Ten Commandments of Online GamblingBy: CasinoAdvisor.com, Wednesday June 4th 2008
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#1: Investigate the Laws in Your Jurisdiction Prior to Gambling at any Particular Online Casino
Because online gambling is illegal in certain areas, it is important to be aware of its legality in the specific jurisdiction you are physically in prior to placing any bets. Since the legal status of online gambling may change from one day to the next, contacting the legislative and/or law enforcement authorities in your area is an excellent method determining the laws that apply to you.
#2: Research the Casinos Where You Intend to Play
Legitimate online casinos have comprehensive information pages that provide notice to players of their licensing location, their administrators, executives, and operators, their payment guidelines and rules of play, as well as help and contact information.
To protect against playing at illegitimate online casinos that would withhold bonuses, bind you up with Terms & Conditions, or otherwise take advantage of you and then avoid accountability while providing no recourse, you MUST investigate and research,
Review websites like this one for casino evaluations and check message boards for personal experiences. Some things you should be looking for are government regulation and licensing of the casino, longevity of the business-life of the casino, and the casino's reputation (the message boards are the best resource for this). Take the time to thoroughly research the casino from independent sources prior to pulling out your wallet.
#3: Always Play for Free Before Playing for Real
You always want to play for free before spending any real money so that you can personally assess the online casino prior to use. If there is no "Play for Free" option, leave, go to a different casino, because most have it and an absence raises suspicions of a possible problem site. "Free Play" will allow you to discover problems that would occur naturally while playing online but without the fiscal consequences.
For instance, if the betting mechanism at a particular online casino drives a player up the wall before they have your money it would be advantageous to know this prior to wagering real money.
It is important to note that it is not necessary to rush into online gambling. The countless number of online casinos means that potential problems such as a lack of local network connectivity for a particular site or perhaps a game that is simply incompatible with your computer can be completely avoided by simply going to another site.
#4: Research Your Casino's Customer Service and Support Prior to Playing
Casinos with good reputations provide toll-free telephone support around the clock, every day of the year. Be on the lookout for a variety of service and support choices such as local contact information, chat rooms, email, and fax numbers. Go even further and test these services out to determine whether they actually exist and, if so, how useful they really are. You can assess their services by calling the numbers lists, going online to chat, or emailing them with a question. Determine the level of accessibility of the services because, if it turns out that no one is available to answer your questions now, imagine how frustrated you will be when you are paying for this support later.
A general email address for a casino indicates an insufficient support network because it is probably jammed with messages and, thus, the probability of the person managing the address actually reading and potentially responding to your email could be quite low.
#5: Investigate the Payout Options
Thus far, the greatest payout arrangement in existence is an ewallet service such as an Instant Withdrawals service through Neteller. Unfortunately, only a few online casinos are currently providing this payment plan (Google search the words "Neteller", "instant" and "withdrawal" and only a few sites come up) but it is more than reasonable to believe that it will receive much broader usage in the future.
If you come across a casino that places fees on basic withdrawals, it would be wise to take your business to a casino that has a higher regard for their clients. A better casino would never charge players to use their own money.
#6: Compare the Bonuses Offered Between Different Casinos
To both draw and retain players, casinos regularly use bonuses. Standard types of bonuses are referral, sign-on, and frequent-player "comp" programs. The point is that better casinos will use these minute offerings to show appreciation to their players for their business. Bonuses are advantageous because you end up having more money to play with and, therefore, a casino that does not provide this type of advantage is generally not worth your time.
#7: The Same Game at a Different Casino May Have Different Probabilities
Because online games are essentially software products, it should be no surprise that the payout levels, house commissions, and pretty much anything else can be created in whatever manner the designer wishes. I am not claiming that certain online casinos have their managers deceive players by manipulating the games to the benefit of the house, but that you simply have a higher probability at certain casinos over others.
If you are a roulette player and would prefer to play a double-zero game rather than a single-zero, find a casino that allows you to exercise that option. If you are a craps player and would like to put down double or triple free odds, same thing. You can usually find this information in the "rules and information" section of the online casino. If this information is absent, contact the casino itself. However, if this fails, perhaps another online casino would be more deserving of your business.
Many casinos list their payout tables directly on their website and, ultimately, reputation is the most accurate indicator of their dependability. This is another example of why it is important to research a casino, especially in a self-regulated industry. A good reputation will have a direct bearing on the legitimacy of a casino's payout table.
#8: Ensure the Safety of Your Personal Information
There are certain things you should keep an eye out for when you decide to actually register with an online casino and play with real money. For instance, the casino should provide you with a secure, data-encrypted link during the registration process to shield your personal information from theft.
You should go further than simply checking the key on Netscape or the lock on Internet Explorer at the bottom of your browser. Make sure that the URL begins with "https://" instead of the usual "http://". Casinos do not always go the extra mile for the customer in ensuring this safety on their own. In one instance, a particular casino guaranteed the aforementioned safety precautions and then went on to supply us with just a regular web page.
#9: Always Play to Win
Playing online allows you the luxury of taking your time to make your moves. You should bring in outside sources for aid, such video poker or blackjack strategy charts so that you may attain the best possible advantage. No one will know or care and by doing this you can enhance your skills, your game, and create a better poker player in yourself. This means more wins and more money.
#10: Have Fun!
The one downside of gambling on the Internet is the absence of the free drinks and charms of the staff that you would get at a physical casino. Therefore, you should try to make the online gambling experience the best that it can possibly be. Put some music on, pour yourself a drink, or do whatever you want. You are running the show so why not enjoy the benefits.
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