Casino FAQ

Our casino FAQ features answers to a comprehensive set of frequently asked questions regarding casino gambling in general and the use of online casinos. Most of the answers we provide are sufficiently detailed, but we've also added links to further information where necessary.

We've provided this page as a reference for anyone that is looking to find answers to specific casino related questions. You might also find it useful to read through all the questions and answers if you are completely new to casino gambling, or looking to play online for the first time. If you want to learn even more, you might want to take a look at our beginner's guide to casino gambling and our section on online casino basics.

General Casino FAQ: Answers

What is the house edge?

The house edge is a term used to describe the mathematical advantage that a casino has in all the games it offers. It is typically expressed as a percentage, and this percentage relates to the ratio of the expected loss to money wagered. For example, in a game with a house edge of 1% you would expect to lose $1 for every $100 wagered (in the long run).

It is because of the house edge that casinos always make an overall profit, even though they don't win every bet placed by players. In very basic terms, the house edge in most games is down to the simple fact that the odds of winning are greater than the odds paid. In European roulette, for instance, a bet on a single number has a 36:1 chance of winning but pays out at only 35:1.

Can I win playing casino games?

Yes, you can. The random nature of casino games gives you every chance of overcoming the odds; you essentially just need to get lucky. The fact that the odds are against you means you will almost certainly lose in the very long run, but it is quite possible to win in the short term.

Are casino games all about luck?

All casino games are primarily based on luck, and many games are entirely based on luck. In some games, however, there is also an element of strategy involved. Although there is no game where you can use strategy to overcome the house edge, there are games where you can effectively minimize the effect of the edge by playing the "right" way.

Why do people play casino games?

Some people assume that playing casino games is foolish, because of the fact that you are so likely to eventually lose money. However, this ignores the fact that they can be a lot of fun. Many players view them as a form of entertainment, where the chance of winning money simply adds to the excitement. Any money lost is essentially considered as the cost of the entertainment.

Which are the best games to play?

There is a strong argument that the "best" games to play are those with a low house edge, as these should cost you less money in the long run, but it's ultimately down to the preferences of the individual. If you want to try and make your money last as long as possible, then the low house edge games probably are the most suitable. If you want to try and go for a big jackpot win however, the slots might be a better option. You could also argue that the best games are simply the ones that you enjoy the most.

Is casino gambling expensive?

It can be, but it doesn't have to be. You can spend as much or as little as you want to really, and you certainly don't need hundreds or thousands of dollars. The minimum bet at most casinos is usually fairly low, so you can play with whatever amounts you feel comfortable with. As long as you set a budget, and stop when you have spent it, you basically have complete control of how much you spend.

Should I tip the dealers?

This is entirely up to you, and there is certainly no obligation to do so. In casinos in some parts of the world it is very much considered good etiquette to leave a tip if you have a nice win, but it's still your decision. You might want to consider that dealers are not generally very well paid though. Our view is that you should definitely tip at least something if you feel that a dealer has contributed positively to your overall gaming experience.

Are casino winnings taxable?

Casino winnings are taxable in some parts of the world, but not in others. It may also depend on whether you are a resident of the country you are playing in, or visiting from overseas. Other factors may also be the amount won, and whether you are playing online or at a land based venue. If you happen to win a large amount then you should probably take advice from a qualified professional about any tax liability you may have.

Should I use a betting system?

There are plenty of casino experts who will tell you that you should steer well clear of betting systems. This is perfectly valid advice really, as there is no betting system which will improve your chances of winning and some systems may actually result in you losing more. We don't believe there is anything particularly wrong with using them though, providing you understand that they can't overcome the house edge and you are aware of the potential pitfalls.

Can I get addicted to casino games?

Some people would have you believe that if you start gambling, of any kind, you are destined to end up getting addicted and losing all your money. This is simply not true. Casino games most definitely can be addictive, but it's by no means a certainty that you will get addicted. It is important that you are aware of the risks though, and that you gamble responsibly. If you ever fear that you might be getting addicted, you should stop immediately and seek help.

