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Online Gambling Guide for Beginners


Do all the gambling terms and variations of games boggle you? Use the online gambling guide for beginners to get all the important info you need to get ahead of the other players. Let this be your education before you venture out in the online gambling world. But if you ever feel lost while you’re gambling online, you can always come back here to remind yourself of some of the rules and principles.

(Featured image credit: Digital Trends)


Let’s start off with the basics: gambling options

An online gambling site can feature one gambling activity or it can have multiple options. The gambling options at your disposal are: online casino, online poker, online bingo, online sportsbook and online lotto. You can also play most of these options on your mobile, so it offers an extension. Some gambling sites don’t offer all of these under their roof, while others provide all sorts of gambling services and gaming options.

For instance, PokerStars is obviously most popular for offering great poker games, while the online casino section is lacking in some areas, and it doesn’t even have a bingo section. Bet365 on the other hand is most popular for its online sportsbook, but you can also play the online casino, online bingo and online poker – all of which are highly popular with more than 14 million customers worldwide.


Gambling vs betting

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It’s not an official rule, but we at Gambling Herald consider gambling to concern online casinos and similar pursuits. The act of actually “gambling” with your money seems more naturally synonymous with the online casino business. Betting on the other hand suggests that sports are involved, that’s if you’re placing a bet you would normally be thinking of sporting events in your head.

That’s why this online gambling guide for beginners concerns the online casino side. But if you’d like to get more info about how to bet on sports, please check out the Betting Herald.


Legality of online casinos

If you’re wondering whether or not you can play online casinos in your country, generally the bigger casinos have a “restricted countries” list under their terms and conditions. So you can easily see whether you can actually open an account from your present location. If you can’t find this list, then you can try to contact the live support to find out which jurisdictions are prohibited. We advise you pay attention to laws, so that you don’t get into any unwanted trouble.


Do a little research before gambling, it doesn’t hurt

Moolah, the green, the bread, the lucre, call it whatever you want, it’s all about the cold hard cash. Before you open an account it’s good to see which online casinos offer the best and biggest bonuses. Not only that, but also make sure they offer them regularly, because you don’t want to fall for that trap where you see a casino offering a big bonus, but then that ends up being the only thing they have. Go through the entire online gambling guide for beginners to see what else you can learn, and then apply those skills next time you play an online casino.


Download vs instant play

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Some online gambling sites require you to download the casino software before you can play. Others offer Instant Play, so there’s no need to waste space on your computer. Both versions have their ups and downs; it’s up to you to decide which one you like better.

Some players like to download the software, believing it offers better safety when playing. But the downside is that you have to wait sometimes for your games to load. The benefits of Instant Play are obvious – it’s instant! But people are sometime under the impression that the security measures are not on the same level as when you download the software. Keep on reading this online gambling guide for beginners to learn more about other gambling terminology.


Gamble responsibly!

Enjoy yourself when playing, and make sure you don’t swirl into a maelstrom which can see you meet the Gambling Kraken. If you believe you might be suffering from problem gambling, please seek help to prevent any damage or harm. There are also warning systems that you can use to prevent you from playing any further if it detects symptoms of problem gambling. Have a look at our article on gambling addiction software for some details about this, and don’t forget to use the online gambling guide for beginners whenever you need some help. Just remember, the most important thing is to have fun!



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Ok, this is this probably the part that you’re most interested in. “What can I get to boost my playing account?” – the answer is there are tons of bonus options. Check out the list below for all the bonus deals.

Deposit Bonus – this is the most common type of bonus you’ll see when playing at online casinos. The point is that you make a money “deposit” into your account and the online casino will add a specific percentage on top of that (they usually offer 100% up to a certain amount). The way it works is simple: for instance, if the online casino is offering 100% up to $200, that means that they will double any amount that you deposit up to $200. So, in this case you can make a deposit of $70 and the online casino will add another $70, so you’ll have $140 in your account to play with. NOTE: Deposit Bonuses may have several levels; the more you deposit the more you get.

First Deposit Bonus – this is part of the Deposit Bonus. If the online casino offers a First Deposit Bonus, you’re likely to see additional Deposit Bonuses offered (Second Deposit Bonus, Third Deposit Bonus, etc.). The percentages for each of the Deposit Bonuses vary from casino to casino, and sometimes they can be pretty rewarding.

No Deposit Bonus – this type of bonus doesn’t require you to make a deposit, as the name of it implies, “no deposit.” So you can basically play games at an online casino without having to put in your money. But the downside of No Deposit Bonuses is that you’ll probably have high wagering requirements before you can withdraw any money from the account. So make sure you read the terms and conditions before you try out the bonus. If you feel like you know what you’re doing and are expecting a large return, then don’t hesitate to use the No Deposit Bonus!

Match Bonus – this is just another word for a Deposit Bonus. (An online casino essentially “matches” any deposit that you make up until a certain amount.)

