years of experience and having played at more than 300 online casinos, we can confidently say that online casinos are safe. In all of our experience, we have never experienced any kind of misuse of our credit cards or account information. A good indication of whether a casino is a reliable site is by which software they use. The biggest software providers (Boss Media, Cryptologic, Playtech and Microgaming) are quoted on the stock exchanges, and would not dare risk their reputation and place a priority on securing the money of their customers.

Most casinos use a 128-bit encryption which means that the possibility your information would end up in the hands of others is 1 to 340,282,366,920,939,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. With odds like those, it seems it is safer to play at an online casino than physically crossing the street to get to your local casino.

3. Is it legal for me to play in online casinos?

There is not one, overarching answer to this question. Different countries have different laws in regard to gambling and online gambling. If you have questions regarding the laws in your area, please contact your local authorities.

That being said, I have never heard of anyone being prosecuted for playing in an online casino. One thing to keep in mind is that when an online casino accepts your address in the registration form during the sign-up process, the casino absorbs all responsibility. The casino will be the one targeted if it is not legal for you to play online.

4. Are online casinos fair?

With more than 2,000 different online casinos on the web, casinos are highly competitive to win the gaming time of their customers. Online casinos recognize that if a customer is not satisfied, they are not more than a click away to switch to a different casino. Therefore, the major software providers make sure that the software they provide ensures the highest quality game with the best payouts. Additionally, the best online casinos also have accountants that manage their game payouts. For example, PricewaterhouseCoopers gives monthly statements of all casinos using the Microgaming Software to all continual monitoring of their casinos’ activities. These statements can be viewed at the casino’s homepage.

Compared to traditional land-based casinos, the payout from online casinos is notably better (between 96-99%) which is due partly to lower expenses and higher competition between online casinos. Online casinos still, however, bring in enormous profits. Because they recognize they can still bring in grand revenues while offering great games and fair payouts, it is advantageous to them to offer honest, quality games in order to maintain both their reputation and their bottom-line.

In summary, I would definitely conclude that online casinos are fair.

5. Can I really win?

As in all casino play, gambling is a risk. There will be games you will win and games that you will lose. However, you can definitely improve your chances of winning and optimize your gambling experience by playing well and choosing the right strategy.

It is definitely possible to win big while online gambling! We have seen several examples from our very own JohnniePoker.com users with photos of their big wins and stories about winnings that exceed the thousands of dollars.

6. How do I withdraw my winnings?

There are usually several options to retrieving your winnings. Each website has its own specifics. Below are the four most common withdrawal options:

Cheque: You can choose to receive your winnings on a cheque. This will be sent to you via the postal mail and will take a few days to get to you. Some casinos might charge you $1 for the mail fee but usually, this service is for free. Also, remember that your bank might charge you a small fee to deposit the money into your bank account.

Cheque via Courier: For immediate delivery, you can have the cheque handled by quick companies like UPS or FedEx who will make sure that the check is in your hands within a few days. Depending on how much you’ve won, they will charge you about $30 for their service.

Wire transfer Wire Transfer: With wire transfer, you can have your winnings transferred to your bank account right away. It is quick and easy but usually, the casinos will charge you a fee for this service, so it is only recommendable if you win a lot.

NETELLER NETeller account: This company is quoted at the London Stock Exchange and provides secure transfer service of your money online. You can create an account for free at [eafl id=”155″ name=”Neteller Registration” text=”www.neteller.com”] and use it for deposits and withdrawals from all online casinos. You do not have to pay any fees and your winnings will be transferred to your account in a couple of days, making it a convenient option for your deposit/withdrawal needs.

7. How do I deposit money in an online casino?

There are several ways to make a deposit at an online casino:

Credit Cards Credit Card
You can deposit money right away at all online casinos with a credit- or debit card. Cards like Visa card, Mastercard, Diners Club, Eurocard, etc. are accepted at most online gaming sites.

NETELLER Neteller Account
In case your credit card has been denied due to bank restrictions or deposit limits, then [eafl id=”155″ name=”Neteller Registration” text=”NETeller”] is another option for you to make a deposit at an online casino. As mentioned above, you can create an account for free and use it to make deposits as well as withdrawals.

Wire transfer Wire Transfer
This method will transfer money from your bank account to an online casino. However, it does take some days for the transaction to be completed and is therefore only recommendable if you cannot make a deposit by credit card or if the deposit you wish to make is too big to be completed by credit card transaction.

