Tips on how to play at online casinos with real money

  • One of the best tips for playing at an online casino with real money is to pick a trusted site.
  • You should also make sure to protect your privacy and personal info when playing at online casinos.
  • Another thing you should know is that you can get real money bonuses just for signing up.
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Playing at an online casino with real money doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.

Once you get the hang of it, it is actually quite simple and very rewarding. In fact, a lot of regular web casino players find that they prefer this format over going to a bricks-and-mortar casino.

What makes playing internet casino games so appealing is not just the convenience factor (being able to gamble from home in your underwear), but also the variety on display. Not only are there tons of different games to try out, but many real money websites specialize in one type of game more than others.

For example, say you are into poker. Well, there are entire websites dedicated solely to that one game! If slot machines are your vice, you’ll be happy to learn there are hundreds of sites offering thousands upon thousands of reel spinning opportunities.

Another plus to playing at online casinos is that most offer free versions of their games. This allows you to familiarize yourself with a particular title before putting any real money down.

So, if you’ve always been curious about how to play at an online casino with real money, then read on below as we lay out some top tips!

Pick a Trusted Site to Play at an Online Casino with Real Money

This is perhaps the single most important bit of advice to keep in mind when getting ready to play at an online casino with real cash.

Of course, all these websites will proclaim themselves to be the most trustworthy around. They will post logos from third-party auditors who have certified their games as fair and such.

Yes, these seals are important to look out for; everyone should strive to earn them. Still, you’ll want to do a little extra digging to ensure the site in question is not cooking the books when it comes to payouts and win percentages.

One way to go about this is to search the web for independent reviews of the site in question.

Ideally, you are looking for a place that has mostly positive feedback from users. Of course, no online casino is going to have nothing but perfect marks; there will always be a couple of detractors here and there.

If you notice a lot of bad reviews across multiple platforms, it could be a red flag. It is especially concerning if similar complaints pop up over and over. For example, if half a dozen reviewers allege the same shady practice, well, that don’t look good.

Here’s the truth: there are plenty of safe and reputable online casinos where you can play with real money. See our list of the to get started on the right foot!

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Use Reliable Payment Methods

You will, of course, need to fund your online gaming account before you start betting real money. When you do, be sure to use a reliable payment method.

There is a good chance the site in question will offer a range of options to choose from. These might include credit cards—Visa and MasterCard being the most common—or debit cards.

You could also load up on prepaid cards specifically designed for gaming purposes. There are even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum accepted at various sites. Lastly, online banking and e-wallets (PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, etc.) are other ways to move funds back and forth.

It stands to reason that whichever payment method you choose , you want to make sure it is secure and reliable. After all, you don’t want to deposit funds into your account only to find out you can’t access them.

Additionally, you absolutely do not want to run the risk of having your private information stolen by nefarious actors. Unfortunately, identity theft is still a major problem in today’s world; therefore, it pays to be careful.

To that end, it might be wise to avoid using checking accounts or credit/debit cards at online casinos. Some users have complained that it can take weeks to gain access to those funds after placing a deposit.

In rare cases, users have reported not being able to recover their funds at all! Obviously, that would be less than ideal when you are . 

When possible, we recommend the use of e-wallets and cryptocurrencies as the best and safest way to deal in real money at an online casino.

Remember, the whole point is to have fun and potentially make a few bucks. Losing money is never enjoyable, but it can be downright crushing if your bank account gets hacked in the process.

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Speaking of money, check out the following guide if you’re interested in learning how to make more of it by betting on the NFL and other sports.

Take Advantage of Signup Bonuses

Ok, so now that you have picked out a reputable website and set up your account, it is time to start doing some damage. By damage, of course, we mean placing smart bets and having a good time—not recklessly wasting your money!

One nice perk of most online gaming sites is that they offer signup bonuses to new customers. Essentially, these are sums of real money provided by the casino to encourage you to stay awhile.

Most often, these bonuses come in the form of “match” offers. Let’s say you sign up and the site offers to match your first deposit 100%. If you put $50 into your account, the casino will kick in another $50. Now, you have $100 to work with.

These sorts of deals are too good to pass up, so be sure to take advantage when available.

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As with any promotion, however, it is important to familiarize yourself with any strings attached. For instance, you may have to wager the bonus a certain number of times before you can cash out your winnings.

