Betting over the internet has never been more popular, with a general trend of growth over the years and an understandable increase during the pandemic lockdown. But what are the best and easiest ways for beginners to gamble safely? We’ve got some quick tips to help you stay safe, as well as some important guidance on how to enjoy the best online casino bonuses.
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Best Online Casinos and Bonuses for Newcomers
There are countless top casinos where players can enjoy hundreds of games, and here are some of the best choices for first-timers. By combining bonuses while exploring available games, players can see what’s what without putting any cash on the line, whilst retaining the chance to win real money. Not only that, but the best casinos also have a huge assortment of games, making it highly likely to find games that suit you. Many online casinos are now mobile compatible, making them more convenient than ever, and allowing players to dip in and out whether they’re curled up on the sofa watching TV, or out and about.
Welcome bonuses are very frequently offered, and no deposit bonuses are amongst the most popular, enabling players to try and win cash without having to deposit anything (hence the name). It’s important to note that such promotions come with withdrawal caps usually up to a couple of hundred pounds/dollars/euros, maybe less, as well as wagering requirements – the minimum sum that must be bet before withdrawals, typically 30-40x the value of a bonus.
You can also get to know games by playing them in a free mode. There’s no chance of making money, but you’ll also have no stake to lose, and this can be a good option for finding out if a game is up to your street.
If you use no deposit bonuses to play without risking cash whilst having the chance to win real money, these will most commonly be either free spins or free cash. Free spins tend to be tied to one particular slot, whilst free cash can be used for a wider variety of games, making it ideal to cast a wide net and see what takes your fancy.
Licensing and Reputation
One of the most straightforward and important steps to take to gamble safely is to check the licensing arrangement of the online casino you’re considering. Almost all of them present this information clearly at the bottom of every page. Having multiple licences is common, though many sites have one. There are various reputable regulatory bodies, with the most trusted international regulators coming from the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, and Malta.
If there’s no licensing information whatsoever this is a serious pitfall that should be avoided. There’s no shortage of reliable online betting sites and no reason to expose yourself to unnecessary risk by playing at an unregulated casino.
When it comes to banking methods, every online betting site has its list of deposit and withdrawal options. Visa and Mastercard are practically ubiquitous, as are e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller (although these may be geographically restricted). Increasingly, online casinos allow for those who prefer Apple Pay, Paysafecard (a pre-paid deposit system), and Bitcoin.
Casinos do tend to have robust security, but players naturally gravitate towards systems they find the most secure. High rollers often opt for old-fashioned wire transfers. Although slow and coming with a hefty fee, the bank wires are highly secure, making them ideal for shifting hefty amounts.
But if you’re just starting it’s unlikely you’re going to be transferring five-figure sums, and the wire fees are prohibitively high for smaller deposits.
Many people, wary of sharing banking or card details online, opt for Bitcoin. It’s an anonymous system and highly secure option that more and more casinos are offering.
Many betting sites come with the option to customise your experience and set limits so that you don’t accidentally get carried away. It’s always a good idea to make use of these features, as mindful people won’t be affected and those who forget themselves will be protected by their forethought from risking more than they should.
The sorts of limits that can be set include deposits and total amounts wagered over given periods. Altering these may come with a cooldown period (stopping players recklessly changing a limit, depositing a lot, and then reinstating the old limit). They’re a good idea and a useful tool, especially for newcomers to online gambling.
On that note, it’s no bad thing to set general and specific limits for yourselves regarding stakes. The only golden rule of gambling is to bet what you can afford to lose, and it’s a rule to which all players ought to adhere.
Fairness and Security
Licensing arrangements have been mentioned already, but another very positive sign for newcomers to online casinos is when a site has been certified by eCOGRA.
This internationally recognised and trusted body is involved in the protection of customers, their privacy and information, as well as ensuring prompt payouts. They also audit firms to ensure that games are truly random and fair and that casinos operate safely and securely.
After all, even if the player behaves sensibly, that can be undone if a business doesn’t take security seriously and have a committed and integrated approach to safeguarding its site and its customers.
And that just about concludes our quick set of tips for first-timers regarding playing safely at online casinos – even when using the best bonus offers. Remember to only play at sites that have good licensing arrangements, and to bet what you can afford to lose and not a penny more.