The Internet is an amazing piece of technology – it connects us to the rest of the world, it allows us to express our thoughts and dreams, and is a veritable repository of information. The problem is that with unlimited access comes a maddening amount of irrelevant data. This is doubly true when it comes to
online casinos, which boast a surprising amount of virtual games, from Baccarat and Poker to Slots. Because of the relative ease in programming simple interactive games, many casinos take advantage of the cheap labor involved in producing new software without devoting the resources and imagination to making those games entertaining or worth a player’s time.
When selecting an online casino there are five main things to keep in mind, and whether or not they live up to these prerequisites will give you a good place to start.
1. Third Party Audit – When an online casino starts up, there are several key factors that make it different from an actual physical casino. The first is that there aren’t any other players (unless you’re playing Poker or some of the other table games) and there isn’t a “floor” – everything is virtual, and players access the vault of games from the comfort of their homes or mobile devices. This makes online casinos noticeably more accessible, as a player can ‘go’ there any time he or she likes. But in a real casino, there are security guards, cameras, professional dealers, and a certain standard of etiquette in terms of how they treat their players. There’s an expectation that they will be fair. With online casinos, it’s a more difficult process, which is why the top rated casinos have what is called ‘third party audits’, which means a company or organization outside of the casino monitors the software and website to prevent fraudulent activity. Most casinos will mention this in their help section, but it’s always a good idea to double-check to make sure they have a third party audit who ensures that the RNG (Random Number Generator) software in their programs are actually random.
2. Good Ratings – Related to the third party audits, a good rating is peer-oriented, and the better an impression a casino makes on an individual, the higher the rating. Ratings can come in a number of forms, from the traffic that they experience daily (higher traffic sites mean they’re more popular, and therefore more reliable) to actual written reviews by players or critics that have played the games and seen first-hand how they operate. A simple Google search and basic searching around will yield the most popular online casinos.
3. Seniority – Again related to the last two points, the seniority of an online casino is also a good indicator of whether or not they’re responsible and live up to the expectations of their players. Sites that have been up for a number of years are obviously doing something right, and the stronger presence an online casino develops, the more money they are able to devote to upgrading, maintaining, and offering new features and special offers to their players. Certainly seniority isn’t the only indicator of a trustworthy casino, however – in fact, many online casinos exist under an umbrella company that will include several different sites, so they are always changing.
4. Bonuses/Jackpots – This is an obvious one. If anyone is making a profit on online casinos, it’s either through sheer talent, sheer luck, or a combination of both, and bonuses are a big component. Especially in slots, bonuses come in all shapes and sizes, and are designed to keep the game fresh, but also to give the player the possibility of winning big. When selecting an online casino, it’s prudent to do some research to see what sorts of payouts there are, and how often they occur. Progressive jackpots are always an appealing facet of any casino in part because of how large they can potentially get. Most online casinos will also offer ‘start up’ bonuses for signing up with them, sometimes offering up to $10000 in credit. The more bonuses there are, the more often they show up, and how large they get should all play a role in one’s decision when choosing.
5. Variety – Lastly, an online casino is only as good as the range of what it offers. Slot games are quite easy to produce, and their relatively simple design allows for a multitude of different themes, from sports and animals to ancient cultures and science fiction. Table games are a particular favourite, especially for those more advanced players with their own private strategies and new players ready to cut their teeth on something more challenging. But the number of games is secondary to their quality – the ease of gameplay, the rendering of graphics, and whether or not a game is actually fun have as much to do with the selection as anything.