Dodging Common Pitfalls of Real Money Online Casino Play
It can seem like a big step to start playing real money online casino games, but it can actually be very safe, a lot of fun and not overwhelming at all. We’ll take you step-by-step through all of the little things that you might need to know so that you can hit the ground running.
There are a variety of things that you’ll learn whenever you start playing online casino games for real money that you usually just have to pick up as you go. Experience is one of the best teachers, but a lack of experience can keep people from feeling comfortable with jumping in and playing. What we want to do here is offer up a number of points and ideas for you to know ahead of time so that you can learn from what we have to show you here instead of having to learn a lot of these things on your own.
The point here is that we want players to have the best experience possible, and that means eliminating some of the hard lessons that can come the first few times you log on to play. While what we’re going to list out here is going to come in no particular order, if you check out the tips and pointers that we have for you here, then you’ll definitely have a much better time and a much smoother learning curve.
Aggravation Coming From Real Money Casino Deposits and Withdrawals
Online casino site banking represents what seems like a pretty straightforward idea: You put the money on your account, play with it, and then you take money off of your account when you’re done. However, this is a critical bottleneck that can seriously affect your experience and your ability to even get set up to play. We want to take a look at a few key idea that most players end up learning through experience (and typically bad experiences at that) so that you don’t have to suffer the same fate.
You’ll find that there are a variety of currencies available at many online casinos. However, there are a few that are more popular than others:
- US dollars
- British Pounds
- Canadian dollars
- Australian dollars
These six are probably the most popular overall, and bitcoin is obviously the odd one out as a real money casino currency, but US dollars and euros are the most popular overall. Depending on where you’re playing from, you may strongly prefer one currency over another, and that will affect the choices you have to pick from. While many of the top options offer USD, EUR and GBP deposits and withdrawals, some are a bit more limited, so it’s something you should check out before you make your deposit.
If you do decide that you want to play at a site that doesn’t offer your preferred currency, then exchange options are available in different ways. Some casinos will exchange your currency for you given the most current exchange rates, but some electronic wallets will do it for you as well. Your best bet is to just see which of the two will offer the lowest charge for doing so and to go with that, but it’s typically a better deal if you just find a casino that offers the currency you prefer in the first place.
Real Money Online Casino Banking Option Selection
Before you can play, you have to be able to get your money into your casino account, and before you can enjoy your winnings, you have to be able to get it back into one of your other accounts. These transactions are handled by deposit and withdrawal options, respectively, but something that many players don’t realize is that not all payment methods allow both deposits and withdrawals. Many only allow one or the other, and the most common case is that something allows deposits without allowing withdrawals.
If you want to play in online casinos for real money, then you’ll want to have both. Whether it’s credit cards, electronic wallets or other methods, you’ll preferably want to have two deposit methods and two withdrawal methods available to you. The reason for this is that it gives you a backup in case your primary option goes down. Bank transfers are usually available as a withdrawal-only option that players can typically count on, so that leaves the two deposit methods and one withdrawal method to go.
It’s pretty important to have this squared away before you start to play, and a part of the reason why is that many casino sites are required by their licensing jurisdiction to verify your identity before you’re allowed to cash out.
If you wait until you actually want to request a withdrawal before you decide on your methods and get everything set up, then you run into the problem of having to wait for your identity to be verified, which can delay your initial deposit. Once your identity is verified, however, you won’t have to do it again when making your cash withdrawals.
Banking Waiting Periods
There are plenty of situations where you’ll want to quickly move your money from either one casino to another or from a casino into your bank account for some kind of purchase, etc. What you need to be aware of in this type of situation is that withdrawals aren’t always instant, and even when they’re advertised as happening within 24 hours (or similar), that doesn’t always mean what you necessarily think it means.
Always assume that online casino cash withdrawals are going to take longer than advertised. This will help to prevent situations where you get put in a bind because of unexpected banking waiting periods.
The key thing to realize is that not all delays in online casino cash outs are the fault of the sites. They may do things as quickly as possible on their end, but many payment methods have their own delays involved. This is particularly true for anything that involves a traditional bank account since transfers to them generally take at least a business day or two. If you cash out within hours to your electronic wallet, for example, it can still take days before the money gets to your checking account, so keep that in mind when planning ahead.
Avoiding Problems With Managing Your Real Money Casino Bankroll
There are a lot of ways to go about bankroll management, and different players will have different approaches that they’re the most comfortable with. While we recommend setting a line item in your weekly or monthly budget that’s the most you will dedicate to your bankroll, there are a number of lessons that you will learn about managing that money over time. We want to speed up the learning process and give you a few ideas to think about on your own.
