Disclaimer: gambling may cause addiction. If you’ve tracked symptoms of gambling addiction in yourself or your close ones, immediately ask for help at international (Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, BeGambleAware, etc.) or local problem gambling organizations.
Without a shadow of a doubt, online gambling is one of the most successful industries out there, which has been on a crazy run since the first online casinos popped up on the market in late 1994. Currently valued at about $70 billion, the global online gambling market is predicted to double towards the end of the decade, both due to the technological advancement itself and the notorious pandemic forcing punters to foray into unexplored online gambling avenues.
However, while online casino business owners thrive, millions of players are struggling to find their place in the new reality, mostly due to the lack of knowledge about online gambling or the inability to systematize the information they find on the web. Luckily, what you’re now reading – a concise yet overarching review on the cornerstones of online gambling – will help you tremendously in surviving in a dangerous but generous omniverse of online games.
The piece was written by Aleksandra Maj, a gambling expert and a cold-blooded truth-teller from KasynoHEX, so let’s just give some credit to the lady before we start. Now, without further ado and no more obligations to perform, let’s dig into it!
Whether you’re playing at a world-class casino like Vulkan Vegas or any less-known site, make no mistake, they all want your money – which, contrary to popular opinion – they can get by offering bonuses. Bonuses are not completely useless, but the trick is that they (or sometimes giant) usually come at a price of:
- Depositing real money into your account. Among myriads of bonuses, only no-deposit bonuses will not require a real-money deposit; the rest will ask for at least a couple dozen bucks to be eligible for the bonus cash, free spins, or whatever the casino offers.
- Completing a wagering requirement (the hardest part). A wagering requirement, also known as a rollover requirement, or a playthrough requirement, is a multiplier – for instance, 35x your deposit, 35x your bonus, or 35x your winnings from free spins – indicating the amount of money you must wager on the eligible casino games before you can withdraw your deposit, bonus, and winnings from the bonus. Speaking of the eligible games, different games contribute different percentages towards the wagering requirement: for example, a game with a 50% contribution would credit towards the wagering counter only half the money wagered on it.
- Complying with numerous limitations and restrictions. To safeguard against lucky breaks that could potentially lead to excessive financial loss, most casinos limit the maximum amount of cash that you can win using bonuses.
There may be more things to take into account, so the ultimate advice would be to read the casino bonus terms & conditions in the first place. Casinos are obliged to provide all information regarding bonuses on their website, and if something is missing, it’s a huge red flag indicating the only right decision – to steer clear of this casino and continue your search for a better place.
While brick-and-mortar casinos lure players by providing them with free meals, relaxation zones, and other real-life bells and whistles, online sites offer a plethora of in-game features: Scatters, Wilds, Mini-Games, Sticky Symbols, Tumbling Reels, Re-Spins, Gamble Game, and more. However, neither of them matter in terms of the overall profitability of the game, which can be measured by two parameters – RTP and House Edge, both same at the core.
- RTP, or return to player, is the percentage – for example, 96% – indicating the long-run payback of the slot or game. A slot with an RTP of 96% will return you 96 cents out of every $100 wagered on it if you play it infinitely long – which, of course, isn’t possible in real life, giving birth to volatility with all its unexpected wins. However, the takeaway is that the casino will always retain an everlasting advantage over you.
- House Edge, the advantage of the casino indicated in %, is the same as RTP, just twisted a little bit. A house edge of 5%, which might as well be an average house edge for online games, equals the casino’s advantage of 5%, or an RPT of 95%. As you might have already guessed, there are no games with a house edge of 0% or better.
No matter the features, casino games are there to make money for casinos, not you. It doesn’t mean you can’t win, but the edge is always on the side of the site as long as you’re competing with the casino. On the bright side, though, if you’re competing with other players in games of skill like poker and blackjack, you can get a positive mathematical expectation if you’re the best or one of the best players at the table.
How to Not Fall for Casino Tricks?
If you’re new to gambling, it might be reasonable to abstain from playing for real money for as long as you can. All sites without exception will offer you a Free Play option, and it’s not scary at all to take advantage of it. Unlike many other tricks online casinos use against players, Free Play actually means playing for free with no strings attached. Take as much time as you need to research safe online casino and the game you’re willing to play for money, and then start with the minimum bet to see if your newly gained knowledge can help you.