A Truthful Guide for Beginners to the World’s Top Rated Online Casinos
It used to be that wanting to play at an online casino meant choosing between just a handful of big name brands. Nowadays, however, there are far more to choose from. And with new sites being launched almost on a daily basis, the task for anyone just starting out can be thankless, even impossible. Fortunately, it’s not a decision that has to be made alone. Not only are there plenty of individuals offering their personal advice. There are also countless websites offering to share their idea of the best online casinos. Is this website any different? We like to think so, but then maybe we’re a little biased. Give us a few moments of your time and we’ll be able to convince you that the advice, information and tips we share are honest and truthful. Peruse all our pages, new ones will be added on a regular basis, and we’ll help you find the best online casino. We’ll also keep you up to date with the latest innovations in the industry. And for the complete beginner we’ll be your online casino guide. Picking the top online casinos is a service we take very seriously and you should too. You can, of course, choose to undertake this mammoth task completely unaided. But why would you do that when we can save you hours and hours of research. Playing at a number of different casinos might sound rather interesting and exciting, but it could end up being very costly. As not all online casinos are cut from the same cloth. Yes, there are plenty that operate in a fair, transparent and responsible way. But as is often the case, there are also some pretty bad ones too. Not very many, but enough to increase the risk of you getting caught out by a scam. So how do we come up with our top rated online casinos? In order for a casino to receive a rating and feature in our online casino list it has to comply with various important criteria. When we write our online casino reviews we look at features such as customer support, banking options, bonuses for new and existing players, variety of games and a few other things. All of which we’ll be looking at in more detail later, as well as on separate pages.
- Best online Casinos
- Casino reviews explained
- Game Selection
- Banking options
- Casino software
- How to find best casinos
- Casino support
- Gambling glossary
- History of Gambling
- More online casinos
- Gamble responsibly
The aim of our top rated online casino site
Anyone looking for the best online casino sites at which to spend some money can feel like they’re in the middle of a minefield. So much so that picking one in particular can seem like an impossible task. Many of us here at Top Rated Online Casino were in just that situation only a few years ago, which is one of the reasons we decided to create this online casino guide. All of us here are sharing what we’ve learned over a number of years because we don’t want you to be put off finding the best online casino sites. And recklessly spending your cash at the first one you find. You might be lucky and happen to come across a diamond of a site. But it’s equally likely you’ll find you’ve made a big mistake. With our help you’ll be able to compare online casinos in an informed way and learn all you need to know about playing various casino games, perfecting strategies and maximizing your profits. In our online casino reviews section we’ll be looking at the top casinos in the world. And we’ll also look at the latest online casino games. Now you’ve got a fair idea of what this website is all about, let’s look at some of the best casino online criteria.
Recommended Online Casinos
|888 Casino||24-Hour Support200+ Games||$1500||UKGC, GGC||Excellent.||Open AccountReview|
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The features we look for when writing our casino reviews
Are you about to venture into the perilous world of online casino gambling? Are you looking for reputable online casinos after having your fingers burnt? Would you like to know your options because you’ve become a little bored with your current online casino? Whatever the reasons we’ll help you find what you’re looking for. There are a number of criteria we look at when writing about the top online casino sites and it’ll help you to understand what these are.
Safety and security
It’s possible to enjoy plenty of online casino gambling games without spending a penny. But eventually there will come a need to spend some real money and that’s when safety and security are going to be a primary concern. One way of ensuring the fairness and reputation of a casino is to check whether it’s licensed and regulated by a recognised regulatory body. Most countries have their own, which we’ll introduce on the country specific pages, some of which are stricter than others. Ideally, you should pick an online casino that’s regulated in the country you reside. However, this is easier for residents of certain countries, such as the UK, than for others. If you reside in the EU it’s also much easier as many European countries recognise regulation and licenses issued by external institutions. Some regulatory institutions you’re likely to encounter are the UK Gambling Commission, the Gibraltar Gambling Authority, and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Another factor we bear in mind when researching the top online casinos is whether it’s regularly audited by an external testing agency. There are a number of different ones, but the most well-known is eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). This is a London based, internationally approved testing agency and player protection and standards organization. It also specializes in the certification of online gaming software and systems. Something else we look out for is whether the casino takes its responsibilities seriously. There are certain standards and best practices that should be complied with. And the most reputable online casinos will support the work of responsible gambling organisations such as GamCare, the Responsible Gambling Trust and GambleAware. Support of these organisations is generally shown by including seals of approval, in the form of certain logos, in the footer of a casino site. Rest assured we always look for these as well as checking out a casino’s license and regulation. We will only include those in our online casino list that meet these particular criteria.
