Real money games at online casinos - get paid to play!

Considering taking your game online? Here's a rundown of real money online casino games, from the best choices for beginners to the risk-takers.

Playing games is in our blood. It helps develop our brains, and it has been a means of bringing people together since the beginning of time. With the arrival of the internet, we can now play all sorts of online real money games from around the world and from the comfort of our own homes.

The convenience of playing online cannot be overstated. The variety on offer at some of the best online casinos in the United States is mind-blowing. You could spend years trying out new , and you would not even scratch the surface.

Today, we are going to look at some of the most popular ones that many of you enjoy every day. We will explain how they work and what makes them so attractive. Let’s dive in.

Best Real Money Casino Games for First-Time Players

Let’s start with the best real money games for those of you who are just getting started in the online casino world. If you are completely new to any type of gambling, our guide to common casino terms might come in handy before we begin.

If you have been to a casino before, whether online or land-based, you will know that there are tons of options available. Too much choice can often be overwhelming, which is why we recommend the following titles as being ideal for first-timers.

1. Online Slots

If you have ever been to a live casino, chances are you have seen banks of slot machines littered with people feeding them coin after coin. Have no doubt; these are hugely popular games.

The great thing about playing slots online is that they tend to come with fun themes. From taking you on an underwater journey alongside the little mermaid to rescuing princesses and fighting fire-breathing dragons, there is so much on offer.

Most of the top US casino games come with multiple paylines and special features such as wild symbols, free spins, and bonus rounds. They are incredibly simple to play, making them perfect for complete novices.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for getting started with .

  1. Choose Your Bet Size
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The largest cumulative win at Wild Casino was an astonishing $2,018,645, so you know that there is serious money to be made. To get in on the action, head to the casino of your choice and choose a game. The first thing you need to do is choose your bet size. Most games will have arrows pointing up and down. Use these to increase or decrease your bet amount.

  1. Decide How Much to Wager on Each Payline

Slots generally come with multiple paylines. As a rule, the more paylines you wager on, the better your chances of landing a win. Look for buttons on the bottom of the screen that say something like “bet all paylines.” this will select that wager amount automatically.

  1. Hit Spin and Win!

Once you are happy with your selections, hit the spin button. If you win, your payout will be added automatically. It’s that simple!

Top Tips

  • Take advantage of demo modes to practice playing for free before committing to real cash wagers.
  • Start by playing on the simplest games and gradually advance to more complex ones as you become familiar with how things work.
  • Remember to set a budget and stick to it. Practice responsible gambling at all times.
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2. Video Poker

Video poker combines two hugely popular games into one supercharged adventure. It brings together the best of poker and slots and delivers thrills and spills by the bucketful.

Unlike other games on this list of real money games at online casinos, this one requires some skill if you want to maximize your wins. However, it is still accessible for beginners, particularly if you like poker or are looking to move beyond simply betting on chance.

We recommend checking out our extensive video poker guide before diving in. Alternatively, see how to play video poker below.

  1. Choose Your Wager Size

Head to the casino of your choice and choose a video poker game. At the bottom of the screen, you will see coins. Click on these to bring up your wager amount. Here, you can choose to bet between one and five coins. This becomes your wager size.

  1. Select How Many Coins to Wager

Now, you need to decide how many coins to wager. Most games have a max coins bet/max bet button. Hit this, and you will select all the paylines too.

Helpful Hint
For the mathematicians among you who understand the concept of cents in dollars, note that each coin is worth $0.25 in a common five-coin configuration.

  1. Win Big With Strong Hands

Hitting the deal button gives you the opportunity to build strong hands. Do this, and you can win huge amounts of cash – especially if you bet more coins. This is because you earn higher payouts for stronger hands when you wager more coins.

  1. Use the Right Strategy

Finally, use the right strategy to maximize your returns. There’s no need to get too fancy as a beginner. Simply learning the best hands to keep in each scenario can boost your RTP from around 98% up to 99.5%.

Check out our top tips for video poker to give yourself the best possible chance of winning.

Top Tips

  • Always try to max bet, even if you are playing with low stakes. This ensures you get the maximum return for strong hands.
  • Free games are a fantastic way to practice your skills without risking real money.
  • Choose single-coin video poker games and get in the habit of playing five coins from the very beginning.

