Up until the mid-1990's, the only way that you could enjoy casino gaming was by visiting a brick and mortar casino. This usually involved at least a long road trip and often involved getting on a plane.
This has changed greatly, though, because there are now hundreds of online and mobile casinos available. Now you can play casino games within seconds by accessing an online site through your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet.
But what are the main advantages to gambling online as opposed to visiting a land based casino?
You can see below as I discuss 7 reasons why you should gamble online.
Many land based casinos offer hundreds of slot machines along with multiple casino table games. But while this variety is nice, the problem is the amount of time that it takes to try these different games.
Every time that you want to try a different slot machine, you must cash out your ticket, get up and walk to another game. Table games are worse because you have to gather your chips, walk to another table, and wait your turn to enter the game.
Contrast this to online casinos, where you'll be playing a new game with just a few clicks on your PC / Mac, or touches on your mobile device.
Let's say that you want to play a new slots game on your smartphone. Rather than cashing out your ticket and having to walk to another machine, you just close the game you're playing and open a new slot machine.
This allows you to quickly move from game to game with no time wasted. What's more is that with table games, you don't have to acclimate to a new dealer and other players when you switch tables.
Brick and mortar casinos offer you a totally different experience than online casinos, given that they feature dealers, human interaction, flashing lights, cocktails and side entertainment. But the downside is this comes at an additional cost to gamblers.
You're almost always facing worse payback from slot machines in land based casinos since these games only pay back 88% to 94%. Online slots are a better deal because these generally pay back between 94% and 96%.
Land based table games are also bad since they include more rules that favor the house.
Here's an example:
Many casino blackjack tables only pay you 6 to 5 on your original bet for natural a natural blackjack. But online casinos pay you 3 to 2, which lowers the house edge by almost 1.4%.
North American casinos offer American roulette, which has a 5.26% house edge. At online casinos you always have access to European roulette, which has a 2.70% house advantage.
You can't fault land based casinos for increasing the odds in their favor when you consider their heavy overhead costs. But you also don't have to play these games and face a greater chance of losing.
One thing that some beginning gamblers fail to account for is all the etiquette and superstitions that they'll be subjected to in land based casinos.
Craps is the best example of this because players can get agitated if you violate any of the game's unspoken etiquette rules. Here's a short list of what you're not supposed to do at the table:
Any table game that you play in brick and mortar casinos will have similar etiquette rules that you're expected to following – even if you've never gambled in your life.
If you don't want to spend time learning all of this etiquette, online casinos give you the perfect alternative because there are no unspoken rules to follow.
Many new gamblers don't realize that they can be comped right away for playing casino games.
If you play slots, you can sign up for the player's club at the appropriate desk and start earning loyalty points on your bets. If you play table games, you should speak to the pit boss and ask them to rate your play.
The only problem with these scenarios is that in both cases, you must take action to earn loyalty / comps.
Online casinos don't make you take any extra steps before you begin earning loyalty points. Instead, you automatically start collecting points as soon as you make real money bets.
The software keeps track of your points, and you can check on them at any time by visiting the appropriate section of your account.
Another aspect to consider here is that the terms of online casino loyalty plans are clearly defined. If you bet $100 on slots or table games, you'll receive X or X amount of points.
This isn't the case in brick and mortar casinos, where table game comps are entirely up to the discretion of the pit boss.
Most new land based casino visitors head straight for the video poker or slot machines, even if they'd rather try blackjack or another table game. Why? Because starting out with table games is intimidating for new players.
We touched on this before by discussing the etiquette involved with craps. And craps isn't the only game with etiquette because baccarat, blackjack, Pai Gow and roulette all have their nuances too.
It only gets tougher for beginners when you factor in the rules, strategy and pace for each game.
This is why online gambling presents the perfect learning opportunity for beginners. All the games move at your pace, giving you a chance to execute proper strategy and learn the rules at a slower speed.
Also note that the software acts as a guiding hand while you learn the rules. It's much better to let the software prevent you from making a mistake, rather than breaking a rule and having the dealer chide you in front of the table.
One undeniable advantage that online casinos have over their land based counterparts is that they offer free games.
This is a nice way for you to try out different slots and table games before making a deposit. Free online casino games also give you a chance to learn the rules and strategy before betting real money.
The only thing that you need to do to play free games is create an account. Some Flash casinos don't even make you create an account; you just click a game and start playing.
Land based casinos sometimes offer sessions where you can learn the rules of table games and play for fun. But this is only a promotional effort that happens on certain days during specific hours.
Other than this, you'll always have to risk money to play games in brick and mortar casinos.
The most obvious benefit to online gambling is convenience because you can play anytime, anywhere. This is especially true with mobile devices since they're easy to carry around and pull out when you want to play.
And the best part is that you don't need to drive or fly anywhere to play at an online casino. You're only a few touches away from playing real money casino games through your smartphone or tablet.
You need transportation to get to land based casinos, which already makes them inconvenient enough. If you also need to stay at a hotel, this adds more time and money to the equation.
Another point is that most brick and mortar casinos shut down for at least a few hours. Online casinos never close and they're available at any point in the day.
As I touched on earlier, land based casinos offer you a unique experience since you can interact with other players and enjoy different sights and sounds. The hotel and / or side entertainment might also enhance your casino trip and make for some unforgettable experiences.
But online gambling offers a number of advantages that can't be beat, starting with convenience. If all you want to do is gamble for a short time, an online casino is the perfect solution.
You also have a better chance to win with online gambling because most slots and table games give you better odds. Add in the immediate loyalty rewards that you receive, and your chances of a winning session are much better online.
If you're new to gambling in general, there's no better place to learn than at an online casino. Not only do the games move at your speed, but you can also play for free while learning rules and strategy.
In summary, brick and mortar casinos are great for the experience, but online gambling is better with regard to convenience, odds, and learning the games.