A Step by Step Guide to Opening an Online Casino Account

Guide to Opening an Online Casino Account Image

Online gaming has become hugely popular in a short time and, with continued advances in platforms such as social gaming and mobile gaming, these trends will likely continue.

In 2004, it was estimated between seven to ten billion dollars was spent on online gaming, with Americans contributing approximately $4 billion. In 2005, the online casino market was expected to grow by 20% per year.

By 2012, global online casino gross wins (bets placed minus payouts) were estimated near 22 billion euros (US$24.2 billion).

Online casinos provide gamers with convenient opportunity for learning games and honing skills, not to mention winning real money. The most popular online gaming preferred by 23% of online gaming Americans were casino games - like blackjack and roulette - while 18% percent preferred online poker.

While online gaming is immensely popular and can be lucrative, it is not without its share of potential pitfalls. The following is a quick guide to help you get setup for a rewarding online gaming experience.


Ask questions.

Online gaming can fall within gray areas of national laws. For example, in the United States and Canada, while online gambling is technically considered illegal, federal governments concede to individual state and provincial legislation.

With that said, online gaming is difficult to regulate. Brick and mortar casinos are regulated, and such things like house edge and payout percentages are established through local state laws and monitored by gambling commissions.

While some headway has been made over the years, online gaming still resides within the "Wild West" territory of the web.

Therefore, as a budding online gamer, good questions to ask of an online casino revolve around the movement of money. For example, how easy is it to deposit and withdraw your money? An illegal online casino website can get raided and shut down. If that happens, no, you might not get back your money.

Does the website offer a good range of options for money transfer and withdrawal? Does the website publish house edge and payout percentage reports? How responsive and adept at problem resolution is the website's customer service? Does the website URL reside under a regulated domain?

These are a few questions to get you moving in the right direction when considering opening an account with a particular online casino. Think in terms of how likely you will get back your money or receive your winnings.

Going onto online gaming forums and reading reviews can be a good source of information. If you keep seeing the same website mentioned in relation to shady dealings that may be an indicator.


Take a free tour.

After doing some research and narrowing down your online casino choices, the next step is to take advantage of the free play the websites offer.

How does the page navigation and layout feel? Is it too distracting? How does it perform on your computer or device? How accessible and useful is the help section? Does the website clearly and concisely answer your questions concerning gameplay, including placing bets and retrieving winnings?

Interact with customer service. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Evaluate their response.Would the level of service they provide you be satisfactory with questions that will have your money on the line?


Reduce security risks.

You likely are aware of the potential the internet provides for security risks and fraud. The intentions of the website aside for now, the technology itself is hackable and sending vital credit card information over the ether carries inherent security risks.

These risks only multiply when dealing with wireless accounts and mobile devices.

You can help minimize the damage a security breach may have by limiting the funds you make available on your card. If possible, obtain a credit card the sole purpose of which will be for online gaming. Never use your main credit cards which may have high credit limits.

Practice safe password management. The chief way individual accounts get hacked is via insufficient password management. Some password tips include:

  1. Use random combinations of characters only, as many types as the software will allow (this includes upper case, lower case, numbers, punctuation and special characters
  2. Create long passwords.If the software allows for a 25-character password, use it.
  3. Use a unique password for each account
  4. Use an online random password generator
  5. Store your passwords in a safe place for easy recall
  6. Change your password on a continual basis - at the very least once every few months
  7. Click "no" if the browser offers to save the password so it is generated automatically when you revisit the page

By observing each of the tips in the list above, you will take considerable action towards protecting yourself from such hazards as having someone

  1. simply guess your password
  2. stealing your mobile device and thus gaining entry into your account via browser-saved passwords
  3. gain access to multiple accounts

Even with brute force attacks, having a long and complex password may help maintain your account's integrity.


Manage your resources.

Casino gaming can be a rewarding and enjoyable entertainment experience for those who budget their time and money wisely.For who do not, particularly for those with compulsive and addictive personality traits, casino gaming can become a nightmare.

Brick and mortar casinos are notorious for using tactics designed to keep players playing. A player who loses track of time is likely to spend longer - and therefore, more - at the tables or slots. Casinos often are windowless, without clocks and routinely offer players such "comps" as free chips or drinks - all designed to keep you playing.

Online casinos are no different.Bonus rounds, prizes - even page layout - are all designed to keep you online and trying your luck "just one more time". When combined with the addictive and compulsive characteristics found in all computer gaming, any lack of awareness and preparation can get expensive quickly.

The successful online gamer will adopt and employ a winning strategy for managing time and budgeting bankrolls.

Most people practice resource management, and loss mitigation, simply by deciding how much money they will allow themselves to use.While this is certainly effective, it is not the most efficient.

For example, you may choose to play a $5 slot, with a hundred-dollar bankroll. Even playing at a fairly modest pace of two bets per minute, your bankroll is used up well within an hour.At an adjusted amount of over $100 per hour, this is likely an expensive and inefficient use of your entertainment dollar.

A better approach to resource management is via time management, utilizing a casino concept known as "hands per hour".


Manage your time.

The house edge represents what the casino wins, on average, over time. What is useful to know about this is that, the longer you play, the more you are likely to lose.

The obvious way to manage time is to set a time limit. Use a timer that is equipped with a buzzer. When it goes off you stop.


Hands per hour.

A more sophisticated way to manage time is to utilize the concept of "hands per hour". Hands per hour represents the average number of hands, or rounds, you may play in an hour.High-skill games - like poker - typically provide fewer hands per hour (20 to 30 or more), while low-skill games - like slots - will generate the most hands per hour.

What is important to note is that hands per hour speeds up online. Considerably.For example, some professional poker players have been known to play hundreds of hands of poker per hour online, maintaining up to 10 tables simultaneously.

Playing for free will give you experience in how many hands per hour you can expect to play of your chosen games. Realizing that each hand costs money, the number of hands will help you visualize, before you begin, how much money you can expect to spend within a certain timeframe.

This kind of information is empowering and is more sophisticated because it allows you to see just how much this entertainment is costing you.This approach allows you to change your strategy during play.

For example, more skill-driven games like poker provide greater flexibility in the amount a person may bet per hand - anywhere from folding early to going all-in.

By establishing an estimate before you sit down at the virtual table, of the number of hands per hour your bankroll can afford divided by how many hands per hour the game generates on average and multiplied by the number of hours you would like to play, you get a real sense of what betting limits you should stay within and what stepping over those limits will cost you in future hands.


Tell the truth.

Fill out the account information form truthfully. As with brick and mortar casinos, online casinos observe age restrictions. Be sure you reside within the legal age limit for gambling in your jurisdiction.

In the United States, federal law prohibits the crossing of state lines for gambling purposes. Therefore, if your state allows online gambling, you must reside in that state to legally gamble online.

Lying in your account information about age and location sets you up for any potential ramifications that come about as a result.


Create an account.

Now that you have done a bit of research and preparation, you are ready to open your online casino account.

Setting up an account is straightforward. If you have any experience with online shopping, then you already know the drill. Simply fill out the personal information fields, add your credit card or alternative payment information, and you are good to go.


As with the brick and mortar examples, getting into casino is usually not a problem and neither is transferring cash into chips or credits.While the goal is in the winnings, the challenge is how to get the most out of your entertainment dollar.

This guide has hopefully helped you towards that end by introducing some of the issues to be aware of and some strategies to help you succeed with your online casino account.