Welcome to Casinopedia
Your adventure with the best online casino experience begins here at Casinopedia, where you will find many expert reviews, guides and useful articles to all things related to the wide world of online casinos.
We even have an indispensable dictionary to help you familiarise yourself with commonly used terms, down to the more obscure ones.
18+. New customers only. Full T&C’s apply.
18+. New customers only. Full T&C’s apply.
18+. New customers only. Full T&C’s apply.
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:
- Who issues the licences held by an online casino. In the UK, one must be licensed by the UK Gambling Commission to operate legally.
- Level of security, i.e. whether SSL Data Encryption and other security technology is being updated to protect personal information.
- The types of bonuses and promotions offered to players, how clearly it is defined and whether they are honoured according to wagering terms and other conditions.
- The number of big name game suppliers, like Microgaming and Netent, who are willing to licence their games to a casino. Also, the variety of games, including table and live games, as well as mobile gaming options.
- Factors that affect overall gamer experiences, such as website interface, easy withdrawals and good customer service.
Popular games to play in online casinos
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.
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Bonuses and promotions offered
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.
One of the best casinos that offer generous introductory rewards is bgo Casino. In addition to its no max bet, no max win and no wagering requirement policy, bgo offers 10 free spins as a sign-up bonus and 100 free spins as a first deposit bonus. With its already stellar online casino reputation, known for being committed to fair play, secure to use and friendly customer support, you can use offers like these to your advantage, and give yourself a good first run in online gambling.
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. And depending on the
Creating a new online casino account
What’s involved? 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.
I’ve won! How do I make a withdrawal?
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.
Customer service options
What to expect? 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.
How does an online casino work?
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.
Mobile casino and apps
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.
Casino licences and the licensing process
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.
Do online casinos take responsible gambling seriously?
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. On BGO Casino for example, 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.
18+. New customers only. Full T&C’s apply.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, we are a free and independent resource on all things related to the online casino world. From the latest industry news, analysis, regulations, to reviews and recommendations all covered by a team of gambling experts, our mission is to be an invaluable resource to new and seasoned players alike. We advocate for our readers and players, providing insight that will help them to succeed and avoid bad deals. Useful to newbies in particular is our ever-expanding Casino Dictionary, which is a great quick-reference guide to unfamiliar online casino terminology. As we are constantly updating this reference, seasoned players will surely find it useful to keep up with the fast-changing world of online gambling.
The Casinopedia Seal of Approval is a digital badge awarded to online casinos that have met our stringent conditions of trustworthiness and fair play. Sites that carry this badge of approval have been manually tested by our team of experts for licenses, security, bonus validity, games library and user experience. The Seal of Approval is mean to put players at ease, knowing that a site is safe to use.
With a first deposit bonus, you will typically get one reward with a substantial match percentage. For example, a casino may offer you 100 percent matching credit for a deposit you entered, i.e., if you made a £50 deposit, the casino will top up an additional £50. Note that there is usually a cap on the matching credit. For example, a casino may limit their match bonus to £300. If your first deposit goes over that amount, you will still only receive the maximum match value of £300.
A first deposit bonus is a one-time deal, but a welcome package is handed out in stages. You might also receive a match bonus, followed by several bonus amounts that are credited into your account over the course of several days. A welcome package may also include free spins, which are also credited in stages.
In most jurisdictions, is it illegal for persons under the age of 18 to play online casino games and allowing a minor to use their services can cause serious consequences for the casino’s operations. In verifying a new player’s identity, the casino will ask for a scan of a driver’s license, identity card or passport. Identity verification is also necessary to reduce cases of identity theft and online scam victims.
The return-to-player rate is the payout percentage of a game over a longer time period. The higher the percentage, the higher your chances of winning if you stick to the game for a longer time. Return-to-player rates are theoretical calculations and should not be taken too literally. It is not a prediction of when you might win, as the frequency of payouts also depends on the games themselves.
Not at all! There is no specific skill set involved in playing, unless you are levelling up to Online Poker or Sic Bo tournaments. Slots, Roulette and even Blackjack is mostly about chance and luck. All you need is time, some investment and a little patience in finding the games that suit your preferences. For those who are brand new to the world of gambling, our Casino Dictionary is a handy guide to familiarize with common and unusual terms that you’ll come across in online gambling.
Slots work the same way, with many offering generous progressive jackpots. Slot games are differentiated primarily by themes. Fruits and jewels are basic but popular, whilst seasonal slots with Christmas, St. Patrick’s, Halloween and Valentine’s bring a cheery mood to a player’s screen. Game developers sometimes collaborate with film studios to make movie-themed games, or they might be inspired to design adventure-themed games involving mermaids, pyramids, outer space, aliens or pirates to increase the fun factor in playing online slots.
An online casino that carries a wide choice of games licensed from well-known software games developers indicates that the casino is reliable. Game developers have a name to protect, and hence want to partner mostly with casinos that are fair to their players. Thus, the more reputable developers that partner with a casino, the more you can be assured of fair play practices. Developers also strive to differentiate themselves from competitors by offering a distinctive style of games with dynamic graphics and in-game bonuses that keep a player coming back for more. Some common developer games you’ll come across include Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, Novomatic and Play’n GO, just to name a few.
Most online casinos accept Visa as a method of payment. For transfers, direct bank transfer or even a paper check can be used. Alternative transfer methods that are fast and reliable include Skrill, Neteller, PayPal and nowadays even Bitcoin and the newly introduced Bank ID method via Trustly.
Many leading casino sites now have both options, so it all depends on your personal preference. Download casinos take up significant hard drive space, but are malware-free, spyware-free and offer better stability. No download casinos run on Java, Flash or HTML5 and also have the same security features as download casinos, though you must have stable internet connection at all times. The leading operators also offer smartphone apps or mobile versions.