Reload Bonus – after you’ve used the Deposit Bonuses, on occasions you might be offered a Reload Bonus (this is not part of Deposit Bonuses by the way). But the principle behind the Reload Bonus is the same as other bonuses; you make a deposit and the casino matches it to a certain percentage. Online casinos dish out Reload Bonuses so their players keep on coming back. At times, you’ll see an online casino offering a Reload Bonus for special occasions, like: Christmas, holidays and other special events.

Sticky Bonus – players that accept a Sticky Bonus can play with the money, but can never withdraw that bonus amount which was handed to them. So basically, you can receive free money to play with, but when it comes to getting your money you can only withdraw the winnings that are over the bonus amount.

High Roller Bonus – this is a bonus for players with deep pockets. If you like to bet big and win big, then the High Roller Bonus is for you. The standard Deposit Bonus probably doesn’t appeal to you if you’re a VIP, so a bonus of 300% up to $1,000 or something similar may sound like a much better offer. Of course, like all the other bonuses, High Roller Bonuses carry wagering requirements, but we reckon this won’t bother you if you’re carrying stacks of cash all the time.

Refer-a-Friend – it’s super simple: refer the online casino to a friend and receive a bonus for it. The point is for them to make a deposit into the casino, once they do that you’ll receive a certain money bonus. The more friends you invite to play at the online casino, the more bonuses will be credited to your account.

Banking Bonus – this is type of bonus is rare, but some casinos like to use them if they have a deal with certain banking payment systems.  For instance, the online casino might have a special deal with Skrill, so if you use Skrill as a payment method to transfer your money, then you might receive the special Banking Bonus.

Loyalty Bonus – this is a fairly common bonus. Loyalty Bonuses normally involve getting higher up the VIP levels, collecting points (referred to as Comp Points – read below) as you play and then replacing them for money in the casino. The more you play at the online casino the higher your chances are of clinching special prizes.

Comp Point – Generally, as soon as you register with an online casino you can start collecting special points that are referred to as Comp Points. This can then be transferred to real cash.


Online Casino Terms

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(Image credit: Computing)

Bonus Codes – sometimes bonuses have a “code” that should be used when you want to use them.

Bankroll – the amount of money that you have to play a game. (This person is also known as the Banker.)

Card Shark – a player that is an expert at card games.

Chips – don’t confuse this with “fish and chips!” Casino Chips are currencies (tokens) used instead of real cash.

Cold Streak – a long period (run) of losses.

Dealer – the person “dealing” the cards to players.

Download Casino – an online casino that requires you to download the software before you can actually play the games. (There are online casinos that offer both Download and Instant Play – see below for Instant Play.)

Edge – the chances or odds (advantage) that rule in someone’s favour, either the players’ or the dealers.

Hand – the cards that are in your “hands.” It can also refer to whatever occurs during a given card game between shuffels.

High-Roller – a VIP player with really deep pockets.

House – another name for the casino itself.

Hot Streak – a long period (run) of wins.

Instant Play – when you see this option it means you can immediately (instantly) play the games. It’s also known as Instant Casino.

Jackpot – a massive prize.

Live Dealer – a special feature in which an actual dealer gives you cards via a live video stream. This makes the overall gambling experience unique, and casino that have this feature are considered good. It’s also known as Live Casino.

Lobby – the main section or area of the online casino, where you can find the most important options. At times, this can be considered the home page for online casinos.

Maximum Bet – the largest wager (bet) you can place on a game or event.

Minimum Bet – the smallest wager (bet) you can place on a game or event

Multi-hand – an option that allows you to play more than one hand in a game

Online Slot – DO NOT confuse this with a “slot machine” – that one is land-based. Many aspect are similar, however online slots are played online (obviously).

Pay Table – this tells you the various payouts you can earn based on the outcomes. A number of games use Pay Tables; some of the more common ones are online slots, video poker and keno.

Paylines – the number of winning combinations that you can strike on a slot.

Progressive Slots – a slot that features a special bonus jackpot. The more people that play the Progressive Slot the bigger the jackpot is.

Push – No winning outcome for either the player or the dealer. A draw for a gaming event (mainly seen in Blackjack and Baccarat).

Session – the time you spend playing a casino game

Wagering requirement – the number of times you have to wager money before you’re allowed to withdraw it.


Banking Options

Check out the most popular banking options that many big online casino use.

American ExpressCitadel DirectClick2Pay,Direct bank transferecoPayzEntroPayEpsEutellerEZIPayGiroPayiDEALiDebitInstadebitInstant BankingMastercardMoneta.ruNetellerNeosurfPayPalPaysafecardPOLiPrzelewy24PugglePayQiwiSkrill (Moneybookers)Skrill 1-TapSofortuberweisungTrustlyUseMyFundsVisaVisa Electron, Wire Transfer, WebMoney

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About the author

Mark-Antonio Zivic used to be a professional footballer that won a record six Champions League medals... but decided to quit the game in his prime, believing he was better than both Ronaldo and Messi. Now he spends his time brainstorming ideas for Gambling Herald, before he ventures into Hollywood movies, rubbing shoulders with Daniel Day-Lewis and Sofia Vergara.

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