Online Casino Reviews

Getting good advice about gambling online is hard these days, especially when it comes to online casino reviews and recommendations. The problems are that most of the review sites out there allow companies to pay for better reviews and higher recommendations, and they also utilize writers without casino industry expertise.

How good is a gambling site review that is just a glorified advertisement? How good is a review from someone who has never worked in the casino or played slots?

If you’re looking for trusted online gambling sites, you need to have honest, accurate, and up-to-date gambling site reviews from professionals that you can trust. Our team of experts has over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry.

Real Money Casinos

Here, we look for the best sites to play online casino games for real money. To be called the best online casino, a site has to have exceptional customer service, a large game selection including slots, video poker, live dealer casino games, secure deposit options, and fast withdrawals.

Online Sports Betting

There are two types of sites where you can bet on sports – standalone online sports betting sites, and online casinos that have a sportsbook. Our online sports betting reviews cover both types of betting sites.

Online Poker

Just like with sports betting, when it comes to poker, there are online casinos that offer real money poker games, and standalone online poker sites. Below you’ll find detailed online poker reviews that cover both types of sites. At the top online poker rooms, you’ll find live-action poker against other players, including poker tables with Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments.

Blacklisted US Online Casinos to Avoid

Why trust our online casino reviews?

Finding trusted online gambling site reviews can be difficult because most review sites are driven by money more than providing high quality, unbiased, honest reviews. We’re different because our team has been gambling online for real money since 2001. We’ve seen everything from online casinos that steal players’ money to online poker cheating scandals. We want to help you find the best online casino sites because WE want to play at the best casinos.

We Understand Your Needs

Too many online gambling review sites just blast out their “Top Sites” and call it a day. They do not take the time to realize that not everyone is looking for the same thing. At WorldCasinoIndex.com, you will find our recommendations broken into different categories based on what your individual needs or wants might be.

So if you’re a slots player, we review the top online casinos to play real money slots. If you want to play only games with a live dealer, we have a page for the best live dealer casinos.

The perfect site for someone else might not be the ideal site for you, and we get that.

We Review All Available Options

It is not only new online casinos that we delve into; we have everything covered.

In fact, we spend most of our days buried headfirst into online gambling sites. If we are not looking at new sites on the market, we are gambling online while reviewing and updating our opinions and rankings of older sites. It takes extensive research and hours of digging to get the real picture, and that is what we do.

We Update Our Rankings

A list of recommended online gambling sites is a lot like a new computer, or a new mobile phone. The second it comes out, it is already starting to become obsolete. What we mean is that it is essential always to be checking whether a gambling site that was quality yesterday is still quality today. This is what we do with all our recommended online gambling sites. By keeping our online casino reviews and rankings current, we know that we can offer you the best recommendations.

We Use Your Feedback

The last step in our process is listening to what you and other players have to say about the sites we recommend. We like to know what gambling sites you want, which you don’t, what worked for you, and what didn’t!

We don’t just listen to your feedback and throw in the towel. We take your input and pour it back into our online casino reviews, recommendations, and the resources that we provide for you. Our goal is to help you have an excellent online gaming experience, and we can’t do that if we aren’t ready to listen to you.

What We Consider in Our Casino Reviews

As many people already know, one of the greatest aspects of online gambling is the convenience that they offer players. In just a few minutes, players can sign up at an online casino or sportsbook and be wagering real money in their own homes.

However, there are many more aspects other than convenience which need to be taken into consideration when reviewing a gambling site. And we dig deep. Here is exactly what you can expect to see.

Location & Legal Restrictions

Online gambling laws vary greatly by country, and even by the state like in the US. So the first thing we consider is where are visitors are located. For example, UK online casinos are licensed and regulated by the government, so you’ll find some of the biggest casino and sportsbook brands in the world vying to be named the country’s “top online casino”. But in the US, most states don’t have legal online casinos, so that leaves US residents who’d like to play real money casino games online, with only offshore online casinos that allow US players.

Overseas casinos operating in grey markets like the US and Australia have fewer options for software providers. So we don’t measure UK casinos against US online casinos because it wouldn’t be fair.

Bonuses & Promotions

The majority of online casinos and gambling sites offer several promotions every month. These include welcome bonus and deposit bonus offers. Some of these signup bonus promotions involve monthly cash races, where the most frequent gamblers earn big prizes based on where they place on a leaderboard. Some of the simpler promotions offer new players a welcome bonus when they deposit.

Players are also automatically enrolled in a VIP program as soon as they start betting at a real money casino. And just like in a land-based VIP program, players can use their points to get huge rewards, or even exchange them for cash.