Selection of games
Are you a lover of slots or is bingo your thing? Do you prefer to play card games or long to spin the wheel? Are you an all-rounder or is there something specific you’ll be wanting to play? Are you going to be sat at home playing? Or more likely to be travelling on the bus to work? Are you happy to play against a computer screen or would you prefer a more life-like gaming experience? These are just a few of the questions you might be asking yourself. But when it comes to games at the best online casino sites we’d expect there to be a pretty good range of everything. The games selection is an important criteria for many players and it is for us too. We’ll be looking more closely at some of the different games of future pages, but for now we’ll discuss games in general. One good thing about playing at an online casino is that there really are no restrictions when it comes to adding more games. A land-based casino, on the other hand, is only able to host a certain number of games. Generally, an online casino will offer a selection of video slots, table and card games as well as video poker and scratch card games. Some of the other options might be:
FIND YOUR PERFECT Online Casino Game
The actual selection will depend on the software used by the individual casino and will vary in quality, diversity and quantity. We haven’t got enough room to list all the games available when writing our online casino reviews and have to be more general in our information. Although, if there are some particularly good casino games to play we will try and mention them. As well as having a good selection to choose from it’s also beneficial to be able to play a good selection of them using a mobile device. Playing at online casinos using smartphones or tablets is an expanding section of the market. We will look at mobile compatibility as a criteria in its own right a little further down the page. And let’s not forget the availability of live dealer games. As this is another section of the online casino market that is becoming increasingly popular. Being able to experience the feel of a real-life casino without leaving home, and enjoying the banter with a good-looking dealer, for some is their idea of heaven. So we make sure we include the availability of online casino live games when writing our reviews.
When first starting out it’s a good idea to look for online casinos that will allow you to play with someone else’s money. Most top rated casinos are now using promotions and bonuses to entice new customers through the door and keep regulars happy. Which is good for the players because it means playing with some of the casinos money as well as their own and increasing the chances of winning. But once again, there are so many offers to choose from it can be a trifle overwhelming, especially for complete beginners. We’ll be looking at the issue of bonuses and whether they’re as good as they seem on another page but for now suffice it to say that we take a look at the promotions currently being offered at the best rated online casinos and ensure you’ve got the latest information. We’ll include the welcome offers, regular promotions, loyalty and VIP reward programs, deposit bonuses and whether there are any other perks and benefits worth considering. There are a number of different bonuses and promotions offered by various online casinos, but there’s one thing they all have in common. They will all come with certain terms and conditions and the inevitable wagering requirements. There might be one or two out of the hundreds that have no such requirements but it’s a very rare thing. The wagering requirements applied to the majority of bonuses and any winnings generated from the bonus have to be satisfied before a withdrawal can be made. Ad there are no exceptions. They might range from 4 or 5 to fifty or sixty. Sometimes even as much as eighty. It’s also likely the bonus will have a validity period and certain games it can be used on. All these little details will be mentioned wherever possible in our online casino reviews. And you’d be advised to check the small print yourself before claiming any kind of bonus. There’s possibly nothing worse than accepting some free play money and then being unable to withdraw any winnings or having the bonus taken away. Promotions are a great opportunity but not something to be taken advantage of without appreciating what’s involved.
Compare online casinos banking options
There are a number of ways you can enjoy online casino gambling without having to spend a penny but eventually you’ll need to think about funding your account. If you’ve claimed a no deposit casino bonus you’ll have to make a real money deposit in order to withdraw your winnings. And you’ll also need to meet certain wagering requirements, which on the whole have to be met with real money wagers. Banking options are therefore another important criteria that we look at and you should too. The choice of payment methods tends to differ from online casino to online casino. As a general rule, you can expect the large majority to accept bank transfers and the most popular credit and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and Maestro. There are also a small number of top casinos in the world that accept mobile billing. The exact options will differ but most accept a variety of e-wallets, prepaid cards and other more local methods. Some of the most popular payment methods include:
As well as different payment methods we also consider the different currencies that are accepted. Ideally, you want to look for an online casino that accepts your local currency. But obviously this isn’t going to be an option for everyone. British Pounds, US dollars and Euros are the most common currencies accepted for making payments. And if one of these isn’t your usual currency you’ll need to factor the cost of currency exchange that will be levied by the casino you choose. It’s also worth mentioning the long list of terms and conditions that are always a big part of making payments. Some of them may seem a little ridiculous and some may seem very annoying. You need to read them very carefully and read in between the lines as well. Because compliance with the requirements is vital if you want your payments to be made without a hitch.
