Introduction to Online Slot Machines
When it comes to online gambling there are fewer things more popular than slot machines. Even in traditional casinos, slot machines are extremely popular with hundreds of different machines available in each location. The slots in casinos are all digital nowadays, which means that the online casinos operate in an almost identical way to those you would play in a physical casino. If you are interested in playing online slot machines at your favourite online casino, you will want to take some time to learn more about this exciting option.
How to Play
Each slot machine is going to have its own set of rules. Reading through the description of a game before playing it will help you to understand all the different ways that you can win. In general, the goal is to get specific icons, pictures, or logos in a row. For example, there will be three spinning wheels in a classic slot machine with different images on them. If you hit three cherries in a row, you hit the jackpot.
Modern options can have five or more digital wheels with dozens of images. There is always one set of images that will get you the jackpot, but many other patterns will allow you to win a set amount based on the machine’s rules.
When you’re ready to start playing online slots, you will choose how much you want to wager. The more you wager, the more you will win when you hit a prize. Of course, you are also putting more on the line so it is possible to lose more.
Once you’ve selected your wager amount, you will pull the lever. Pulling the lever is a reference to how the original slots were operated using a large lever on the side of the machine. With online slot machines, you will have to click a button that is typically labeled spin or pull to activate the machine. Some games will automatically stop the slot on random images, while on others, you will have to push a button to stop each wheel.
Once all the wheels have stopped, the slot will identify any wins you have and add the proper amount of money to your account. You can then repeat this process, hoping to hit the jackpot or other big wins!
There are thousands of different online slot machine games available to choose from, and more are being developed all the time. While everyone is going to have a different favorite game, the following are always among the most popular:
Age of the Gods – This game has a ‘Greek Gods’ theme with 5 spinning reels, 20 pay-lines, and tons of great bonuses.
Deal or No Deal – Based on the popular television game show, this 5 reel slot game offers a progressive jackpot at most casinos, which helps to maximize your winning opportunities.
Beach Life – You’ll love this summer beach themed slot no matter what the season is outside. It is a pretty straight forward game that is easy to learn, but with jackpot prizes of $2 million or more, it is easy to see why it is so popular.
A Night Out – This is just a fun game that has a little of a ‘trashy’ theme to it that many people enjoy. There are plenty of bonuses and other ways to boost your winnings.
Starburst – Starburst is likely the most popular slot machine online today. Starburst is the slot game that most casinos use when giving away free spins as part of a bonus or promotion. It is a classic 5-reel setup with 10 pay-lines that is just a lot of fun.
Understanding Your Odds
When playing online slot machines most people will want to know their odds of winning money. Like with physical slot machines, it won’t be easy calculating with complete accuracy the odds of winning when playing online slots. There are several things you can look at to get a good idea of how likely you are to win. The following are some key things to be aware of:
Return to Player Rate – The return to player rate, or RTP, is the percentage that will be paid back to the player if they play for a long enough period of time. For example, Starburst typically has an RTP of 96.1%. What this means is if you bet £100, you will, on average, get £96.1 back in winnings.
Variance – The variance factor is often listed for a slot machine and it determines what types of prizes are likely to be won. Low variance slots will give out a larger total number of prizes, but they will typically be smaller. High variance slots will have fewer wins in total number, but those wins will be of higher value.
Hit Frequency – The hit frequency is how often a slot machine will land on a winning combination. If a machine’s hit frequency is 25%, for example, it will average a winning play once out of every four spins.
Random Number Generator – All reputable casinos that want to remain in compliance with regulatory agencies need to use random number generators in their slots. These random number generators make it impossible to predict the outcome of a slot machine on any given spin.
Other Factors – Other factors that can impact your odds will include things like how many lines you play and how often you switch machines.
There is no doubt that online slot machines are a great way to have some fun while giving yourself a chance at some great winnings. Whether you have played them in person or not, online slot machines should be on your list of things to try whenever visiting a new casino on the web.
Blackjack Online: How to Play | Strategies | Odds & More
Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the world. It is easy to learn the basics but involves plenty of strategies involved to make it enjoyable for even the most advanced card players. If you’ve ever walked into a casino, you have undoubtedly seen lots of busy ‘half-moon’ type tables with a dealer on one side, and players around the other. These tables are a traditional blackjack setup. Online blackjack games will typically simulate this same setup since it is something people are comfortable with and it is also important in ensuring players get their turns in the right order.