Let’s say you win $200 while playing on that $50 deposit. If the site stipulates you must wager the bonus amount five times before cashing out, that means you would need to make five bets totaling $250. Only after that can you withdraw your original $50 deposit and your winnings.

Do keep in mind that you typically do not have to pay taxes on casino winnings unless they exceed a certain threshold. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), non-cash prizes and casino gifts worth more than $1200 must be reported.

Cash wins of more than $1200 must also be reported; however, they are only taxable if the total amount won in a year exceeds $16,000. Moreover, wins from slots and other games are taxable, but non-cash prizes from skill games (like backgammon) are not.

You can read more about gambling winnings and reporting requirements by heading to the IRS website.

Protect Your Privacy and Personal Information

We touched on this a bit earlier, but it cannot be overstated: protecting your personal information is crucial when playing at online casinos with real money. Sadly, identity theft is a very real threat in 2023, and you do not want to make things easy for the bad guys.

First and foremost, make sure you are only dealing with reputable websites. As discussed previously, it is a good idea to heed the wisdom of independent reviews and user feedback.

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Additionally, you should make sure you are well-versed regarding a site’s privacy policies. What steps does the website in question take to protect customer data? Are measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to your personal details? Can you control what sort of information the site shares with outside entities?

Another smart tactic is to use unique login information for your online gaming account. Ideally, you want to avoid using the same username and password combinations you utilize for other sites and apps. In other words, do not make it easy for ne’er-do-wells to access all your personal info in one fell swoop.

Finally, be wary of any phishing scams that might come your way. Sometimes, shady operators will send emails that appear to be from legitimate enterprises. Their goal is to trick you into providing sensitive information (social security numbers, bank account details, etc.).

If you receive an email or pop-up message that seems suspect, it is best to err on the side of caution. Delete the correspondence and alert the actual company (via phone or their official website) if you are a loyal customer.

Learn Basic Strategy for Various Games Before You Play Them With Real Money

This next tip does not apply to every online casino game; nonetheless, it is an important one to keep in mind. Specifically, we are talking about card games like blackjack and various forms of table poker.

Unlike slot machines or most table games, card titles require a certain element of skill. Sure, luck plays a role in determining whether you win or lose any given hand. That said, a strong understanding of fundamental strategy can make a huge difference in the long run.

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Now, you probably think that you must have a savant-level grasp of advanced tactics to turn the tables on Lady Luck. However, that is not necessarily the case.

Fundamental strategy involves a series of relatively simple decisions you can make based on the cards in front of you. Adherence to these principles does not guarantee profit; nobody can promise such a thing in the casino realm. What fundamental strategy can do, however, is narrow the house edge to a bare minimum.

Essentially, by playing correctly, you are removing human error from the equation. Instead of making decisions based on gut feelings or half-remembered tidbits, you are reacting to each hand in the optimal manner. Thus, you give yourself the best possible opportunity to beat the dealer (or your opponents) on a consistent basis.

Does that mean you will never suffer a losing session again? No; of course, not. Everyone loses from time to time in the world of gambling. What basic strategy can do is tilt the odds more in your favor.

Ultimately, that is all you can ask for when dropping real money bets at an online casino.

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If you are interested in learning more about blackjack fundamentals, we have the perfect article for you!

Do Not Get Drunk or High While Playing at Online Casinos

This might seem like an odd suggestion, considering most people tend to imbibe alcohol or partake in recreational drugs to relax and destress. We are certainly not saying you cannot enjoy your favorite intoxicants while playing at an online casino with real money!

That said, drinking or getting high can impair your judgment and lead to rash decisions. When betting with fake chips at a low-stakes game, such mistakes are rarely catastrophic. Nevertheless, poor choices can become more costly when real dollars are on the line.

Perhaps you misread a hand or fail to consider all factors before placing your bet. Such lapses are far more likely to occur when your inhibitions are lowered.

Moreover, drinking or doing drugs can lead to compulsive behavior and poor impulse control. Maybe you tell yourself you will stop playing after a small loss; yet, once the booze kicks in, you forget your initial plan. Before you know it, you have lost triple digit figures without even realizing what hit you.

