How to Choose the Best Online Casino
In terms of instant play, free play, mobile casinos, live casinos and downloadable ones the world of online casinos is a wide one indeed. The worst thing you can do is simply sign up to the first casino you come across and expect to get great results.
Casino Wings will help you choose an online casino in the right way by being well informed. Gambling real money should be done responsibly and this is something not only you have to be aware of, but also the most ethical casinos have to be too and we will help you discover who and where they are.
Below we can show you tips to find real money sites, the best games and the best sign-up and reload bonuses to help you make the most of your cash!
Different Types of Online Casinos
Essentially, all online casinos are based on the same core things; they are web-based services that allow you to wager real money on a game of chance.
While it’s true that techniques and tactics can be used on some table games, and as long as you are using a reputable live casino this can be done online as well, mostly we have to recognise that playing casino games online means you cannot accurately predict what will happen and therefore we take our chances.
The different types of casinos available however mean we can at least tailor this gaming experience to our own needs.
Otherwise known as ‘no download’, these casinos are fast, flexible and convenient whether you’re overseas or at home. As the name suggests, this type of slot casino means you can play games instantly without the need to download any technology onto your device at all.
Naturally a registration process has to occur to confirm your age and for you to load your account with cash, but from this point access to games tends to be super fast and incredibly simple including on all smartphones and tablets whether they are iOS or Android based.
There are a number of benefits to using an instant play casino including the fact that not having to download any software means you are not limited to a certain game or even to one casino operator.
Given that they need less memory to run, instant play games are generally quick to get into and quick to play so if you’re not one for pondering over a hand of poker for minutes on end then this type of casino is definitely for you.
The traditional download casino app or website requires you to load into your device software that allows you to play specific games, such as roulette or baccarat for example. These sites tend to have a long list of games available and they are very detailed to the point of making you feel like you’re really at the casino in person.
Casino games for mobile are also available to download but placing numerous games onto your devices could mean taking up a lot of memory and so they are usually best kept for when you’re at the desktop.
Online casino software is top notch stuff and connects to the provider. It can handle contact between you and them without any browser support too. Downloadable casino games therefore usually tend to run faster than internet based games as the technology is already on your device and doesn’t need a constant connection.
The truth is though that such games are becoming a little old hat now and people are bored much more quickly with the games they already have, meaning a new download is required fairly often and that has made instant and especially mobile casino games much more palatable for modern gamblers.
Mobile casinos are now among the most popular on the market given our penchant for wanting (or needing) to do things while on the go. Downloadable as apps or available to play via browsers on any smartphone or tablet, the mobile casino has become the go-to for many a casino gambler.
Although some of the older, more popular table and slot games are now available as mobile versions, the bigger casinos tend to have dedicated mobile sites with games much more suited to being played while on the move so we can now pass those boring train journeys much, much quicker.
The best slots are available to play for real money with plenty offering a free £5 upon signing up. Finding your ideal mobile casino UK or otherwise has now been made easier as we can point out the various bonuses you can find and the best providers of slot and table action you can play on your phone.
Online Casino Reviews
Before we even get into what to look for in a casino and where to find that information, we should just point out right from the start how important it is generally to review either whole casinos or even individual games before you go ahead and wager your money.
Casinos are allowed licenses so long as they are following all the basic rules set out by the UK gambling commission, though that doesn’t mean their games are any good! It also doesn’t mean they have to offer you great bonuses or a VIP program so make sure you are careful to shop around.
Our site highlights the best casinos based on what they can offer and is aiming to be the #1 site for best casinos. So, whether you are looking for the highest payout, the best graphics, the quickest games or the biggest bonuses, be sure to have paid a visit right here and checked out all casino online sites before making up your mind.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to be aware of what’s out there for you and by being so picky, players have gradually forced the online casinos to offer us bigger and better deals to keep playing with them and long may that continue!
Online Casino Game Selection
Before you think only about money and about what bonuses we can get, it’s best to ensure you’re overall experience is what you want it to be and so only picking games you know you will enjoy is becoming essential.
