Ever since the Parisian elites and Venice Carnival-goers decided to create special ‘casinos’ to house the gambling that people got up to at grand parties, there’s been 2 sets of rules at play.
The first set is the kind of rules you find in books. If you know them well, you’ve got an edge over the other players. If you don’t know them at all, the dealer will have your shirt. Luckily when it comes to Online Gambling, Rules are posted on the websites, and a quick Google will also usually point you towards an unbiased guide to how to play each game you find.
The second set is harder to pin down. Its the red velvet rope that separates the Baccarat table from the rest of the floor. The how and the why of who gets to shoot craps or which tables the waitresses bring the complimentary cocktails to. Just because the world of gambling has moved Online, doesn’t mean there are any fewer of these hidden rules governing the world of Online Gambling. Here’s our insider guide to what you need to know.
- Rules change from casino to casino
The biggest and most obvious of the online gambling rules – read the Terms and Conditions. There are an insane number of gambling sites out there and not one of them has copy-pasted their terms and conditions from another. So many people have got burned this way! At a bare minimum, make sure you’re aware of the rules around withdrawal BEFORE you deposit!
- Bonuses aren’t simply free money
They can be, if you pick your bonuses carefully and get luckier than most. Read our guides to Online No Deposit Bonuses here – and our guide to Online Deposit Bonuses here. Bonuses are one of the first ways you’ll see these hidden online gambling rules come into play. Like all online gambling rules, they aren’t simply not spoken about, the site has to post them, legally, but they’ll be hidden in the fine print next to the big sign saying ‘FREE CASH!.
- The house always wins in the end, unless you walk away when you’re ahead
This rule is summed up in our article about strategy in online gambling. Even the most lucrative casino games have a house edge (see our article about the best online casino games for more). If you keep playing, you’ll eventually lose the whole stack. It’s just mathematically guaranteed by the odds the casino gives you. The Golden rule for making money Online Gambling is to walk away when you’re up. Don’t think its a hot streak and waste the winnings you could have kept. Set a time limit, or a maximum win total, and take your winnings with you.
- Slots have a bigger house edge than other games like blackjack
96% is the rate of return of the best slot machines out there. That means for every $100 spent playing on that machine, you should expect to get $96 back, if you played perfectly. Games like blackjack and online video poker have a bit more skill to them, but once you’ve learned how to play successfully, you’ll have an expected return of more like $98 or $99, which means you’re just a lucky hand or two away from being able to walk away in profit.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This online gambling rule really explains why all of the other ones exist. We’re too proud to risk looking like we don’t know what we’re doing! Everyone wants to seem cool, calm and collected, like gambling for money doesn’t affect them and they’re always having a good time. But the Online Casinos have to spend a lot of time and money setting up helplines and 24/7 chat bots to make sure players have support. Most of the time that’s about admin and payment etc, but they can help with rules of the game, suggest games you might prefer or other advice you might need. Being able to do this relatively anonymously is one of the great benefits of Online Gambling!
- Start small, manage risk
Just because you saw Danny Ocean and his friends throwing tens of thousands down on one spin of the Roulette wheel, doesn’t mean you should! One of the Online Gambling Rules that few people realise works in their favour is how small a bet you can make. Making tiny bets on games with fixed odds just helps you get to grips with the games that are out there, without risking all you’ve got. When you’re comfortable and feel you can take on the house, you can always up the stakes!
- It is possible to play for free – just don’t expect to win anything
Something that’s not an Online Gambling Rule is ‘there’s no such thing as a free play’ – one of the many different kinds of bonuses is “free play”. It’s not exactly free money – usually, the terms and conditions make it so difficult for you to withdraw anything you won during a free play session that it’s as good as Monopoly Money to you. But what free play does do is give you a chance to try all the games of a casino for free, and get to grips with how the site works in real life, not just based on their ads!
- Reporting your winnings might be required where you live
One of those online gambling rules that nobody in the online gambling industry thought of – make sure you declare your winnings if you’re supposed to do that! It depends on where you live, the US certainly requires its citizens to report any big wins to the Tax Man.
- Some sites are better than others
Just like some real casinos are just…shady, some sites are not the kinds of places that you want to trust your money to. Make sure you check review sites like CrazyAboutCasino.com to get player feedback on how trustworthy a site is before you give them your hard earned cash!
Know any more unspoken Online Gambling Rules? Let us know!