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3. Roulette

In French, the word roulette means “little wheel.” and it is one of the most popular real money casino games online today, predominantly because it is easy to learn and offers plenty of excitement.

This game consists of a spinning wheel and a table featuring several potential wagers. The aim? Predict where a small white ball will land after it bounces around the spinning wheel and slows down.

Roulette is unique in that it offers both high and low risk opportunities. You can wager on a single number for a big payday or spread a wager over red or black, or odd or even numbers, and receive a smaller return. Our online roulette guide has everything you need to know. Here’s how to get started.

  1. Choose Your Bet Size

Load up your preferred on your PC, Mac, mobile, or tablet. Next, choose your chip denomination at the bottom of the screen. This determines your bet size.

  1. Place Your Bets
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Take a look at the table layout. This shows all the possible wagers you can make. Choose one (or more) and place your chips on the relevant section of the table. Several different types of roulettes are available online, including American and European variations, as well as unique takes like 100/1 Roulette and Mini Roulette at some of the best online casinos.

  1. Spin the Wheel and Win Big

When you are happy with your wagers, notify the dealer you are ready, and they will spin the wheel and toss the ball onto it. Wait to see if if lands on your selection, and if it does, prepare to celebrate!

Top Tips

  • Avoid betting on the number zero. This will lower your RTP significantly.
  • Always remember that despite sounding similar, American and European roulette wheels differ, with the former offering two greens and the latter only having one.
  • A martingale strategy can help you get bigger wins but should always be used responsibly.

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4. Blackjack

Blackjack is known as a classic card game. In fact, it is the most popular table game in the United States. Its popularity translates perfectly to the online environment, making it one of our recommended real money online games.

Its accessibility is part of the reason everyone loves it, along with the element of skill involved and the relatively low house edge. Learn the basic strategy of the game, and you can reduce the advantage the casino has over you to less than 1%. Check out our guide to online blackjack for more details.

  1. Choose Your Chip Denomination

Go to the table game lobby at your favorite online casino. Choose blackjack and then select the chip value at the bottom of the screen. This sets your bet amount.

  1. Receive Your Cards

Once you are happy with your wager, click on the space next to your chips to indicate that you would like a card. You will receive two cards from the dealer. The aim of the game is to get closer to 21 without going over. If you are happy with the two cards you have, click on the button that looks like a hand holding two cards.

  1. Beat the Dealer to Win

If you go over 21, you bust the game and the dealer wins. If you stay under and end up with a higher total than the dealer, you win. If you tie, it’s a push, and nobody wins or loses anything.

Top Tips

  • Remember to utilise the demo mode option to practice playing for free before betting real cash.
  • Never take insurance. Statistically, it is a bad bet in the long run.
  • Follow a basic strategy chart or use a cheat sheet to help you figure out the right moves to make based on the cards you and the dealer are showing.
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Real Money Casino Games for Experienced Players

If you have cut your teeth on the previous options and you’re looking for something a bit more challenging and potentially lucrative, we have got you covered. Below, you will find three excellent real money gaming options for those of you who consider themselves veterans of the online casino scene.

1. Craps

Craps gets its name from the way people used to play it back in the day. Dealers would walk around throwing dice on tables and anybody who wanted to bet on the outcome would gather around. Today, it is a cornerstone amongst real money online games offered by the top US casino brands. And for good reason.

Although the game can seem intimidating at first, with dozens of different wagers and a table layout to match, once you know how it works, it’s simple and ridiculously exciting. Basically, you wager on the outcome of one or two dice rolls.

Pass line and don’t pass line wagers are the easiest to get your head around. If the dice roll a seven or an 11, you win. However, if they land on two (snake eyes), 12, or any other combination, you lose your stake. A roll of 7+5 (twelve) is craps. Any other number is the point.

If the shooter rolls their point again (seven, for example), you and the other pass line bettors win even money. Anyone who wagered on the don’t pass line will be disappointed, as this is a losing roll. Finally, if they roll craps again, they must pay back the odds for anyone who won on the pass line. Sounds confusing? Check out our online craps guide for a detailed explanation, or follow the steps below to get started.

