Online casino gaming is one of the most popular forms of internet entertainment, fuelled in part by the rise of on-the-go mobile apps. The level of realism, staking options and cutting-edge technology make it great value for money, and an attractive option for professional bettors with games like poker and blackjack.
Online casinos pay out millions every week, with players betting from all over the globe. More people play online than they do in Las Vegas, fuelling progressive jackpots that continue to reward lucky players with huge amounts of money.
Our guide covers what you need to know when it comes to finding top online casinos, choosing the best casinos in the UK, what to expect from casino sites online and which top casino games to play.
The explosion in the popularity of online gaming across the world has seen an influx of new and existing gambling brands launching on the web. That means a seemingly endless number of casinos to choose from. However, while a search engine will inevitably locate a stream of sites to play, that can make it tricky to select the premium sites and find casinos with special and sometimes hidden features and drawbacks.
The other option is to use a review site such as FreeBets.net, which does the hard work for you – analysing the existing products and new releases, leaving you with a selection of top online casinos in the UK to register with. Casino forums also offer some good recommendations when it comes to new bonuses, top-rated latest game releases and casino websites to play and avoid.
The continued growth in the online gambling world means we can look forward to many new online casino websites launching every year – in addition to more games and site upgrades than ever before. That's good news for gamers, but a high-class review site is invaluable for helping you stay up to date.
When it comes to choosing the best online casinos, it comes down to your personal gaming preferences and style, along with less subjective ratings such as the reliability of a casino website and whether it's fully regulated with gambling authorities. So, you may like some colour schemes and graphics, but others may leave you cold. Similarly, if you love a particular brand of casino software, you'll want to seek out sites that offer games from the provider.
Some of the key things to check for, which every gamer should take seriously, are fully regulated sites, legitimate sign-up bonuses, fast payouts, fair return-to-player ratios and a high quality of customer service.
Many online casinos can be played using demo and free-play options, which is a good way to find out if you like a site. High-quality casino review sites also offer a fast and effective way to weigh up whether a casino is likely to match your gaming style, while ensuring it's a safe and reputable brand.
While you're likely to have your own definition of what makes an online casino a 'must play', the best casino sites UK tend to have a lot in common. In addition to being fully regulated with an established gambling authority (such as the UK Gambling Commission), good casinos always include a legitimate welcome bonus.
Although they vary from brand to brand, casino sign-up bonuses typically reward players for making a deposit, such as 'Deposit up to 100 and get 100 free'. Many include additional free spins on video slots or feature games, which are often worth taking advantage of. The only catch to web casino bonuses tends to be the need to play-through your winnings a certain number of times, before it can be transferred to your main bank, and withdrawn. However, good quality casinos are transparent about play-through levels and they can be checked before making a deposit.
When it comes to gaming quality, what makes the best casino software is subjective, but high-class sites will typically contain well over 200 games, including slots, casino table games and particularly the option of selecting classic casino, or live casino game-play – all playable with very low or very high wagering levels.
Any site worth its salt should have a classy touch when it comes to regular bonus offers such as a VIP points club and swift payouts, in addition to friendly and fast customer support via email, live chat or phone.
With top online casinos featuring 200-500 games or more, there's a lot to play through. The most popular games in web casinos are slots, blackjack, video poker, classic poker, baccarat and roulette – each with an array of styles and variations.
Free play, demos and bonus offers are a great way to sample the action and find the casino games you love. Casinos also permit low minimum stakes, meaning you can play high-volume sessions with a small budget, offering great value entertainment. Similarly, you can risk small sums of cash to hone your skill on games such as video poker before potentially progressing up the ranks.
Progressive jackpot games deserve special mention, since these games have the power to create instant millionaires and 'someone' always wins! While the niche focuses on video slots such as Mega Moolah, software developers are increasingly making innovative games such as progressive jackpot video poker and roulette (check out games like Age of the Gods Roulette). Played with a sensible budget, they're a great alternative to lotto tickets and much better value in terms of entertainment.
Live casinos are one of the hippest ways to play internet casinos, especially when on-the-go on your mobile, or chilling at home with the lights dimmed. Beamed from real casinos or authentic studios, the immersive experience is the next best thing to heading off to Las Vegas or another 'real life' casino hot spot.
Ultimately, finding the best casino in the UK comes down to sampling sites by using free bonuses and low wager levels, but your mission can be helped by regularly checking out casino reviews from other players and expert gaming sites.