If you don't live in the heart of Vegas, you may find that your casino choices are pretty limited. So unless you’re willing to travel, online casinos may be the answer.
Online casinos are online versions of a bricks and mortar casino. Just like their real-life counterparts, they offer a range of classic games such as blackjack, poker, roulette and slots.
There are loads of benefits to playing at the best online casino sites – and we don’t just mean that you can play in your PJs!
Playing at an online casino will save you a bit of money. You won't have to factor in travel, parking, drinks or a babysitter, meaning you'll have a few more pounds to play with.
You can also play when it's convenient for you as they're open 24/7.
Most online casino operators will offer you a bonus for you signing up to their website. They'll also offer ad hoc bonuses so you can enjoy extra funds on top of what you were already waging.
Before you can get stuck in, you have to decide what game you want to play. There are so many online casino games to pick from that it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
That's why we're here to help. This guide will outline some of the most popular online casino games, so you can decide on what to play.
Blackjack is one of the most famous casino games. Although there are variations, the most popular is Blackjack 21. You have to beat the dealer's hand by getting as close to, but not exceeding, 21.
Blackjack starts with both the player and the dealer receiving two cards each. The dealer will have one card facing up and the other facing down.
The player will then decide whether to hit (get another card) or stick (keep their cards) in pursuit of getting as close to 21 without going bust.
There is also a hand known as a “push”. This is when you and the dealer have the same hand value. When this happens, there are no winners and your bet is returned.
When it comes to counting picture cards, Jack, Queen and King all count as 10. An Ace can count as either one or 11. The rest of the cards go by their face value.
Roulette is a wheel based table game that appeals to both high and low stake players. It’s easy to learn so even if you’re an online casino novice you can play.
The roulette board features a grid with the numbers one through to 36 and a single zero. The numbers are either on black or red except for the zero which is on green, giving the dealer a slight edge.
To play you pick a number (or a combination of numbers) by placing your chip(s) on the board. The dealer will then spin the wheel and if the ball lands in a numbered pocket that matches your bet then you win. It’s really that easy.
The advantage of playing this online is that you don’t have to wait for other players to place their bets, meaning the game is much faster and less crowded than in a traditional casino.
Poker is a traditional card game that has taken the online casino world by storm. It’s popular because playing online is faster, lower risk and more accessible.
There are different variations of the game and different stakes available. So which option you choose will depend on your experience in the game.
The most common version of online poker is Texas Hold’em. Each player is dealt two cards face down, which are called ‘hole cards’. Five community cards are dealt face-up, to form the ‘board’.
Players in the game then use these shared community cards in conjunction with their own hole cards. The goal is to each make their best possible five-card poker hand.
The player with the highest hand wins in poker. Here are the winning hands from highest to lowest.
An Ace, King, Queen, Jack and a 10, all the same suit.
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit. For example 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 of clubs.
Four of a kind
All four cards of the same rank. For example four Jacks.
Three of a kind with a pair. For example three 10’s.
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence. For example 4, Queen, 8, 2, 9 of spades.
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit. For example 9 of clubs, 8 of diamonds, 7 of spades, 6 of hearts, 5 of diamonds.
Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank. For example three 7’s
Two different pairs. For example two 4’s and two 3’s.
Two cards of the same rank. For example two aces.
When you haven't made any of the hands above, the highest card plays. For example, if you have a spread of 3, 8, 4, 2 and Queen – the Queen plays as the highest card.
Slots are the easiest games to play at an online casino. There's something to entertain everyone because there are thousands of games to play.
When you've decided on a game to play, it's good to familiarise yourself with the rules and the payout table. This way you'll know how much you can win and what symbols to look out for.
Live dealer games offer game players an enhanced experience. They work by offering a real-life dealer which can be seen by the player via video.
Many live dealer games also have a live chat feature. The player can interact with the dealer and other players in the chat box. This option is usually offered on popular games such as baccarat, blackjack and poker.
Stakes are usually higher when it comes to live dealer games as the cost of setting up the service is expensive.
Players also need to have a good internet connection because the video streaming uses more data and the risk of disconnection is higher.
Fans of James Bond will be familiar with the card game of baccarat. Known for its glitz and glam, this game is perfect for those who don’t want to remember a lot of rules. So, as long as you can count to nine, you’re pretty much set.
Baccarat is a game based on luck rather than skill. It's played with several decks of cards which are kept in a ‘shoe’ and the main goal is to create a hand that equals nine points.
Cards are dealt to the player and the banker. Players will then be required to pick between three results: the dealer wins, the player wins or a draw.
The dealer will deal two cards to each side and the winner is the side that comes the closest to nine points without exceeding it. In some cases, players may advance to a third card.
2-9: face value
Picture cards: 0
Other than counting to nine, you'll also need to understand the left digit rule. If, for example, you have a nine and a seven card, your points will equal 16.
The left digit rule means that you'll take off the left digit, in this case, it would be one, therefore your points will be six. If you were to get two fives, your points would equal 10.
Once you apply the left digit rule, you're left with zero points.
Rachael is a freelance writer with a particular interest in online gaming. As an enthusiastic online bingo roomie, Rachael enjoys writing about the history of the UK's favourite game as well as discovering the latest trends.
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