Recommended Online Casinos
As is stands, playing casino games stands up in the top five ways to get a hefty dose of entertainment. Sure it costs, but so does every way to get entertained. At least in an online casino there are chances to win some money too!
If you’re prepared to enjoy some gaming action and have the spare cash to risk, you’ll want to be getting the most for your money, know it’s safe & legit, and be sure you can get your winnings out – plus a whole host of other factors involved in placing a casino into recommended, top or best online casino lists.
Unless you’ve already studied a toplist, chosen a casino, and are happily playing where you know you’re already getting the best you can, you’ll want to know what the options are. Or more specifically, who they are.
This is where a best casinos list and recommendations guides come in. There are a number of elements to consider that go into making an online casino a recommended one, with all of them worthy of consideration before taking the plunge and putting money in.
They’re the same whether you’re in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, South Africa or anywhere else in Europe or the rest of the world.
On this page we’ll be listing a small but select group of highly rated and recommended online casinos (they’re just below), and reviewing the individual pieces of the puzzle. We’ll end up with a comprehensive guide that results in you being in a good position to get a high quality experience.
As a starter, here’s a video from Casinomeister which goes through the elements of choosing an online casino. Most of these elements fall into the ‘trust factors’ bracket on which recommendations are best based.
Two Recommended Casinos
Here’s the RealMoney.Games list of online casino recommendations. If you’re going to gamble with real money online – and on casino games specifically – these are the operators that meet all or most of the recommended criteria laid out further below.
- Liberty Slots
First up is Liberty Slots, with their website at libertyslots.com. The site is fully responsive, offering great entertainment if you’re out and about with a mobile device.
One way of getting the most out of your playing time and bankroll in a casino is to take part in slots tournaments. For a set buy in fee, you’ll get the chance to win valuable prizes and limit your losses at the same time. Liberty slots tournaments are well known in the industry, with daily, weekly, and monthly contests all on offer.
- Grand Parker Casino
Mobile Casinos that are available to USA citizens are pretty rare, which is one of the most unique things about Grand Parker. In addition to the availability of an iPhone app, and the ability to play casino games on an Android, using the instant play website, Grand Parker is also one of the easiest online casinos available for making deposits.
Live chat is available 24 hours a day using a link located in the top right hand corner of Grand Parker’s website, as well as from inside of the casino’s software.
The Elements Of A Recommended Casino
Right. Let’s start off with a list of the elements you’ll need to be thinking about:
- Trust – How safe is your money? Is the casino regulated and fully licensed? Is it on multiple trusted lists?
- Fairness – Are the games fair? Is the casino regularly audited by independent monitoring bodies to ensure fair gaming? Can you actually win money? Are payout percentages reasonable?
- Ease Of Use – Is the website laid out well, and in an intuitive, easy to use format?
- Software & Games – Does the casino offer a wide choice of games and fast, high quality graphics? Are games instant-play? Are there live dealer games?
- Legality & Availability – Where do you live? UK? US? Australia? Canada? Can you play legally? – And does the casino offer gaming to players in your region?
- Blacklisted? – Is the casino on a rogue list?
- Reviews & Ratings – Do published reviews speak in good terms? Are ratings consistent across multiple respected review websites? Does the operator appear in a number of best casino lists?
- Bonuses & Promotions – Is there a good programme of welcome and reload bonuses? Are additional promotions regular and worth attention?
- Deposits & Withdrawals – Is it easy for me to deposit cash, and get it out when I want it? Can you deposit in your local currency? Is there a reasonable pending time for withdrawal requests?
- Payouts – Are payout times reasonable?
- Free Games – Are free play games available?
- Mobile Games – Does the website look good and intuitive on a mobile? Can I actually play the games on a smartphone or tablet?
- Freshness & Innovation – Does the casino regularly offer new games? Is it up to date and offers a full compliment of any innovations in games over recent times?
- History – Is their a long history, or are you about to play at a new, untested casino? Can you see the established date?
- Customer Support & Complaints – What’s the response like to my queries?
- Transparency – Are terms & conditions easy to find, and easy to understand? Does the website have an about page that clearly shows status of licensing and regulation? Are payout percentages published?