Aside from this, online casinos have something that is totally alien to land-based casinos: the deposit bonus. A casino deposit bonus is offered as an incentive to encourage players to make regular deposits. Some bonuses reach as high as $20,000! The variety of signup bonuses gives players of all bankrolls a chance to chase big money. Some high rollers may qualify for exclusive bonus offers in addition to the usual welcome bonus.

Quality Software

One major thing our experts look for in an online casino is the software providers it uses. Over the years, internet casino software has advanced rapidly to the point where there should rarely have any glitches or problems. Plus the graphics at most casinos are exceptional with everything from rich, colorful graphics for slots and video poker, to more realistic settings that will make you feel as if you are in a real casino. So if an online casino is powered by reputable software companies with a wide range of games like Betsoft, Microgaming, IGT, and Bally, we feel confident in recommending them.

Selection of Games

When it comes to game selection, high-quality casino games are a must. You don’t want to signup for an online gambling site to find it has a limited casino game selection or poor betting options. At a minimum, a casino should offer a large collection of online slots, video poker, plus popular table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat. The bigger and more varied the games and wagers on offer, the better!Many online casinos these days have such a large variety of slots and game options that they trump the games at even the largest Vegas casinos. We will take this into consideration when ranking each and every online casino, sportsbook, and poker room.

Live Dealers

A live dealer casino is one that has actual dealers that you can see dealing as you play the game. Some real money casinos offer live dealer games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. If an online casino offers live dealer games, they are instantly more credible.

Secure Banking Methods

Making a deposit and cashing out should be fast and secure. If you want to be able to gamble online with a credit card, that deposit option should be available. So we look for casinos that offer reliable deposit methods and banking options such as eWallets (Paypal, Skrill, Neteller), credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex), and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum). Other secure deposit options might include cash transfer and prepaid debit cards. For withdrawals, checks by mail and wire transfer are two common banking options.

Customer Support

Great casino customer service is another must for our experts. Depending on where you gamble online, customer support options include phone, email, or have a live chat with a customer service representative. These are all excellent methods for having any gambling-related questions answered or problems solved.

However, if a casino has poor customer service, that’s often a red flag. You will find details of what is on offer at each site in all of our online gambling reviews.

Our Online Gambling Review Process

WCI gambling experts have over two decades of expertise in the online gaming industry. Like yourself, we all started as players who wanted a fun and safe online gambling experience. When you gamble online you’re trusting the casino site or mobile app with your personal and financial information. So we know the importance of putting players first when we review online gambling sites.

We aim to aim for our gambling reviews, to be honest, transparent, and up-to-date. Below are the criteria we use when comparing online casinos.

We strive for transparency. Our online casino review process is detailed and thorough. We understand your time is valuable, so we have shortened the process for you. We use the following criteria in our comparison of online gambling sites.

We Gamble for Real Money

Before we recommend a casino or gambling site we test it ourselves. Our team goes through the signup process, deposits real money, gambles, then cashes out. A lot of casinos have similar games and sports to bet on, so testing the casino ourselves gives us a good feel for how user friendly it is. Plus we look at the casino site’s performance and the reliability of the gambling site’s platform.

And while the casino verification process can take some time, our online casino reviewers want to experience a reasonable cashout time. Betting and withdrawing money at an online casino allows us to gauge the casino’s payout speed, which is one of the most important factors when making sure a casino gambling site is legit.

Our Team Researches Player Reviews, Complaints, & Testimonials

Although casino players are quicker to post a complaint about a negative experience, rather than a testimonial about a good or great online casino experience, we still find that it’s important to read reviews from other gamblers. Sometimes negative online casino reviews are justified (a player waiting months to get paid their winnings). While other times, players post complaints because they’re frustrated about losing, or a bonus gets voided because they didn’t read the terms and conditions for that promotion and broke the rules.

That’s why it’s important to check multiple sources of online gambling reviews and not just one player’s experience when you’re choosing a casino site.

We Visit Other Gambling Watchdog Sites

To verify our online gambling experience and to see if we missed anything, we compare online gambling sites on other reputable casino review sites like ThePogg, Casinomeister, and AskGamblers. If a gambling site gets poor reviews and complaints on those sites, we will reconsider recommending them and adjust our reviews accordingly.

Submit Your Own Casino Reviews, Compliments, and Complaints

Did we miss a casino or somehow get it wrong in one of our casino reviews? Please let us know if have feedback, or would like us to review a particular casino that we missed.