Understanding how to play Blackjack
Whether you are playing online or in person, the rules are the same for this exciting game. To start, players will put down their bet. The amount you can bet will depend on the casino and the table but typically ranges from £5 up to thousands. Once the bets are placed, the dealer will deal two cards to all the players. When dealing cards to himself, one of the cards will be visible to everyone, and the other will be kept hidden to all except the dealer.
The goal of the game is to get your hand to add up to as close to 21 as possible without going over. After all the initial cards are dealt, each player will decide whether they want to ‘hit’ (get another card) or ‘stand’ (stop getting more cards). Players can keep getting cards one at a time until they stand, or they ‘bust’, which means the total of their cards went over 21.
Once all the players have finished, the dealer will go through the same process. Dealers at casinos (both online and in-person) must follow set rules on when they will hit or stand. In virtually every case, dealers have to hit until they reach 17, at which point they must stand. If the dealer has a ‘soft’ 17 (meaning one of the cards is an ace, which is worth either 1 or 11), they may still hit at some casinos. Such casinos will make it clear how they play so that it will be the same in every hand. Anyone who beats the dealer will win their bet (doubling their wager). Anyone who went over 21 or stopped at a lower number than the dealer ended up with will lose. These are the basics of the game, and there are other rules that can have a huge impact on the strategy of the game.
There are a number of other rules that can have a significant impact on how you play the game. When players take advantage of all these rules and strategies, blackjack has some of the best odds of winning in any casino. Some of the additional rules are as follows:
Doubling Down – This is where after getting the initial cards, a player can choose to double their initial bet in exchange for being required to stand after receiving just one more card.
Splitting – When a player is dealt two cards of the same value (two kings, for example), they can ‘split’ those two cards and play them as two separate hands. The player puts another wager on the second card and is dealt another card onto each of the originals. They then play each of those hands separately, hoping to win on both.
Insurance – Most casinos offer ‘insurance’ which is permitted when the dealer’s up card is an ace. The players can put up 50% of their original bet as insurance. If the dealer has blackjack, the player receives 2 to 1 money on the insurance wager.
Understanding each of these concepts and when to use them can help you maximize your odds when playing online blackjack. There have been entire books written on blackjack strategy. Learning when to hit, when to stand, when to double down, or split is very important. One quick tip, however, is that insurance is not a good bet. The odds simply don’t work out in your favor with this particular option.
Online Blackjack Odds
The odds of winning blackjack depend largely on your ability to play using the best possible strategies. When players start betting based on their gut or a feeling, the odds will drop significantly. However, playing with the best strategy for every hand gives the highest odds in any casino game.
The exact odds will vary based on the rules that the casino has and the strategy that a player uses. For example, when the casino has a rule that says it stands on all 17s, players can double down on any first two cards, and that a natural blackjack pays a full 3 to 2 payouts, the house favour reduces to just .5%. Some of the rules will have a measurable change to the house favour. For example:
Additional Decks – The more decks of cards being used, the better the casino’s odds. Casinos typically use between 1 and 8 decks, with 8 decks giving them an additional .02% advantage. All other things being equal, players should look for tables with a lower deck count.
Hit on Soft 17 – When the casino has the dealer hit on a soft 17, their odds improve by .2%.
Double Down on 9-11 Only – If the players are only permitted to double down on 9-11’s, the house advantage goes up by .09%. When it is allowed on 10’s and 11’s only, the house advantage goes up to .22%.
No Doubling Down After a Split – When a casino does not allow players to double down after a split, their odds go up by .13%.
Finding a casino with a table that offers the best rules for improving your odds is not always easy, but it can be worth the effort. Playing at the right table, and using the right strategies, can allow players to maximize their ability to win.
Wagering at Online Casinos
Gambling at online casinos is a fun and exciting way to spend your time, and if you’re lucky, win some money. While winning at an online casino does rely on chance and luck, there are also elements of skill and strategy that can help improve your odds. Properly wagering your money is one of the most important things that any gambler can learn. This article offers some insights on different wagering strategies that may help you to improve your game.