Online Casino FAQ: Answers

Are online casinos legal?

Most online casinos operate entirely within the confines of the law. However, there are no global laws that apply to online gambling in every single part of the world. Countries generally have their own individual laws relating to online gambling, so the legality of online casinos will depend on where they are based and also where you live. Before playing at an online casino you should check that it is licensed in a jurisdiction where it can operate legally. You should also check that your local laws do not prohibit you from gambling online, although this is rarely the case.

More Info

Gambling Laws

Do online casinos offer fair games?

Generally speaking, yes they do. The majority of online casinos provide games that are completely fair, using random number generators (RNGs) to produce the results. These RNGs are computer programs that ensure the outcomes of games are random, which means that players can expect similar results to the ones they would see in a live casino.

There are, unfortunately, a few online casinos that manipulate results to give them an unfair advantage, but these are very much in the minority. They are relatively easy to avoid too.

Is my money safe at online casinos?

There are a few online casinos that probably shouldn't be trusted, but your money is perfectly safe at most places. The top online casinos, such as the ones that we recommend, are generally operated by reputable and trustworthy companies. They will keep your deposited funds safe, and pay out any winnings within a reasonable timeframe.

How do I deposit and withdraw money?

You will usually have a few different options for depositing and withdrawing. Credit cards and debit cards are accepted at most places, and these tend to be the most popular options. E-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are also widely accepted, although this may depend on where you live. Other options include money transfer (using services such as Western Union and MoneyGram), bank transfer, and check.

The exact processes for depositing and withdrawing will be different from one casino to the next, but they are generally quite straightforward.

Which online casino should I use?

There is no single answer to this question really, as there is no single online casino that could be definitively described as the best one to use. It really depends on several factors. If you live in the United States, for example, the best casinos for you will not necessarily be the same as for someone who lives in the United Kingdom. Any personal preferences or specific requirements you have need to be considered too.

The most important thing is to make sure that you use a reputable and trustworthy place to play.

How many online casinos should I use?

This is entirely up to you. If you find one that you really like, and it offers everything you want, then there is nothing wrong with using just that one. Equally, there is nothing wrong with playing at a variety of different places.

How do I join an online casino?

Most online casinos make it really easy to join. It's usually just a case of visiting their websites and then entering a few personal details such as your name and email address. It typically takes just a few moments before you'll be able to make a deposit and start playing.

Do I need to download anything?

Some online casinos require you to download software in order to play their games, while others offer "instant games" that can be played directly from your web browser. Many places have both downloadable games and instant games.

Which casino games can I play online?

You can play pretty much any casino game you could imagine. Virtually every casino offers a range of table games, card games, video poker games, and slot games. Many places have a huge selection, so it is very unlikely you won't be able to find a game you enjoy.

What are live dealer games?

Live dealer games offer a very different experience at online casinos – one that is almost like playing at a land based venue. They feature real life dealers at real tables, with all the action beamed directly to your computer screen via a live video feed. You play the games in the usual way, with the dealers acting on your instructions accordingly.

Do online casinos work with Apple Macs?

Not all of them, but there are plenty of options for Mac users. A casino that offers instant games is usually compatible with Macs; it's mostly the ones that only have downloadable software that tend not to be.

Can I play casino games from a mobile device?

Yes, you can. A large number of online casinos have at least some games that are compatible with mobile devices, and some have specific apps that you can download to your device. These typically offer a decent selection of different games.

What are casino bonuses?

There are several different types of casino bonuses, and they are basically extra chips that are added to your online account in exchange for making a deposit, or as a reward for your playing activity. They are available at most online casinos, usually to both new and existing customers.

What are Comp Points & VIP Programs?

Comp points and VIP programs are two specific ways in which online casinos reward their players. For more information on these, and how they work, please see the article linked above.
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