Want to get started playing online casinos? We all know about the risk of scams out there on the Internet. Visiting some sites can give unwary surfers some nasty viruses, and downloading software risks the possibility of receiving adware, spyware and other types of malware. When gambling for money the risk seems even more frightening. How do you know if your money is safe with the company or Web site? A daunting possibility is that you may run into difficulty with payout problems and withdrawing your money. You’ve heard of online casinos cheating, or not paying up. However, with some helpful guidelines listed here and a little research of your own, you can have fun, be safe, maybe even win a little money, and avoid some of the common pitfalls of the unwary gambler.
Should I use a browser based site, or a site with a client I must download?
This is a slippery slope towards success that people are hesitant to try out at first and slowly but surely succumb to the temptation of making it big after reading about the success stories of different people and start out with Poker Online for practice before moving on to the big game.
There are pros and cons to either choice. When playing a casino through your browser, you will not run the risk of downloading anything nasty along with the software client. However, you must ensure that you have an effective and up to date firewall to protect your computer from unknowing access. This goes for any web surfing, not just for online casinos. Downloading a casino web site’s software may also put your computer at risk. Many programs are bundled with malware that can harm your computer or even put your personal information out there. Always read the negative reviews for the site you are considering, and never download anything without having up to date virus, adware, and spyware protection on your computer. Downloading does have its positive points, though; if you have a slower Internet connection you will not have to wait for pictures and graphics to load – it’s all already there on your computer.
Cheating and Fraud
Not all cheating is cut and dry. Beware of sites whose users have reported delayed payout – this is often a definite sign of dishonesty. Casinos delay a player’s withdrawal in hopes that they will end up playing some more, and spending the money they intended to take home. Also, try to find out if your casino produces their own software, or if they buy from a separate company. Some casinos play the blame game when allegations of cheating software are made. Some of the mathematical programs the casinos buy can allow them to cheat, and when questions are raised they can point to the developers of the software. You should know and research what software your Internet casino is using. However, blatant cheating like this is less common that things like payout delays. Always keep in mind that Internet casinos are out there to make money – how is your chosen casino making theirs?
In some countries, gambling online is banned. Is Internet gambling legal in your country? If you are a US resident, no federal law exists to explicitly outlaw online gambling, but Nevada, Louisiana, Michigan and Illinois all prohibit it, while California, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Utah restrict some types of games. Do your research!
- Pick a game to play. Does it require more skill or chance? If it is a game of skill, you should read a little about strategy in your chosen game.
- Practice in a free setting first! Keep track of your winnings and losses, and what kind of plays made you lose or win.
- When you find yourself coming out on top with the free games, you can start using real money. Put a limit on yourself. If you are playing against other players, you will find that they can act differently in the game when real money is at stake.
Protecting You from You
If you are reading this then you are just getting started, and chances are you are not a gambling addict. Still, it is always important to set boundaries for yourself when gambling. Limit the money you will spend each time you play. Also, be sure you have that extra money available to spend; don’t find yourself using money that should be put aside for other things. You should also put a limit on the frequency of your gaming sessions. Make a rule and stick to it!
The most important thing to remember is that it’s about fun. Be safe, and happy gaming!