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Online Gambling

Gambling has been defined as taking a bet on an uncertain outcome – a game of chance for stakes. Online gambling is the general term for gambling over the internet. "Blackjack is the only casino game an amateur can learn to play and at which he can definitely win." Lawrence Revere

According to the Concise Encyclopedia Brittanica, a casino is a “building or room used for gambling. The term originally referred to a public hall for music and dancing but by the late 19th century it had come to denote a gaming house, particularly one in which card and dice games were played. Today casinos are places where gamblers can risk their money against a common gambler (called the banker or house). In the late 1990s internet or online gambling sites permitted players to play casino games such as roulette and blackjack. These virtual casinos offer the option of playing against other players or only against the house.”

There are a variety of online gambling types, which are categorized according to their interface. Web based online casinos are website based casinos that do not require the downloading of any software. The games on these websites require quite a high bandwidth and use browser plugins such as Flash, Shockwave or Java. Download based casinos, as with the majority of South African online casinos, require the download of some software which enables to client to play without compromising their bandwidth. The software connects to the casino service provider without browser support and these online casinos are faster than web based sites. Live and download casinos are now becoming more common, where players are able to interact with actual games

that are being played in a world casino environment. The players are able to see, hear and chat to the dealer and the other players. This innovation has been made possible by the introduction of live video streaming software into the online casino packages.

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1. Many online casinos use amazing bonuses, loyalty programmes, promotions and competitions to attract players to their online gambling websites. As a beginner, make sure that you read and understand the terms and conditions of these offers.

2. A reputable online gambling casino will usually list the payout results of their previous games – this provides a good indication of what can be expected but players should still play those games that will give them the highest payout.

3. Players should make sure that the online casino they are using is in possession of a valid license. Legitimate online casinos usually operate in specific areas, such as Argentina, Israel, Australia, South Africa, Mauritius, Austria, India and Canada and an online casino with a license is more reputable and trustworthy.

4. Any reputable and trustworthy online casino should have an ‘About Us’ or ‘Company Information’ section on their website. The casino should be transparent with regards to their history, management structure and origination. Beginners are encouraged to stay away from those online casinos that are reluctant to divulge company information to their prospective or existing players.

5. Customer Support is integral when using an online casino, as errors and problems do occur. Ensure that the online casino you want to use has a support line available – these can be email, chat or telephone options but the Customer Support information should be clearly displayed on the website.

6. While there are a vast number of online casinos available on the internet, a credible online casino will use software from a reputable software manufacturer, such as Microgaming, Playtech and Real Time Gaming.

7. The Terms and Conditions of Play are also important and should be displayed on the online casino’s website for players to read. Items such as payout clauses, geographic restrictions and other clauses will be listed here and these can differ from online casino to online casino.

Okay, so how do I start gambling online?

One of the best ways of choosing an online casino is to follow the recommendations of an online casino / gambling guide, such as this one. The websites and online casinos recommended have been testes and vetted by the editors of the gambling guide sites.

The first step is to choose an online casino site. Go to the chosen site and click on the ‘Download’ software button that should be on the home page of the gambling site - this will place the software you need to play the games onto your PC. Next click on the ‘Save’ option and select where you want the programme to be saved on your hard drive and once the file has finished transferring select the ‘Open’ button.

This will open up the online casino software on your PC and you will be able to install the programme from here. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes and once this is completed, you will be asked to open an online account at the casino you are visiting.

You will be given a choice of ‘play money’ and ‘real money’ accounts when creating your online casino account. Make your choice and follow the prompts to fill in your personal details, such as name, address, contact details and age (remember you must be over the age of 18 to gamble). The ‘play money’ and ‘real money’ accounts are separate and if you want to move between the accounts, you will need to register them separately.

If you choose to play for ‘real money’, you will need to locate and click on the ‘Cashier’ button in order to add funds to your account. There are a range of secure online banking options which can be used. Most online gambling portals offer welcome or new player bonuses – remember to take these up!

Once you have opened your account and deposited your funds with Cashier, you will now be able to choose a game from the casino’s lobby menu and open this game to play. Once the game has opened you will be able to select the value of your bets and tailor the game according to your budgets and needs. Try to read the rules of the game before playing as this will give you some helpful tips.