Why Play At Online Casinos?
If you love playing roulette or blackjack in your local land-based casino - or you've been on holiday to Las Vegas, Monte Carlo or Atlantic City - you'll know what the thrill of gambling live is like.
The sounds, the sights, the free drinks: playing in a brick 'n' mortar casino rocks big time.
But how many tables does your local casino have? Are there enough tables to suit the stakes you want to play at? And what freebies can you bag - a free cocktail, cabaret tickets, entry into a big-money tournament, or nothing at all?
Live casinos offer a lot, but today's top Internet casinos are pushing them hard for what they can really offer. Let's count down some of the reasons why you should be putting away the tux and firing up the laptop.
1 - You Can Register in Seconds
How strict is your nearest land-based casino when joining up? Can you walk straight in on your first visit or do you have to wait 48 hours before receiving a membership card?
Live casinos vary from country to country, but online casinos let you play as soon you register for an account: just enter some personal details, come up with a unique username and password, and away you go!
2 - Earn a Top Deposit Bonus
Many land-based casinos operate some kind of reward card where you can load up points for playing which can then be exchanged for free meals, shows or drinks. But how many offer you hundreds of dollars in cash, just for gambling? Not many, we'd assume. Because they don't have the vast overheads of their brick 'n' mortar cousins, online casinos are able to offer juicy bonuses for players making their first deposits, and further loyalty bonuses if you continue to load up your account with cash.
Deposit bonuses (or 'welcome bonuses' for first-time deposits) vary from site to site, but you can often find an offer giving you 100 percent of your deposit or more, up to hundreds of dollars. You will have to 'play through' a certain number of games or bets during a certain timeframe in order to qualify for the cash, but the freedom and convenience of playing on-line means you can trigger that bonus in no time.
3 - Gamble Online Anytime, Anywhere
Speaking of freedom and convenience, arguably the biggest plus of playing at an Internet casino is that you can log-on anytime, anywhere to get your slots or roulette fix.
Get the laptop on in front of the TV in the evening, fire up the desktop PC on a quiet night, or if you're playing at one of the latest mobile casinos, play on the bus to work via your smartphone or tablet. Gambling online has never been so easy.
4 - Enjoy Dozens of Games Online
How was your last visit to a land-based casino? What games did they offer, and at what stakes? Maybe they had two roulette tables but only one had minimum bets that matched your bankroll; perhaps they had most of the gaming floor taken up with a craps table - and you hate craps!
Online casinos aren't restricted by gaming space - they are only limited by the scope and imagination of the software developers.
So, if you want American Roulette you'll find a dozen games at a range of stakes - and at stakes so low you will NEVER find them anywhere live; if you're after Blackjack, you can find a bunch of tables too. If slots - or pokies - are your thing you will find over 100 at the best casinos online with some of the biggest progressive jackpots around.
What Internet casinos are also able to do is offer games you will only find online like Multi-Ball Roulette (up to three balls spinning on a single wheel at once) or Multi-Hand Blackjack.
5 - Use a Range of Deposit Methods
What methods does your local casino accept in order to make a real-money bet? Do they accept just debit and credit cards, or can you pay by check?
Chances are you'll either be playing with straight cash-for-chips or a credit card payment at the Cashier's desk.
Top online casinos, however, accept all the most popular debit card and credit card companies, but many will let you pay via third-party e-wallet, by check, or even via a local outlet like Western Union. If there's a method of making a real-money deposit, the best casino online will let you use it.
You can find out more in our guide to casino deposits.
6 - Leave the Car In the Driveway
If you live in a big city, you may have some great live casino options a bus ride away. But what if your nearest casino is hundreds of miles away? Even if you're willing to go to one, you have to factor in the travel costs to your gambling night out - and that can add up to a lot. Save yourself the prohibitive travel costs and play for free at home!
7 - Enjoy a Better RTP Online
Slots players know all about RTP (Return to Player percentage). This is the amount returned to players over the long-term, and you'd be surprised how wildly this can vary from land-based to online casino. Online slots are generally more generous and wider-ranging than those offered by brick 'n' mortar casinos.
8 - You Can Try Out Games For Free
Some land-based casinos run beginners' lessons that teach you how to play the various games. Many, however, don't, and even if they do you can't play for a few hours without risking your hard-earned bankroll. Online is totally different, however. Most of the best casino sites will have play-money tables so you can practise the different games and get a feel for them before having a go with real money.
9 - Avoid the Crowds
Hit a small, local casino on a Wednesday night, and chances are you'll be able to get a seat at the roulette or blackjack table. But what about on a Saturday night at a big city casino? You may waste an hour elbowing other eager gamblers to get a roulette bet down or waiting for a blackjack seat to become available. There are no such issues online. There are so many games on the go you will never be left waiting.
10 - Get Past the Law
If you live in a country or region where live casinos are outlawed, it can be frustrating getting your gamble on online. Online casinos bypass any problems you may have in that area. Although some you'll be able to have access to will be unregulated, there's generally nothing to worry about and you will be free to play roulette and blackjack on the web the same as everyone else. Find out more in our helpful guide to online casino legislation.