The following selection of online casino sites offering real wagering is composed of a select few. In order to make our recommendation list, all casinos must meet our minimum requirements, which include (but are not limited to), an active betting operator license in good standing, an independently audited software platform confirming inherent fairness and proper RNG operation, 24/7 customer service center, bonus offers with transparent terms and conditions, player loyalty program and an overall solid reputation with players and affiliates. Updated on 11/19/2014.
Fun Money Casinos vs. Real Money Casinos
Having the distinction of being called "online casinos for real money", this page suggests there are "online casinos for fake money" floating about the World Wide Web. The more common way of putting it, however, would be "online casinos for fun money" or even "practice money". Most online casinos actually offer both. In fact, it's actually not a good idea to play at an online casino that does not offer both options.
The main purpose behind having a "fun money" practice software platform is to get players excited about the games offered, not to mention the online casino itself. It's the perfect bait, is it not? From the player's perspective, this is a great opportunity to become familiar with the platform and to decide whether you like the graphics and navigability. Granted, online casinos of the same software platform, generally look alike and will practically always offer the same games; However, the speed of the connection and responsiveness of the customer service team can all be engaged with the fun money software platform.
It's important to choose wisely when deciding which online casinos you will wager at with real money. That's precisely what the above table is provided for. The fact is that not all online casinos are as transparent as they could be. In other words, if an online casino is not receiving the proper regulation and ongoing audits, there is a possibility that they could be ripping off players, which in this context of this article, could amount to offering great odds on the fun money software platform and not-so-good odds on the real money platform.
By sticking with those online casinos powered by third-party certified software guaranteeing a properly programmed and functioning Random Number Generator (which randomly determines the outcome of wagers based on payout percentage parameters), as well as receiving ongoing audit checks to reconcile wagers made with payouts made, players are ensuring they will be the fairest hand possible, and consequently, the best return on their real money wagers.
When this is the case,
the odds of the fun money platform are
precisely the same as those programmed into
the real money platform. Therefore, if a
certain slot is feeling "loose" to you on
the fun money version (although I personally
don't buy into the notion of loose and tight
machines), you should get the same feeling
on the real money platform.
Incentives for Playing at Real Money Online Casinos
Real Money Bonuses
Besides offering a fair hand, the best online casinos for real money offer bonus incentives for making a real money deposit. Some will even offer a no-deposit bonus, in effect giving you real money to wager without having to make a deposit of your own.
One of the catches is that you will eventually be required to make a deposit if you want to withdraw real money winnings. Another catch is that no-deposit bonuses always have maximum cashout limits. That means if you hit a jackpot of $20,000 while having not fully met the wager requirements imposed by a no-deposits bonus (which often includes having to actually process your first-time withdrawal, thereby clearing the bonus money), even after making a deposit of your own, you will only be entitled to cash out the maximum amount allowed for the bonus. This is generally for no more than $250. Big difference between that and $20,000 eh?
Sometimes a no-deposit bonus is worth the taking. Just be sure you always read the full terms and conditions before claiming the bonus and making any real money wagers.
Of those no-deposit bonuses that don't have withdrawal caps, you can bet these won't be around for long. You can also bet they won't be for a large amount either. Most no-deposit bonuses at real money online casinos don't surpass the $10 mark. The fact of the matter is that no online casino can keep giving away non-conditional free money without any risk to the player and expect to stay in business.
Now, if you already have a bankroll that you would like to beef up for gambling at online casinos for real money, it would be in your interests to shop around for a welcome bonus. Depending on the online casino, you can start gambling with more than double your bankroll. The catch on these is that you are required to make a real money deposit in order to receive the bonus from the get go, and are further constrained to wagering the combined value of the deposit and bonus before receiving a cashout of winnings earned as a direct result of playing the bonus. The bonus money itself can never be cashed out, and will simply be deducted at the time of cashing out. All in all, however, a match bonus is a valuable tool in riding out for that lucky moment.
This can sound overwhelming to a newbie online gambler, yet it's imperative that you always read the full terms and conditions of a bonus before claiming it, not to mention the general terms and conditions of the online casino itself. Again, all of the online casinos for real money listed in the chart above offer transparent real money bonus offers, provide a fair hand, and have garnished solid reputations for providing excellent customer service and reliable payouts.
Real Money Progressive Jackpots
Another incentive for playing at real money online casinos is, quite simply, that you can indeed become a millionaire - and you don't even have to spend thousands of dollars trying to do so, although that will certainly improve your chances. There are several progressive jackpot networks out there, many of which have games with accumulated jackpots in the millions, including all of those casinos mentioned in the chart above. Some jackpots are larger than others, whereas sometimes it is the software developer that owns many online casinos networked into the same jackpot (Vegas Technology, Rival Gaming, Playtech), while in other cases it is simply two or three sister online casino destinations linked by a mutual progressive jackpot. More online casinos under one roof, however, does not always equate to a larger progressive jackpot network. It is the size and quality of each individual online casino that directly impacts the size of the real money progressive jackpot network.
Real Money Online Casino Tournaments
Last but not least, it is the prospect of participating in and winning a real money tournament that makes online casinos accepting real money wagers worth a go. In similar fashion to poker tournaments, there is great opportunity to win large amounts of cash and bonus money with less risk on one's bankroll. Especially in pot-percentage tournaments, where the value of the pot is dependant on how many players take part in the tournament, winnings can grow hefty. The casino simply takes a cut in the form of an entry fee and essentially leaves the players to duke it out. Now of course, there's the possibility that a casino employee is logged into a master account on the backend and beating out all the real players, which we all saw happen with the Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker cheating scandals. Hence, precisely why you should only stick to regulated and certified real money online casinos like those listed above.
The online casino tournaments like those offered at Go Casino/Online Vegas/Crazy Slots and the English Harbour Network (Vegas Technology) are some of the largest tournaments offering minimum guaranteed winnings. That's because they are some of the most popular real money online casinos in operation today (especially with U.S. players) to begin with. The more players consistently participating and paying entry fees, the greater the guaranteed winnings. At online casinos like those just mentioned, these tournaments often get over $400,000 in guaranteed monthly winnings, and cover everything from slots (mainly), blackjack, video poker and even Roulette (English Harbour network). Entry fees are typically under $10 with re-buys of equal value. Some tournaments are also freerolls, which do not have an entry fee, but impose buy-ins (the casino has to get its cut somehow). In other words, you still need some real money of your own if you want to stay in the game.
Each re-buy will earn you a certain amount of credits, i.e., spins on the slot machine, which is likely more than what you will get playing quarter slots in a non-tournament environment. When all is said, the players with the greatest winnings will be paid out according to the tournament rules.
For more tips on how to get the most advantage out of online casinos for real money, as well as articles and news covering the leading real money betting destinations, please see the links below.
Real Money Online Gambling Tips:
Stretch Your Bankroll With Free Bonus Cash - For smaller bankrolls, free bonus cash is ideal. The best real money casinos provide thousands in free bonus money on the first deposit alone - often awarding players with more than three times their actual deposit. While there will always be wagering restrictions and a play-through requirement attached to free bonus money, if used with sound bankroll management and strategy, bonuses will help to get through the highs and lows that often befall one's gambling session.
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