Some casinos provide quantity, some offer quality and a few very good ones offer both. If you’re someone who is into everything and you get bored easily then check out a number of the readily available online casinos out there who offer hundreds or even thousands of different table games and slots.
Traditional three-reel slots, roulette, poker, dice, card games, fixed odds games and real-time gambling games are all available in thousands of variations at different casinos based around the world.
All of these can offer different speeds, quality of graphics, bonuses and jackpots so a quick search and some research right here at Casino Wings will help to ensure you are playing only the type of game you want to.
Although it’s nice to support an up-and-coming business where possible, we cannot just throw our money away so choosing a large, reputable online casino which offers a huge selection of games and all with high quality is the way to go.
Let’s be totally honest; most of us don’t care about the guys who make our games so long as they are entertaining, trustworthy and offer a great experience. But for some, those who really know their online casino stuff, it’s become apparent that certain providers offer better games than others.
Various casinos use the same online game providers meaning you can play the same slot or the same table game with a format you understand at more than one casino. This is great news as you may have a favourite game but you may want to jump ship to a different casino to grab another bonus – and now you can!
There are many game providers out there, the best of them probably being IGT, Microgaming, NetEntertainment, NextGen and Playtech so look out for their logos whenever you go shopping for a new game.
These providers, alongside the likes of Novomatic, have become the most popular among casino gamblers and casino operators and have become adept at offering a great experience with trusted technology that can make your experience fun as well as secure.
As we’ve already alluded to, it’s important to make the most of your money by grabbing a cool bonus, especially upon your initial sign-up.
No deposit bonuses are among the favourite offers out there, meaning a casino may let you register and sometimes even play without risking any of your own money at first. Reload bonuses are more common now too meaning it’s not only new customers who are looked after (more info below).
Payment method bonuses are available to players who sign up or reload with a certain payment type, i.e. bitcoin, while high roller bonuses are given out to those who either play big or win big. Naturally the most traditional bonus has always been the sign-up offer and it’s important to get the right one as you only get one chance!
Sign Up Bonus Offers
As the title would suggest, this bonus is only given upon signing up to a casino as a new customer. Generally this can only be taken once per IP address and/or per household. Unlike with sportsbooks where offers can generally be pretty meagre, casino sign-up bonuses can be £50, £100 or even £200 if you shop around so be sure to make the most of your cash with your first deposit.
The sign-up bonus can take many forms but the most popular is the 100% matched deposit. It’s important to remember that the casino is matching only what you put in, so while an ad for a £200 bonus is really eye-catching, it often confuses people who don’t read the small print.
For example, your £50 or £100 bonus is not a given, it’s a maximum. Say you joined a casino as a new customer and at that point could only afford to put £20 into your account – then your new player bonus would also be £20. You will not get the chance again and this is the reason for many people contacting their casino to complain.
Furthermore, some matched bonuses are only 50% so in this case you would only receive £10 from the casino! We’re sure you can understand now how important it is not only to shop around but also to be patient and only play when you can afford to maximise your bonus by safely depositing an amount that means you can greatly increase your betting bank.
First Deposit Bonus Offers
Finding the best online casino for you means looking at many things, among them is finding one that offers not just a bonus on sign-up but specifically a first deposit bonus.
It’s important to note the difference between the two offers here; you will only get one chance at these offers but in some cases you may really want to sign-up and check out what the casino has to offer but do not yet feel ready to risk any real cash.
You may for instance have landed on a casino giving you a free play option or a no deposit bonus. So, you’ve signed-up, played for free or played even with a £5 bet given to you from the casino but realise you may have missed out on your sign-up bonus.
Not to worry, as most top casinos have this covered with the first deposit bonus offer. Even if you’ve been registered for a while and perhaps have even taken advantage of another small bonus, upon making your first real cash deposit the casino may offer you a bonus similar to the sign-up offers, i.e. a 100% matched bonus.
Casino Reload Bonuses
This type of offer has essentially come about due to players complaining, quite rightly, that only new customers were being looked after with cash offers.
So, the best online casino brands now offer a reload bonus which basically means that if you’ve gone through the money in your wallet or you simply want to add more, whenever you make a new deposit they will add a bonus into your account.