PaySafeCard Paysafecard
This card can be purchased in your local shop and can be used for payments on several internet sites. You can find the nearest local seller at www.paysafecard.com. To use it you have to type in the PIN code and Password (these you will find on the Paysafecard) and the current amount you bought will be transferred to the casino accordingly.

8. Am I a compulsive gambler?

Although intended to be an exciting, entertaining and enjoyable experience, gambling can become an obsession. When one feels an uncontrollable obsession to win that consumes their life and distorts their judgment, they can be diagnosed as a compulsive gambler. People become addicted to gambling for several reasons–it allows them an escape from reality, offers them a bit of excitement and distracts them from life outside the game. Compulsive gambling can result in bankruptcy, debt, ruined relationships and a plethora of other problems. There is surely a blurred borderline to this phenomenon that makes it difficult to say precisely when you are obsessed about playing or just eager to win in a healthy way, but a golden rule is that you should never play with money you cannot afford to lose. Also, remember that gambling is meant to be fun.

If you might have a gambling problem then please consult your doctor or visit: www.gamblersanonymous.org

9. How are the casinos rated at JohnniePoker.com?

We put a great effort into carefully trying and testing casinos before we review and recommend them at JohnniePoker.com. Casinos are tested by either Jesper or me by making a deposit and playing at the casino to see if it works according to our standards of fair games, reliable payouts, and good support service. If so, we rate the casino upon the following criteria:

  • The quality and quantity of the signup bonus and other promotions
  • The quality and quantity of games, the software design used and other advantageous features
  • The quality and quantity of support – for example, if live help is offered and if they give precise and fast answers to our questions
  • The time it takes to complete payments

10. Which games and strategies are preferable?

In my opinion, Blackjack is the best game to play online due to both the high payout potential and the overall thrill the game incites. It is a game that requires both skill and strategy on how to play your hand — therefore I find it more exciting than games that only depend on pure luck.
It is always enjoyable to play other classic casino games. Games like Roulette, Video Poker and Slots always provide a great time. One of Jesper’s favorites is “Let it Ride Poker” because you get the chance of hitting the Jackpot with a nice Royal Flush.

Gambling Sites Reviews

Online Casinos Reviews

Our Reviews Are Different

Why? Because we take our Casinos Reviews and the review process very seriously. Have you ever been to a review site and realized that almost every site they reviewed sounded amazing? Or have you noticed that the sites at the top of their recommended lists aren’t that great? We will tell you why that is.

What Other Review Sites Do

The reason for this is that a lot of review sites will allow online casinos and sportsbooks to pay for better reviews and higher placement on recommendation lists. It’s fairly obvious what the problem with this is. You aren’t ever getting a real picture of what the casino or sportsbook is like. All you are getting are rainbows and roses blown up your tailpipe so the review site can make a few extra bucks.

Reviews like this do you zero good. You’ll end up at a sketchy and terrible site that has no problems using sleazy practices to get new customers. This is a recipe for disaster. Do you think that a site that doesn’t have integrity in their marketing practices is magically going to have integrity in how they deal with customers?

If it feels like everything in a review is positive, you’re probably at a review site that is being paid for better reviews. Our team has reviewed thousands of online casinos and sportsbooks, and we can say confidently that EVERY single one has at least something they can improve upon. Even the best in the business have something they could be doing better.

Our Review Process

As we stated earlier, we will not let a site pay us or give us anything for a more favorable review. Our reviews are 100% based on what we think of the site and how they treat their customers. This means that our reviews are just that, actual reviews. They’re not “ads” masquerading as reviews and deceiving customers into going to sub par online casinos and sportsbooks.

This ensures that our reviews are useful and ones that you can rely on. But we take things a step further. We are constantly going back and reevaluating sites and updating reviews as we find out about changes to the site or within the industry. A site review is ONLY of good use if it is current and up to date with the latest and most accurate information.

Regarding the actual process, we use a highly experienced staff of reviewers who have years of experience in the online gambling and sports betting industry. These reviewers are educated on the inner workings of these sites and the industry and know what to look for and what to expect. Thanks to their experience, they aren’t fooled by some of the tricks and sneakiness some sub par sites will try and pawn off on users.

  • Expert review staff
  • Reviews updated regularly
  • An honest approach
  • Never the ability to be bought

All of these things work together to allow us to provide you the highest quality and most trusted online gambling site reviews on the web.

