Your adventure with the best online casinos begins right here, where you will find many expert reviews, guides, games and exclusive bonuses for UK players.
We even have a dictionary to help you familiarise yourself with commonly used terms, down to the more obscure ones.
Due to the sheer number of online casino sites available, there tends to be a labyrinth of clicks to navigate, and no one wants to spend time or money setting up an account, only to lose it out of inexperience with bad operators.
Our reviews team are a panel of experts who take the guesswork out of determining which real money sites rank the highest in reliability, along with exceptional bonuses and features. Only the best online casinos that meet our strict requirements get the coveted Casinopedia ‘Seal of Approval’ badge. If a site displays this badge, it indicates that our experts have checked that it is credible, and your wagers will be safe on that site. In our rating system, we score a site based on a range of criteria, and not just one or two standout features. Key rating elements include:
was found in the form of tiles used for a basic lottery-style game in 2300 BC China, as documented in the “Book of Songs”, a volume on ancient classical Chinese poetry. Baccarat appeared in Italy and France circa 1400s, whilst Blackjack, which is often thought of as an American game, was created circa 1600s. A lesser known fact about modern Blackjack is that it’s likely a direct descendant of the French game ‘vingt-et-un’ that made its way to the USA via French settlers. It is amazing to think that these old games are now made available in online casinos in the UK.
that’s popular at casinos online is roulette, which means “little wheel”. The game’s signature red, black and green colours all blurring together as the ball rolls along the spinning wheel creates an exciting rush of anticipation for many, and as it is mainly a game of 50-50 chance. It’s easy to play – you just have to make the call to stop the wheel. These are just some games that you will find at the top online casino websites listed here on Casinopedia, and the beauty is that you have all these land-based games literally at your fingertips, which can also be played live.
who sign up with online casinos, are slot games. There is little skill involved in playing slots, apart from picking your favourite theme(s) from a compendium of hundreds of titles. Many have great progressive jackpots, while others, like the wildly popular Starburst, a bejewelled slots game, is loved by newbies and veterans alike. Why? Uncluttered graphics, an easy to understand five-reel, ten-payline set-up and a chance at a 50,000 euros jackpot, with low to medium volatility, is a winning formula hit upon by game developer NetEnt.
If you're looking to play the latest and greatest online slot games for free, this is the place to be. We've tried, tested and reviewed slots from the biggest providers and you can play freeplay versions here too.
A huge advantage to online casino sites are the bonus offers. Without the heavy costs of running a land-based establishment, internet casinos are able to run welcome rewards, bonus cash and free spins all the time. In order to stay ahead of competitors, bring in new players, and keep the interest of existing ones, casinos online offer a wide range of generous bonuses that you can take advantage of.
In addition to the sign-up bonus and first deposit bonus, there are several types of bonuses commonly offered by the operators. A match bonus is when a casino doubles the amount you deposit, giving you twice your value for money, and twice the chance of winning. A reload bonus is for existing customers, where a certain value is credited when players reload their accounts.
The amounts are smaller, but the bonuses may occur more often. There is even a no-deposit bonus, where the most you need is to provide personal and credit card information to receive the credit.
You will need to provide your personal details when signing up for an online casino account. This includes standard information like your age, home address, email, etc.
A preferred method of payment is also to be expected, whether it’s an e-wallet, credit or prepaid card, Bitcoins or the newly introduced Bank ID method. Once you have input a deposit method, you just have to clear one final thing: an identity check. The most credible and best casino sites are often subject to strict UK regulation and need to verify that the person signing up for an account is really who they claim to be.
A passport or driver’s licence scan are acceptable forms of verification for most trusted online casinos. However, given the additional verification steps needed to open a new account, you will want to pick just one or two to start with, instead of signing up only to find that the casino does not suit your needs. A couple of key things to check beforehand is whether they operate in your preferred currency, as well as payment methods. Some sites might also require a software download to play at their online casino, but luckily, others have an instant play function on certain games.
In 2015, the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed that a whopping £13.2m, the largest known online casino jackpot thus far, had been won by Jon Heywood, a British soldier who bet 25p on the Mega Moolah slot. Whether you happen to be lucky enough to strike it that rich or even win just a humble sum, you will certainly need to know how withdrawals can be made to access your winnings. As long as you have set up your payment method properly during the account registration process, the best online casinos should enable you to make withdrawals with just a click of a button.