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Nobody wants to wake up with a pounding headache and an empty bankroll. To prevent such scenarios from unfolding, it might be wise to abstain from mind-altering substances while playing at online casinos with real money.

If that seems like too much of a bummer, maybe just have a strict “one drink” policy. Or, better yet, eschew booze and chemicals altogether and approach your online gambling sessions with a clear head. Trust us; your bank account will thank you.

Besides, you can still have a blast playing at online casinos without getting wasted. It is possible to have fun and potentially win some cash without resorting to extreme measures.

Our reminds all gamblers to set limits for themselves regarding both time and money. When you establish these boundaries ahead of time, you can have a great time without falling victim to bad habits.

Do Not Spend More Than You Can Afford to Lose

We cannot stress this point enough: you should only bet money at an online casino that you can afford to lose.

Some folks view visiting the casino (online or otherwise) as a form of entertainment. Just like you might drop $75 on tickets to see a ballgame or go to a concert, you could view a night at the roulette wheel in the same light.

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Sure, you might end up enjoying numerous thrilling spins for that $75 and leave the table up $300. Alternatively, you could blow that initial stake in short order and be forced to call it a night.

On the other hand, approaching the tables with several months’ rent money could lead to disaster. What’s the worst that could happen? Probably something like this.

Just because you are dealing with fake chips at an online casino does not mean the stakes are any lower. Indeed, the anonymity of internet gaming can sometimes make it feel like you are merely engaged in a video game. Nobody yells “last call” at 2 a.m., and there are no cocktail waitresses roaming around to remind you to hydrate.

All players are anonymous avatars; you cannot even chat with your fellow patrons. It can sometimes feel detached from reality, which could lead to poor decision-making.

Thus, it is important to treat online casinos with the same respect you would afford their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Set aside a specific amount of money you can afford to lose and stick to it. Once you reach that limit, it is time to log off and try again another day.

Not only will this help prevent you from going into the red, but it can also preserve your sanity. Chasing your losses is a losing proposition (pun intended); thus, you are unlikely to make a dent in the casino’s bottom line. Nonetheless, you could wind up running through all your expendable income if you are not careful.

Again, the goal here is supposed to be fun; thus, you should not let panicked desperation mar the experience.

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Know When to Call It a Night at Online Casinos with Real Money

The previous section touches on this notion; nonetheless, it warrants further discussion. At some point, you simply must know when to fold ’em and move on.

Some people become obsessed with trying to recoup their losses; sadly, this mentality invariably leads to further financial ruin. Remember; the house always wins… eventually.

At any given moment, any player could walk away winning. That is simply the nature of gambling; there is always an element of chance involved. Maybe Lady Luck is smiling down on you at a particular moment and you catch a few lucky breaks.

With that said, it is vital to know when to quit while you are ahead. Perhaps you initially brought $50 with which to wager at the blackjack table. Yet, after a series of fortunate flips, you have turned that $50 into $200.

Is it time to celebrate and cash out? Definitely! You just made $150 on this session; why take chances on losing that profit? Maybe you could walk away with $400 or more; nevertheless, it is not worth jeopardizing that money to find out.

We understand that some personalities are simply unable to stop playing once they get in the zone. If that sounds like you, maybe it would behoove you to set a win limit in addition to a loss limit.

Once you double or even triple your money, it is time to pack it in for the evening. Again, the objective here is not to awaken the next morning $400 poorer and wondering what happened.

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Of course, sometimes it is hard to tell when it is time to quit. Check out the following gallery to help you determine when you have had enough.

Start Small When Playing at an Online Casino With Real Money

We have discussed the importance of setting spending limits; thus, it follows that starting small is a sensible tack to take when playing at online casinos with real money.

Part of the appeal of Internet gaming is the wide range of betting limits available. Some titles can accept wagers as low as one cent per spin/hand/etc. Conversely, others might go up to hundreds of dollars per play.

Naturally, playing with fake chips devoid of real-world value is fun in its own right. Nonetheless, part of the rush comes from seeing your bets pay off in cold, hard cash.

A $5 wager on a blackjack hand might return $100 if you win; such a result is less thrilling when that $100 is just more onscreen chips.

