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Online Gambling Guide — How to Gamble Online



Our detailed online gambling guide will explain how to join a casino or sportsbook, what types of platforms there are, and what bonuses you can claim.

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Online Gambling: Getting Started

Looking for information on how to gamble online for real money in the US? Below is a free online gambling guide that will lead you every step of the way, so let’s get started:

  1. Check the Local Laws

    The legality of online gambling in the US is state-specific, and each state may allow or restrict particular forms of betting. For instance, Nevada and New Jersey are gambling Meccas for players, but states like Hawaii, Utah, and Alaska impose a blanket ban on gambling. While online gaming is illegal in some states, it is best to check your local laws before proceeding to the next step. However, many offshore online casinos accept players for US gambling online as they operate outside American borders.

  2. Choose a Top Online Gambling Site

    In US jurisdictions where online gambling is legal, there are likely to be multiple sites to choose from. The best thing is that many operators offer casino games, sports betting, and poker games all in one place. There, you only need a single account to access all types of gambling.  Nevertheless, picking a trustworthy casino for a seamless gambling experience is essential.

  3. Install the App

    Some casinos have developed standalone mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, allowing you to access their sites faster. Still, if an operator doesn’t have it, don’t worry, as most online casinos can be accessed via mobile web browsers, and you can start playing the games immediately.

  4. Create a Gambling Account

    Once you have chosen a casino, it’s time to set up an account. Click the “Sign Up” or “Join” button to complete the registration form. Offshore operators won’t require you to provide your SSN, boosting your overall security. One of the primary online casino tips is to check the minimum gambling age in your state before opening an account. Most offshore gambling sites accept US players from 18+.

  5. Make a Deposit

    Casino operators offer plenty of e-wallets, prepaid, and cryptocurrency payment methods in their Banking sections. Once logged in, you must pick one, enter the amount you wish to transfer, and wait for the transaction to clear. In addition, some online gambling sites will give you no deposit bonuses, free spins, or free bets, so always check for these before making a deposit.

  6. Claim Your Welcome Bonus

    As a new member, you are entitled to a welcome bonus. This promotion is optional, but it can boost and prolong your gaming sessions. Some operators offer exceptionally high sign-up deals, going up to $9,000. These offers usually come with the minimum deposit requirement, a list of available games, and playthrough requirements.

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Pros & Cons of Online Gambling

Online gambling has its perks, but there are things that only land-based casinos can deliver. Here are the main pros and cons of online casino gambling.


  • Play games and make bets from anywhere
  • Larger slots & game choice than land-based casinos
  • Regular real-money promotions all year
  • Demo-play games for zero-risk gambling
  • Anonymous payments via cryptocurrency
  • Gamble online via smartphone apps


  • Lacks the social interaction of a physical casino
  • Online security risks can ruin the experience
  • Fees and wagering requirements may apply

Popular Forms of Online Gambling

Casino games, sports betting, and poker are the three main gambling verticals. Read our online gambling guide for beginners to learn about each and the betting options available.

Online Casinos

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Online gambling sites boast huge game collections unmatched by any land-based casino. They feature all the fan-favorites, including:

  • Video slot machines
  • Table games
  • Live dealer games

Regardless of the gambling guide you turn to, you’ll see that online slots dominate real money casinos. Casino sites offer everything from traditional 3-reelers with retro themes to more complex 5-reel slots with exciting bonus features and innovative mechanics.

Online slots come in an assortment of themes, symbols, and payout structures, with RTP percentages reaching 99% and hit rates as much as 30%+. Plus, you can win money on progressive slots from major providers such as Microgaming and Pragmatic Play. It’s like hitting the big time on Megabucks in your local US casino.

Online casino gaming also stretches to table games. Popular games at online casinos replicate the brick-and-mortar experience gameplay-wise, but you play against the random number generator instead of a shuffle of the cards or spin of the wheel.

Operators offer different variations of blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, and you can enjoy any of them at your own pace. Plus, you can enjoy playing casino games for free with demo-play versions.

When it comes to live dealer games, they add a social component missing from RNG titles. They involve a real dealer, but the entire gameplay is streamed live from professional studios in HD quality. Enjoy real-money gambling while you chat live with the host.

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Online Sportsbooks

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Thanks to online sportsbooks, you can bet on any college and professional sport you want from anywhere. Currently, 38 US states legalized sports betting; however, you should always check with your local laws because some permit only in-house sports betting, some allow placing bets online, and some allow both.