Log into your account, find the withdrawal option, type in the amount you wish to withdraw and the money should typically appear within 3-5 business days. You will only encounter issues if: at registration, you entered incorrect personal information; you are using the card or payment account of someone other than yourself; or if you were playing a bonus and have yet to meet wagering requirements. At times, winnings may take time to become available. In Heywood’s case, winnings that large would need to be examined and verified that no fraud occurred. In any case, good casinos have customer service support to help players with issues.
For any online business, good customer service support could be the make or break factor in a customer’s decision to return. Top online casinos understand this well and will invest in training customer service representatives in handling phone calls in a professional, accurate and timely manner. The experience should be the same if customer service support is being handled via live chat, and you should walk away with peace of mind, knowing that your issue has been resolved. Should you be unable to contact a casino’s customer service staff, try reaching them via their social media accounts on Twitter or Facebook, though response times may be slower.
Let’s not forget the FAQ section of a casino’s website. You will find that our FAQ section is quite comprehensive, covering a full range of questions from account registration and withdrawals, to rewards and loyalty programmes. In fact, before a player gets started playing at one of the top 10 online casinos (or the others), the FAQ section is the first thing they should read. What you won’t find in FAQ, are tips on how to improve your game, or the last time a game paid out – those are questions to call customer service for and find out.
Players only see the finished, glitzy side of online casino websites, but in reality, there are quite a few components to piece together before an online casino website can provide a seamless and fully functional gaming experience. A casino operator needs the following: casino software that will support game variants you’d like to offer – such as slots, blackjack, video poker, scratch cards or live dealer games; a secure and reliable payment gateway system; and support staff like dealers, customer service, marketing and web security. Many casinos tend to use the same software and platforms, hence, they might bear a resemblance, even if they are totally separate entities.
The stability and reliability of casino software are important to the online real money casino experience because a platform that crashes too often will send players running to other sites – fast. That’s why casino operators will put up with having a similar look and feel to their competitors websites. For example, the one thing shared by UK-based casino giants Ladbrokes and Betfair is that their sites run on Microgaming software, but are wholly owned by separate entities.
Casinos are also beginning to optimise their games for smaller mobile screens. They come in the form of mobile casinos and apps, which provides an easy-to-use experience and an impressive selection of slot games. Building stable programmes for various mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc) while designing an enjoyable gaming experience has not been an easy challenge for software developers to tackle, which is why currently, most mobile casino offerings consist of slot games.
It’s a given that slot games are the mainstay of online casinos, but the appeal of table games — such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker — played live, in live casinos, translates easily on the Internet. Plus, there is an added advantage of players not needing to be present at a physical location in order to interact and play with fellow enthusiasts. Online casinos can create a live web gaming experience similar to traditional casinos, all thanks to several elements.
To recreate the in-house experience, multi-angle cameras broadcast real tables and roulette wheels that even have the casino’s branding, and are managed by live dealers. Inventive technology enables players to log on, place their bets, interact with the dealers and other players, and settle issues via customer service chats. For live games to be at all possible, there has to be a Game Control Unit, which digitises video to be broadcast to players, and there has to be Optical Character Recognition software, which scans text, numbers, symbols and images to translates them for online transmission.
In Britain, the UK Gambling Commission is leading efforts in regulation. The licence application process takes up to 16 weeks to obtain, and there is a 15% gambling tax and strict player protection to adhere to. But despite the industry having been in existence for at least two decades, most countries do not have regulation for online casinos, and they do not legally allow online casinos to operate within their jurisdiction.
Other well-known jurisdictions that do regulate the online casino industry include Malta, Alderney, Gibraltar and Isle of Man. Being licensed and operating from those jurisdictions allow online casinos to exist legally. However, with countries like the UK, Denmark, Italy and even individual states in America coming up with their own gambling legislation, the future of online casino licensing could become more and more country specific in time.
Gambling can become an addictive habit and online casino operators are well aware of this. Credible casino sites always include a section on responsible gaming, reminding players of support options as well as BeGambleAware. At the best casinos, you can control your budget by setting limits on your daily, weekly or monthly deposits. In addition, session reminders alert you to how long you’ve been playing, enabling you to set a daily time limit on online casino activities. Take a “cooling off” period, or in extreme cases, “self-exclusion”, where you can disable your account for six months or longer.
Self-exclusion is the term used to describe the most severe form of gambling addiction. Choosing to self-exclude from all casino sites you’ve registered at is a good step, but some go further by installing Gamblock, software that blocks all online casino sites on your devices. Residents in the UK can also register with GAMSTOP, a service that helps you to easily self-exclude from all UK-licensed online casinos. Finally, seek counselling and support groups, where you can share your experience with others.