How to play at online casinos

If there is one thing that really makes online casinos stand out from land-based casinos, it’s not having to learn and follow casino etiquette.

When you take away the crowds of people, the alcohol, the smoking rooms and the traffic, you realise that you can just sit and enjoy your favourite casino games in the peace and comfort of your chosen place (it could be in the office, at home or even while you’re on holiday).

A lot of gamblers believe that the online gambling world is actually more difficult and less engaging than brick-and-mortar casinos. The CasinoPlay crew are here to show them just how easy it is to get in and get up and running with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of thrills and excitement.

First – choose your platform

The first thing to do is decide how you would like to access your online casino: desktop or mobile device.

With the power of modern mobile devices like phones and tablets, you won’t see any difference in performance or accessibility between your mobile or your desktop. There are some games that haven’t been adapted to a mobile platform yet, but they really are few and far between.

The biggest difference between the platforms is going to be the size of your screen.

Online casinos, especially the really premium ones, have responsive websites that adapt to whatever device or operating system you may be using.

Finding the right online casino

This is the most important step to having a great online gambling experience.

The right online or mobile casino is about more than cool graphics, enticing bonuses and groovy artwork – you need to find a gambling partner that you can trust.

Check that the casino is licensed

Always make sure that you check that your online casino is licensed. Licensing is done through selected territories that allow online casinos to operate under strict checks and guidelines. These territories include places like the UK, Gibraltar, Curacao and Malta. The casino should display the license at the bottom of the homepage.

If you are playing at an unlicensed casino, the chances are high that you are going to find yourself ripped off or, even worse, the target of scammers and other nefarious digital criminals.

Check that the casino is welcoming

While most casinos will welcome new players with open arms, you need to make sure that you are playing at a casino that allows you to gamble in your own currency. South African gamblers that have to play in Dollars, Euros or Pounds rather than our own ZARs are soon going to find out just how expensive forex fees are and just how fast exchange rates are going to blow through their bankroll.

Do a little research

It only takes a few minutes to fire up Google and search for reviews or comments on your chosen online casino. The CasinoPlay crew pride ourselves on our casino reviews and we make sure we test every aspect of a casino before we recommend it so check them to find our favourite trusted gambling partners.

Apart from CasinoPlay, there are hundreds of review sites on the ‘Net and thousands of gamblers who are more than willing to share their experiences at a casino – good or bad.

Getting started

Chosen your device – check.

Found a licensed online casino – check.

Made sure you can play in Rands – check.

Read the reviews and like what you see – check.

It’s time to jump in!

The first thing you need to do is register an account. This is super easy at almost all online casinos.

  • Look for the sign up or registration button on the online casino website
  • Click.
  • Choose a username and password and enter your contact details.
  • Click.
  • Fill in the required information (usually includes personal information and basic banking details for legal and licensing purposes).
  • Click.
  • Check your email and verify your info.
  • Send.
  • Done! You’re ready to join the millions of casino fans around the world in the fastest growing industry on earth.

From now on, all you need to do is click the Login button, enter your username and password. And the online casino is open for your entertainment.

Casino register

Putting money on the table

Gambling is all about putting real money where your mouth is and online casinos have you totally covered when it comes to betting real money for real wins.

But before you start depositing funds into your casino account, take some time to explore the place. Have a look at the games on offer. Test some of the slots. See how smoothly everything operates.

Online casinos offer you various ways of checking their system and their games. Two of the most popular are demos and no deposit bonuses.


A lot of high-end online casinos will let you demo the games they have on offer with putting money in first. The only games that are not usually included as demos are Live dealer games and some specialty games but, generally speaking, all the video slots and tables games can be tested for free.

No deposit bonuses

Some online casinos will offer you no deposit bonuses where you get ‘free’ money put into your account so you can test different games. Sometimes the games available for no deposit bonuses are very specific.

Be aware that no deposit bonuses come with wagering requirements. These are terms and conditions related to any money you win while playing with a bonus. You can read more about wagering requirements here.

Check out the bonuses

Bonuses are how casinos attract and retain a loyal player base. These bonuses can be anything from free money in your account to free spins on selected slots to preferential treatment at tournaments.

The most common form of bonuses are welcome bonuses for new players and loyalty bonuses for regular players. These bonuses are usually redeemed at the cashier page by using a specific coupon code.

Online casinos offer some very enticing bonuses that can really boost your bankroll. Check the bonuses on offer at various online casinos or look for the promotions page at your chosen casino to see what is on offer.

Be careful though: no one just gives away money and casinos are no different! Bonuses come with strict wagering requirements (the terms and conditions related to how a bonus may be used, where it may be used and how to deal with any money you win while using a bonus).

Most online casino complaints come from players who did not read and understand the wagering requirements properly – so make sure you read and understand them thoroughly. Find out more about bonuses here.

Navigating the online casino

Getting around the casino is easy and intuitive when you’re playing with a popular and trusted partner.

Online and mobile casinos have everything laid out for your ease of use and important tabs and buttons like your account and profile, the cashier page for depositing and withdrawing funds, the latest promotions and the various categories of games (slots, jackpots, table games, live dealer, etc) are prominently displayed.

The games lobbies are likewise laid out to make your access to your favourite games easy. Casinos often have their newest and most popular games on the main page. You can search for games by name or by developer.

The bottom of the pages is usually reserved for legals like the licensing authority and additional links for games, blogs, partners, reviews and more.

Starting a game

Because most games have different ways to play and different rules, we recommend you read the rules and gameplay before you start. Online casino games have an information button (denoted with an ‘i’, the word ‘info’ or a symbol of three stacked lines called a hamburger) that will give you all the information you need.

In general though, playing an online casino game is simple:

  • Choose your game
  • Choose your bet amount
  • Start playing

This is a very simplified example. There are various other factors that you may want to consider like setting minimum and maximum bet amounts, maximum bet limits, maximum win or loss limits and more.

Remember, your account is linked to all the games so keep an eye on your budget and your bankroll so you don’t get into trouble.

Cashing out

One of the most hotly contested subjects in online gambling is the payout process. There can be a bunch of hiccups when you finally decide you want to take some of your winnings out of your casino account. These are few things we suggest you keep an eye on:

  • Different casinos have different payout policies that can delay your withdrawal for hours or even days.
  • There is a process that needs to be completed before payouts so make sure you have all documentation like ID, photos, proof of address, etc, ready.
  • Your deposit method can affect your payout time.
  • Some deposits methods are not available as payout methods (Mastercard for example).
  • Make absolutely sure you have fulfilled all the wagering requirements before trying to withdraw any money.

And finally…

Remember, gambling is meant to be fun. There are times you will win and there are times you will lose, be prepared for both. Gambling is a risk so make sure you have set a proper budget and time limit so you don’t get in over your head. Gamble responsibly at all times.

And have fun!

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