- Current Reputation – Do recent reviews uphold and cement an already well rated casinos reputation?
Many of these are interchangeable to some point of course. For example being known as a trusted casino involves covering may of the other factors well, and certainly the prospect of finding a casino on a top 10, top 50, or top 100 list means they’ll almost certainly be covering many or all of the factors at a suitably high level.
Is Your Money Safe & Secure, & Are The Games Fair? How do I tell if the casino regularly audited by independent monitoring bodies?
Trust indicators are one of the most important factors to watch for. The key aspect of playing casino games is in winning or losing money, so what’s the poiny of playing if you feel you’re being cheated or your cash isn’t safe.
There are a few things to watch for that will help build this feeling of trust:
- Is it licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission or another similar well known licensing body such as the Gambling Commission for the UK, or the Gibraltar Gambling Commission for other countries? Any casino licensed in Alderney or the Isle Of Man also stands on firm ground.
- Is it audited by recognised external auditors to ensure fair play and randomness in its random number generators?
- Does it have a strong industry reputation and history, and financial stability? For instance, a publicly traded casino is likely to be more financially stable than a fly-by-night casino that’s just opened up, with no certification, no history, and no transparency.
- Does it have clearly marked areas of the site showing responsible gambling information? Does it offer ways for Customers to set spending limits or self exclude from playing?
- Does it spam players, or use false/misleading advertising?
- Are terms and conditions easily found and spelled out? Make sure that you read the terms and conditions on every online casino site you visit. These are usually posted on the website, or are displayed as the casino software is downloaded. If these are written poorly, the casino should be avoided.
One way to find out if a casino is fair – and you do actually have a chance to win money – is to read reviews, another is to check out reports on independent player protection sites like eCogra or Casinomeister.
Ecogra is the independent standards authority of the online gaming industry.
Casinomeister is the well known online casino watchdog which maintains lists of recommended sites which meeting ethical criteria, along with rogue sites too. It also carries a useful complaints forum. Casinomeister’s accredited casinos list is a great place to start if you have a casino on your list.
Both these bodies focus on important aspects of fairness like payout percentages.
Ease Of Use
Is the website laid out well, and in an intuitive, easy to use format?
Casino websites can often have so many elements that are vying for attention that navigating is difficult. You’ll normally get a feeling for this within seconds of landing on a page, and we all react differently on different pages.
Presentation of web pages is big business though and the internet has been running ling enough now for website developers to understand the elements that make a page easy to use.
With all the money behind them, you can expect any worhwhile online casino to have made heavy investment into presenting easy to use websites with intuitive navigation.
We’ve seen that it’s the software that drives game performance and the range of game types. So it stands that software will be one of the main recommendation factors.
Casino games are supplied to the industry by a long list of software development companies, and as you’d expect, the quality on offer varies wildly.
Most recommended casinos will be running on software supplied by the big 6 – Netent, Rival Gaming, RTG Casinos, Playtech, Cryptologic, and Microgaming – although you’ll be missing out if you limit yourself to these only. There are others that give a great experience.
It’s not easy to recommend one developer of online casino software over another, you’ll find that personal taste often comes into the equation. For example, Bovada Casino’s Caribbean Stud may have a look and feel significantly different than the one at 32 Red. You may prefer one version over the other, they’ll both play the same, but other factors are more likely to influence any decision to register and play at either one.
A few things you do want to watch out for are graphics and sound quality, and especially speed.
Game Availability In Recommended Online Casinos
Quality of gaming software is important, but an element you may find more important is that of the range of games. You may have read about – and want to try out – a new slots title, a some innovative version of video poker or blackjack.
It’s true that no one casino is likely to have every game or game version under the sun, but one on a recommended list is likely to have a varied selection.
There are plenty of options, as you can see from these examples of different types of Blackjack:
Recommended Casinos for Blackjack Players
If you’re a blackjack afficianado, you’ll likely know that there are some restrictions when it comes to claiming and clearing bonuses playing your game at online casinos. This may be a major factor when searching for new places to play.
You may also want somewhere offering multiple variations of blackjack, along with the best odds of winning for blackjack players and the best RTP figures.
