Online Gaming Guide: A Primer

by J. Phillip Vogel

Gambling Teachers offers this online gaming guide: a primer for casino players who are considering online play.

Online Gaming Guide: Finding the Best Sites
Despite the fact that becoming a successful online gambler will involve different steps, the most important one is also the most obvious which is finding a casino or poker room in which to play.
Following are basic steps when searching for a casino gaming site.

The first thing you want to do is to make sure any casino site that you are interested in is reputable. Click on the About Us link that provides important information about security, support and licensing.
Are your questions about Cashouts, Fair Game Play and Auditing of the game site answered to your satisfaction?
Always learn everything that you can about any online gaming site before you drop any money. Most are, but there are a few rogue operations out there.
If a particular site is rogue, it won’t take you very long to find out about it if you do your homework.
Simply read site reviews in the respected gambling magazines and take a good hard look around at some of the online gambling portals to see what is posted about the different sites.
Another suggestion to consider is visiting some of the forums that are readily available on many gambling portals with possible chat rooms. These forums are used to meet and discuss various matters about the online gambling industry including the good and not good online casinos.

To start, you need to examine whether or not the casino site has the amenities to meet your needs. Choosing one of these sites requires a lot of objectivity, but personal taste also plays a hand.
If you don’t like the software, it could be you won’t have very much fun regardless of the sign up bonus. It doesn’t matter if the site is praised on every forum, in every magazine and in every country around the world.
Simply put, if they don’t have what you are looking for, opening a player account is going to be useless to you.

Online Gaming Guide: The Games
For example, if you are the type of player who likes mixing things up a bit by playing a few hands of Blackjack and then taking a few spins on the slots while you’re waiting on the results of the Yankee’s game, then the type of site you choose is going to have to be one that accommodates both casino gamblers and sports betters.
On the other hand however, if bingo is your one true love, then your search is going to have to be refined a little to include only those sites that offer it to you. Once you get your selections narrowed down to a level that is manageable, you’ll want to begin visiting the sites and checking them out.
You’ll want to know if they have quality graphics and examine if the site looks like it was simply thrown together or if there was some thought behind the way the site is designed.
If there is anything about the site that makes you feel wary or uncomfortable, then it’s probably better that you simply move on.

Online Gaming Guide: Customer Service Check
If you want a little more insight, then you should consider giving the customer support desk a call. Just ask them some basic questions about the casino, the payout methods, etc to determine how the call is handled.
The idea behind this is to see how helpful they are going to be with you. If the associate that is handling your call is hesitant, seems uninterested or is unable to answer your questions or rude to you, this should throw up a red flag and be an indicator that this is likely the same service that you will get should you come up against a real problem or issue.
Remember that there are a number of casino sites out there, and you don’t have to patronize those that give you anything less than excellent customer service.
Once you have found a casino that is worthy of your play, the next step in this online gaming guide is to get down to the business at hand by becoming an online gambler.

Online Gaming Guide: Becoming a Player
Back in the days when the number of online casinos could be counted on one of your hands, getting on the internet, downloading some software and opening a player account was a tedious, sometimes trying series of events that many times would make taking a trip to a land-based casino seem more than worth the time and travel it took to get there.
As technology advanced however, so too did the process as a whole and we are left with a streamlined version of that which once was.

Online Gaming Guide: The Proper tools: Hardware and Software
At the most basic level, gambling online requires two components that are critical to the ability to play online.
  • A computer that is compliant with the gambling software, generally a Windows-based computer.
  • Internet Access – Dial-up will of course work, but it is going to be incredibly slow. DSL or a cable modem is best.
Any computer that was purchased in the last 5 years is most likely compatible with the current versions of casino software provided the computer has the Windows OS.
Alterntively, many online casinos offer Instant or Live Dealer Play as an option to downloading.

OK. Back to the Online Gaming Guide. While it is true that you don’t have to have 'the latest and the greatest' computer, the reality is that if your computer is an older model then it may not have the ability to run the software because of limited memory, graphics drivers, etc. The majority of the online casinos will tell you what the minimum requirements are to run their software.
This can typically be found in the Frequently Asked Questions pages (FAQ). It will also usually be present on the download page as well.

Besides those minimal requirements, you are also going to need an internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox. There are many other browsers available, but remember that not all sites will work in some of the obscure browsers that are available.
If you don’t have updated versions of those browsers, you can always download them.

Online Gaming Guide: Download or Instant Play?
Now that we have determined that your computer is capable of running the necessary software, we have to install the software from the site that you have chosen to your computer system.
This special software contains all of the necessary information that will allow your computer to connect to the casino and allow you to gamble.
What it boils down to is the software that you load on your computer IS the casino, poker room, or bingo hall that you have chosen to play.
The software is free to download and install and will be available for download directly from the casino site, though many casinos will send out CDs with the software on it through the mail. You can request a CD from the casinos and they will be happy to send you one.

Most sites favor the downloadable software. However, Instant or Live Dealer Play is frequently available in the online gaming world.
You’ll definitely be able to choose what you want and prefer. Once you have selected the platform you want, the rest is easy.
If you have chosen to download, simply click the download link and the rest is almost automatic. For the other versions, simply click the version that you want and proceed to playing.

Online Gaming Guide: Opening a Player Account
The final 2 steps are the opening of a player account, and then funding that account. To register once the casino software has opened up, click on the register account button and complete the form using your information as required.
It requests basic information from you such as your name and address while you select a username and password. Write this information down and keep it in a safe place in case you forget it.
Payment methods will vary vastly among all of the casinos.
While banking options will vary by site, the process itself is the same among online casinos.
You simply click the deposit or bank button, choose your deposit method (credit card where available, e-check, UseMyWallet on any of the others as available), choose your deposit amount and make the transfer to your player account.

An Expanding Industry

You have now learned, with the help of this online gaming guide, just what it takes to become an online gambler.
In the beginning, it will give the appearance of being a complicated process but it really isn’t anything more than finding a site to play, downloading the software, registering and making a deposit.
As we know, it really doesn’t end there. Just like any gambler, as you learn and grow, so too does the industry as a whole.
Sites are constantly evolving, coming up with new ideas, adding new games and so forth. They make the software faster and are on a constant quest to make the games more realistic.
Let’s not forget about the constantly evolving player rewards programs and the bonuses that offer the opportunity to play with a bigger bankroll—always a good thing. There are some companies expanding into new directions such as mobile gaming and interactive television that allows players to play their favorite games as easily as making a phone call or changing a channel on the television.

There’s no end in sight so while you are playing at the online casino that is perfect for you today, tomorrow may end up bringing you something better that has greater accessibility and an even better game selection.
As these things evolve and change, so to will this online gaming guide to make sure that you have the latest information available about online gambling.

Online Gaming Guide is followed by 10 reasons to play online
Go to the Online Gambling Guide main page

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