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Online casinos compete for players’ business. It’s important to shop around and weigh your options before you decide on a place to play for real money. Online casino reviews are a big part of the shopping process. Finding the right casino involves research, so reading online casino reviews and comparing the offers at gaming sites helps you narrow the search.

Players consider many factors when they choose an online casino, so online casino reviews must be thorough. This guide to online casino reviews discusses the factors you should consider before depositing your money. When reading an online casino review, consider a casino’s software, types of games, safety, security, deposit options, bonuses, licensing and customer support. If you have any questions about the online casino reviews you see listed on this website, please feel free to contact us.

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How We Evaluate Online Casinos: US Online Casino Reviews Checklist

If you’ve decided you want to deposit money at an online casino site, the first step to finding the right casino is figuring out what factors matter to you. Do you want to play at an online casino that has the latest features: slots with 3D graphics or live dealer games?

Do you prefer to play at a site with a huge welcome bonus? Do you want the option of gambling on your smartphone? Or do you want casino games plus other betting options, such as online poker or a mobile sports betting app with in-play sports betting?

Figure out what you want, then scour online casino reviews for what matters most to you. Find that section in each online casino review, so you can compare gambling sites.

If you’ve decided you want to deposit money at an online casino site, the first step to finding the right casino is figuring out what factors matter to you. Our online casino reviews help you research those factors. Here’s a few questions you can answer while reading our online casino reviews.

  • Do you want to play at an online casino that has the latest features: slots with 3D graphics or live dealer games? Our online casino reviews give detailed slot game analysis.
  • Do you prefer to play at a site with a huge welcome bonus? Read our online casino reviews for bonus amounts and terms of use.
  • Do you want the option of gambling on your smartphone? Our online casino reviews discuss mobile gaming.
  • Do you want casino games plus other betting options? Do you enjoy online poker or a mobile sports betting app? Our online casino reviews mention poker and sports content.

Figure out what you want, then scour online casino reviews for what matters most to you. Find that section in our online casino reviews. That way, you can compare gambling sites.

Game Content

Ultimately, gamblers play online for the casino games. If they’re a blackjack player, then you’ll read online casino reviews for a site’s rules for Classic Blackjack or whether the site has Perfect Pairs. If baccarat is their cup of tea, then they want to know about the online baccarat and live baccarat.

If a bettor plays online slots, they read online casino reviews for info on how many slots a casino has and what kind of jackpots those games feature. They want to know about the software package, or the games’ graphics, gameplay and other slots features.

The best online casino reviews should focus on game content. Our reviewers give the details on real money games, including a casino’s online slots, table games, video poker and specialty games.

Welcome Bonuses & Other Promotions

For many online casino gamblers, welcome bonuses are a key part of the evaluation process. For promotional reasons, online casinos offer players welcome bonuses for one of two things: (1) to register a new casino account or (2) to make a deposit in that account. If you receive a bonus for a sign-up, it’s called a no-deposit bonus. If you receive a bonus for a first deposit, it’s called a deposit bonus.

The deposit bonus is the offer most players evaluate. For that reason, it’s the one we focus on mostly. Bonus offer reviews involve several factors: the maximum size of the bonus, the minimum deposit required, the match rate, which games are playable and what the wagering requirement is. Each of these factors is important. If you still have questions, read our online casino bonuses page.

Casino promotions don’t stop at the welcome bonuses. Sites have a wide variety of offers: reload bonuses, free chips, game-specific bonuses, free spins on casinos, and casino rebates (sometimes called “insurance”). When gambling sites offer one or more of these, we add that information to our online casino reviews.

Player Rewards

Player rewards aren’t always reviewed as closely as bonus promotions, but they should be. A casino site’s loyalty program is like a land-based casino’s slots club – it provides cashback and other rewards for volume play. High rollers especially gain big rewards for membership in the VIP club, but all players receive benefits.

Our online casino reviews describe each casino site’s player rewards program (or VIP club). Our reviewers list the comps and other perks you receive, while discussing what you must do to attain higher-tier levels in the program. Beginners should look closely at VIP program information when reading online casino reviews.

Software Support

Our online casinos reviews also discuss a site’s software package. The best software makes gameplay better, while offering a huge number of games. Compatibility and playability are key factors, because players want their online casino to be compatible with and optimized for their desktop computer or laptop. You don’t want technical issues when playing online, especially if you’re playing for real money.

Some online casinos have one software provider. Others compile a long list of suppliers, sometimes a dozen or more. This is especially important when it comes to online slots, because players might want to sample slot machines from many designers.

Mobile Casino Games

The mobile casino component is now a big factor in online casino reviews . It’s important that operators support players who use Android and iOS devices (iPhone, iPad). Less important every year is BlackBerry and Windows Phone, but whatever type of smartphone or tablet computer you own, players want to play mobile casino games on the go. In our online casino reviews, we review this component of interactive casino gaming on its own merits.

Live Dealer Games

Our online casino reviews add similar emphasis to a site’s live dealer games. A live casino is a gaming studio somewhere in the world with bricks-and-mortar table games like baccaratblackjackroulette and craps. Real-life dealers and croupiers operate these games. Meanwhile, cameras film the game from several angles. These videos are live-streamed to the player, who sits at home on their computer.