The amounts and percentages paid out by the firms can differ wildly, so be sure to get the best online casino reviews right here to know who is offering what.
Casino Software and Website
Behind the bright lights, catchy names and carefully planned bonuses is the real stuff that makes our favourite games enjoyable and that is the software. Yeah, it’s boring and geeky, but it’s utterly essential to our experience and the best online casinos know this full well.
Creating ever more enjoyable games and ensuring a website is slick and fast is paramount. Only the best gaming software providers are now entrusted with the task of delivering to us better and better slots and table games to enjoy.
Every different platform has a variety of games they can provide, starting with online versions of popular real casino games such as poker, roulette, baccarat and craps, to the ever-growing array of creative slot games out there often themed for our viewing pleasure as well as our gambling enjoyment.
The reason it’s good to know who the best providers of this sort of software are is that, along with the enjoyment of gambling on casino games, it’s good to know your security is taken care of.
Compare your smartphone or TV with the one you had five years ago and you’ll see there is already a world of difference. Casino software is no different and the various providers such as IGT and NetEnt are constantly updating their technology by adding brand new features to make things better to look at and more importantly, more fun to play.
You can specifically review certain software providers as well as different top online casino brands. This is becoming a good practice to get into when you consider they often have different payout rates.
Make sure you come back for the best online casino reviews and check this out – some games for example online have an expected return of 90% or more, while traditional games may only payout 70% so this is something you should definitely know in advance before putting in your own hard earned cash.
Casino Online VIP Programs
Well, just to get the obvious out of the way first; VIP of course means ‘Very Important Person’ and in the case of a top online casino this is clearly someone who wagers a lot of money and plays for high stakes.
Although the casino of course wants you to lose, high rollers who win big or lose big are often ‘comped’ just like in a traditional Vegas casino with freebies and bonuses.
The best online casinos have taken their lead from the well known land-based ones and made sure those wagering big are looked after. Naturally in the online world though, a free hotel room and free drinks can’t really be offered and so firms are always looking for new ways to look after their players, hence the VIP programs.
VIP programs online are based on a combination of things such as the amount deposited, amount played, the length of a player’s membership to one online casino or perhaps even on their level of skill or luck in doing well with a particular sphere, especially within poker games.
Rewards within online VIP programs usually involve money with programs often taking on a tiered loyalty point system. The more you play/gamble/win the more points you collect allowing you to climb up the various levels of the system.
The higher the level you are on, the more rewards you will get and for the real online high rollers this can often mean luxury holidays and tickets to major worldwide sporting events as well as actual cash.
As with anything in life, the chances are that with an online casino VIP program you will need to start at the bottom, though the best firms really do make it easy to climb right to the top. Those spending a lot of time and/or money within one casino will be bumped up through the tiers pretty quickly putting themselves in line for better cash back, win bonuses or even outright cash prizes.
One last thing to remember here is that often these schemes are not automatic. If you are interested in joining a VIP program it’s something you’ll need to opt into manually, so be sure to click the relevant button or speak to your online casino to enter the scheme and begin to claim those rewards.
Payment Methods and Fees
In the UK there is one crucial advantage to playing online casinos versus other territories and that is the lack of fees attached to making deposits or withdrawals from your account.
Major debit and credit cards are usually processed free of charge and, unlike in say the States or Canada, the bitcoin revolution didn’t really take hold here meaning security is not an issue. One other major advantage to playing an online casino licensed in the UK is that the list of payment methods available tends to be vast, though some are for depositing only and not for cashing out.
Most top online casinos will have made sure that once you have registered your preferred credit or debit card, fast deposits are possible by simply entering your CVV number and clicking ‘go’ to ensure you can place a bet in a hurry when required.
Aside from traditional card payments, you’re likely with a top casino to be able to deposit and/or withdraw using e-wallets, bank transfers or even cheques (though these take a long time to process). Typical methods of payment include EntroPay, iDebit, Maestro, Mastercard, Neteller, PayPal, PaysafeCard, Skrill, Visa and WebMoney among others.
Very occasionally there may be a 2% fee or a charge of a few pounds for certain methods, but with any reputable casino these will be listed under the payment options on their website and if they’re not – do not gamble with them!
