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The first online casinos first swung open their virtual doors back in the 1990s, allowing people to enjoy their favourite card and table games, including blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
More than 20 years on, online casino gaming continues to grow in popularity, leading to more and more people looking to start playing for the first time. If you are one of these beginners, then you might be wondering about where to get started, which games you should play, or how to keep yourself safe.
There’s no need to feel bamboozled. Our handy guide covers everything you could ever want to know about online casino gaming as a new player.
Different types of online casino games
If you’ve never played in an online casino before, you might imagine that there are a handful of different options to choose from. But you’re in for a pleasant surprise as you’ll actually find hundreds or even thousands of different options. Of all these casino games, here are the most popular ones.
Slot machines were first created in the 19th century, but they’ve come a long way since then. Even if you’ve never played on one, you’ll be familiar with the spinning reels, the colourful symbols, and the payouts they give when you land on a winning combination.
Today, you’ll find hundreds of different video slot games to play online covering just about every conceivable theme imaginable from the Ancient Greeks to space. Each one has its own unique features too, including bonuses, mini-games, animations, and additional paylines.
With so much choice, you’ll almost certainly find a slot game that’s up to your street.
Jackpot games are slots that offer a significantly larger jackpot prize that can be awarded to just one player. They can land at any time with no specific set of symbols unlocking it. Instead, each jackpot usually has its own parameters, with some programmed to drop every day and others set to grow progressively larger and larger before being awarded to a player.
Players that receive a jackpot will get this extra prize in addition to any other standard winnings from the game.
Blackjack is a card game that almost everyone has seen at some point in their lives. It is several hundred years old and is believed to have been created independently in several different parts of the world.
The aim of the game is to make a hand of 21 or as close to it as possible without going bust (making more than 21). You compete against the dealer who will also be dealt a hand and you’ll need to make strategic decisions about whether to hit or stand.
There are multiple variants of blackjack, each offering their own unique challenge. It’s probably a good idea to start off with the standard version, but you can also try out a few of the other options to see what you like more.
Roulette is another game that can be traced back centuries. It was created by accident by a French inventor and became an overnight success right across Europe. Today, roulette can be found in just about every casino on the planet.
The rules are simple, so you’ll pick it up in no time. The dealer will spin the wheel and a ball in opposite directions, while they are doing that, you predict which of the wheel’s pockets the ball will come to a rest in.
Like blackjack, you can find many different variations of roulette to help give you plenty of options when you play.
Baccarat is another popular card game found in most casinos. It’s played between a player and the banker, both of whom are dealt two cards. Both have to try and make the highest possible hand they can from these, though they can also draw a third in certain circumstances.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer games are a relatively new addition to online casino gaming but they’ve become a huge hit in a short space of time.
They work differently to other online games as instead of using computer-generated graphics, players see a live video feed of a human dealer and a table with either cards, a wheel, or any other necessary objects for that particular game.
You can find live dealer versions of all popular casino table games, including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. There are also special live games that have been created especially for this format such as Sweet Bonanza Candy Land.
Real money games vs free games
When you play games in an online casino, you can often choose between real money games and free games. Not all games will be available for free, though you can usually find a good selection.
The only real difference between real money and free games is whether you place your wagers with real or play money. The former requires you to make a deposit from your bank account (or another payment source) first and any winnings will be paid out as real money.
On the other hand, the play money wagers you make in free games won’t pay out real money. This is a popular option among players that want to learn the ropes or just want to play without staking any of their own cash.
Understanding the odds and return-to-player (RTP)
Every casino game has its own odds, though they may not always be displayed in the same way that you’d find in a sportsbook. On some games like roulette, you’ll hear the term “house edge” batted around a lot while you may see references to an online casino return-to-player (RTP) rate when you look at slots.
When you play roulette, your odds depend on which bet(s) you make and the variant you play. In European roulette, there are 37 pockets, so if you bet on an individual number your odds are 1/37 (2.7%), though the payout is only 35:1. In American roulette, these odds drop to 1/38 due to the addition of the 00 pocket.
However, a wager on a color in European roulette has odds of 48.6% though only a payout of 1:1.
In slot games, the RTP is expressed as a percentage and is a theoretical expression of how much of your stake you can expect to have returned to you if you play the game for a very long time.
For example, if the RTP is 90%, then you might receive $90 from $100 of wagers. However, some players will get more than this and others will get less. This unpredictability is what makes slot games fun and why millions of people enjoy them each year.
Online casino bonuses in a nutshell
Players can often take advantage of online casino bonuses, some of the most common options are:
- Welcome bonuses for new players
- Reload/deposit bonuses that match the amount you add to your account
- Free spins to use on slots
- Levelz - a special mini-slot that rewards loyal players
You can use bonus funds and spins to play your favourite online casino games in the same way you would with real money, though there may be wagering requirements that you’ll need to meet before withdrawing bonus winnings.
How to register and make a deposit
Want to get started? Playing online casino games at Wildz is easy, you just need to create an account and make a deposit. Here’s how you can do that:
Click the bright blue Register button
Enter your details, including email address, password, and phone number
Follow the instructions shown on screen to complete the registration process
When your account is activated, navigate to the deposit section
Select the payment option you want to use and follow the instructions for completing the transaction
That’s it! Now you can get started with your favourite casino games.
Is online gambling safe?
Online gambling is safe when you play at a licensed casino. Here at Wildz, we are regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, meaning we must comply with all of the rules that it sets to protect players.
To get extra peace of mind, you should always verify the casino’s license record on the regulator’s website.
Is online gambling legal?
Online gambling is legal in many parts of the world, including most of Europe, large parts of Africa and Asia, many American countries, and a growing number of US states. The rules vary from country to country, so make sure you check the rules where you are.
As previously mentioned, here at Wildz, we’re regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, a government body that checks we follow the law and protect our players. So you can be sure you’re in safe hands when you play in our online casino.
Are online casino winnings taxable?
Each country treats casino winnings differently, though in Canada, much of the European Union, and several other countries you receive tax-free winnings when playing casino games.
What does responsible gambling mean?
Playing casino games should be fun and we want to keep it that way. That’s why we take Responsible Gaming incredibly seriously and have created a set of tools to help you enjoy your time here.
This includes setting limits, adding time-outs, and permanent self-exclusion. You can also reach out to our support team who are happy to help provide you with information about this.
The user experience differences between online casinos and land-based casinos
Playing casino games online is different in several ways from when you visit a land-based casino. The most obvious is the fact that you don’t need to travel anywhere or even put on pants.
You’ll find all of the same games online, though it is likely that there will be more variants available than what you’d be offered in a land-based casino.
While land-based casinos are a little more social, online players can still engage with dealers and other customers when they play live games.