Choosing Where to Wager Your Money
When developing a smart wagering strategy, the most important thing to think about is where you are betting your money. Online casinos have hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of different gaming options to choose from, so make sure you find the perfect balance of fun and great odds. Some wagering information about popular game types can be found here:
Online Slots – Slot machines make up the bulk of the games in any casino. While the odds on slots is lower than what is possible with table games, you can still find some great returns. Finding fun slot machines with generous odds can improve your playing experience.
Progressive Slots – Progressive slots have a jackpot that keeps going up the more you play. While this may not impact your overall odds much, it gives you a chance at some huge wins, which can make it a lot of fun.
Online Blackjack – When played properly, blackjack has the best odds at the casino. Make sure to learn proper blackjack strategy, and you can have a great chance at some big wins!
Online Poker – Poker (including video poker) is another game with great odds, as long as you play smart!
Live Games – Live table games will give you a real-life casino experience, which includes the improved odds of winning. Just keep in mind, when playing at a live table, the way the other players play their cards can impact your hand!
Take Advantage of Bonus Money
Just about all online casinos will offer you some type of bonus money when you sign up. In most situations, this comes in the form of deposit matching money that can add up to hundreds in free money. Taking full advantage of this type of bonus match is going to dramatically extend your bankroll so you can enjoy your favorite games for hours longer than would otherwise be possible.
Many people choose to use their bonus money to try out new games to see if they like them without putting their own money at risk. This can be a smart wagering strategy that will let you have a lot of fun while minimizing your potential losses. Most bonus money is for new customers of a casino. This is why many people who love online gambling will sign up in different casinos and take advantage of the initial deposit matching bonuses. There are dozens of great casino properties online today, so this can get you thousands in money that you can use to try your luck!
Always Join VIP or Players Clubs
Never wager your money if you’re not getting points or other perks in the process. Today, virtually every online casino will have some type of VIP program, players club, or other option that incentivizes you to keep gambling with them. These programs can help you earn free spins on the slots, free money added to your account, or various other great prizes. If you’re going to be wagering your money anyway, it just doesn’t make sense to miss out on these bonuses.
While every one of these programs is different, you can often significantly offset your losses by participating. Some programs will even give you a set percentage of your losses back as bonus money. This will help allow you to play for hours of extra time without having to dip back into your own money. Of course, this helps to maximize your opportunities at hitting those big wins!
Develop a Wagering Strategy
This last tip is vital and will help you avoid one of the most common mistakes people make when gambling—betting on emotion. People often make their bets based on a ‘feeling’ that they are about to hit it big. The fact is, however, that gambling is all about the numbers. When you start, make sure you have a set wagering strategy in mind and stick to it. For example, if you are playing blackjack, go to your virtual table knowing that you will bet £10 per hand, no matter what (or whatever amount you choose). Don’t adjust that strategy based on a hunch that you are about to get a good hand. While you may get lucky once in a while, over time this will end up costing you more than it makes you.
In the end, online gambling is about having fun and hoping that you get lucky and win big. Playing with a smart wagering strategy can help to maximize your odds of coming out ahead. Even if you end up losing money, however, good wagering strategies will undoubtedly extend the amount of time you can play, which means you’ll have a more enjoyable experience!
Are Online Casinos Secured?
When you walk into a traditional casino you will see security guards, hundreds of cameras, and many other safety features. While these things are meant to protect the casino itself, it has a side benefit of ensuring the players are also protected. At online casinos, however, the security isn’t nearly as obvious. Of course, you aren’t going to get mugged when gambling at an online casino, but there are other risks. For example, if the casino isn’t reputable, they could set their games to have a very low payout, or they may not properly secure your transactions so they are at risk of digital theft.
Fortunately, most online casinos today have taken the necessary steps to ensure all your wagers and transactions are fully protected. In addition, they offer fair and transparent odds for all their gaming options. Learning more about the security systems of online casinos can help you feel more comfortable betting your money, and also help you to avoid the disreputable properties that aren’t safe.
Look for Licensing
One of the most important ways you can gauge the security of an online casino is to look at their licenses. Online casinos can become licensed by governmental or other regulatory agencies. To become licensed, the casino has to let people from the agency review their systems to ensure they are adequately secured and committed to fair play. There are quite a few different licensing agencies that do this type of work. The following are the most respected and popular:
Malta Gaming Authority
UK Gambling Commission
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
If you see that a casino is licensed by one or more of these agencies, you can be confident that they can be trusted. Keep in mind that while these agencies are based in specific countries, their license will provide credibility to the casino no matter where the players are located. For example, if you are in the UK and the Malta Gaming Authority licenses the casino, you can still trust that the casino will treat you right.