  1. Choose Your Chip Value

Visit your favorite online casino and choose a table game. Craps are usually pretty easy to spot thanks to the large number of wagers you can make and the frenetic pace of the game. Select the chips button at the bottom of the screen to choose your bet amount.

  1. Wager on Pass Line or Don’t Pass Line

You now need to place your wager. The two most common and straightforward bets are on the pass line or the don’t pass line. Put your chips on whichever section of the table you prefer.

  1. Wait for the Shooter to Roll the Dice
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The shooter will now roll the dice. If you wagered on the pass line, they must roll a seven or an 11. Unfortunately, if they roll ‘craps’ (a two, three, or 12), you will lose your wager.

Good to Know
If the shooter rolls any other number, this becomes the point. You need them to roll this number again to win.

Top Tips

  • Place bets add an additional house edge of 1.4%, so it is best to avoid these wagers if possible.
  • If you have a limited bankroll, stick with low-stakes games. Craps can move fast, and it is far too easy to burn through your money quickly.
  • Lay bets allow you to bet against the shooter. These offer better odds than pass line or don’t pass line wagers.

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2. Baccarat

There is a common misconception that baccarat is a difficult game to play. In actual fact, it is one of the simpler options you will find at .

It is also incredibly popular, especially in Asia. Hollywood movies like Casino Royale have helped raise its profile globally, leading many players to seek it out online. James Bond may have made it look complicated, but we are here to show you how simple it really is.

Baccarat pits the player against the banker. The object of the game is to predict which of these two parties will have the highest scoring hand following a series of cards. Learn more about the rules and strategies in our baccarat guide. Then follow the steps below to get stuck into the action.

  1. Select Your Chip Denomination

Go to the table games section at your chosen casino online. Find baccarat and choose your chip value. This becomes your bet size. Note that you will not be able to change your bet size until you have placed your initial wager and completed the round.

  1. Bet on the Banker or Player

Now, you can place your wager. Simply put your chips on the banker or player space on the table. Most games will have a section for a tie, but touchings this for now.

  1. Wait for the Dealer to Deal the Cards

The dealer will now deal two or three cards each to the banker and player. If either side scores an eight or nine, it is called a natural, and no more cards will be dealt. In this case, the side that is closest to nine wins.

Helpful Hint
Ten, jack, queen, and king all have a value of zero, while the numbered cards are face value. A hand comprising a six and a seven, for instance, is worth 13, but only scores eight based on the final digit.

Top Tips

  • Remember the house edge for a banker bet is only 1.06%. The player option comes in at 1.24%.
  • Tie bets are enticing as they generally offer 8:1 payouts. However, the house edge is 1.06%, which means you will lose more in the long term by wagering on ties.
  • Following a proven baccarat system, such as the 1-3-2-6 method, can aid your success at the virtual felt.
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3. Live Dealer Games

While the above titles are excellent examples of real money online games, some of you might miss the social aspect of playing in person with other fans. That’s where live dealer options come into their own.

These games bridge the gap between brick-and-mortar and online venues brilliantly. With HD streaming, professional croupiers, and chat boxes, you can enjoy an authentic casino experience from the comfort of your home. And of course, you stand the chance to win big bucks.

Many top online casinos now offer several exciting games with a live dealer, including , blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and more. Below, we focus on blackjack to show you how simple it is to switch from the virtual felt to the online live version. However, the process of switching to other real money online casino games is not too different.

  1. Find the Live Dealer Section

Sign in to your account and head to the navigation bar. Most online casinos have a separate section for live dealer games. Click on it to load all the available options.

  1. Join a Table

Live dealer games are generally busier than virtual tables, especially during peak hours. You may have to wait a few minutes for a seat to become available. When it does, choose the chip denomination at the bottom of the screen. This sets your bet amount.

  1. Play Just Like Online Blackjack

As soon as the seat is vacated, it will highlight as available. Click on it to sit down at the table. Now, you can play just like you would on any other online blackjack game. Receive cards, stay or double down, and wait to see if you beat the dealer.