On the flip side, though, laying five bucks on the line can add up quickly; you could lose 20 bucks on four hands, thereby eating up your entire bankroll. Thus, it might be best to start with the absolute bare minimum bet—one cent, if such an option is available—until you get a feel for how the game operates online.

Additionally, playing at the lowest possible stakes tends to move a little slower. Because each bet is so cheap, the game will not automatically advance until you hit the “deal” or “spin” button. Thus, you can slow the action to a more manageable pace by plonking down smaller amounts of cash.

Furthermore, you can stretch your gambling budget farther when playing at the lowest stakes. Let’s say you have $25 with which to begin; you would only get 10 bets at 25 cents apiece, but that initial stake would afford you 50 wagers at one cent per.

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It is far too easy to blow through your bankroll in a short span of time; therefore, it might be prudent to proceed with caution. Starting slowly and savoring each play can help you acclimate to the speed of internet gambling.

Do Not Try to Cheat Web Gaming Sites

This final piece of advice should also be self-evident, but we will state it plainly anyway: do not attempt to defraud an online casino.

Some people watch Ocean’s Eleven or Rain Man one too many times and develop grand schemes to fleece a bricks-and-mortar house out of millions. The twisted logic here involves recruiting a team of “experts” to aid in said scheme.

Once said scheme bears fruit, they retire to a life of luxury on a tropical island. Needless to say, such plans usually wind up with the dreamers sitting in a nevada prison cell next to some truly unsavory characters.

Attempting to rip off an online casino is not quite as dangerous; however, it is still a really bad idea. Given that there are so many above-board sites out there, one need not resort to chicanery to have a good time and possibly win some cash.

That said, there are always a select few who believe they can outsmart the system. Perhaps the most famous recent example occurred in 2019, when two women were banned from all William Hill betting shops throughout the United Kingdom.

Apparently, Elizabeth Haigh and Charlene Leyden had discovered a method to manipulate a specific slot machine to their advantage. William Hill employees eventually caught on to their scheme, leading to the pair being barred from all the firm’s locations.

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While such stories might inspire copycats, we must reiterate: cheating an online casino is a really bad idea. Even if you do not get caught in the act, you are likely to burn through your bankroll in short order.

After all, successful cheaters like Richard Marcus and Joseph Jagger were operating within a fine line; they were not guaranteed success. Common scammers are more akin to the grassroots slot machine fraudsters who wind up in the local precinct.

Nobody likes to lose; nonetheless, it is all part of the gambling experience. Trying to swindle an online casino is a fool’s errand that will almost certainly end in disappointment and monetary ruin.

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Enjoy Yourself!

Hopefully, the above tips and suggestions prove useful on your online gambling journey. Above all else, you should aim to have a good time while playing with real money.

As we mentioned near the top, betting real cash definitely amplifies the excitement level compared to free-play games. It can be exhilarating to see the digital tokens stack up as you hit on winner after winner.

Nonetheless, it is possible to experience a similar thrill without risking any of your hard-earned dinero. That is where the demo or free-to-play games come in handy.

Basically, a large number of online casinos allow users to sample various titles without charging a dime. This is obviously appealing for those who wish to get a feel for a particular game before investing capital. Additionally, casual or broke gamblers can enjoy a day of pretend wagering until their heart’s content.

Obviously, you cannot cash out your winnings at the conclusion of a free-play session; nonetheless, such activities can be highly entertaining. Furthermore, you can apply all the advice contained in this article to your practice games!

You can sharpen your understanding of fundamental strategy at no cost whatsoever. Practice will hopefully prepare you to make better decisions when your bets hold real weight.

Even if you stick to freebies, you can have a riot playing everything from video poker to virtual horse racing. In fact, you might discover a new favorite pastime without ever having to spend a penny!

Of course, there are a ton of fun casino games to enjoy regardless of whether they involve real money. If you are looking for a good time, check out our list of the best casino games to play that don’t involve gambling.


  • Gambling statistics are courtesy .
  • Details on the Wire Act can be found .
  • Info on the Travel Act comes .
  • Excerpt from IRS Publication 525 is used .
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Troy Headrick has been a staff writer for since 2018. Based out in Arizona, he writes about a variety of topics including current events, politics, sports, and, of course, gambling. When he’s not at his computer, there’s a good chance you can find him spending time with his wife and children or catching another hour of sleep.