The licensing will show the reputation of the casino itself. Still, when sending or receiving money online, there are always bad actors out there trying to intercept the money. To prevent this, casinos need to make sure they are properly encrypting the transaction data every step of the way. This is standard practice for all online transactions today, but some casinos may not do it properly, which leaves your money at risk.
When reviewing a casino, make sure they use advanced SSL encryption techniques that prevent third parties from using any of the data to take your money. When reviewing online casinos, we look closely at their encryption and security standards to ensure your money is protected when making a deposit or a withdrawal. If a casino doesn’t use the safest industry standards in this area, we would never recommend that anyone trusts them with their money.
Don’t Take Chances with Your Money
There are many factors that you will want to consider when choosing an online casino. The security of a platform should be at the top of this list. Remember, if an online casino (or any website that gathers financial information) isn’t secured you aren’t just putting the money you deposit at risk, but all of your finances. Most online casinos today use modern security techniques, so there is no reason to try one that seems shady.
Casino Payment Methods
While the best part of gambling with an online casino is the actual play and potential for winning money, one of the most critical aspects of this hobby is the available payment methods. You can’t begin to gamble online if you don’t have the ability to safely deposit funds into your account. Equally important, if you can’t withdraw the money once you win it, gambling loses its purpose. With that in mind, take a moment to learn more about some of the most popular casino payment methods available today.
Skrill (Formerly Known as Moneybookers)
Skrill is a popular and secure e-wallet option that is used by virtually every online casino today. It is convenient, fast, and fully encrypted to ensure your money is protected from beginning to end. This payment method is used in over 200 countries. It can be used for both deposits and withdrawals on most casinos without any delay.
Neteller is another major e-wallet and is known in the industry for using state of the art security and encryption standards. This e-wallet is very simple and easy to use, which is what most people like about it. Depending on how the casino sets things up, Neteller can provide instant deposits and withdrawals.
PayPal is perhaps the best-known online payment method in the world today. It offers exceptional security, and since most people already have an account with PayPal, it is even easier to use. You can get instant deposits to your casino account using PayPal, but withdrawals will typically take 1-2 days to complete.
Traditional Credit Cards (Visa & MasterCard)
Just about everyone has a credit card (or a debit card with a Visa or MasterCard logo), which makes this the easiest option in most cases. These financial institutions have the best security in the industry and are there to protect you should something go wrong. Depending on where your credit or debit card is from, there may be fees associated with depositing money to certain casinos, however, so keep that in mind. While deposits will go through instantly with this method, withdrawals can take 1-5 days.
This is a prepaid card that is used throughout the European Union and the UK. It is easy to add cash to Paysafe card at thousands of street retailers so you can get your money where you want it fast. The security with this option is top-notch as well. Deposits are instant, but they don’t accept withdrawals, so you’ll have to have another option for that.
EcoCard is an e-wallet that is growing in popularity, especially in Europe and Canada. It has fully encrypted transactions and works at most online casinos today. This option allows instant deposits and withdrawals as long as the casino is set up for them.
A bank transfer is a popular option when people want to deposit or withdrawal large amounts of money. It will require some extra steps compared to the other options but is great for certain situations. Deposits can take 1 to 3 days to complete, and withdrawals take 1-5.
This is another option that is growing in popularity, mainly due to their focus on security and the ability to use a wide range of different currencies. You can use it to deposit money into your online casino account instantly. Withdrawals can take anywhere from a few hours to two days in most cases.
Bitcoin (and Other Cryptocurrency)
Cryptocurrency is becoming extremely popular in many areas, and that is especially true with online casinos. While Bitcoin is the most popular choice by far, some casinos accept other types including Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. Cryptocurrency is extraordinarily secure and allows for instant deposits and withdrawals in most cases.
Choosing Your Payment Method
Choosing the right payment method for your situation is very important. It can impact how quickly you can start gambling, how fast you can get your money out, and what fees there may be. Many people will use multiple different payment methods based on where they have the funds available. Whatever you choose, make sure you keep your information safe and secure at all times by only gambling with reputable and licensed online casinos.