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Where to Play

So at last you’ve decided to take the plunge and treat yourself to all the thrills you’ve been hearing so much about! The world of online casinos has only been in full swing for a handful of years and there’s no time like the present to reveal the shrewd gambler inside you. To help guide you to the online casinos that are “just right for you,” we’ve compiled a checklist of important criteria to consider prior to laying down your hard-earned cash at any of the 2000 plus online casinos already in existence. So without wasting any further ado, simply review the following list of important points, prioritize them according to your own personal needs and desires, and keep them in mind when shopping for the online casinos most deserving of your patronage.

Sign-Up Bonuses

Probably the single most important factor for most gamblers when seeking out a new online casino site, these sign-up (or match) bonuses are designed with the sole purpose of encouraging prospective real-money players to deposit money and commence wagering.

Basically all online casinos offer these very attractive cash incentives. Players simply register and deposit a minimum of money into a casino account, and the casino matches that amount by anywhere from ten to 300%, up to a maximum of course.

Be sure, however, to always read any and all Terms & Conditions relating to a bonus offer before grabbing it.

Bonuses

As is traditional with land-based casinos whereby they traditionally reward players, especially high rollers, with free hotel accommodations, meals, drinks etc., online casinos also attempt to lure new players, as well as retain current ones, with various enticements.

These freebies are often in the form of “cash points,” or “frequent player points,” if you will, which players collect based on how much they play and/or wager.

Players can later use these points to credit their casino accounts.

Customer Service

With virtually all online casinos providing 24/7 customer service via email, phone and live chat, you need not settle for anything less.

It’s always a good idea to test these service departments out by sending a basic email message or calling them up (toll-free) prior to playing.

Game Variety

Online casinos today offer players a choice of anywhere from 30 to 150 games.

These generally include all the usual favorites, such as blackjack, craps, slots, roulette, video poker, baccarat, keno, plus any number of variations of these games.

Deposit Methods

Most online casinos provide a wide enough choice of deposit methods including credit cards, wire transfers, plus dozens of alternative “third party” processors.

Entertainment Value

What can we say, except that casino games are about having fun!

If a casino review goes on all about how so much hard work went into developing a site, or that the games are “state-of-the-art’” cutting-edge,” and all that techie jazz, yet fails to even suggest that the games are also possibly, maybe, perhaps, fun… BREAK OFF!

Graphics

Looks are not everything when it comes to gambling online, but first impressions can be.

If a site looks kind of… well… the worst for wear, consider playing elsewhere. A safe bet is to settle on a site that cares about how it looks.

After all, this tells you something about the operators’ business practices and their overall integrity.

Don’t be taken in by a casino site that looks too slick though; these can be misleading.

Languages

Along with the US prohibition on online gambling came a major shift in the direction online casino companies were heading.

The focus swung away from the huge American market (estimated to account for 50% of all wagers), and began targeting players in other parts of the world, primarily Europe and Asia.

As competition would have it, any company hoping to stay in the game has been forced to offer their games and services in a variety of languages beyond English, French and Spanish.

Originality

Everyone loves an original! And online casino operators go to great lengths to be new and exciting in order to attract more players.

After all, isn’t excitement what gambling’s all about?

With so many incredibly realistic and refreshing online casinos out there you’ll have no difficulty being impressed.

Payout Time

Though some online casinos will make claims regarding how long they take to pay winnings out to players, such as “3-4 business days,” these statements are not always accurate and it’s a good idea to assume it will take somewhat longer to access your cash.

Casinos would rather you keep playing and wagering, instead of withdrawing your money.

Increasingly more gambling blogs and forums are available for you to get an idea of at least which casinos to avoid.

Popularity

How popular a gaming site is speaks volumes.

If a casino has been around for at least a year and is being frequented by loads of gamblers, the odds are pretty good that the games are worth checking out.

The progressive games will also be that much sweeter given that there are so many players contributing to the jackpots.

Reputation

Any online casinos that have been around for a while have a reputation. Of course, this could be positive or negative.

If you’re about to lay some money down with a particular venue but aren’t quite sure about their games and/or overall trustworthiness, simply Google the name of the site and see what comes up.

If there’s anything vitally important you or any gambler should know about a site, you’ll know very soon

Security & Privacy

Though you’d expect a long explanation here on what to look for in order to best protect your privacy and security, the bottom line is this: If a casino’s games are powered by any of the major software developers (MicroGaming, Playtech, Cryptologic etc.), remember, these licensors are just as concerned as you are, perhaps even more, about protecting their reputations.

A casino operator not following proper business practices will be out of business in no time.

Software Quality

Most online casinos license their software from companies specializing in casino game software development.

Today, the industry comprises a number of very well-known developers like Playtech, MicroGaming, Cryptologic, and Random Logic etc.

Many developers are publicly traded corporations and – as such – are highly reputable

Sound

Online casinos go to great lengths to recreate the exciting environments of their land-based ancestors.

And the sound accompanying the visual action while playing your favorite games can definitely deliver that realistic Vegas-like ambiance and vibe.

But beware, sound qualities differ from site to site, and some can be downright annoying.

Of course, you can always switch the sound off.

Speed

How fast or slow the game-playing is at an online casino can often be disappointing.

Knowing which gaming software company developed a particular casino’s games can often be an excellent telltale of what you can expect in terms of speed.

Also, some online casinos provide players with the luxury of being able to adjust game speeds to their liking.

This is a fantastic feature!

Special Promos

Online casinos are constantly trying to come up with new and exciting ways to win your business.

Beyond initial sign-up bonuses, most sites offer a variety of promotions of which some are often very valuable indeed.

These promotions may include anything and everything from mega-cash giveaways to chances to win automobiles and vacation cruises.

User-Friendliness

Obviously, how easy it is to navigate within a casino – especially during game play – is very important.

Perhaps the best way to determine whether or not a prospective venue is indeed “friendly” is to first test out their games free, that is, without wagering any real cash.

Any online casino worth playing at today also offers “free play” for this precise purpose; so that players like you can get a feel for the games prior to committing any money.

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