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Advice For Online Casino First Timers

Online Casinos
There are hundreds of online casinos available and the truth of the matter is there are some very good ones, and some very bad ones. As long as you choose carefully, an online casino will provide you with a safe and secure environment, fair games and most importantly, a trustworthy mechanism for depositing and withdrawing money when you win. One thing every player should know is that an online casino is required to ask you for proof of ID/age at some point (normally when you cash out the first time) so be prepared to scan or fax photo ID and a utility bill or proof of address at some point.

Below, I'll explain what you should look for as indicators of a safe online casino, but before I do I would like to point out that all of the online casinos you see mentioned on this site fall into the "safe" category. The levels of service will vary, but the games are all fair and the brands are all trustworthy. I have played at many of them myself and most of them have the same set of games, including all those you see here. For what it's worth, my favourite is iNetBet which has been around since 1999 and has very fast service all round.

How Do I Tell If A Casino Is Safe?

There are a couple of good indicators to help you spot the good online casinos, but where you live will impact this considerably. If you live in the USA where the laws are often gray, many of the big brands will not take you as a customer which means it's much harder to determine who's good and who's not. But with regulation now active in some States like NJ and Nevada, the situation is set to improve.

If you live in Europe then life is easier - you not only have some big brand names that you will recognise, but also in many instances, regulatory bodies that protect the online gambler. The UK leads the way and I would point you at the Online Casino UK website to find the best casino.

The Signs of a Good (and a Bad!) Online Casino

Assuming you don't recognise the brand name, then I'd suggest looking for three things: where the casino is licenced, what software it uses and who's behind it. The former is generally displayed at the bottom of each casino's homepage and you're looking for licensing jurisdictions such as the UK, Gibraltar, Alderney, the Isle Of Man, Malta or Kahnawake while some other jurisdictions like the Netherland Antilles, Curacao and Antigua are generally OK but not good with dispute resolution. In a handful of instances, Costa Rica also hosts a good casino, but they also host some very bad ones so tread carefully there. If you see Russia or any other country outside Europe and not mentioned above, run!

The software for all online casinos is generally provided by one of a handful of big software providers, however not every casino makes it obvious as to which they use. All of the online casinos you see here at Free Slots For Fun use Realtime Gaming (RTG) software which is the only mainstream software provider who allows USA players to sign up. Unfortunately, RTG aren't very strict on licensing and there are some very "rogue" casinos who use RTG so once again, bring other factors into your decision.

Outside of the US market then Microgaming and Net Entertainment supply a lot of games to many online casinos and you'll rarely, if ever, find a "rogue" casino using their software. Playtech are another big name who are less strict on licensing and there are still a couple of sharks around who use Platech software but to be honest, they are genarlly just poor on service rather than bad eggs.

A number of online casinos also take games by land-based suppliers like WMS, Novomatic and Aristocrat. Again, generally speaking these are safe casinos and I can;t think of one that supplies those games that is undafe to be honest.

The last sign, and arguably the most important, is who is behind the casino? Every good casino will have an "About Us" page and I would expect to see the name of the company and some transparent information on who is running the operation. Phone numbers, company names, where the company is incorporated and stuff like that. If it's just "fluff" that hides real information, walk away.

How Do I Sign Up & Play?

Let's say you click on one of the online casino images to the right. This will take you to the homepage of the casino you selected where you will be able to read up. You might firstly want to check if they accept whatever payment option you intend to use, then read the terms and conditions of playing and any bonus that you might take.

Once you have satisfied yourself that this casino is right for you to try, then you'll always see a very obvious "Download" link on the homepage. When you click this, the procedure will talk you through setting up the casino, step by step. It normally takes about 10 minutes and doesn't require any technical knowledge. Just follow the instructions to install and sign up.

Once you have set up your username as prompted, you will be able to log in and view all the games, nealy laid out in menus. Click any game and it will install it in about 2 minutes. You will see a "Cashier" button where you go to add some funds - the same place where you go to cashout. It's all pretty easy, but in certain countries (USA for example) some players find their banks prevent them making deposits. If this happens, contact the casino support people either by email, or better still most have a "Live Chat" facility which is generally quick.