ONLINE CASINO REVIEWS
Online casinos have come a long way in the last 20 years. Before the dawn of the internet, you had to make your way to a real-world casino if you wanted to have a spin of a roulette wheel or take your chances at the blackjack table.
Now it is all available at the click of a button. Technological advances mean that often we can even play against a real dealer. Almost all highly reputable UK online casino’s now offer the live service.
But if you don’t want to play face-to-face you can always just pit your wits against the computer.
HOW DO ONLINE CASINOS WORK?
Known also as virtual casinos, online casinos are 100% technology-based. There are two types. The first is where you simply log-on and play and the second is when you download a game.
The games you stream, or simply play without download, are created using a computer program known as ‘Flash’. This is a plugin that you agree to add to your computer or device. It allows a small screen to pop up and display the game you want to play.
Once you are connected to the internet, all graphics, sounds, and animations are loaded through the internet via the flash plugin.
The games themselves have been created using specialised algorithms and random number generators. This means your chances of winning are as close to the real world as possible.
In fact, sometimes your chances are higher as online casinos offer odds and payback percentages that are a bit higher than land-based casinos.
Otherwise, they work the same way as the real world. Every time you place a bet or play a hand, a tiny portion of that stake is raked back as profit for the casino. As are all your losses.
CAN I WIN EVERY TIME AT AN ONLINE CASINO?
To make this as easy as possible, the straightforward answer is no. So many casino games require an element of luck that it’s impossible to win every single time.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t use tips and guides to improve your chances. Learning to play games that require more skill will give you the upper hand.
For example, if you play Texas Hold’Em, you control the outcome. Deciding to bet, raise, or fold is completely your choice. However, where the ball lands on a virtual roulette wheel is not.
HOW DO ONLINE CASINOS PAY YOU?
In order to play at an online casino, you must first sign-up. This means giving your personal details such as name, address, phone number, email etc… Once you have completed the registration, your account is open.
But in order to be able to play, you have to deposit money. This can be done by using a debit card. Credit cards cannot be used on UK online casinos. Please note that some online casinos no longer accept Paypal either.
If you deposit £20 that means you have a balance of £20 to play with. When you bet, the money is deducted from that balance. But when you win, the money is added to it.
At any point, you can simply withdraw your winnings by clicking on your account icon (usually top right side of the screen) and click ‘withdraw’. Choose the amount and the money is transferred from the casino back onto the debit card you used to deposit your funds.
REGULATING ONLINE CASINOS
We all want to be as safe as possible when we use the internet. That’s why you should only ever play on regulated online casinos. In the UK, online casinos are governed by the Gambling Commission.
It is their job to license and regulate the people and businesses that provide gambling in Great Britain. The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005. They provide licences to operators and individuals in Great Britain that run arcades, gaming machines, betting, lotteries, bingo, remote gambling (online, telephone), casinos and gambling software.
Using their rulebook known as the ‘Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice’, they carry out assessments to make sure that licensees are following their requirements.
If a company fails, the Gambling Commission uses its regulatory powers to take action. All of the most reputable bookmakers and online casinos in the UK work incredibly hard to ensure that they always comply with gambling legislation. And it’s all done to keep you safe when you play.
HOW DO I KNOW IF A CASINO IS REGULATED?
It is very easy to find out if the casino you want to play at is regulated and safe. Simply scroll to the bottom of any page on their website and if they are licensed, they will have the Gambling Commission logo prominently displayed.
They should also state the country from which they have their gambling licence (often Malta or Gibraltar for tax reasons) and they 100% should be signed up to GamStop and BeGambleAware.org
Do not sign up with an unregulated casino. There is no protection for you as a player and often they are just elaborate scams. Keep your details safe and only play at well known and trusted sites.
HOW DO CASINOS MAKE MONEY
It all comes down to basic maths. Customers have to lose more than they win. That’s how casinos make money. Go to a Blackjack table, play a few rounds. You might win a couple but you’ll probably lose more. And one you lose more than you walk away with, the casino has made money.
And just in case you think a few players on a winning streak might cause a dent into a casino’s coffers, there is always the House Edge. This is a term used to describe the mathematical advantage that the game, and therefore the casino, has over you as you play over time.
This advantage results in an assured percentage return to the casino over time, and for you an assured percentage loss of what you bet. That percentage changes depending on the game you play.
As an example, if you look at the RTP (return To Player) percentage on any online slot, it’s usually around 96%. That means that on average that slot will pay out 96% of the takings in prizes. That leaves 4% which goes to the online casino hosting the game.
The more players that spin the slot, the more money is wagered on it, the more the casino makes. As for table games, Blackjack (Single Deck) has the lowest House Edge which starts at around 1.5%.
So whether you win or lose, the house always wins and that is how casino’s make money.