Top Tips

  • Most games have a live chat function. Use this to interact with the dealer and other players, creating a more immersive experience.
  • Make sure you have a stable internet connection before playing live casino games online. Otherwise, the stream might buffer or cut out at pivotal moments.
  • Compare welcome bonuses and promotions for online casino players at different sites. Some operators offer more free chips for live dealer games than the competition.

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Real Money Game Options for Risk Takers

If you have mastered the basics and are ready to take your gaming experience to another level, we have found the perfect range of online casino games for you. While they might appear simple on the surface, these titles hide a multitude of challenges and rewards for those willing to accept the risks.

1. Pai Gow Poker

Pai Gow is one of the lesser-known real money games online. Based on an ancient Chinese domino game, this title uses cards rather than pegs. It is popular with those who love , as it offers several opportunities to beat the dealer. It is also a fun game to play.

Gameplay involves each party receiving seven cards. The player and the dealer must then make two poker hands, one of five cards and one of two cards. The main hand typically plays as the strongest, whereas the secondary hand acts as a backup.

Learn more about the origins, gameplay, and top tips for , or check out the simple steps below to jump straight into the action.

  1. Choose Your Table Game
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Head to the table games section at your chosen online casino. Find Pai Gow and select it. Before you start playing, remember to adjust your bet amount by selecting the chip value at the bottom.

  1. Make Two Poker Hands

Once you have placed your wager, you will receive seven cards. At the top of the screen, you must now create a five-card poker hand. Directly beneath it, you need to make a two-card poker hand.

  1. Beat the Dealer to Win

The dealer will do the same. If your five-card hand is higher than theirs, and your two-card hand is higher than theirs, you get paid one-to-one on your large hand and a push on the small hand. If both your hands are higher than the dealers, you get double the payout.

Good to Know
The dealer must follow several strict rules regarding how they make their hands. You can read more about these in our pai gow poker guide.

Top Tips

  • Always remember that Kings are bigger than Diamonds, Queens bigger than Clubs, and so on.
  • If you lose both hands, you lose your wager. However, if the dealer also losays both, it is a push.
  • Try to memorialize the dealer’s cards early on so you can calculate your options and make faster decisions.

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2. Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em is the most popular of all poker variants. Simple in theory yet tricky to master, it is beloved by players around the world. Unlike some of the other real money online games featured in this piece, this one puts you up against other fans rather than an house.

The idea is to win pots by having the best hand at the end of the round or forcing your opponents to fold, giving up on their hand. However, you must balance aggression with caution to succeed.

We have a dedicated guide to learning texas holdem poker, or follow the steps below to get stuck into the action.

  1. Find the Tournaments or Cash Games Lobby

Head to the table games section at your preferred online casino. Locate the tab for tournaments and cash games. If you’ve never played before, it might be best to start with the former, as you only have to make a one-off payment to play a set number of hands or tickets.

  1. Choose a Table Within Your Budget
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There will likely be dozens, if not hundreds, of tables to choose from. Browse through them and pick one within your bankroll. If you are a beginner, it is best to start at the lowest levels so you can get used to the speed of the game and the style of your opponents.

  1. Pay Your Entry Fee and Wait for the Game to Start

Next, you need to pay your entry fee and wait for the game to start. Depending on the format, you will either be given a set number of tickets or you will play until you bust.

Top Tips

  • Texas Hold’em is a game of incomplete information. You don’t know what cards your opponents hold, so don’t second guess yourself.
  • Play within your means, particularly when starting out. The last thing you want is to blow your entire bankroll in a couple of ill-advised hands.
  • Pick a strategy that suits your style. Loose, aggressive games will differ greatly from tight, passive approaches.

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3. Keno

Keno evolved from the Chinese lottery more than 2,000 years ago. Today, it remains a popular real money casino game, especially online. Similar to bingo, it sees players select several numbers – usually between one and ten – and hope they match the ones drawn at random.

The more numbers you pick and the more of them are drawn, the greater your payout. Gameplay is quick and easy, allowing for rapid fire action. It also has a high house edge, frequently sitting between 3% and 8%, depending on the number of keno numbers selected.

If that sounds up your alley, check out our and learn how to play properly, or go straight ahead and try your luck with avarage RTP of 70-90%.