Top casino software
Online casino gambling has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and that’s all thanks to the best software and the latest technology. There are a handful of big name software developers who provide games and services for most of the top rated online casinos. But there are also many smaller software developers that contribute to the online gaming industry. In fact, there are possibly thousands of them, with some getting more recognition than others. Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt are the three biggest but there are others who also develop online casino software including RNG games, live dealer games, platforms and much more. Software is another subject we look at in more detail on another page but for now we’ll introduce you to the two different types of casino platform. As this is what you’re going to be most interested in at the beginning. Which you choose is more of a personal preference as both have disadvantages and advantages. When playing at the best online casinos you’re able to choose between downloadable and instant play. To play at a downloadable casino you’ll need to install the software on your computer. In order to play it has to be launched, much like any other program installed on your computer. Instant-play is slightly different, in that you can play games, manage your account and other things directly from your chosen browser. No download or installation is required. You simply access the casinos website direct. You’ll find that most of the online casinos you visit offer both options. Which is perfect, because it means you can try them both before deciding which you prefer. Speaking from experience, we have to say that generally, more games are available if you choose a downloadable version of a casino site. Instant games, on the other hand, are easier to access and tend to have a mobile version you can use with a smartphone or tablet.
Latest online casino mobile
The future of online casino gambling is most definitely in the mobile market, which is why mobile-compatibility is a criteria we use when compiling our online casino list. Fewer and fewer online gamblers are choosing to play using a desktop. The modern preference is to play at the top online casino sites using a mobile device. It could be a smartphone or tablet, using one of several popular operating systems. Mobile compatability used to be a nice addition but it’s now become an essential. All the top online casino sites use platforms that are as compatible as possible and can be used on even the smallest touch screen mobile devices. There are, however, a number of casinos that are better than others, and we’ll be sure to point this out in our online casino guide. Mobile apps and some of the top online mobile casinos have their own dedicated pages, so make sure you spend some time reading what we’ve got to say about them.
Availability of live dealer games
One of the hottest new features of many of the best casinos online is the availability of live dealer games. All the glamor and excitement of a top Las Vegas casino can now be enjoyed whether you’re sat at home or on the bus traveling to work, or even stood in the queue at your favorite store. And there’s no need to worry about travelling or sorting out accommodation. There are a number of advantages to playing at a live dealer online casino as opposed to a land-based establishment. There are more bonuses and promotions for a start and also plenty more games to choose from. We have several pages dedicated to live dealer casinos, and will be looking at the criteria we measure them by on another page. But for now you can feel confident in the fact that we consider number of games and different variations, software features, bonus offers, mobile availability, as well as licensing and regulation.
Reliability of customer service
All the best online casinos, and especially those we feature in our top rated online casino list, will offer 24/7 customer support. Anything less, in our opinion, is completely unacceptable. It’s possible to play online casino games any time of the night and day, so it would make sense if there’s a point of contact available should there be any problems. Something that players tend not to think about until it’s actually needed is the availability of customer support. And if it’s not there when you need it, what’s the point. If you’re looking for an online casino site where you can play all night and day, remember you need to be able to seek help 24 hours a day too. Check the casino’s support service working hours and make sure they match your planned playing schedule. And it’s not just the hours of operation that are important. Of equal value are the variety of ways you can get in touch. In our opinion, the best way is using instant chat, followed by telephone communication, preferably via a toll-free telephone number. If email is the only option this would raise suspicion for us. It can also be very useful if there’s a comprehensive FAQs or help section. But it needs to be easy to navigate or you might as well get in touch with the customer support service to save time.
How to find the best online casino of the year
When you’re looking for the best online casino 2017, the trick is not to go for the first one you find but to shop around and also do some research. You wouldn’t buy a stereo for your car without researching all the different types and brands, and hearing what it sounds like first. Much the same, you don’t want to spend money at an online casino without investigating all your options and trying a few before you sign up and play for real money. We’ve already filled you in on the features we look at when we write our top rated online casino reviews. So let’s look at the criteria you need to set your search by.
Does the casino have a good reputation?
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, there will be a number of casinos you instantly recognize. Even complete beginners will be able to reel off a few online casino brands. This might be a good place to start, but there are going to be plenty of others that might offer what you want. So how do you find these other reputable casinos? Sites like this one are a great resource, along with reading user reviews. However, take a lot of what you read that’s been posted by customers with a healthy pinch of salt. Disgruntled customers are only too happy to spout their woes online. Whereas satisfied customers tend to be a little quieter. But you can get a general feel for a particular casino brand and work out what areas could be troublesome.