Volatility and House Advantage
Few players only play one game over and over again, and the vast majority play at least a handful of different types of games. When moving between titles, it’s not immediately obvious how you should adjust your bet sizing in terms of being more conservative (smaller bet sizes) or more aggressive (larger bet sizes). There’s a complicated mathematical answer to this for all of the real money online casino games out there, but pretty much no one has the time or inclination to work all of that out.
Luckily, there are really only two things that you need to adjust for: volatility and house advantage. Here’s how this works:
- If the volatility of a game is higher, then your bankroll management strategy should be more conservative.
- However, if the volatility of the game is lower, then you should adjust by being more aggressive with larger bet sizes.
- On the other hand, games with a higher house advantage require you be more conservative with smaller bet sizes when you gamble online with real money.
- When the house edge is lower, you can adjust by using bigger bets and being more aggressive.
These factors combine as well. For example, a game with a low volatility and a low house advantage means that you can be particularly aggressive with how much you wager and use larger bet sizes than you have with almost any other games. However, when there’s a high volatility and a high house edge, then you should go to the other end of the spectrum and be hyper-conservative with much smaller bets than you’d otherwise use.
The point of using these two ideas is to make it easier to compare bet sizes across games. This takes a lot of the stress out of your experience while still giving you something concrete to base your decisions on.
Live Dealer Casino Real Money Bet Sizes
One of the most innovative things you can do when playing with real money in online casinos is to join a live dealer table. These tables allow you to play classic table games like blackjack, roulette and Baccarat (in addition to others) via high-definition video feeds with actual dealers from a real casino stage on a real casino table. You’ll place your wagers from your computer, and things are automatically updated as you play along.
While you can chat it up with players, tip your dealer and a lot of other things that contribute to a more social environment than what’s typically available online, there’s something important about these games that you have to know:
The minimum bet sizes for real money live dealer games will be higher than when playing the “normal” online table games.
The reason for this is actually fairly simple: It costs the sites more money per person to support these games because there’s such a greater overhead cost, so if they allowed players to get in on the action for lower amounts, they would actually take a loss in the process in some cases.
Avoiding Common Gambling Fallacies
There’s a common gambling fallacy that sounds really good the first time that you hear it: If you start betting one unit of currency on an even money wager, and then you double it every time you lose until you win, then you’ll always profit one unit each time you win.
Here’s an example of how this would work. If you wager one unit and lose, then wager two units and lose, then wager four units and lose, but then you wager eight units and win, you can add it all up to see that you won eight units on your last bet, which gives you a profit of one unit after the seven you lost on the first three wagers.
You can see how this process would work with more losses in a row, but it runs into a big problem: Table maximums. Eventually, you’ll hit a losing streak that would require you to choose a bet size that’s bigger than what’s allowed, and when that happens, this strategy breaks apart.
We want to point out that this is one of the most common real money online casino strategies that players with games like blackjack and roulette come up with because it sounds great on paper. However, if you try it, eventually you’ll learn from experience that it doesn’t quite work out, and that experience can cost you quite a bit.
Don’t Lose Value With Casino Cash Bonuses and Promotions
One of the most rewarding aspects of real money Internet casino play is getting special bonuses and other promotions that amount to free money that’s added to your account balance. With that having been said, there are some ways to go about getting them that are better than others, and there are definitely some ways that you can mess up and miss out on all of your value. We want to help you to get this right from the beginning instead of having to learn hard lessons that cost you serious money.
Observing Terms and Conditions
Almost every single person who decides to play at online casinos for cash will mess up at some point by violating the terms and conditions of some promotion, and they will disqualify themselves from getting paid for that promotion in the first place. The most common terms and conditions that get violated, often by accident, are the following:
- Cashing out before the wagering requirements are completed.
- Making a bet size that’s larger than the maximum allowed while working off play-through requirements.
- Playing games that aren’t allowed while you still have active wagering requirements to finish.
- Not finishing the play-through requirements before the bonus expires.
Anytime you take advantage of a real money casino bonus or some other type of promotion that’s going to pay you cash for playing your favorite games, you have to become hyper-vigilant about the above points of the terms and conditions. If you aren’t super careful, then you will most likely lose out on all of the value of that promotion by violating one of the above four points.
Casino sites are super strict about their policies for promotions and deals like these, and if you violate even the smallest rule just one time, they will most likely take away your chance to cash in on that particular bonus or other promo.
