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Online Gambling Tips

#1: Know The Local Law

Sad to say, but in some places it's illegal to gamble on the Web. Know your legal status in your home state, province, territory, country before wagering cash. Online gambling laws are ever-changing and the best way to definitively determine the current laws that apply to you is by contacting your local authorities.

#2: Play To A Budget

Let's say you've got $600 and you expect to gamble three times a week for the next couple weeks. That's $100 per session and that's your budget for any given session. Put the rest away, forget about it and enjoy the money you've got in front of you. DO NOT under any circumstances touch another day's bankroll. If you tap out, walk away and come back another day. This is how you remain a happy gambler and not a whining loser.

#3: Don't Gamble With Scared Money

We've all heard and said it before: only gamble money that you can afford to lose. Anything you can't afford to lose -- like the rent money -- is called "scared money" because that's what you'll be if you even get close to betting with it. And scared gamblers are losers-in-training. If you play this way you may well need professional counseling. Gamblers Anonymous .

#4: Don't Play While Under The Influence

A stoned/drunk/coked-up gambler is, at the very least, a lesser player than they would be straight. Why do you think the brick-and-mortar casinos give the drinks away? They know the way it goes: you booze, you lose.

#5: Know The Casino

Good online casinos provide extensive info pages that tell you where they are licensed, who's behind the operation, what their game rules and cash policies are, and how to contact them for help. .

Do your research. Check out message boards to see if your casino has been stiffing its players.  Is the casino licensed by a government agency? How long have they been in business?  Know who you're doing business with before you haul out your credit card.

#6: Adequate Customer Support

The better casinos offer toll-free telephone support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Other customer support options include 24/7 chat, local phone numbers, fax lines, and lastly, email. How available are they making themselves to you? Try out their service by calling to ask a question, or hop on the chat to see if anyone is actually there. As a prospective customer it's your right to see if anybody's home. Because if you do have a problem, you're damn sure going to want them to be available and as helpful as humanly possible.

Keep in mind that a one-size-fits-all email address is the lowest level of service going because their box could be clogged with messages, they may or may not be there, they might not get your email, etc

#7: Know Payout Options

Most online casinos will credit your credit card up to the amount you originally deposited, then send the remainder of your winnings to you by check in the mail, which you'll usually receive in 1 to 2 weeks. Often you can request a wire transfer for a small fee.

#8: Check Out The Bonuses

Bonuses have become a standard means of attracting and keeping players. These range from sign-on and referral bonuses to frequent-player "comp" programs. The bottom line is that a good casino will thank its players for their patronage with these small gifts and gratuities and that means your dollar will go a little further when you play with them. A no-bonus casino is a rare thing these days and generally deserves all the special attention it offers.

#9: Protect Your Data

When it comes time to actually sign up to "Play for Real", there are a few things you should watch out for. For the sign-on process the casino should open a secure, data-encrypted link to protect your peronal info from being scooped up by the bad guys. Believe it, it's no joke. You must protect yourself by ensuring the security of your link.

While the browser people will tell you to check the little lock (Internet Explorer) or key (Netscape) symbol at the bottom of your browser, there's more that you can do to ensure your safety. In the address box of your browser check that the sign-on page begins with "https://" instead of the usual "http://". And don't assume that the casino will just "do it". We've seen one case where the casino made all the assurances that a secure link would be provided and then they just gave us a plain old Web page to fill in the data. Their "over-sight" could've cost us a lot of aggravation if someone scooped our credit card number, or got our home address and phone numbers. If there's one golden rule of online gambling it's caveat emptor, which is Latin for "watch your ass".

#10: Know Your Game

Since you're playing online you can take your time to make your decisions. You can even use that handy-dandy video poker or blackjack strategy chart to achieve optimal play.There is a wealth of information both on the net and in print to inform you of the odds you face in any given game and the strategies that will help shave the house edge to a minimum. Spend a little time reading and you'll spend a lot less time wondering what happened to your bankroll.

#11: Not All Games Are Not Created Equal

The Internet is a world of software and that means that the payouts, house commissions, number of decks in play, number of zeros on the Roulette wheel, and just about everything else can be set to whatever the software designers like. Please note that I'm not saying that casino managers sit there and mess with the games whenever they feel like it. What I am saying is that some online casinos have better odds than others.

If roulette is your game, why play a double-zero game when you can play single-zero? Prefer craps? Find casinos that let you plunk down double or triple free odds, or better. This information is generally published in the casino's "rules and info" section. If it isn't, feel free to contact their support people and ask. If they won't tell you, find another casino.

Some casinos go so far as to publish their payout tables right on their site. To be taken seriously, these figures should be audited and certified by a reputable accountanting firm, such as Price Waterhouse Coopers.

#12: Play By The Numbers

If you're playing to win, know the odds of your game and play accordingly. The numbers may be dull, but they are your roadmap to avoiding the losing plays. Hunches, ESP, clairvoyance, tea leaves, remote viewing and divination are all sorry secondary choices to the mathematics of your game.

#13: Play The Game, Not The Gimmicks

That "insurance" bet in Blackjack: house edge around 6%. The so-called "crapless craps": again, about 6%. The side bet in Caribbean Stud: over 25% house edge. What's the moral of this story? Aside from knowing your game and being intimately familiar with the odds you face, the moral is "forget the gimmicks". Sure there's the occasional exception but in general the "add-ons" to the basic games are sucker bets.

#14: Take The Winnings And Run

Have a plan for when to stop. Some folks call it quits when they're up by 50%. Some when they've doubled their session bankroll. Others bail when the tide turns and they lose 20% of their winnings. Whatever your break-point, it's important to have one and stick to it. Otherwise you'll just keep playing until you can't and by then you'll have lost all the money you won. Forget the pot of gold, take the fistful of dollars. Greedy players make big losers.

#15: Expect To Lose

Casinos do not depend on luck to stay in business. On virtually every bet you make in whatever game you play, the house's win is designed right into the rules of the game. And that edge generally means they'll be the winner a lot more often than you will be. Players can find and play games where the house edge is 1.5% or less but you'll have to do your homework to find them. Sites like ours are a good place to start your education, but never forget that the casinos rule the roost and are in business to take your money.

#16: Enjoy Yourself

Unless you're a professional player with a proven track record, you're playing for the pleasure of it. For 98% of players casino gambling is recreation -- you're spending money to be entertained. If the fun stops, so should you. When you choose to gamble on the Internet, you're forsaking the smoke, the free drinks, the hangers-on and all the charms of the casino staff so you might as well do whatever you can to get the most out of it. Light up a cigar, play "The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly" soundtrack, have a croissant, whatever. You're the floor manager when you play at home so make it good. Who better to pamper the player than you?

Ready to Gamble Online? Visit Our List of Online Casinos.

Related Online Gambling Information:
Introduction to Online Gambling
Online Gambling F.A.Q
Selecting an Online Casino
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Gambling Promotions