As well as being transparent about fees and withdrawal times, the best online casinos also look after your security with encryption used at all times so check out our best online casino reviews before you bet to make sure your cash is in safe hands.
Online Casino Customer Service
As well as reading reviews which is always good practice, one almost infallible way to test whether or not a casino is reputable is by checking out their customer service levels.
Poor casinos with bad payment terms, low bonuses and meagre jackpots almost always also have a lack of customer service options available. It’s a real tell-tale sign. Staff not being available at any time of day and no fast online option to get in touch are real red flags and the quickest of searches for ‘customer service’ at the bottom of their webpage will reveal this.
All of the top online casinos have operators available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone and email. Above all else, the best casinos have a live chat option and this is always the one we’d recommend you use. This way, rather than waiting for a response that may or may not answer your query, you can iron out any issues you have live before you decide to deposit or play.
The top, reputable casinos have little to hide and so it is no coincidence that the best ones offer great service at all times. If it looks like you’re not getting this or your options to get in touch are somewhat limited, avoid at all costs.
Responsible gaming, sometimes listed on casino sites as ‘responsible gambling’, has been a political hot potato in the UK for some time with casinos now agreeing to uphold the highest possible standards ensuring that players are kept safe.
Online casinos are now expected to run in a responsible way meaning that vulnerable players are protected, underage gamblers cannot get through the system and that sufficient protection is offered against fraud with privacy always being of paramount concern.
The code also attempts to ensure payments are made promptly, though it’s still a bugbear with players that you can deposit instantly while always having to wait a while for cash outs, with responsible gaming also ensuring that casinos allow for players to ‘self-exclude’, i.e. set their own limits on how much or how often they are able to bet.
Operators Holding a License by the UK Gambling Commission
To know then that a casino is fully sign-up to ‘responsible gaming’ you will want to ensure it has been licensed, regardless of origin, by the UK Gambling Commission.
The Gambling Commission has licensed hundreds of different casino brands in the UK, the major players though currently with the appropriate certificates being:
- Betfair Casino
- Mr Green
- Paddy Power
- Sky (Vegas, Casino, Bingo)
- William Hill
How You Can Recognise a Licensed Casino
It’s highly unlikely that a large online casino website can slip through the net that lists a gambling certificate when it doesn’t actually have one, so a quick check on the web page is usually sufficient to satisfy yourself.
Just to be sure though, head directly to gamblingcommission.gov.uk where a full list of online casinos with appropriate licenses is published, including what different trading names and brands these licenses cover so that you can be sure you are gambling only with a certified casino.
Remember, if you happen to find yourself in a casino not registered in the UK you will have zero protection if the company concerned fails to pay out any winnings or does not honour fees or deadlines written with its terms conditions, which by the way you should always read too.
Terms and Conditions
All casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission are required to list, in full, their terms of service. This is easy to access in every website with a link usually placed on the bottom (though they’re even easier to Google).
Although it sounds boring, gaining at least a basic grasp of the T&C’s presented by your chosen casino is essential as it can solve a lot of problems before they even occur. Know your rights, but also know any restrictions placed on certain wagers and wins before you get too exciting about a potential big payout.
Typical terms and conditions listed by major online casinos are:
- You must be over 18 years old
- Your address and date of birth must be accurate
- Only one account and one deposit bonus per customer
- Withdrawals are usually via the same method as they were deposited
- Bonuses have rollover requirements – i.e. a 10x rollover requirement means if you have received a £100 bonus, you are required to wager a total of £1000 before being able to withdraw funds
Frankly the overall terms and conditions set out by online casinos are all slightly different and all run into thousands of words, so there is no way we could list them all here. But, do not forget that they are legally binding so cannot be ignored.
The casino will reserve the right NOT to pay out on a win if it feels any of their terms have been breached, so it is genuinely crucial to understand what you are getting into before you deposit money as the casino can have every right to withhold winnings.
As we’ve already mentioned, a quick and easy way to get the info you need is to contact the casino, ideally via live chat, before you play. This way you are getting the casino to confirm what the rules are and answer your questions in writing which can protect you should they suddenly have an issue in paying you out in full.