  1. Choose Your Number(s)

Launch the keno game of your choice. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a chart displaying the various payouts for picking between one and ten numbers. Using the numbers down the side and the spaced marks on the screen, click on however many you wish to stake.

  1. Wager Your Stake
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Once you have marked your numbers, you can wager your stake. Generally, you must click on the stake button a second time to confirm. Next, a ball machine will draw 20 numbered balls from a pool of 80.

  1. Wait for the Numbers to Be Drawn

The 20 keno numbers will be drawn at random. As they are revealed on the screen, you will see whether any of yours have been matched. The more that appear, the larger your payout will be, based on the original stake.

Top Tips

  • Although you could pick randomly, it is worth spending a moment choosing your numbers. If you get into a rhythm and pick successfully a few times, it can be thrilling.
  • Remember, the more numbers you select, the greater your potential returns. However, the more accurate they must be.
  • Resist chasing losses. No reliable pattern or strategy has ever been proven in keno.

Best Casinos to Play Real Money Keno Games:

Real Money Casino Games Apps

Advancements in technology mean that you can now enjoy thousands of real money games online using your smartphone or tablet. In fact, the offer mobile-friendly titles you can play on the go.

Whether you are commuting to work, waiting for an appointment, or lounging on the couch, you can tap into a wide range of mobile-optimized casino games. Below, we focus on , the king of the hill in this category. But the principles of getting started with other real money online games on your phone or tablet are similar.

  1. Find Your Preferred Online Casino

First, launch the app for your chosen online casino on your mobile device. Not all operators offer iOS and Android apps, so check our to find the best options for you.

  1. Log In or Create an Account

Input your login credentials to access your existing account, or click on the sign-up button to create a new one. Remember to enter a unique username and secure password.

  1. Find Your Favorite Games

Scroll through the library of mobile-friendly games. Blackjack is one of the most popular categories for smartphones and tablets. Choose a title, select your bet amount, and play as you normally would.

Top Tips

  • Most online casinos will automatically direct you to the optimized mobile version if you try to access the site from a smartphone or tablet. However, if this doesn’t happen, look out for an ‘M’ or ‘Mobile’ tab or button.
  • While older devices might struggle with live dealer games and some 3D slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and other classic titles generally load smoothly on most phones and tablets.
  • If you are playing on a shared device or in a public place, always remember to protect your personal and financial data by logging out once you have finished playing.

Play Responsibly

The thrill of playing real money games online can sometimes cloud our judgment. It is essential to remember that while big wins feel incredible, long losing streaks can strike at any time. Set yourself limits, both financially and in terms of time, and stick to them.

A great way to stay in control is to diversify your play. By jumping between different types of real money online games, you can keep things fresh and interesting, reducing the likelihood of developing a problem.

Additionally, take advantage of any deposit and loss limitation tools provided by the . These are designed to help you manage your banking and time constraints, ensuring you get the most out of your experience without it negatively affecting your life off the felt.

Finally, walk away while you’re ahead. It can be tempting to carry on playing in the hopes of bigger wins, only to end up down heart and pocket.

Affiliate Disclosure: Techopedia may receive advertising commission for visits to a suggested operator through our affiliate links, at no added cost to you. However, all our recommendations are unbiased and follow a thorough review process. Players must be a legal age to gamble and located in a regulated US gambling state. Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly.


What is the best real money game to play online?

  • For beginners –
  • For risk takers –
  • For experienced players –

Are online casino games fixed?

No, legit online casino games are not fixed. All rely on Random Number Generator software to produce fair andrandom results. Third-party companies, such as Technical Systems Testing (TST), test and certify RNGs to prove they are operating correctly.

Is it illegal to play real money games online?

No, it is not illegal for players to use licensed and regulated online casinos. However, operating without the correct licenses is illegal, so always check that your preferred site has permission to trade from reputable regulatory bodies.

Can I play real money games online for free?

Yes and no. While almost all real money games are available in demo mode, you cannot win real money this way. To profit from online gambling, you must wager real money. Thankfully, you can play for modest stakes, and many offer generous welcome bonuses to boost your bankroll.

About the author

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Peter Clayton

Peter is one of Techopedia's developers and has been working with us for less than a year but has over 10 years experience within the industry.