If you’ve ever thought about gambling online but weren’t sure how to get started, then this article is for you. In this beginners guide, we’ll go through the entire process from start to finish, teaching you how to identify reputable online casinos, test out games for free, register an account, deposit and withdraw. Hopefully, we’ll give you the knowledge you need to play confidently while maximizing the benefits that you receive while doing so!
How to choose the best casino | How to register an account | What to expect from the casino’s software | Which games are on offer | Play the demo or real money? | Which bonuses & rewards are available | How to deposit & withdraw funds | How to contact the casino
Online Casinos Recommended for Beginners
Choosing an Online Casino
Reputation is key: The two most important factors to keep in mind when choosing where to gamble online are reputation and track record. Risking your hard-earned cash and winning big at an unscrupulous site is meaningless if you can’t expect to receive your full withdrawal in a timely fashion. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to stick with only trustworthy casinos like Royal Vegas, Lucky 247, Roxy Palace or any of the other sites we recommend on CanadasCasinos.
While many sites are similar in a number of ways, each offers its own distinct features, which can help you decide which casino would be the best fit for you. While some might pick the site with the biggest deposit bonus, others might prefer one which they can access on their mobile device. Check out our casino reviews page to take a look at the full list of features offered by our partner casinos.
Registering Your Account
Once you’ve found a trustworthy site that’s to your liking, you’ll need to create an account so you can receive your bonus and play for real money. To complete this step you’ll need to provide the following information:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Home address
- Telephone number
This info will be used to verify your identity, ensure that the account is not fraudulent and assist in processing your deposits and withdrawals.
Gone are the days when players were only offered the choice of downloading clunky software to gain access to a casino site’s game library. At today’s online casinos, players can log into their account and gamble online using a variety of different methods.
Software clients: Most online casinos give players the option of installing a downloadable software client for their Mac or PC. This means that, before you can play, you’ll need to navigate to the operator’s website and find its Downloads page. At Royal Vegas, for example, you would click the Menu button in the main navigation panel, then choose Getting Started, and then click Download. Next, click the download button and the software will begin downloading to your computer. When the process has finished, click on the .exe file and follow the prompts to create your account and install the software. Keep in mind that some antivirus programs might flag such software as containing a virus. If you are using one of our recommended brands, you can rest easy in the knowledge that the software is safe and secure. Once installed, you’ll be able to click on the program’s icon and will be given access to the site’s cashier and full selection of games. When you finish your session, simply close the program.
Flash casinos: Playing through a casino’s Flash option is one of the most convenient ways to gamble, if available. In Flash casinos, there is no software to download and games can be played directly on the operator’s website using any major web browser. Simply navigate to the game of your choice, log into your casino account and begin playing.
Mobile apps: The thought of being able to gamble online on a phone would no doubt have seemed ridiculous before the advent of smartphones and tablets. But now, you can do just that, and play on the go wherever you have an Internet connection. On mobile, you’ll usually have two options: downloading a site’s mobile app, or playing directly through your mobile browser. Casino Room offers such capability, giving players the choice of gambling through their android or iOS devices. One thing to note, though, is that game selection is usually limited on mobile devices, compared to the number of titles available on download and Flash versions. Furthermore, game designs aren’t as intricate as their full-size counterparts, due to the need to simplify graphics for smaller screens. Read more about mobile casinos here.
Most of our recommended casinos give you the choice of playing a huge number of games. Casino staples like blackjack, video poker and roulette are all usually offered, with slots making up a large proportion of a site’s total library. You’ll also find many games and variations that you might not have heard of, like Monkey Keno, Super Bonus Bingo and Pick ‘n Switch. In fact, Royal Vegas spreads over 450 games – more than enough to keep you engaged and entertained!
Demo vs Real Money Play
No risk: With so many game options available at Canada online casinos, players can’t be expected to know the intricacies and rules of each individual title. Unlike in brick-and-mortar casinos, however, online gamblers have the opportunity of playing games for play money before risking real cash. After you’ve created your account, click on a game you’d like to try and select the “demo” or “free play” option. You’ll be taken to the table or slot and given an allowance of play money chips, which you can risk to your heart’s delight without putting your real bankroll on the line.
Bonuses & Rewards
Deposit bonuses: One of the biggest advantages to gambling online, as opposed to playing at your local casino, are the generous deposit bonuses which online casinos give to new players. When you make your first deposit, most sites will reward you by matching it up to a certain percent. These casino bonuses offers vary from site to site, with some offering a large one-time bonus for a single deposit, and others spreading out the bonus cash over three transactions. Hippodrome Casino uses the latter system and currently offers a max of $1,000 awarded in the following chunks:
- 1st deposit – 100% match bonus up to $250 (minimum deposit $20)
- 2nd deposit – 25% match bonus up to $250 (minimum deposit $20)
- 3rd deposit – 50% match bonus up to $500 (minimum deposit $20)
Wager requirements: While getting large amounts of bonus cash from online casinos is a great perk, you should know that the money comes with a catch. When you receive your bonus award, you won’t be able to cash it out immediately. Instead, you’ll need to wager a certain multiple of the amount of the bonus before it is fully unlocked and released. At Hippodrome Casino, players need to wager their bonus amount by 50X, and must do it playing qualified games. Furthermore, not all games contribute equally to the requirement. Hippodrome’s terms state that online slots, keno and bingo contribute at the rate of 100%, while games like roulette, blackjack and video poker contribute just 8%.
So for example, if you made one deposit for $250 and received your $250 match bonus, you would need to wager $12,500 before the bonus amount would be released into your account. Wagering requirements at casinos vary, and in some cases can be substantially lower than the above example.
Loyalty rewards: Online casinos understand the value of giving their loyal players good reason to come back and continue playing at their site – this is where rewards programs come in. These programs are often comprised of levels which players can climb in order to receive special deposit bonuses, faster withdrawal times or other perks.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Deposits: There are a variety of ways which Canadians can deposit cash into their online casino accounts. Most sites offer the following options:
- Instant banking: UseMyFunds and eCheck
- Bank wire
Withdrawals: When making a withdrawal, online casinos usually credit your original deposit amount back through the method used to make the deposit. If you have won money over that amount, you’ll be able to have it sent through some of the methods mentioned above.
If you encounter problems on your chosen casino site, customer support is there to help. Just like any other online service or web retailer, you can get help through a variety of methods, like email, Skype, text and even through the messaging application WhatsApp. One of the best ways to get your question answered quickly is through a Live Chat feature, which instantly connects you with someone who can help.
While gambling online might seem a little intimidating at first, there is no reason that it should be. Just make sure that you pick a reputable site and be aware of the terms of any bonus money being offered. We hope this guide answered some of your online gambling questions and wish you good luck at the tables!