So as an example, and taking a number of our other factors into account, for some variations of Blackjack you’ll end up with a recommended list that looks something like this:
Best/Top Blackjack Surrender Casinos
• William Hill
Recommended Live Dealer Blackjack Casinos
• William Hill
Best Casino for Blackjack game variety
Betfair Casino is recommended for all of the following types of blackjack:
• Blackjack Switch
• Blackjack Surrender
• Half Double Blackjack
• Pick’em Blackjack
• Zero Blackjack
Legality & Availability – Can You Play?
The subject of legality in online gambling is a huge one, with in some cases no clear answers for many of us. UK based, European, and Australian online casinos are well known for their diligence in abiding by national gambling standards and laws.
However, if you live in a location where online gambling is illegal, it may prove extremely difficult to find a trusted location.
There’s no point in reading through a list of recommendations that spell out what sounds like a great set of online casinos, only to find out you can’t play either because it’s not legal or even just isn’t available to players in your region.
There are a couple of ways round the problem.
One is to be aware in advance whether online gambling is legal for you. The other is to seek out recommended lists that clearly show which casinos are legal for which country residents.
If it is legal for you to play, finding out whether games are open to you from your region pretty much boils down to checking on the site. It’s rare for a casino to make its games available worldwide, so there are always going to be some regions which are out of luck.
Blacklisted? – Is the casino on a rogue list?
There are some valuable sites for finding blacklisted casinos.
You’re very unlikely to find a blacklisted casino on a recommended list, although it’s worth being aware that one of the reasons you might is if that list is not up to date. This can lead to a situation where a once trusted casino has broken some rules of engagement and ended up with a bad reputation.
If a casino is blacklisted somewhere it’s normally because it’s either failed to pay an account holder, used various forms of untrustworthy practices, or has predatory terms and conditions.
Reviews & Ratings
Reading reviews and real user recommendations is always worthwhile before making any decision that’s going to cost money, and it’s no different for choosing an online casino. Fortunately there are dozens, if not hundreds of sites all clamouring to show trustworthy reviews.
The difficulty is in weeding out the best of them, and those which show real player recommendations as opposed to fake ones.
Sometimes it’s easier on these sites to find info about rogue casinos that you can clearly not trust than it can be about finding the good ones, but one website in particular that you can trust (because it’s filled with real user reviews) is latestcasinobonuses.com.
Bonus Offers & Promotions
Sitting in the top 4 most important elements of casino gaming – alongside the casinos themselves, their trustworthiness, and the games – comes the subject of bonuses and promotions.
Often interchangeable – after all a bonus is a type of promotion – these are big news for most casino gamers. Any toplist needs to cover them, and any shortlist you end up with will have them as major factors.
Loyalty & VIP Programs
Most respected casinos will run special programs to reward their players for holding accounts. If you’re going to play regularly then any recommended casino should offer one or more of these rewards programs.
The most popular are based on loyalty and work by giving players cash or redeemable points for playing regularly. VIP programmes are similar though tend to favour the big spenders.
If you’re a regular slots player, it may pay to watch out for slots clubs where the focus is on rewards for spinning reels to your heart’s content.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Is it easy for you to deposit cash, and get it out when you want it? Can you deposit in your local currency? Is there a reasonable pending time for withdrawal requests?
Most lists of top casinos will only contain names where you’re unlikely to face any deposit or withdrawal issues. Certainly from the perspective of actually seeing the money in your account after a deposit or withdrawal.
Where the problems might be more apparent though are in identifying ways of making those transactions.
For this you need to make sure that the deposit option you need is available. Fortunately the options for making deposits are normally well documented on any operators website, and plentiful too. There are very few reasons why at least one of the deposit options shouldn’t be suitable.
Certainly you’ll want credit card and Paypal deposit methods, along with a host of other wallet type or standard banking account options.
There are two main perspectives to payouts – whether you’ll get your money at all, and how long it takes to get it after a withdrawal request.
Fortunately the first named is rare, though stuff to look out for includes rogue casinos that just don’t payout, or others that find reasons not to pay.
