Everything You Need to Know Before You Start Gambling Online

It’s not hard to find a place to gamble in 2020. Long gone are the days when you had to find a betting shop or other licensed venue. Most of us carry access to hundreds of casinos around with us in our pockets 24/7.

But before you go to Google and do a search or react to the latest big TV advert by typing in an address this is what we think you need to know.

Gambling Online

1 – Licensed and Legal only!

If you’re going to a site that’s advertising on TV you should be fine, but elsewhere you might have some issues with scamming or illegitimate site. It’s completely possible to gamble online in complete safety and security, but you need to do a bit of work yourself. Only play at UK Gambling Commission licensed sites and make sure you know how to spot and check a licence – it should be front and centre on the homepage, and it should have a link for you to read it.

2 – Personal safety

Licensing is the first line of defence in your safe gambling journey. Secondly, you need to look at yourself. Don’t try to get around anything that would stop you from using a gambling site legally like an age limit or a geographic limit. And make sure you’re playing for the right reasons. If you’re looking for a gambling site because you really need to win money – stop, don’t do it. If you’re going to a gambling site because you’re upset or sad and don’t want to deal with it – stop, don’t do it. Play for fun, and with what you can afford to lose.

3 – A Beginner’s Buffet

If you’re starting out in online gambling then you may not have much idea even of how to play! Do a bit of reading by all means, but the best way to understand online video slots, table games, and more is to play them in demo versions for free. Look for reviews, manufacturer’s sites, and casino sites that allow you to use demo mode to check out the full range of games on offer and find out what you like without wasting your money on games you don’t like.

4 – Manage Your Money

You’ll need money to gamble online. Make sure you know how to manage it. We suggest you start low. Don’t put hundreds of pounds into a casino account: the more you put in there the more you are likely to leave in there. Start up by putting minimum funds into an account and make minimum bets. Have a strategy for how you’re going to manage your money over a session, and set limits that you stick to your play. Using a percentage of your total bankroll as a limit on single bets is just one good beginner’s bankroll management tip.

5 – Best Value Games?

The best way to play for a long time if you enjoy your time in online casino sites is to play the games with the best return. This is measured by RTP or theoretical return to player. This is how much a game is expected (not guaranteed) to return to a player over its lifetime. The higher this is, the more likely you are to get returns. You’ll find RTP in review sites, in the pay table of some games, or at the game manufacturer’s site.

6 – Bonus beater

The first thing you see at a casino is a welcome bonus. This is there for one reason – to encourage you to deposit large amounts of money and to spend them at this casino site. You don’t have to accept a welcome bonus and it may even be a good idea to turn it down. You need to look up wagering requirements and understand them before you judge any offer.

7 – Be realistic

The fantasy of gambling is of limousines, luxury, and high living. It might even be your fantasy to log on and make one of those record-breaking single-spin stakes that the slots companies love to talk about. This might happen, but it is incredibly unlikely (being hit by lightning unlikely), and you should learn and accept that the gambling business makes a huge profit for its shareholders, that that profit is made up entirely of lost bets, and that the reality for the vast majority of long-term players is that they will lose (or spend) small amounts of money over time.

8 – Vultures and worst

The online casino industry has done a pretty good job of cleaning itself up. It’s rare these days to see an out-and-out scam site. Where you’ll find scams is around the edges of the industry. One of the commonest is to sell you gambling advice or strategies – don’t waste your money, you can find all the strategies you could ever need for free, and no strategy can beat random.

9 – Don’t get stuck

It’s all too easy to find yourself spending more time than you want to online. This is how you lose money in a casino. It’s well-known that Vegas casinos have no clocks and do whatever they can to hide the daylight in order to create a timeless environment. Don’t replicate this online. Take breaks. Set limits. Keep engaged with other activities and appointments.

10 – You made a good choice!

Online gambling has its risks and we do our best to warn you of them. Sadly, the industry is such that you also need to guard yourself, and we recommend that you do quite a lot of study on how to stay safe. But if you do find a safe way to play you might have a great time, and playing online automatically puts you in a stronger position than if you had gone to a casino. Online games almost always have higher returns to a player because the costs of running a website are so much less than running a casino. So you’ve made one winning choice already.

Harvey Dickenson

Safe Gambling Specialist

Harvey Dickenson is our safe gambling specialist. Harvey is a recreational poker player and an expert in online casino safety, cons, and scams.

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