Gambling Guide - 5 Things to Check before Playing

When you arrive at the website of a new casino there are several things to look for:

  1. Customer Support
  2. Promotions
  3. Banking Options
  4. Software
  5. Games

This priority ranking is the one that I have found to be the best way of "grasping the concepts" of an unknown casino: If they want us to trust them with our money we are entitled to check out a few things before rushing in.

  1. Customer Support:
    First of all you should find out what kind of service level the casino offer - because this generally is a good indication of the overall quality of the casino's other aspects. Usually the casino has a section called "Support" or "Contact". All respectable casinos offer customer support by telephone and email. More and more also offer the possibility of chatting live with an online representative. This is by far the fastest way of getting anywhere if a problem should arise and you don't want to call them on the phone at international rates. The amount of options offered, however, is not really a qualifying indication of whether the customer service is good or not. To get a clear picture you have to actually get in touch: Try sending an email with some kind of inquiry or just some words showing your interest in the casino and see how long time it takes before you receive an answer and what this answer is like. A delayed answer or an insultingly short one is a sign of arrogance and should turn on a few red lights in your warning panel.
  2. Promotions
    The bonuses offered by a casino have of course nothing to do with the quality of the casinos service, games or reliability - although a "too-good-to-be-true" offer could signal either foul play or bad management (who mentioned Good Fellows Casino?) However it is most likely your main reason for playing there in the first place. So what is a good bonus? First of all you have to look for three things: What is the maximum bonus amount? What must be deposited to receive it? And what are the terms that must be met before you can withdraw your money - wagering requirements for instance? Knowing these things and the house edge in your game of choice makes it possible for you to calculate the statistical probability for you to walk away with a net win: If you must wager 4000 and the house edge is 0,43% your bonus must be bigger than 17,2$ (0,0043 x 4000) in order to be statisticly profitable. Generally casinos offering percentage bonuses gives you the better odds for making a profit - but you also need to deposit a larger amount to receive them.
  3. Banking Options
    Because of the increasing problems with VISA and Mastercard vs. the gaming industry it is as important as ever to find out what banking options a casino has to offer. Online payment methods like Neteller and Firepay are mandatory for any ambitious casino together with more established offline alternatives like courier checks, FED-EX deliveries and Wire Transfers. What you must look for is any statements of time intervals between your withdrawal request, the time of processing your request and the time of delivery to your Paypal account, bank account or mailbox. For Paypal payments you should expect everything from 2 hours to 2 days - more than that is not satisfactory. Wire transfers should be within a week and check deliveries ranges from 5 days to 5 weeks depending on the courier service chosen. Note that if you made a deposit with VISA or Mastercard you cannot withdraw more than the deposit back to the credit card - any winnings will be paid using one of the mentioned alternatives.
  4. Software
    Most casinos use a licensed software instead of making their own. The gambling industry is therefore divided into fractions of more or less reliable software licensees. Generally you won't make serious mistakes when trusting brands like Cryptologic, Boss Media or Microgaming. But keep away from anything admitting to be associated with Unified Gaming, Gambling Federation, Real Time Gaming, Golden Palace and Clock Media. Generally speaking that is.
  5. Games
    Last but not least you must find out if the casino offer the kind of game you want to play. Then it is important to find out the rules of that game in order to get the optimal strategy. In Blackjack the rules vary from casino to casino. Everything from 1 to 8 decks of cards can be used, at some casinos you can double on any two cards, at others you can't and so on.

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