Those reasons can catch you out. The general rule is don’t break any terms and conditions. Examples include signing up if you’re under legal ages and/or registering multiple accounts.
Recommended lists will focus on those operators that:
• Pay out winnings on request and as fast as required
• Don’t actively look for bogus reasons to avoid making a payout, for example suggesting a player has multiple accounts, false name etc where clearly they have satisfied the rules.
• Don’t hold back payment of winnings for vague reasons without citing specific violations of Ts & Cs
• Pay out big jackpots in reasonable volumes
Does the website look good and intuitive on a mobile? Can you actually play the games on a smartphone or tablet?
Since the market has seen such staggering growth for smartphones and iPad type devices, many casino operators have revamped their sites so that they become responsive and present the best view depending on the device being used.
So the term ‘mobile games’ doesn’t exactly mean games played while mobile (although they are), but really describes how the games are presented.
These days it’s rare to find a well regarded site that does not cater fully for mobile players.
Freshness & Innovation
Does the casino regularly offer new games?
Playing the same games day after day can soon become repetitive and slightly boring. I say slightly because the prospect of winning is always an extra incentive that keeps us playing the same games.
But new stuff is always interesting. That’s why the software firms are constantly creating new slots titles, and to a lesser extent new variations of existing well known games.
Any recommended casino will at least have half an eye on bringing new games to its players, or at a minimum bringing some innovative promotions or bonus offers. Most will offer various live dealer games too.
Is their a long history, or are you about to play at a new, untested casino? Can you see the established date?
A long history isn’t everything in the casino world, but it does go a long way to telling you whether you may have any problems.
It’s clear that if you play at a casino with a 5,10, or 15 year history, you’re getting a tried and trusted service. Most rogue casinos will go out of business fairly quickly…or close down and reopen with a different name.
Customer Support & Complaints – What’s the response like to my queries?
Personally I’ve never had any problems getting support when things go wrong, but when problems do occur you’re going to want fast access to someone who can help, multiple ways of getting that help, and accurate responses that solve the issue quickly.
To achieve this doesn’t necessarily mean live chat support, though that helps. If you get responses to email within a few minutes for important issues, that should do the trick just as well.
What is worth paying attention to is whether the support is easily contactable, for example clearly marked on the website. The reality is that in house support teams are often more reliable, although not all outsourced solution are not.
Are terms & conditions easy to find, and easy to understand? Does the website have an about page that clearly shows status of licensing and regulation?
Transparency means nothing to hide – a well written about page plus clearly signposted terms and conditions added to clear information on licensing and regulation spells out that the operator is confident in the experience they offer.
Many services can gain great reputations and drop off over time. It’s not always easy to be consistent and the are many reasons why an operator could drop the ball.
If you checked out glowing reviews of a casino in 2014 or 2015 – but perhaps didn’t register at the time – there’s no real guarantee you’ll be getting more of the same in 2016 or 2017.
Be sure to carry out some searches into recent history – reviews, blacklists etc.
As a native English speaker, this wouldn’t be a problem for me. The majority of online casinos are presented in English.
But for a non English speaker this is clearly an important consideration. Many casinos do provide support for multiple languages, but not all and probably you’ll have to shop around a little to find a trusted one that covers your language.
This is a pretty comprehensive guide to choosing – and getting – the best possible experience. However it’s always useful to get other opinions. There are many other ways to get good info other than just searching Google for ‘best casinos websites’.
One of the most useful is to use question and answer sites. These often have some good advice, in particular Yahoo Answers and Quora both have a number of useful answers to the ‘what’s the best online casino’ question.
It’s no secret that casino games are among the worst opportunities for winning money online – the house edge that’s there in every type of game will mean that more often than not you’ll end up down on your cash.
If you’re keen to play casino games it’s wise to stop and take a deep breath before piling in.
You’ll want to be starting out with a calm, clear head, a strong understanding of games and how online casinos work, and knowing some ways to get the maximum levels of entertainment from the money you put in.
Decide how much you’re comfortable with losing (or paying for your entertainment), study the risks, and you’ll be in a good position to go.
Now all you’ll need is to known that where you’re playing is the best choice.
Online casino recommendations are a great place to start!