Does the casino offer a wide selection of games?
Once you’ve got a list of reputable online casinos one of the next things to consider is the variety of games. You might prefer to play slots or blackjack, but what are you going to play when you fancy a change? You want to look for an online casino that offers as much variety as possible. Not just in the types of games, but the option to play for free if you want to.
Are there any restrictions when it comes to payouts?
This is another thing to bear in mind when choosing the best online casino sites. Just like most casinos offer a variety of games, casinos also offer different payout amounts. Some you encounter will dedicate their site to penny slots, while others are aimed at high rollers. On the whole, however, you’re more likely to find top online casino sites offering a combination of both.
What does the website look and feel like?
What an online casino looks and feels like is just as important as it would be in a land-based casino. But it’s not just about the look and feel. It’s also about functionality and how easy it is to use. Overall, it should be a place you enjoy spending time at. Even so much as it makes you feel like you’re sat in a real life casino. Unfortunately, aesthetics can vary considerably from one casino to another. But this also puts you in an advantageous position, because the online gambling industry is a choosers market. You might want to spend some time at a prospective site to discover how easy it is to find your way around. Being able to navigate your way around effortlessly will allow you to enjoy the experience. You don’t want such basics as changing profile information, finding the list of games, making payments and contacting customer support to be overly complicated because this will detract from the enjoyment of playing the various games.
Is there sufficient support for your personal needs?
Everybody’s needs are going to be different but you should aim for an online casino site that is going to be able to help at the times you need it. If you’re planning to stay up all night, you want the customer support service to be available during the same hours. Anything connected with the internet can sometimes be a little unpredictable and should something go wrong you’ll want to get it sorted as quickly as possible. If you’ve got to wait until the next day before you can speak with a customer support representative it could mean you lose lots of money. Now we’ve explained the criteria by which we evaluate the online casinos we review and given you some tips on finding the best one, it’s time for us to provide you with a glossary. So that the terms you read will be familiar, you’ll know what we’re referring to and understand our reviews better.
You don’t need to learn a whole new language, but the world of online gambling does have some special terms it’ll be useful to know. We use a lot of them when writing our reviews, and you’ll need to understand them when you start gambling online. This is a basic introduction to the language of online gambling. There are plenty of other terms, and you’ll pick these up as you go along.
- Ante – this is a common term in stud poker and refers to the first bet made on a hand, before receiving your cards
- Bank Roll – the amount you’re willing to risk when visiting an online casino
- Bet the Limit – the maximum wager a player is allowed to make in any game
- Break/Bust – in blackjack when a hand exceeds a total value of 21
- Burn Card – the top card of a deck that’s placed face down in the discard pile once the pack has been shuffled and cut
- Bust – a term used in blackjack to describe a hand that exceeds 21
- Casino Advantage – also know as the house edge, this is the mathematical advantage a casino has over players
- Dealer – also know as the croupier
- Deuce – means two in dice
- Double Down – when an additional wager is placed up to the amount of the original wager on the first two cards of a hand
- Face cards – a card that has a face on it such as a jack, king or queen
- First Base – used to describe the first seat to the left of the dealer at a live blackjack table
- Fixed Odds Games – also known as instant win games in which a player is able to determine the return on a bet when it’s placed
- Four of a Kind – this is a poker term that refers to four cards of the same denomination
- Full House – another poker term for when there is a set of three cards of the same denomination, as well as two cards of the same denomination
- Hard Hand – either any hand without an ace or a hand in which all cards are aces and counted as one
- Hole Card – this is the dealers unexposed down card and is a blackjack term
- Inside Bet – a roulette bet that is placed on a single number, two numbers or four numbers
- Insurance – in blackjack, when the dealer’s up card is an ace its possible for a player to bet that the dealer has a blackjack and this is called insurance
- Jacks or Better – in poker, a pair that pays off only when the pairs are jacks, queens, kings or aces
- Line – this is short for the payline which is the line of symbols on a slot that have to be filled with specific combinations for a player to receive a win
- Maximum Bet – this is the maximum amount a player is allowed to bet in one go, but it can often be increased by speaking with a casino’s customer support
- Multiple Paylines – some online slots pay out of more than one line and these are referred to as multiple payline slots
- Natural Blackjack – two cards that total 21, made up of an ace and a 10-value card
- Payout Table – also called the pay table and it’s where you can see the amount each winning hand or set of symbols will pay
- Progressive Jackpots – this is a jackpot that steadily increases as games attached to it are played and can sometimes reach millions
- Push – also called a draw and it’s when the dealer and player tie and therefore no money is won or lost by either party
- Royal Flush – a poker term that refers to five consecutive denomination cards of the same suit, starting with a 10 and ending with an ace
- RNG – Random Number Generator, the hardware that’s used to create random numbers which determine the outcome of online casino games
- Soft Hand – a hand in which the ace is counted as 11
- Soft Double Down – doubling down when one of the two cards is an ace
- Split – this is when players can choose to play each of two of the same cards as two separate hands
- Vigorish – the fee or commission the casino takes when a player wins
- Wager – any bet
- Wager requirements – these are restrictions placed on bonuses to stop players taking advantage in an unfair way and require players to place a certain amount or number of bets before being able to cashout the bonus
So there you have it. A basic introduction to the language of gambling. There are plenty more terms you can learn and we’ll be introducing them on some other pages. But for now you’ve got enough to help you start your journey. We thought we’d next look at the history of online gambling. A short history lesson never hurts and it helps to know the roots of the online gambling industry.