The Criteria We Look For

One of the most important things needed to understand how we arrive at our conclusions and recommendations is to look at what criteria we deem important and specifically what we look for within each. Some review sites seem to be captivated only by how “pretty” an online casino or sportsbook looks and not a whole lot else. While graphics are important for overall user experience, they can be used easily by subpar sites to hide their imperfections.

Trustworthiness, Integrity, and Reliability

While we haven’t listed the criteria we look at in any specific order, we did make sure to put the top two criteria at the top of the list. The trustworthiness, integrity, and overall reliability of an online casino or sportsbook are hands down the most important factors to consider. No matter how great the site may seem, if you can’t trust the integrity and reliability of the operations, then you shouldn’t even spend a millisecond on the site.

When you gamble or sports bet, you are using your hard-earned money. A great online casino or sportsbook will know and respect this and provide an above board operation that puts you at ease. This is one criterion that we refuse to allow excuses for. If we get even the hint that something might not be on the up and up, the site is instantly blacklisted by us.

In our process of determining the trustworthiness, integrity, and reliability of a site, we look at all of the following things:

  • Company History
  • Industry Reputation
  • Management Team
  • Management Team History
  • Payout Practices
  • Customer Complaints
  • Licensing and Regulation
  • Third-Party Auditing

Safety and Security

Equally as important as trustworthiness, integrity, and reliability are the safety and security of your money and your personal information. It’s no secret that the internet is a scary place filled with a lot of bad people that are trying to do you harm. When money gets involved, that risk goes up no matter what the activity is.

This is why it is of the utmost importance that the online gambling sites and sportsbooks you choose to play at go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to protecting you. Outdated software, patchy and insufficient security and unencrypted connections have no place in this industry.

When you’re gambling, you don’t need to be worrying about whether or not your money is safe. You should be gambling with the games you play, not with the security of your money. Ok, that was a cheesy line, but in all seriousness, this is of the utmost importance and again is something we don’t accept excuses for.

It’s also important that the sites not only secure your money but that they secure your personal information as well. This means not selling your information to third-party companies and using the highest levels of protection available to keep your private information safe and only in the hands of those that need it to facilitate your gaming experience.

Payout Speed and Options

What’s the best part about gambling or sports betting? Winning and getting paid! What could be the most annoying part about gambling or sports betting? Winning and having to wait forever to get paid. In the early days of online gambling, getting paid on your bets took a long time, and the speed was far from reliable.

Thanks to advancements in the industry, you can now get paid instantly or within a few days from a site that has their act together. One of the most important things that we review are the payout options, speeds, and processes that each site offers. Unlike most review sites, we don’t just trust what the site says. It’s all fine and dandy if they tell you that you’ll be paid in 15 minutes, but if in reality, it takes 3 weeks, that’s an issue.

When you win, you deserve to be paid quickly and without hassle. Period. End of discussion.

Deposit Options

While not quite as important as how quickly and easily you get paid out your winnings, deposit options and speed are something that we review as well when looking at online casinos or sportsbooks. If a site makes you jump through hundreds of hoops just to get playing, it’s probably not worth your time. Depositing should be easy and should only take a few minutes at the most to get started. The sites should also offer you a bunch of different deposit options in case you have a personal preference of a method that works best for you.

Game Options and Quality

Trustworthiness and security…check. Fast and easy withdrawals and deposits…check. Must be a great site, right? Well, not quite yet. All of the above factors only matter if the site offers the games you want to play. If you love to play Blackjack but the site doesn’t offer it, what do you care how fast their cashouts are?

Out of all the criteria listed here, this is the one that you’re going to see the most variance across the board. Some sites will be heavy on casino games and weaker with their slot listings. Some will be the exact opposite and be a slot player’s dream with limited table options. The home run, though, is the sites that offer a huge mix of all games including table games and slots neatly arranged in a tight little package.

In addition to game selection, we look at the quality of the games, graphics, and game play. If the games look like they were crafted in someone’s garage or basement, it’s a no-go from us. We want high-quality graphics, smooth and seamless gameplay with no lagging, and lights and sounds that look realistic and get us excited.

Part of the reason we love online gambling is that it SHOULD do a great job of mimicking the same experience we get in the live brick and mortar casinos without all the added hassle. If this isn’t the case, what’s the point? While this criterion is up to personal preference quite a bit, we tend to be fairly hard on sites.

User Interface and Overall User Experience

In addition to a lot of game choices and great graphics, we look to see how well the online casino or sportsbook has laid out its website. Things should be easy for you to find, games easy to play, and anything else you need to accomplish shouldn’t make you want to pull your hair out and launch the computer against the wall.