Punters can bet on sports in countless events and leagues from around the globe. The most popular betting markets in the US include:

  • Football (NFL)
  • Basketball (NBA)
  • Hockey (NHL)
  • Baseball (MLB)
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • Motorsports
  • Mixed martial arts (UFC)
  • College football (NCAAF)
  • eSports
  • Politics/Elections

Sports betting enthusiasts have many bets at their disposal. They can choose among the moneyline, point spread, over/under, prop, or future bets. Live betting, parlays, and numerous betting features sportsbooks offer, such as Cash Out and live streaming of events, have added an extra layer of excitement to the classic wagering on sports.

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Online Poker

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Poker is prevalent on most online gambling platforms, and you can enjoy it as part of the casino games or visit poker rooms entirely dedicated to this timeless classic.

You can use your player funds to participate in cash games or enter tournaments and Sit ‘n Gos. Poker games are available from small stakes too, including freerolls with zero entry fees.

Although there are numerous poker variations, the most popular are:

  • Texas Hold’em
  • Omaha
  • Seven-Card Stud
  • Five-Card Draw
  • H.O.R.S.E.

Aside from these staples, the operators also cover niche variants, such as Razz, Badugi, and Pineapple. Moreover, operators offer poker games with different rules and betting structures to keep things fresh and exciting.

Alongside the games, poker tournaments started drawing more attention. The poker rooms host anything from small events with several people to multi-table competitions featuring substantial prize pools. Participating in online poker tournaments can earn you a seat in the premier industry event — the World Series of Poker.

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Learn How to Play Games

If you are interested in learning the way classic casino games like blackjack, poker, and roulette work, find a comprehensive online gambling guide for each of them below:

Learning the Best Online Gambling Strategies

You can try various betting systems when playing at an online casino or sportsbook to help you win more long-term. The good news is that we offer full guides here on how to win at betting online.

For example, we offer a range of casino strategy guides including the Martingale system which you can use on roulette and other table games.

You can also learn how to win at poker with some invaluable advice. Plus, catch up on a host of poker strategy tips to improve your Hold’em game. Read up on making the best moves and bets to enhance your Cincinnati Kid skills.

You can also view our guide to optimal sports betting strategy to find the best ways to win on NFL and other games.

Deposit and Withdrawal Options

Payment gateways are essential to online gambling. The fastest payout casinos allow you deposit and withdraw winnings and bonus funds. Knowing how to make quick cash-outs is essential when you are learning how to gamble online.

The most used and credible options include credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) and bank transfers. However, in general, you’ll be waiting around 3–5 business days to get hold of your winnings. Some cashout fees may also apply.

Some players prefer paysafecard, or an e-wallet solution such as PayPal, Neteller, or ePayz. They provide an easy and anonymous way for you to move funds from a secure online wallet straight to your casino account.

Finally, the top cryptocurrency casinos accept instant deposits with major digital coins, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT). Aside from providing speedy transactions and anonymity, you can use them both for deposits and withdrawals.

Bankroll Management

According to industry experts, good bankroll management is one of the most important and successful gambling tips, increasing your chances of success by over 10%.

Knowing how to manage funds allocated for online gaming properly will prevent you from chasing losses if you experience a bad day or end up on a losing streak.

Factor in all the wins and losses, and be prepared to play longer to eventually reach big wins, and even then, there are no guarantees. Setting a betting limit, keeping a daily record of your game sessions, and withdrawing regular amounts slightly lower than your deposit will help you big time.

Online Gambling Bonuses

Online casino bonuses and promotions significantly boost your balance every time you make a deposit. Our brief gambling guide on bonuses teaches you that the most common ones are:

  • Welcome bonus
  • Free spins
  • Free bets
  • Reload bonuses
  • VIP/Loyalty programs 

The best casino sign-up bonuses are reserved for newly registered users and are usually deposit match offers. Once you deposit a certain amount, the operator will give you a bonus that matches 100% or 200% match bonus on initial deposit. Sometimes, casinos spread this offer across multiple first deposits.

Free spins can sometimes come separately, but they are usually a part of a welcome package, and you can use them on your favorite video slots. On the other hand, sportsbooks give away free bets, where you can make a wager without risking any money.

The casinos also have plenty of offers for their regular customers, including reloads and loyalty programs. Once you have used your welcome offer, you can claim a reload bonus, and the operator will give you a 50% bonus match or more on the funds deposited on a specific day.

And those who know how to gamble online like pros and have a long mileage with the casino can join their loyalty schemes and scoop higher and better rewards.

This is not the end, and you’ll see online gaming sites offering cashback promos, no-deposit bonuses (rare), and VIP/high roller promotions.

