How to Gamble Online

So you want to gamble online for real money, but don’t know where to begin? Don’t fret. This guide to gambling online will give you unbiased tips and advice about wagering real money online. Take the time to read this page in its entirety, and don’t be afraid to send us an email with additional questions or concerns you have.

Understand the process

Once you get going, online gambling sites are more convenient than live gambling venues. However, unlike gambling at your local casino, race track, or bingo parlor, you cannot simply walk in, bet some money, and cash out your winnings in one day.

Signing up
At most gambling sites you can sign up and verify your account in less than 10 minutes. It may take longer if you download the site’s software and have a slow connection. Make sure to give the site accurate personal information including your real name, address, phone number, and a valid email address. Otherwise, you may run into problems verifying your account or cashing out winnings down the road.

Verification forms
Gaming sites are subject to a lot fraudulent signups. Any forms or verification methods are there to protect you and the gambling site. Many gambling sites now have a verification form that must be faxed in with a copy of your ID and a utility bill before you can cash out. It’s easy to get frustrated with this additional verification step, but it only has to be completed one time. Do yourself a favor and do it when you first signup and deposit.

Most gambling sites accept major credit and debit cards like Visa and Mastercard. This is often the easiest way to deposit, especially for players from the United States.

A better option than credit cards are e-wallet services. E-wallets are companies that offer a convenient way to move money around online. These can take a little extra time to setup, but once you do it you’ll be able to deposit and withdraw winnings much faster.

Some popular gambling e-wallets include:

NOTE: If you’re in a country like the U.S. which doesn’t have legal online gambling, it can be riskier to use an e-wallet. Just a few months ago thousands of dollars in players’ money was seized from UseMyWallet/Quicktender a popular e-wallet service for U.S. players.

Cashing out
After you’ve won some money online, you’ll be ready to cash out your winnings. Be sure to read the withdrawal terms and conditions of the site you join. Most only allow a certain amount to be cashed out each week. For example, many casinos have a $3000 per week cashout limit. So if you win a $10,000 jackpot, you need to be prepared to wait a few weeks to cash out the full amount.

Is it legal to gamble online?

In some countries and territories it’s perfectly legal to gamble for money online (the United Kingdom for example). Other areas of the world hold a dim view of online gaming. And in many places, online gambling is outright illegal.

The first thing to understand is that just because your country doesn’t have legalized online gambling, it doesn’t mean you can’t still gamble online. There are many legitimate sites that allow players to sign up no matter where they are from.

So what are the risks of gambling online from a country where it’s not legalized? It depends on the country obviously, but the main thing to be concerned about is losing the money you’ve deposited. The site you play at or e-wallet service you use to deposit could get shut down and you lose any funds still there. Additionally, be prepared for more delays when it comes to depositing and withdrawing money in countries where online gambling is not widely accepted.

Different countries have different risks involved with online gambling. The best thing to do is understand and abide by the law where you live. When in doubt, you should seek the counsel of a licensed attorney. And if you choose to gamble online anyway, make sure you understand the risks first.

Always read bonus terms and conditions

As you try to make a decision as to where to gamble online, you’ve undoubtedly seen the advertisements for huge signup bonuses for new players.

Are these gambling bonuses legitimate or too good to be true? It depends.

Here’s why; In the early days, gambling sites competed hard to get new signups by offering great bonuses that actually leveled the playing field and could make you money. Before long, there were guides all over the Internet teaching people how to take advantage of these bonuses for financial gain.

The practice of “bonus whoring” or “bonus hunting” was easily justified by most since gaming sites make billions of dollars per year off of players. I must admit, I did my share of bonus hunting back in the day. But it was short-lived. Soon, gambling sites (casinos specifically) figured out what was going on and started changing the bonus terms and conditions to eliminate bonus hunters.

As a result, today’s bonuses have much stricter terms than before. That’s why you should make a habit of reading the terms and conditions of any bonus offer you consider accepting.

The bonuses you need to be most concerned about accepting are casino bonuses. Most poker, bingo, skill game, & sports betting bonuses have maintained reasonable bonus terms. However, the majority of casino bonuses cannot be cashed out and have such strict game restrictions that it makes no sense for anyone except a slots player to accept.

Never give out your account information

This should go without saying. However, thieves and phishing schemes can be very sophisticated. Just like other companies you give personal information to, online gambling sites will never send you an email asking for your account password.

Have virus protection and don’t download (so-called) cheat programs

The things you should be most concerned when gambling online are Trojan viruses and keyloggers. Trojans allow people to have access to your computer without you knowing it. Keyloggers record your key strokes in a file, which the hacker can access. That’s how people get credit card information and passwords stolen.

Also, stay away from programs that supposedly help you “cheat” at gambling. Many of these programs have hidden keyloggers and Trojan viruses attached to them. When you run the program, the virus installs itself in the background.

Here are a couple of free programs that will help you protect you from threats.

Next Steps

Now that you have a better understanding of how to gamble online for real money, the next step is finding a good site that fits your needs. For those ready to take the plunge, you can read our reviews of real money gambling sites to help you decide.