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Online Casinos - Internet CasinosOnline casinos simulate the casino games you'll find in most brick-and-mortar gambling establishments. When internet betting first got started, these attempts were basic and not very convincing.

These days, the online casino industry is huge and the software exist to mimic just about any live table game you can imagine. In fact, there is a huge segment of the population that prefers online gambling to playing in a casino.

Online Casino Basics

The online casino has the games you would want to play in a live casino: blackjack, roulette, craps, slot machines, video poker, baccarat, bingo and many more.

Each of these games is designed to simulate the action you'll find in any casino in Las Vegas. Because there is so much competition for customers in internet gambling, if you play at the right internet casinos, you'll find all kinds of good sign-up bonuses and highly competitive payback percentages.

Internet Casinos - Welcome Bonuses

Online casinos almost always have what they call a sign-up bonus or a welcome bonus. The signup bonus is an incentive for gamblers to become new customers of that internet casino. The bonus involves a onetime cash prize for signing up to play at the gaming venue. A casino might offer $100 in casino credit for signing up.

Typically, there are restrictions with the sign-up bonus. A player is expected to wager the bonus a certain number of times before cashing out at the casino. Certain games might not count towards the bonus. Blackjack and video poker, the games with the best payback percentages, are often at the top of the list. Some online casinos restrict the welcome bonus play only to the slot machines, which often pay out less than any other internet game.

One Sign Up Bonus Per Customer

Also, players will be able to sign up once per casino. This is usually enforced with the player's credit card, so only one welcome bonus per credit card.

Even with these restrictions, it pays to look at the welcome bonus plan. Some casinos offer better deals than others, but all of them are offering you money to play at their casino. You're playing with house money, so if you were going to be playing anyway, you might as well take the bonus and take a shot at doubling it.

The Casino Lobby

Most online casinos have a casino lobby. The lobby is simply a place to look at the entire list of games an online casino offers. Once you sign up, you are directed to the casino lobby. This is where you choose which game you will play first. Once you select a game, it is customary to be asked if you want to download the game software or play through your browser.

Online Casino Downloads

Most online casinos offer two playing options. You can either play through your browser or play through downloaded software. Browser-based online gambling is essentially the same as downloadable games, except you use an interface like Flash or Java to play the online casino games.

The main difference is performance time. The downloaded games take extra time to download when you get started, but usually run smoother than online games you'll play in your browser.

If you want to download the software needed for an online table game, simply follow the instructions. Most of the downloaded casino software takes less than five minutes to download and it's usually worth the wait. The leading online casino software companies are Cryptologic, Playtech, Realtime Gaming and Microgaming. You will find most online casinos are powered by online casino software from one of these companies.

Online Casinos vs. Live Casinos

Online casinos have the same games that live casinos use. They even use the same device, the random number generator, to determine if you win. The only difference in the online casino is the lack of live interaction with other people.

To better simulate the live casino experience, online casinos support live chat and instant messaging software. This way, gamblers can interact with other players at their table. Because of the anonymity involved, the internet is great for letting people's eccentricities shine. You'll meet plenty of characters in an online gambling environment.

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Online Slot Machines

There's really no difference between online slots and land-based slot machines. Slots gamblers don't want to interact with casino employees and fellow gamblers. Slots players take up a position in some corner of a casino and start feeding money into the slot machine. This is the same experience you'll get from an online slot machine, except you are sitting in the comfort of your own home.

Online casinos offer a comparable selection to anything you'll find in live casinos, except you have the option of instantly walking away from one casino and finding exactly the game you want in another internet gambling house. Online slot machines are every bit the equal of the brick-and-mortar slots game. Because of the convenience of playing at your computer, some would argue that online slots are superior to casino slots.

Online Blackjack

Online blackjack has begun to gain popularity in the last couple of years, Due to the influence of Texas Holdem tournaments and professional poker in general, online blackjack software designers have been looking for ways to make 21 more fan-friendly on the internet. Their answer is Elimination Blackjack, which is played in a tournament style. Players sit at a blackjack table and play hands of 21. Every so often, though, the player with the smallest stack of chips is eliminated.

Elimination Blackjack tournaments have become a big part of the online blackjack scene. In most online casinos, though, players are offered the classic blackjack format. Unless you're a talkative sort at the blackjack table, online blackjack simulates the live blackjack experience pretty well.

Online Craps

Craps is the hardest casino table game to simulate in an online casino environment. That's because craps is a social game. Everyone at the table often bets on the same outcome. Therefore, everyone at the craps table has a reason to cheer for one another. When one wins, most of the other people at the table win.

It's hard to simulate the kind of camaraderie that exists in a live craps setting. Online casinos do their best to simulate a craps table, with instant messaging and forums to discuss your wins and losses at craps. For players that love a chatty game of craps, you might try some of the more active online craps tables. The game itself is exactly the same. Whether you come away satisfied with online craps action is a matter of preference.

Online Roulette

Online roulette isn't much different than live roulette. In fact, because you aren't manipulating real chips over a table with lots of different nuanced bets, you might find the online roulette experience easier to follow than the live casino version. Play the European roulette games, if the online casino gives you the choice.

Online Video Poker

Online video poker is like online slots. The game simulates the live video poker experience quite well. Both games use a random number generator to determine whether you win or not. Neither requires an audience. If you like live video poker, you'll like online video poker.

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