How to Gamble Online: Top 8 Tips

You may benefit from knowing these online casino tips if you are a newbie and want to try out the things for yourself.

  1. Play Games for Free

    Aside from playing for real money, many online gambling sites will allow you to play the games in the demo mode. You don’t have to deposit any money, but the operators may require you to register before they let you play.  This is a great way to get a feel of the website and its game and see how it pays the win frequency and more. When the real funds are not at stake, you can take time to learn the game’s rules, understand the controls, and have fun along the way.

  2. Choose Low-Edge Games

    Whether you decide to start online gambling in the US or elsewhere, it is recommended to start with games that have a low house edge, like blackjack. House edge represents the built-in advantage that the casino has in every game. It is best to start with the ones where the casino takes a small profit, between 0.5% and 2%. Therefore, consider trying blackjack, craps, video poker, and baccarat.

  3. Understand Bonus Requirements

    Bonuses are not just the free money online casinos are giving away. Every casino gambling guide online will tell you that they come with a catch called wagering requirements, and you must take your time to understand them. The wagering or playthrough requirements represent the number of times you need to wager the bonus money before you can cash it out. The value goes from 1x to 60x the amount of the bonus. The lower the wagering requirement, the better.
  4. Play at Reputable Online Gambling Sites

    You should only play at reputable, licensed, and safe online gambling sites. The license proves the operator can offer its services in specific areas, and you can check its reputation by talking to experienced players or reading player feedback on community forums. If a site is blacklisted, avoid it at all costs. Being audited and certified by independent regulatory agencies, such as eCogra or iTech Labs, the site guarantees that its games are fair and that the results are random.
  5. Learn the Rules Before You Play

    If you want to be successful when gambling online, you must know some (if not all) of the rules. You are advised to learn the rules and basic strategies outlined directly in the paytable of those games. Some operators will feature the game and all the other rules on their websites, but nowadays, you can find plenty of online gambling tips and tricks online.

  6. Manage Your Money

    One of the best ways to gamble online and enjoy the gaming experience is by always controlling how much you spend on casino games. Determine a clear budget and stick to it. You can set a daily, weekly, and monthly limit to help you control your deposits and losses.

  7. Choose Safe Payment Options

    The operators offer many payment methods, but you must separate the wheat from the chaff. Stick to those that are certified by financial institutions, employ encryption methods, and have been tested by players, such as bank transfers, credit/debit cards, or e-wallets, such as PayPal, Skrill, and Neteller.

  8. Have Fun When You Play

    After all, playing games should be about having a great time and winning along the way. Getting the gist of your online casino experience may look tedious, but this is only until you learn the ropes. Explore the casino games, find the ones you enjoy, and don’t settle for anything less than that.

Current Trends in Online Gambling

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As the iGaming industry changes at an astounding rate, it also changes the traditional ways of how to gamble online. Several trends have recently affected the online casino sector recently, including the rise of mobile gaming and cryptocurrencies.

Since users can access the platforms via their mobile devices, the companies invest heavily in optimizing their sites and developing mobile casino apps for seamless gameplay on the go.

Furthermore, it is only a matter of time before players start using their smartwatches to gamble online. In fact, according to Statista, the online gambling and betting industry was worth $63.53bn in 2022 and is expected to hit the $138bn mark by 2028.

On the other hand, there is a growing number of online casinos supporting cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin and Ethereum. We now have entire casinos powered by blockchain technology, known as “gambling dApps”. These are decentralized and blockchain-powered gambling platforms that rely on smart contracts to deliver a more rewarding experience.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also taken over the gambling sphere. With its help, operators can predict customer behavior and tailor their services to their preferences. As AI evolves, we can also expect them to implement machine learning algorithms to optimize game outcomes and offer immersive VR and AR-based gaming.

Final Thoughts

There are many online casinos and game selections that you can choose for play or real money. Spin the slots, play roulette, or enjoy a hand of Texas Hold’em, all from your laptop or smartphone. Our gambling guide has given you just a taster. All you need to do is choose the right casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites today.

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Read More About Online Gambling Sites


How do I gamble online?

Can I play games on online gambling sites for free?

How does sports betting work?

Which sports can I bet on in the US?

Are online gambling winnings taxed in the US?

How old do you have to be to gamble online?

Responsible Gambling

The rise of online casinos led to a higher number of people battling gambling addiction. For this reason, it is more important that players and casino operators start employing responsible gambling practices. By implementing deposit tools, ID verification, and self-exclusion programs, operators can help users combat problem gambling.



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