Let us set the scene for you. It’s late at night, or perhaps it’s just a lazy Saturday afternoon. You’re browsing the web aimlessly, not looking for anything in particular, save for a way to beat the boredom.
Then, all of a sudden, an ad for an online casino flashes before your eyes! Its bright colors and promises of big wins are enough to trigger your curiosity.
But is any of it real? Are online casinos the same as regular walk-in establishments? Are they perhaps worse or better? And most importantly, if you do decide to play in them, are wins at online casinos real?
Luckily for you, we have all the answers you need right here. Keep reading if you want to satisfy your curiosity and see if online casinos may offer a suitable way to pass the time.
What Are Online Casinos?
If you are familiar with what traditional casinos are like, you would have no trouble wrapping your head around their online counterparts.
The word “casino” itself is of Italian origin and refers to a small, typically countryside, house. But according to its Merriam-Webster definition and history, it came to denote a place for entertainment, usually of the gambling variety, in the 18th century. That is the meaning we associate with it today.
So, a casino is an establishment where people can go to gamble. In other words, people flock there to play various casino games, betting, and (hopefully) winning money in the process.
Online casinos are the exact same thing but in a digital format. Instead of seeking a physical casino, you just load it up on your computer or smartphone and play right from the comfort of your own couch.
What Online Casino Games Are There?
Since online casino brands strive to provide the same experience traditional ones do, you can expect to see the same classic casino games there.
- Card games are one of the most well-known types of live dealer casino games. These include blackjack, baccarat, and the mother of all gambling games – poker, among others. Technically, they fall under the category of table games. Pretty much anything that requires a table and a mediator (a croupier) is under this umbrella, including dice games.
- Machine games are also a popular choice. Slots might be the best example in this category. Slot games require the player to pay money to spin the reels of a machine and grant a prize depending on what symbols you land on once the reels stop spinning.
- Then there are also random number games like bingo. These are fairly self-explanatory, as they only require the player to select some numbers and hope for a winning combination.
- Other casino staples like roulette belong to multiple categories at once. Roulette clearly requires a table, but it’s also a game that involves betting on numbers, making it a bit of a hybrid.
Online casinos offer the same types of live casino games. But instead of a person serving as the dealer, croupier, or machine needed for the game, the software has taken on those roles. In fact, entire companies exist to produce casino game software only. These casino game developers create fully-randomized software that emulates the behavior of real casinos, recreating them faithfully in a digital format.
Thus, you can find all variants of poker, roulette, or famous online slots like Gates of Olympus available online. They feel just like the real thing, if not even better!
Do Online Casinos Use Real Money?
As previously mentioned, casino games require you to bet money to play (a.k.a. to gamble). So if you’re spending your hard-earned cash on online casinos, it’s only natural to want to get equally real winnings back, right?
Well, we have good news for you! When you play live in online casinos, you will receive real money back when you win. Why do we focus on the word live? Because if you don’t want to bet real money and just wish to click around and have fun with a casino game, you can simply play its demo.
Demo mode is a simulation that grants players the online casino experience without touching their funds. The demo server gives you a bunch of virtual currency, and you can play with it to your heart’s content. Imagine endless free spins! While the demo is great if you only want the casino experience without the gains, you can’t actually withdraw your winnings. They will be of no more use to you than Monopoly money. However, there are sites that offer a bit of both options.
Are Online Casinos a Scam?
Because gambling requires real money, many players are concerned about the safety of their deposits. Some players trust a game they can see and touch in a physical casino more than they trust software. But why is that?
After all, traditional casinos sometimes employ exploitative tactics to ensure they make more money than they pay out to players. Otherwise, they would go bankrupt! Though all of this is naturally illegal, dealers may trick you, and physical slot machines may be rigged.
Contrary to popular belief, online casinos may actually be safer than walk-in establishments. Each game uses an RNG algorithm to establish an objective rule system. Thanks to this code, games consistently adhere to the same statistical probabilities and provide a fair chance to win to all players.
For example, an online slot cannot be legally hacked or manipulated and always behaves as expected. If the casino attempts to modify the code, it will be committing a crime and getting into all sorts of trouble with the authorities, so it usually doesn’t happen.
So while any online casino obviously has an interest in turning a profit and staying in business, it cannot edit the code of the games it offers. In other words, online casinos do not manipulate their games, and thus cannot be considered a scam.
That being said, not all casinos are created equal. If you gamble at an unregulated casino, you may indeed get scammed! The gambling sector of each country or state has its own special regulations, and you should only bet at casinos with a valid license. Regulated casinos have been independently verified and found capable of paying players their due. As a result, they are your only safe option.
So, is the money you can potentially win at online casinos real? Yes! Whichever casino game you pick, as long as you are playing live (i.e. betting real money), anything you win will also be real. However, getting your precious winnings back into your bank account is a whole different matter.
Additionally, try to only play at licensed casinos. Having all the proper regulations ensures the casino will keep its financial commitments to you and give you access to your winnings. So don’t forget to read through everything carefully, watch out for the fine print, and above anything, have fun!