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So, you’re thinking of playing casino games at an online casino for the first time? Good decision. If you’ve played at a brick-and-mortar casino before, you’ll be pleased to know that online casinos give you the same, immersive gaming experience, without having to jump in your car and drive to your nearest land-based resort.
That’s thanks largely to the industry’s award-winning software suppliers, who deliver fully responsive online pokies and table games so that you can play your favourite games on any desktop or mobile device. At Wildz Casino, we’re lucky to partner with some of the pioneers of the iGaming scene, with games provided by the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming, Play’n GO and many more.
If you’d like to discover what it’s like to play casino games online, let’s run you through what to expect as a first-time player online.
Register for an online casino account
Signing up to your chosen online casino site usually takes no more than a minute or two. These days, casino operators have made sign-up forms as simple and efficient as possible to get you through the door.
First up, you’ll need to provide your email address and preferred password. This will be used to log into your new account once it’s active. You’ll also need to include a mobile or landline phone number. As part of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) initiatives, online casino sites also need to verify your identity before activating your account. This means you’ll need to upload at least one form of government-issued ID (passport or driving license) as well as one proof of address (utility bill or bank statement) to be fully verified.
How online casino games work – house edge & random number generators explained
Before you get stuck into the library of casino games at your fingertips, it’s important to understand the mechanics of how online pokies and table games work. First and foremost, each game is powered by a decentralised random number generator (RNG). This helps to fully randomise the outcome of every spin or deal you play. Most licensed online casinos are independently tested for the fairness of their RNGs, which gives you peace of mind in the legitimacy of your casino gaming.
The RNGs in online pokies are also programmed to pay out in line with the game’s in-built return-to-player (RTP) percentage. The RTP is the average percentage that a game returns to you over the long term. Statistically speaking, if an online pokie has an RTP of 96%, you should expect to lose 4% of your money over the long term. Although during shorter sessions pokies can pay out more or less frequently, the RTP gives you a sense of how often you can expect to win.
Types of online casino games
The beauty of playing at an online casino is that you can expect to find the same choice of gaming options as a land-based casino. In fact, you could argue that there’s more choice at an online casino, with the option of playing online RNG-based table games as well as live dealer table games. If you’re wondering what an online casino game library looks like, check out the following categories you can expect to find at a reputable site.
Video pokies or slots are often the most popular online casino gaming format. Online pokies come in various shapes and sizes. Pokie game developers are often inspired by themes within popular culture, including the most popular Hollywood movie franchises, the biggest music artists and bands. You’ll also find pokie themes inspired by national folklore, including Irish and Asian cultural favourites.
Online jackpot games
There is nothing quite like playing for big jackpots in online pokies. Some video pokies have progressive jackpots built into them. A progressive jackpot is one which increases over time, with a tiny percentage of every stake contributing to the jackpot. Once the progressive jackpot is won by a random player, the jackpot resets to its minimum value. It’s impossible to predict when a progressive jackpot will pay out thanks to the RNGs attached to the latest online jackpot games.
Online blackjack – or ‘21’ or ‘Pontoon’ as it’s also commonly known – works just like a game of blackjack in a land-based casino. You play your hand against the dealer’s hand, looking to build a hand that’s better than the dealer’s without going bust. Your hand is bust when it is worth 22 or more. It’s up to you to hit and accept another card, stand and stick with your current hand or double down and take one more card while doubling the size of your bet. There are multiple online blackjack variants too, which allow you to play multiple hands and even unlock bigger-than-usual win multipliers for landing a blackjack.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, online casinos can bring you online roulette games on your desktop or mobile screen. This game, which dates back to the 18th century, is still one of the most popular casino table games among Kiwis and is famed for its simplistic gameplay. All you need to do is correctly predict the next winning number to win your bet. There are multiple variations of classic roulette games, with American Roulette containing a single zero and a double zero pocket. Meanwhile, European Roulette only has a single zero pocket alongside the pockets numbered one to 36.
It’s not just blackjack card games that you’ll find at most online casinos. You can get involved with many other card games too. Baccarat is one of the most popular alternatives, where you bet on the Player or the Banker to have the highest valued hand – or a Tied hand. Other popular online card games include Pai Gow Poker, which is a version of Chinese dominoes played using playing cards instead. There’s also Video Poker, which carries one of the smallest house edges in any online casino, and Three Card Poker – also known as ‘Brag’ – which is another fast-paced poker format.
Live dealer games
What better way to sample traditional casino table games than by playing them in real time via a live dealer studio? At Wildz, we’re partnered with the most innovative live dealer casino studios from NetEnt and Evolution to bring customers the best choice of live dealer action – broadcast back to your desktop or mobile screens in HD-quality streams. All the staple table games are run by professionally trained live dealers, from blackjack and roulette through to craps and baccarat. There’s even been diversification into gameshow-style live dealer games like the Wheel of Fortune-Esque Dream Catcher.
What are online casino bonuses?
As a newcomer to online casinos, you’ll be pleased to know most casino sites dish out welcome bonuses to new customers. These bonuses typically fall into two camps – no-deposit bonuses which reward you with free spins or bonus funds without having to make a real-money deposit; and deposit bonuses which commit to matching your first real-money deposit in the form of bonus money – and in some cases free spins on top. At Wildz, we commit to matching first real-money deposits up to a maximum of $500 and you’ll also get 200 free spins too. We also reward those who reload their accounts a second time. We’ll match 50% of your second real-money deposit up to a maximum of $500. Our online casino bonus guide explains all of the most common promotions for new and existing customers.
Beginner’s guide to online gambling
The key to online casino gambling is to manage your betting bank responsibly. Money management is key to ensuring you don’t risk or play with more than you can afford to lose. Most reputable online casinos will help you to set deposit and loss limits on your account to protect your betting balance and prevent you from depositing more funds to chase losses. Losses are part and parcel of casino gaming and it’s important to accept that. Our online casino guide for beginners should arm you with more advice as a first-time bettor.