Why Choose An Online Casino?
Naturally the main reason people play online these days is because it can be done from anywhere. Whether you are in front of your laptop, relaxing in front of the TV or travelling we can play our favourite casino games without having to get dressed up and face the expense of visiting a real, bricks and mortar casino.
Online Casino v Land Based Casino
It’s true that nothing really beats the atmosphere and levels of excitement that are reached by playing in a real casino with other players around and with a drink in your hand. The reality is though that you can’t just rock up at the casino at any time on any day as we have other things to do.
Thus, playing casino games online has become ever more popular in recent years given that it’s quick, it’s convenient, it can be tailored to our needs specifically, and of course the opening hours are 24/7, 365!
Playing online also gives us a chance to practice and learn without feeling like we’re under too much scrutiny. There’s nothing worse than standing round a roulette table or especially attempting a hand of poker when you’re not 100% sure you know the rules, so playing online adds a certain anonymity most players now crave.
How Does It Work?
Well, we’ve hopefully covered some crucial dos and don’ts for you here to help you choose the best online casinos out there. In summary then, here’s a simple 8-step guide to picking the best online casino specifically for you:
- Pick the games you want to play – all casinos offer something different, so don’t go for the first one you come across. Instant Play, Download and Mobile Casinos are all available and feature hundreds of different games.
- Read reviews – honest, independent casino reviews will help you understand whether or not a certain brand is for you and whether it can be trusted.
- Get the best bonus – some casinos offer great sign-up bonuses, others concentrate on reloads, some are percentage based and some are cash amounts. Make sure to take full advantage when you are ready to sign up and make the most of your cash.
- Pick the best providers – as well as choosing a brand, make sure your games come from the best casino tech providers giving you security but also a great gaming experience.
- Opt into the VIP program – they won’t give it to you unless you ask! Get on the program quickly and climb the various levels like a pro to receive awesome bonuses.
- Get the best service – online casinos with great customer service have little or nothing to hide.
- Make sure they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission – doing this will keep your money safe and ensure any disputes are handled for you.
- Read the terms and conditions – Ok, it’s boring but it’ll help you in the long run.
Why Choose CasinoWings.com?
At CasinoWings.com we offer only the best online casino reviews making them honest, informative and ensuring they are helping you stay safe and while enjoying a better casino experience.
We will only show licensed casinos on this site meaning you can be safe in the knowledge that we are not directing you to an unscrupulous online casino brand.
We are experts in the business of online casinos; reviewing them, playing them and understanding them. We do not deal with scam sites, scam ads or any service that could be deemed as less than safe and reputable. We produce daily updates about bonuses, jackpots and new features so be sure to check in regularly to see what’s out there for you.
- Can I play for real money?
Yes. Some casinos offer a ‘free play’ option which usually just means playing for fun on your device, but of course the name of the game is to play for real and attempt to win jackpots. You can set your own limits if you wish, or play for as much as you can afford by depositing cash into your account.
- Is it safe to play at online casinos?
Yes, as long as they are registered with the Gambling Commission. The regulator checks each casino regularly to ensure they are following the rules and keeping your money and your data safe.
- How can I identify a licensed casino?
Your casino will have its license number and where it was issued listed at the bottom of the website. To avoid any doubt however, go directly to the UK Gambling Commission website and see an exhaustive list of all licensees.
- Do I need casino software to play?
In some cases yes, but not always. Downloadable games are good as once they are on your system they are quick and often don’t need the internet. You can play live games via any internet connection however without the need to download software.
- What devices can I play on?
Desktop and laptop computers often offer the best experience especially if software is required, but mobile games are ever increasing in popularity and can be played on any smartphone or tablet, both iOS and Android based.
- What kinds of games are available?
Online Slots plus table games like Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Baccarat, Craps, scratch cards, Live Games, Arcade Games and many more are available in different variations with numerous providers.
- What are the best online casinos?
Be sure to read reviews to decide for yourself, but widely acknowledged to be among the best, safest and most rewarding are bet365, Ladbrokes, Mr Green Casino and William Hill.