In this guide we’ll take a look at real money online gambling in all of its glory, covering the sites that provide this service, the developers that create the games and the ways that you can play.
Real Money Online Gambling: What you Need to Know
The online gambling industry is growing year on year, and it could be a matter of years before it overtakes the offline gambling industry. There are many real money gambling sites out there that make more money than the world’s biggest casinos, which is why those casinos are now trying to muscle their way onto the world wide web.
This is a lucrative industry, and with so much competition and variety, there has never been a better time to be a player.
Real Money Online Gambling Software
The two biggest real money online gambling developers are Microgaming and Playtech. Microgaming got there first, but Playtech are often considered to be the bigger of the two. Away from these behemoths there are popular developers like Net Ent and IGT.
Other developers also worth a play are BetSoft, who make a number of 3D titles, and Scientific Gaming, who own the Barcrest and WMS brands, among others.
The Best Real Money Gambling Slots
Slots are one of the biggest lures for any casino, offline or online. Real money gambling slots stir an excitement deep within all of us, triggering those primal urges and forcing us to keep going. That’s great for the casino, but it can also benefit the player, as there is a lot of money at stake on these virtual games.
Some of the best games on the online marketplace right now include:
- Mega Moolah: Created by Microgaming, this title has broken many records for the highest payouts. It is a progressive slot with a seed amount of $1 million, which means the jackpot will never be lower and can sometimes be as high as $20 million.
- Family Guy: This is one of the best IGT games around. It is great fun to play whether you’re fan of the animated series or not, and there are also some big wins available.
- Guns ’n’ Roses: Net Ent have created a title based on the biggest rock band of the 80s and 90s, and it’s one that fans will adore. It contains some unique wilds and bonus rounds and there is a GnR soundtrack playing throughout.
The Best Real Money Gambling Table Games
We’ve played enough real money online table games in our time to have a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t. We have played some shocking titles that should never have left the development stage, but we have also played some brilliant tiles that standout above all others.
Here are a few titles from that second list:
- Switch Blackjack: This is by far the best table game on the Playtech software. It’s a blackjack game that was born online, but has since spread to many offline casinos. It has a low house edge and a fun twist on the Classic Blackjack rules.
- Red Dog: This game can be found on the Microgaming software as well as Playtech. It’s a game that used to be very popular in the 70s and 80s, before disappearing from casinos altogether. it had since made a resurgence online though and is a fun, simple game.
- Sic Bo: If you love craps and roulette then this game is for you. Most developers have a version of it and some, including Microgaming, have several. This is a luck-based game, but like craps it involves many elements, which make it fun to play.
- Three-Card Poker: Poker is one of those games that can be beaten, but is rarely played against the house. Three-Card Poker is the exception though. This is only played against the house and while the odd of winning are not as high as Hold’em, they are still up there.
Other Real Money Gambling Sites
On real money online casinos you’ll also find games of video poker, virtual scratch cards, bingo, keno and more. These sites try to cover all bases and essentially give you virtual representations of the things you would find in a real casino (minus the watchful security guards, and the drunken middle-aged men trying to hit on the dealers).
There are other gambling sites out there other. The most common of these are sports books, which are often attached to casinos. There was a time when all sports books jumped on the online casino bandwagon, but since then online casinos have also looked to add sports books to their websites.
Offline, it’s a combination you would only expect to find in Las Vegas, but online it seems to be the perfect match.
There are also bingo rooms, which only occasionally have other gambling sections attached; and poker rooms, which very rarely have them (except in the case of PokerStars, who have seemingly cornered every market, and PKR, who have tried).
Developers to Look Out for
We mentioned BetSoft above, but we didn’t really give them the credit that they deserve. They are often overshadowed by other developers, but the truth is that no one creates better looking games than they do.
BetSoft titles are nothing short of beautiful. They also have unique features to make them unlike any other slots you have played.
The problem is, they aren’t available on as many casinos as Net Ent and other big developers. But if you can find a casino that offers games from BetSoft then it’s worth sticking with them.
Developers to Avoid
If you ask the average gambler to name the top three developers, many of them would list Microgaming and Playtech in 1 and 2, and then Realtime Gaming as 3. In terms of size, they wouldn’t be wrong. But in terms of appeal and popularity, they would be very wrong.
Realtime Gaming have featured on many controversial websites over the years. There is nothing wrong with this software as such, but their vetting process isn’t as vigorous and they let many unscrupulous casinos through.
To make matters worse, RTG also allow those casinos to tweak the payouts of the games, something which other big brands wouldn’t dream of. As a result, RTG have given themselves a bad name and it’s one they deserve for the most part.