A brief history of online gambling
Gambling has been a human form of entertainment for centuries, but the advent of online casinos is a relatively new invention. It’s roots can be traced back to the 1970’s when mechanical slots were replaced by electronic ones in the land-based casinos. This was also when RNG (Random Number Generators) were first used. Slots were very popular in land-based casinos because they took up much less floor space, were easy to play and there was no need for a dealer or floor manager to watch over proceedings. It was this ready made market that gaming software companies were able to take advantage of and development increased at a phenomenal rate. It was of course, the internet that took online gambling to the next level, but it took a while for it to catch on in the gambling industry. It was first viewed as a means of communication, but once this hurdle was overcome software companies and casino operators worked together and made online gambling happen. There was still a lot that needed to be done because in the beginning it was unregulated, with nobody overseeing the industry and taking care of the consumer. In order for the industry to expand further, players needed to feel confident they weren’t being ripped off and the games weren’t rigged. The world’s first gambling jurisdiction came about in 1994, when the Free Trade and Processing Act was passed in Antigua and Barbuda. Authority was given to oversee applications for licenses and to grant them when a casino was deemed to be fit to operate. The Antigua and Barbuda Directorate of Offshore Gaming is still operating today and recognized but unfortunately, no longer is it recognised as being one of the most respected regulatory bodies out there. The industry was starting to take off and the race was on to provide viable online gaming software. Microgaming, an Isle of Man based software company is widely recognised as being the winner. The company was formed in 1994 and without it the online casino may not have been born. There was still a fly in the ointment though, because there wasn’t a safe way for players to play with real money. If online casinos were going to continue to expand a safe and secure method was required for depositing funds. An Irish software company called CryptoLogic, founded by two brothers from the basement of their parent’s house, developed a real life application for a secure online financial transaction system. With this final hurdle overcome the first internet based online casinos came online in 1996.
Before we finish up with this page we have to do the responsible thing and warn all our readers of the dangers of gambling. We wouldn’t be the honest and truthful online casino guide we claim to be without giving you both sides of the equation. A little flutter every now and then is pretty harmless. As with anything, there’s nothing wrong with doing things in moderation. A problem arises, however, because gambling is very addictive. All the top rated online casinos we feature will have a policy in place that recognizes problem gamblers. To help players control their gambling, many will allow limits to be set for the amounts deposited and how much is played with. We would advise everyone to make use of this feature and set limits that will not damage your finances. All of us here at Top Rated Online Casino can testify to how easy it is to get carried away with the moment and keep merrily reloading funds, without a thought of the future. Before you know it you can lose all your money and that will mean the end of your gambling journey before it’s really started. One thing you should always remember when playing at the best online casinos is that the odds aren’t stacked in your favor, but in the casinos. Try not to take it too seriously and above all have some fun. With all the basics in your online casino tool belt you’re in a much better position to assess the overall quality of a casino. And we’ve got to say don’t just take our word for it. One of the best ways to find the perfect online casino is to try a few for yourself. There’s no point taking somebody else’s word for it. First hand experience is the best test of all. We’re offering our assistance in order for you to trim down the numbers. Being faced with just a handful of sites to visit is a much better proposition than being faced with hundreds. Keep checking back with us on a regular basis and before you go check out some of our other pages. We’ve already got a website full of useful information and will be adding to it over time. We want to turn this website into a comprehensive online casino guide, not just for beginners but more experienced players as well. And keep all of you up to date with what’s going on in the industry. Thereby allowing you to have as much fun as possible without the stress of worrying about it all going wrong.