|#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
#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
#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
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?