Online Gambling for Beginners – What you NEED to know
While the amount of money that pours into the sports betting industry has fallen off of a cliff in response to COVID-19, there are signs that the online wagering industry is flourishing. Gambling authorities all over the world – and in particular in the US – report that record numbers are flooding to trusted online casinos to play slots and casino games. Even Bitcoin casinos are reporting they are seeing high numbers of new players at their sites.
The reason for this is not hard to decipher – COVID-19. As many people around the world cope with self-isolation, they are looking for ways in which they can spend their time that they would otherwise be spending at work, or with their friends. Eventually, their attentions may turn to online casino reviews and pretty soon they are playing at live dealer casinos, slots sites and casino sites.
Therein though lies an issue – just as an alcoholic doesn’t know that they are an alcoholic until they have taken their first taste of alcohol, a problem gambler does not know that they are a problem gambler until they’ve played an online slot for the first time, or have been dealt one hand at blackjack.
If you have recently found yourself introduced to the world of online gambling because of self-isolation, then it is vitally important that you are sensible with your money, that you keep yourself safe, and that you know where to get help once you feel you may be at risk from developing a detrimental online gambling habit.
Here are a few things you need to know via our online gambling for beginners guide.
Recognise When you Have a Problem
The majority of people play at online casinos in the UK or elsewhere in the world without ever encountering a problem. Still, some people are more susceptible to problem gambling than others, just as some people are more susceptible to problems with alcohol, drugs or pornography than others.
Winning while gambling causes the brain to release ‘pleasure chemicals’. Just the ‘thrill’ of gambling can do the same thing. For many people, that’s as far as it goes, but with others, the lows as opposed to the highs when winning are hard to deal with, so they ‘need’ the highs to feel normal. If you are gambling to experience the highs, then you have a problem.
There are other signs you need to look out for that may indicate you have a problem with online gambling:
- You are spending more money on online gambling than you can afford
- If someone tells you that you are spending too much time gambling, you ignore them or become defensive.
- Your online gambling is causing arguments.
- You are lying about your gambling.
- You are hiding your gambling from the people you know.
- You have lost money gambling, and you are trying to win that money back by gambling.
- Gambling is affecting your life in other ways.
- You wish you could stop gambling, but you can’t
If anything sounds familiar here, then you need to get help. Google is your friend in this regard, as you only need to type ‘gambling help’ into their web portal and the name of your closest gambling help services provider should appear.
The criminal world is as active online now as it is in the real world. No matter what you might be up to online, there’s always a chance that someone could grab hold of your ID or your financial account details and leave you in a right mess.
If you are gambling online that you are most likely gambling with your own money, which means you may have linked your bank account or debit card account to the online casino. We would never recommend you do this – it’s always best to use an eWallet services provider such as PayPal, Skrill or Neteller to make payments to your account as opposed to your bank or debit card provider.
You can also keep yourself safe if you play at online casinos that are properly licensed. To gain a licence, an online casino must prove to a licensing board that its games are fair, that it only ever uses legitimate software, and that all information that is passed to and from the site is properly encrypted using industry-standard encryption software.
Higher tier licence providers are:
- The United Kingdom Gambling Commission
- The Gibraltar Gambling Commission
- The Alderney Gaming Control Commission
- The Malta Gaming Authority
Medium tier licence providers are:
Sites licenced by lower-tier providers, such as from Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Costa Rica, Cyprus and Panama carry a higher element of risk, and sites with sole licensing from such providers may need to be avoided.
Choose Games with high RTPs over low RTPs
Now for some shocking news – ALL casino games are designed so that, over the long run, they will always favour the casino over the player. If you do win while playing at an online casino, it’s for one reason only – you got lucky!
To make your money last as long as possible while playing (responsibly) at an online casino, you should always choose games with high RTPs (return-to-player) over low ones. The RTP of a game indicates the amount of money from your original bankroll you are likely to have left following an extended playing session.
For example, you should always choose European Roulette (RTP: 97.3%) over American Roulette (RTP: 94.6%) when it comes to online slots lookout for slots with an RTP of around 95% and above. If any slot has an RTP of 90%, then you should avoid it completely!
Rookie Gambling Mistakes to Avoid
The romance of gambling is what attracts people to this activity. In their enthusiasm, rookie players do not undertake the necessary preparation and make mistakes that can be costly. Here are a few gambling mistakes that rookie players should avoid.
Not Employing Correct Strategy
All casino games are based on chance, but some of them require a fair amount of skill as well. In blackjack, you have to decide whether or not to take the additional card. In video poker, you have to decide which cards to retain. Mastering the correct strategy in these games requires some effort. Rookie players, out of ignorance or bravado, tend to use gut feeling instead of optimum strategy. They lose out on the high average returns that these skill-based casino games offer.
Tip: Make an effort to learn the optimum strategy and play the games in the demo mode until you perfect the strategy.
Falling Into The Gambler’s Fallacy
An example best illustrates this. If a roulette wheel delivers eight black numbers in a row, rookie players would give the next number being black a very high chance and bet heavily on that. The fact is that each spin of the roulette wheel is independent of the past outcomes. No matter what the past results are, red and black have an equal chance of coming. Hot and cold streaks in slot machines are another example of the gambler’s fallacy.
Tip: In online blackjack, each game starts with new complete decks, so do not waste your time trying to count cards.
Misusing Casino Bonuses
Enthusiastic rookie players tend to claim every bonus on offer. Bonuses are not free money. They come with some commitments. Such players end up depositing and wagering more than they can afford to in pursuit of bonuses. Conservative rookie players make the gambling mistake of ignoring bonuses altogether. They lose out on the opportunities to extend their bankroll. As in most cases, the correct path is the middle one.
Tip: Do not fix your wagering activity based on the bonuses, but on your bankroll. Then take whatever bonuses fit into that activity.
Falling For Sucker Bets
Most bets in casino games give you a fair return after deducting a small house edge needed to keep the operations going. But once in a while, you will come across bets that are sucker bets. To make things worse, they usually offer an apparent attraction. You cannot smell out these bets. You have to know. An example is the Tie bet in baccarat. It offers a payout of 8 to 1 against the even money odds of the regular bets. But the average return is only 86%, as compared to 99% for the even money bets.
Tip: Craps has many sucker bets. Generally, the ones that offer lower payouts are better.
Not Reading The Terms & Conditions
This one is for the rookie online casino players. When you sign up at an online casino, you have to acknowledge that you have read the terms and conditions. These contain important information on payment options, bonuses and withdrawal limits. If you do not read and understand these terms, you may end up making wrong choices that can in the worst case cost you money.
Tip: It is boring, but do not sign up until you have actually read and understood the terms and conditions.
If you are new to online gambling, then please follow our online gambling for beginners tips. Keep yourself safe and never, ever gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose.
Online Gambling for Beginners – What you NEED to know FAQ
Is it legal for me to gamble online?
Does your casino endorse responsible gambling?
Is online gambling safe?
Is it safe to disclose my credit card information to online gambling websites?
How do online casinos decide game results?
Is online gambling legal?
Is the download casino software safe to install?
Is it necessary that I download software to play online?
Can I play online just for fun without laying a wager?
How long does it take to sign up and start playing?
How fast can I withdraw my winnings or close my account?
What sort of computer do I need to gamble online?
19 Apr. 2020, by Ari Waknine
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