Are you retired and living on a fixed income? Or employed with a limited amount of spending money?
You can still enjoy the excitement of online casinos and the thrill of jackpots, by gambling responsibly. Personally I prefer to play free slots with no download.
The following tips offer ideas for fun, yet frugal, gambling.
- Decide how much you can comfortably afford to lose. Most gamblers lose their money, so plan accordingly. Figure out how much extra money, above fixed living expenses, you have to play with each month.
- Plan how often you can afford to gamble. Divide your monthly available gambling money by how many times you’d like to log in to your online casino player account. If the spending amount seems too low, plan to go less often.
- Don’t overspend. Use only your pre-planned gambling money at the online casino each time. Do not deposit extra money out of your accounts later, if you lose.
- Alternate games. Don’t get stuck with just one game. If you feel that game is not handing out any bonus or free spins rounds, launch another game. Don’t get into the habit of thinking that the game you are currently playing must payout anytime soon, because it won’t.
- Take gambling breaks. Space playing time with short breaks to the bathroom, take a walk, do some chores. You will feel better, and potential gambling time will be spread out over the day.
- Play slot machines instead of table games. Choosing slots exclusively gives you a much bigger selection, and generally costs less to play.
- Play machines that offer occasional random jackpots or bonuses of some kind (special pay features, free spins, etc.).
- Play smaller bets some of the time. They often offer more bonus rounds or random jackpot features and cost very little when bets are kept small.
- Bet smaller amounts when losing; higher when winning. If a machine you are playing is on a winning streak, up your bets a bit for the chance of larger jackpots.
- Withdraw most big winnings. If you win a nice amount, give yourself a small extra chunk to play with and withdraw the rest if wagering requirements have been met. You can always decide to spend some of it on an extra fun and frugal online casino trip later on!
Online gambling is a large and consistently growing industry, currently bringing in over $35 billion each year.
Regulation and gaming software has made huge strides in recent years, but there are still scams and fly-by-night operations out there that you have to watch out for.
What follows are the main things to look for to ensure you’re dealing with a legitimate and well-run online casino.
Guide To Safely Playing At Online Casinos
How an online casino is regulated and licensed depends greatly on where it is based. The most reputable and stable international online casinos tend to be those licensed by the British and Australian governments, but they are generally not based in these countries. You’ll see their headquarters of record as places like The Isle of Man, Gibraltar, and Alderney, which are territories and dependencies that are often independently governed but are subject to the legal oversight of their parent countries.
Throughout Europe, there are also various countries that will license online casinos solely for operation within their own borders. Regulation in these countries tends to be extremely strong. The best of these options at present are Italy, Spain, and Denmark.
If you’re in the United States, look for online casinos or sports books based in Delaware, New Jersey or Nevada. These are the three states that allow them to operate at this time. The catch is, you have to actually be physically within that particular state at the time to legally play at them.
In addition to being licensed by the government of a country, there are various independent third-party certifications an online casino might opt to pursue to reassure players that their games are fair and operating properly. One of the most popular of these is eCOGRA, an organization that is headquartered in London and is licensed by both the British government and several other countries throughout Europe.
In addition to being licensed and certified, you’ll want an online casino that uses a stable and safe software platform. The “big names” in this realm are Playtech, MicroGaming, Cryptologic, IGT, Realtime Gaming, Novomatic, and Net Entertainment. Some of these providers, such as Playtech and MicroGaming, have been in business for over two decades now and were among the first companies to jump into online gaming back in the 1990s.
In addition to making sure games always run the way they are supposed to, these companies provide added security to players by using both automated software and manual tracking by live security personnel to keep competitive multiplayer games like poker fair and free of cheating.
Deposits are one of the stickiest issues surrounding online casinos, even if you are in a territory where they are legal. Generally speaking, there are going to be far more deposit methods than withdrawal options even with legitimate casinos.
Online casinos now widely accept bank transfers, checks, PayPal, and major credit cards for deposits. If you live in a country where online gambling is illegal (like the United States), however, your bank may block the transaction. A whole industry of PayPal alternatives have sprung up specifically to service gamblers in non-legalized countries in this manner, however; Skrill and Neteller are the biggest names by far in this area, and some casinos are now accepting Bitcoin as well.
When it comes time to withdraw your winnings, the most likely options you are going to see are a mailed check, a bank transfer, or Skrill. A reputable online casino should ask you for a photo ID along with one or two other forms of supporting identification in order to initiate a withdrawal. Be aware that there are also usually daily, weekly and monthly limits on how much money can be withdrawn.
With these elements in place, you can rest assured you’re dealing with a reputable organization. Now, all there is left to do is win!