Many players never got used to simulated table games using computer graphics and random number generators. Instead, they prefer the live casino experience they would find in their local bricks-and-mortar casino. They play online for convenience, of course, but prefer playing with real cards, roulette wheels and dice. Live dealer games provide the best of both worlds: the convenience of online casinos combined with the real-time gaming experience of live casinos.

Online casino reviews should cite the live dealer games included, plus bet limits and staff quality.

Safety and Security

Player safety should never be overlooked when reading online casino reviews. An online casino bettor wants to know their money transactions are secure. The best online casinos use 128-bit encryption and SSL certificates to stop identity thieves. We review an online casino’s security systems.

Safety comes in other forms. We also review a website’s reputation for paying regularly and on time. Offshore online casinos usually are licensed, but they don’t have to abide by US consumer protection laws, because they exist outside the United States.

Despite that, a site’s reputation spreads quickly due to online casino reviews, so a rogue casino soon is known to the gambling world. Our online casino reviews cite a casino’s reputation and legitimacy, so our readers have a leg up when deciding whether to deposit money at a site.

Licensing

Licensing is a key part of a casino’s reputation, so we always including licensing info in our online casino reviews. Around the world, licensing agencies review and audit online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks. Certain countries are closely linked to the online gambling industry, collecting fees for licensing. The authorities in these countries have a reputation. By licensing a casino site, they confer this reputation on the casino.

Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, the Isle of Man, the UK (Gambling Commission), Alderney, Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (in Canada) are only some of the licensing agencies around the world that we track. If a site is licensed by one of these countries, you can tell a lot about its legitimacy and trustworthiness.

Our online casino reviews always note a site’s gaming license, when applicable.

Talk to Customer Service

Online casinos have customer service staff for a reason. The job of the customer service team is to answer questions about the site, help customers with problems, and generally assist casino gamblers in any way possible. Online casinos worth your time post their contact information right on their website.

Most online casinos also run live-chat features, where talking to customer service is as easy as using a chat room or messenger service. You should talk to a site’s customer service team before you join, if you have questions you want answered. Chatting with a customer rep also helps test out the wait time, the knowledge of the staff and how user-friendly the process of contacting the site is. Our online casino reviews rate customer service, so you’ll know what you’re getting into.

What to Research before Depositing Money in an Online Casino

Before you put good money in your player account, here’s what depositors should research in our online casino reviews.

  1. Research the Casino’s Reputation

Some online casino sites were born from trusted names in the land-based gambling industry, like Bet365, which was a chain of betting shops founded 40 years before moving into the online casino industry. Those sites are obviously trustworthy, usually run by publicly traded companies that hold good gaming licenses and obey the law.

Not all sites have that kind of pedigree, so to test their reputation, all you can do is poke around their website and read their online reviews. Look for gaming license information posted prominently on the site and an active customer service department. Look around online casino forums and closely read online casino reviews for any information about the casino you can find. Judge accordingly.

  1. Determine If It Accepts Players from Your Country

With differing online gaming laws all over the world, not all online casinos cater to all customers. Depending on the country where you live, you may not have access to a big variety of gambling sites. Online gamblers in the USA and Canada have seen their gambling options drop off thanks to stricter online gaming laws, so they have a smaller pool of online casinos to choose from. Our online casino reviews point out a site’s country restrictions.

Usually, if you’re restricted from playing at a gaming site, a pop-up or other notification will appear when you go to the casino’s home page saying that they cannot accept customers from your location, but that doesn’t happen all the time. To find out which countries are restricted from a given casino, check that casino’s FAQ page or call their customer service department. Our online casino reviews cites key restricted countries when that information is given.

  1. Learn If It Accepts US Dollars and Your Favorite Payment Methods

Funding online casino accounts can be a tricky thing depending on where you live. Europeans have access to a lot more third-party payment transfer services than gamblers in North America or Asia.

On the flip side, Americans and Canadians aren’t allowed to make direct bank transfers to online casinos, and most of their credit card companies are barred from doing business with known gambling sites, making funding a big factor in the decision process.

If you want to avoid currency exchange headaches, look for casinos that accept the currency you use every day. Online casinos accept many different currencies, including the US dollar, and there are even Australian dollar casinos, even though those two countries have strict laws against online gambling.

  1. Read about the Welcome Bonus, Reload Bonuses and Other Promotions

Online casino bonuses aren’t as lucrative as they used to be, thanks mostly to higher wagering requirements for clearing bonus cash. If you’re using bonuses or promotions to choose your online casino, you have to read the fine print or “terms and conditions” posted at the site. Our online casino reviews point out one-sided terms of use if sites use them.

Make sure you understand which casino games count toward clearing your bonus and how much you have to wager before you earn your bonus money. Joining an online casino because it advertises a big bonus is worthless if it turns out that the casino games you play don’t count toward earning that bonus. Again, read our online casino reviews to make sure a site isn’t deceptive.

  1. Study the Online Casino’s Game Selection

Many different casino software designers exist, producing a wide variety of games. When reading online casino reviews, you can find everything from 3D table games to more rudimentary instant-play slot machines at online casinos. You won’t know if you like a casino’s games until you try them, so go ahead and test out the instant-play versions of games before you slap down your cash and join the site.

If the casino doesn’t offer free play, you should probably avoid the site. The best online casinos offer free versions of their games, and it would be a big waste of time and money to join a site only to find you hate the games. Online casinos reviews should always list examples of games, so you’ll have an idea what’s offered.