Guide to Gambling

When more and more households started having Internet connections in the mid-1990s and hardware that could handle somewhat complicated websites became relatively inexpensive, it was possible for online casinos and other sites to break out and fill the demand that people have to gamble. Because online gambling is so different than playing in land-based establishments, there are a lot of ways to go wrong or to have a bad experience. We're going to break down everything you need to know here so that you won't stumble over common obstacles to having an awesome time.

Site and Game Selection

There are a lot of different ways to gamble, and you have to pick the ways that fit your personal preferences. In short, there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution since everyone is different and prefers different things. You could play slots, classic casino games, online poker, sports, bingo or any number of other games for real money in these virtual establishments, and that gives you a ton of options. Pick out what sounds good for you, and then decide on an actual site to play with.

When it's time to pick a site, you need to have a sort of checklist that you keep up with to choose the one that's right for you. The first thing to look at is the list of actual games it offers, since you don't want to make the mistake of depositing at a site that doesn't have the titles you want. Second, you want to verify that they have deposit and withdrawal methods you can use. Preferably, you'd have a primary and secondary banking method for both deposits and withdrawals.

Third, check out the reputation and history of the site you're playing with. This is the single-most important step of the process because there are a number of rogue sites out there that won't necessarily pay out your withdrawals when they are supposed to. You need to avoid these sites and only stick to those that have a good history of taking care of their players with solid service and reliable cash outs.

Platform Options

There are basically three different ways to get in on the action these days, and new platforms are on the horizon. If you know which platforms you plan to play with and why, then you'll be more likely to have a good experience.

The traditional platform uses a downloadable program, and it's typically only available for people who have Windows-based computers. The downside of this platform is that you have to install software, so you can't really use it if you jump around to different computers a lot. However, the advantage is that the games load instantly, and you can end up with better graphics than the other two platforms.

The second platform we want to talk about is the instant play or no download option that runs in your web browser. Using HTML5 or Adobe Flash, these games load up in your Internet browser just like social games or videos from websites like YouTube. What's really awesome about this platform is that you can load it up on just about any computer you play with since it just requires an updated browser that runs Adobe Flash (which is virtually all browsers now). The disadvantages are that you might have slow loading times, especially if you don't have a strong connection, and the graphics have often been toned down a bit to help keep the loading times from being unreasonably long.

Finally, we have the mobile platforms. These platforms run on your smartphone or tablet, and there are basically two types. The first mobile platform is web-based and runs through your browser much like the instant play option here. It can run on just about any modern mobile phone or tablet. The second mobile platform is called a native app, and it's designed for a specific type of phone. You'll normally download native apps straight from your phone's app store. Native apps aren't as flexible in terms of the number of devices that can use them, but they tend to offer better graphics and a smoother experience.

Making Deposits and Receiving Withdrawals

There are two main groups of payment options for players in today's online gambling industry. Credit cards like MasterCard and Visa have the advantage of being readily available for a lot of players and extremely convenient, but some players feel like they'd rather put some virtual space between them and the gambling site. For those players, there are electronic wallets like Skrill and Neteller that give you a virtual account to fund that you can then turn around and make deposits with.

As far as withdrawals go, you typically have the same types of options. One of the main things you have to look at when choosing a site to play at is what their reputation is like for paying out when they're supposed to. If they pay out reliably and they pay out quickly with a wide range of banking options, then that's the optimal situation. However, if they have a history of paying out slowly or not paying out at all, then you have a major problem. You should never, for any reason, play for real money at a site that has a reputation for not paying their players.

Overview

Overall, we've covered the basics of what you need to know to get a headstart gambling online. While there's a lot to know in terms of playing specific games and strategy, we've provided you with a foundation for creating a great experience no matter what types of games you prefer. If you go forward and apply the advice we've given here, then you'll maximize your chances of having a great, relaxing, stress-free time.