Available Real Money Gambling Bonuses
There are so many real money online gambling sites to choose from and each one of them wants your money and your custom. So, to make sure you join their site and not another, they offer promotions.
These promotions used to be fairly small. But as this industry has become more competitive, and as more money has been pumped into it, they have increased. These days it is not unusual to find bonuses on offer that are in excess of $5,000.
You can find the following bonuses on most real money gambling sites:
- Matched Deposit Bonus: The most common “new member bonus”, this pays out a percentage amount based on your deposit. If it’s a 100% bonus then your deposit will double. If it’s 200%, it will triple. This is the best bonus to get when you first join a gambling site especially if it’s a casino or a sports book. However, it tends to be less lucrative on bingo sites and poker rooms, where you have to unlock it bit by bit.
- No Deposit Bonus: With this bonus you don’t even need to deposit in order to get the money. However, it’s rarely more than €10 and you still have to register. The purpose of these bonuses is to lure you in, to get you registered and to make sure you’re ready to make a deposit when the free money has gone.
- Free Spins: This bonus gives you a set number of free spins that you can use either on all available slots or on a specific slot. These spins are set at a fixed amount and it’s often very low, so make sure you read the small print.
- Loyalty Bonus: These reward you for regular play, either in the form of top-up bonuses or a loyalty scheme. You are awarded points for every game you play and these points can then be turned into prizes, free games and even cash.
Real Money Gambling Deposit and Withdrawal Options
You can use everything from PayPal and Skrill to credit cards, prepaid cards, as well as Bitcoin and more to get money into and out of your online casino account. Check with the gambling site beforehand to determine what methods they accept, as not all sites offer the same long list of banking options.
Some of these options will require you to pay a fee, and there are also limits imposed regarding the minimum/maximum deposits and withdrawals. So, we recommended that you check all of this info in advance to avoid any complications further down the line.
Can I Play Real Money Gambling Games on my Phone?
There shouldn’t be an issue loading gambling software on your phone. However, you don’t need to. These days it’s much easier to just visit the gambling site through your mobile browser and play through there.
The only thing you need to do for this is make sure that your device is in landscape mode and that you have an account with the site. All real money online gambling sites have mobile versions, because that’s the way the market is going.
Can I Play Real Money Gambling Games on my Tablet?
As with your phone, you shouldn’t have an issue playing your favorite real money online gambling games on your tablet. The better the tablet is, then the better you experience should be. However, providing it’s a relatively new device then you should be able to play and enjoy regardless. The best devices for playing online gambling games are iPads, as everything is quick, effortless and looks fantastic on the retina display; and Android devices, as they work just as well and have no compatibility issues.
How do I Stay Safe?
If you’re gambling on a mobile device then you should avoid an automatic login and you should make sure your device has a passcode. Whether you’re gambling on your mobile or you desktop you should always make sure that the site is reputable by checking to make sure it is regulated and licensed.
How do I Know a Casino is Legit?
As mentioned above, they will be regulated if they are legit. Of course, scam sites also claim to be regulated and they will even show the badge that “proves” they are. So, don’t just take this badge for granted. Make sure it is hyperlinked to the regulator and that the regulator can confirm that they are indeed a member.
Can I Beat the House at Real Money Gambling Games?
Of course. The saying, “The house always wins” is true, but it applies over the long haul. in other words, for every 2 losers there is 1 winner. The games you play will dictate your odds of getting a return. The best games to play are blackjack and poker, as they both offer you a high return and a great chance of beating the house.
What is a House Edge?
A house edge is the advantage that the gambling site has over you. It is often displayed as a percentage amount, and because it dictates their advantage over you, a lower percentage is better. A house edge is commonly displayed for table games and can range from 0.30% for some games of blackjack, to over 5% for some games of roulette.
What is an RTP?
RTP stands for “Return to Player” and is a percentage based on how much you can expect to win. The easiest way to understand this is to picture the percentage amount as a dollar amount. So, 96% becomes $96, which is the amount, on average, that you can expect to get in return for every $100 that you bet. An RTP is often shown for slot machines and ranges from around 85% (which is very low) to 98% (which is very high). Obviously, because the house always has the edge, it never goes above 100%, just like the house edge never goes below 0%.
There are many real money online gambling sites out there. This is a golden age for online gambling, one where it is widely available, mostly legal, and so competitive that players have endless options at their disposal. If you love to gamble, then there has never been a better time. So, get out there, make a few deposits and test your luck.