Choosing Between Loyal Programs or Bonus Shopping
There are two main strategies for getting the most value from the promotions and offers that these sites give you. The first strategy is called bonus shopping (among other things), and it has the following pros and cons:
On the other hand, we have the idea of staying at one place and really focusing on their loyalty program. This is a polar opposite approach, and it has its own pros and cons:
What’s pretty important to your bottom line is that you pick one of the above two options and stick to it. When playing real money casino games, you have to cultivate every edge and advantage that you can while minimizing as many of the casino’s advantages as possible. This includes taking full advantage of their promotions and offers, and the two above strategies are the best ways to go about it.
Long-term Planning for Value
While staying in line with terms and conditions and picking a style of taking advantage of promotions are both largely tactical decisions, there are also strategic decisions when it comes to planning out how you’re going to play to get the best value. On a strategic level, we feel that this is the most common way that players get burned when they start playing at cash online casinos.
To avoid these types of long-term problems, you should form a strategy for how you’re going to get the most value overall. This strategy should be based on the amount of time you expect to be playing, if you’re going to take long breaks without playing at all and what level of stakes you’re comfortable with.
Without a plan that takes all of this type of stuff into consideration, you’re going to waffle without any real direction. The end result is that you’re going to lose a lot of value, and that means money that would have been in your account balance will really be out the window. Nobody wants that, and it’s tough to look back on your mistakes and see how much money you pretty much set on fire. That’s why we want you to start off on the right foot instead of having to learn the hard way by making your own mistakes.
Protecting Yourself From Yourself and Others
No one sets out to intentionally screw themselves over in any situation whatsoever unless they have a death wish. We’re going to assume that you’re reading this because you don’t have a death wish and that you’d prefer things go well instead.
Along these lines, and while the online casino environment is generally safe and secure as long as you stick to reputable sites, there are some dangers that lie below the surface if you aren’t aware of them and if you ever get caught not paying attention. We’re going to describe some of these dangers below so that you can be ready for them.
Prevent People From Getting Into Your Accounts
Playing casino games online for real money is supposed to be about having fun, being entertained and having some serious chances to come out as a big winner. However, you have to remember that your casino account has access to whatever money is in it along with whatever saved deposit methods you have in your cashier window.
Because of this, you have to be serious about protecting your account. A simple example of this is not leaving your casino accounts to automatically log in. With an automatic log-in, someone could easily gain access to your computer or mobile device, log into your account and drain your balance by putting it all on red on the roulette wheel and losing big. We don’t want this to happen to you, and you don’t want to experience what it’s like, so learn the lesson here and now to protect yourself.
Here are a few other simple things you can do that can have big affects on the safety and security of your accounts:
- Use a different password than what you use with any other accounts so that if those other passwords are compromised for some reason, no one gains access to your casino log-ins.
- Set up a dedicated email address only for your casino accounts. Don’t use it for anything else, and don’t let anyone else know it exists. This will prevent people from trying to gain access to your casino accounts through your email address via “forgot my password” features.
- Regularly scan your computer for keyloggers and other malware that could try to capture your password whenever you type it.
A couple of smart decisions can make it much, much more difficult for your account to be compromised. This can lend itself to a much more serious level of peace of mind when playing.
Deposit and Betting Limits
This may tie in to some degree with bankroll management, but there’s also an element to gambling of any type where you should be proactive about protecting yourself from yourself. Just like it’s easy to go shopping and accidentally spend a lot more than you intended to, it’s not uncommon for players to end up spending more than they meant to when playing at the real money casino tables.
Thankfully, there are two main options you have available to you at most reputable casino sites that make it easy to keep this type of thing from ever getting out of hand:
- You can set a personal maximum wager amount that you cannot go over. For example, you may decide that you never want to make a bet of more than $5 for any reason on any game. Making this decision ahead of time before you start playing and having it set in the software makes it much easier to stick to such a limit in the heat of the moment.
- Players can also set maximum deposit limits on daily, weekly and monthly bases. Again, this makes it much easier to avoid depositing more than you meant to, which is a great tool to have at your disposal if it’s set up at the same time that you create your account.
It takes just moments to adjust both of these options when you start playing, and some jurisdictions force the sites to ask players to set these amounts if they want to make a real money casino deposit.
The Big Picture
The bottom line is that playing casino games for cash means that you’ll have plenty of room to make mistakes here and there. Many of them are just irritating and might waste some of your time, but others can cost you a significant portion of your bankroll.
In either case, it’s better for you to learn from other people’s mistakes with a listing like this one instead of having to repeat the same mistakes yourself to learn those lessons the hard way.Menu