You would think this was something simple and that most sites would be on top of this. Unfortunately, that is not the case. It seems that a lot of the sites are built by software engineers who don’t fully understand the end user and how they like to navigate a site. This results in a website that feels clunky and getting anything done is a chore.

Gambling online should be fun and relaxing. If the user interface is lacking, this is impossible. Much like the game quality criterion, this is one that we are personally particularly harsh on if it is lacking.

Level of Customer Service and Options

Whether you’re brand new to online gambling or someone who’s been doing it for years, there are inevitably going to be times that you need some assistance. You may need help with a cashout or deposit, help with a game, or just have a basic question about a rule or promotion the casino is running. Whatever it may be, you don’t want to be stuck with no good answer or having to chase people around to get the answer you need.

For this reason, we take a lot of time in looking at the quality and level of customer service provided and the various options the site has. Live chat and email support and the two must-haves that we look for. Without these, it’s hard to believe that a site really cares about its customers. The only exception is if the site offers phone support in place of the live chat.

Ideally, we would like to see all three, and we would like to see them available 24/7, 365 days a year. Phone support used to be something that was a diamond in the rough if you found, but it’s quickly becoming an industry standard, and we are beginning to treat it as such.

In addition to a lot of options that are readily available, the quality of the support must be good as well. Getting in touch with a customer service agent quickly doesn’t help you much if they can’t actually help you fulfill your request. They need to be polite, prompt and educated on the ins and outs of the business. It’s pretty easy to spot when a company outsources their support to the lowest bidder.

Bonuses, Promotions, and VIP Programs

While this should be the last criterion that you look at when selecting an online casino or sportsbook home, this is still one that you do want to pay attention to (and we do too). Thanks to the fact that there are thousands of online casinos and sportsbooks, the competition level is extremely high for your business. This means that sites are going to compete by offering freebies and bonuses just to get you in the door and then offer you more to keep your business.

These sorts of incentives come in all shapes and sizes and are constantly changing and evolving. The reason we say that this should be the last thing you look at is because we will leave an overall bad site with a good bonus for a great site with a mediocre bonus any day. But, we won’t leave a great site with a bad bonus for a bad site with a great bonus.

Basically, in simpler terms, the quality of an online casino or sportsbook is MUCH more important than the level of bonus programs they are offering. Where it can come into play is if you are down to deciding between a couple of sites and need to push one of them over the edge somehow.

Why Picking a Good Site is Important

For some reason, some people really don’t think it’s that big of a deal where you choose to play. Unfortunately, this is the wrong mindset to have and will most likely result in you having a bad time or worse gambling online. Picking where to play online is probably the single most important contributing factor to whether or not you have a bad, good, or great online gambling experience.

It really does not take that long to flip through a few reviews and make sure that the site you are interested in is also interested in making you happy. Here are a few of the reasons why picking a good site is so important.

It Can Save or Make You More Money

This one should be a no-brainer, but we’ll gladly explain it out in case you’re new to online gambling or sports betting. If you gamble at a site that is not reputable and not trustworthy, you may have issues getting paid on your winnings. This may be in the form of delayed payments or issues with their terms of service trying to deny you money you’ve won. This should be the single reason you need to make sure you are playing at a reputable online site.

In addition, sites that are not well laid out with a strong user interface are notorious for players making betting mistakes at. If it’s not easy to see what you’re betting and how much you are betting, you are running the risk of making mistakes that will cost you money. Don’t expect the casino to repay you for mistakes either. Take the time now to find a site with a user-friendly interface and avoid these problems altogether.

Getting the Best Overall Experience

Online gambling is supposed to be fun and exciting. It’s supposed to be something that gets your blood moving and is enjoyable. If you’re playing at a subpar site, your experience is also going to be subpar. It does not cost you anything extra to play at a better site. You deserve the best when you play with your hard-earned money.

Protecting Your Money and Your Information

We’ve already harped on this one pretty hard, but we need to mention it again. You are responsible for protecting your money and your personal information when you do anything online. Sadly, there are a lot of bad people in every corner of the web looking to steal your money and information and do you harm.

This is not meant to scare you or make you run away from the web. It’s merely mentioned to make sure that you take the time and put in the effort to find a site that puts in the time and effort to protect you.

Our Closing Thought

Have fun! Seriously, online gambling and sportsbooks were created to give you an awesome way to enjoy your favorite games from the comfort of your own home. Take advantage of the technology, but just make sure you do it in a smart and safe manner, and you’ll have an absolute blast!