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How to Choose an Online Casino

The quality of your online casino experience will depend on the site you choose. You should always do your homework before you put your money on the line. Start by compiling a list of casinos that are available in your jurisdiction, then try to assess them based on the criteria listed below.

Licensing and reputation

When you visit an online casino, your first step should be to check for a license issued by an internationally recognized regulatory body. Legitimate casinos don’t hide licensing information from their customers—in most cases, you should be able to find it at the bottom of the casino website’s main page.

The industry is highly competitive, so international casinos tend to be based in jurisdictions with low gambling taxes, such as Curacao, Malta, Gibraltar, the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and Costa Rica. If the local regulations prohibit you from joining casinos with a global reach, stick to platforms that operate under a license issued by your local gambling authorities.

Once you’ve made sure that the paperwork checks out, you should also verify the casino’s reputation. We recommend following a simple rule of thumb to avoid getting bogged down in conflicting customer reviews—if the casino hasn’t been involved in any scandal around withdrawal requests or the terms and conditions of promotions, you should be good to go.

Quality game selection

Every online casino offers its own lineup of slots, table games, and specialty games, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a title that’s exclusive to any particular site. This is because casino operators generally don’t design their games in-house. Instead, they rely on games from dedicated software development companies such as Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt, Konami, or BetSoft.

If game variety is an important consideration for you, you should focus on casinos that are partnered with a diverse selection of software providers. On the other hand, if you’re more of a profit-seeking player, you’ll want to prioritize casinos that offer games with the most advantageous characteristics. For example, if you’re hoping to turn a profit while playing slots, you should be looking for high-volatility games with a low house edge.

Many casinos allow you to test their games for free without signing up for an account, but you can’t win any real money that way.

Easy-to-use interface

Most modern online casinos are browser-based. This ensures maximum compatibility across all the popular desktop operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux) and allows operators to cater to the widest range of customers. Typically, you can browse the games by category and filter them by features, such as the number of reels or the presence of progressive jackpots. The casino interface should scale to match your screen resolution, although the specifics differ between various casino software packages. For example, a casino running on Dragonfish software will have a slightly different feel than an RTG site.

Some casinos still offer a downloadable desktop client, although this feature has fallen out of favor over the past few years because of the growing bandwidth of home internet connections. In the past, downloading the software allowed you to enjoy better visuals and special effects, but nowadays, you can download even the most impressive games on the fly through your browser.

Most casinos load a different browser app for mobile users when they detect that you’re a smartphone or a tablet. These mobile casinos typically don’t give you access to the full range of their available games because casino software developers don’t tend to update old releases to make them conform to the latest trends. If you own an iOS device, you might be able to download a casino app from the iTunes store for easier access. Unfortunately, you won’t have that option if you own an Android device as Google doesn’t host real money gambling apps in the Play Store.

Mobile banking

Not every casino supports mobile deposits and withdrawals. Some mobile apps don’t allow you to access the cashier menu, forcing you to fund your account and cash out via the site’s desktop version. You can still do this using your phone if you switch your web browser to desktop mode.

Customer service

Most internet casinos offer customer support via email, phone, and live chat. A casino typically replies to emails within 24 hours. It’s common for live chat and phone support to be available 24/7, although this isn’t always the case for smaller sites.

In addition, many casino websites feature extensive FAQ sections that contain plenty of useful information on account creation, bonuses, limited-time promotions, games, banking, and casino software.

Bonuses

The vast majority of welcome promotions at internet casinos are matched deposit bonuses. In most cases, the casino matches your first payment dollar for dollar, which means that if you deposit $100, you receive $100 for free. All bonuses of this kind are capped, so there’s always a limit on how much bonus money you can get.

For example, if your casino advertises that it offers a 200% bonus worth up to $1,000, you need to deposit $500 to get the most bang for your buck. If you deposit $600 in this scenario, you’ll still get a $1,000 bonus, and if you deposit $100, you’ll get $200.

No casino will allow you to withdraw your bonus right off the bat. Matched bonuses come with a playthrough requirement, which means you’ll need to wager your deposit a set number of times before it becomes available for cash-out. Thus, if you deposit $100 to claim a bonus with a 25x playthrough requirement, you’ll need to wager at least $2,500 to clear it. In some cases, this requirement applies to both your deposit and the bonus funds.

Many casinos enforce special wagering contribution rules for low-house edge games, such as table games or video poker. In most cases, these games contribute 10%-25% towards clearing the bonus. It’s not a bad idea to clear your bonus while playing slots as they always contribute 100% regardless of their RTP.

Some casinos prohibit clearing the bonus by placing “safe” bets, such as betting on both red and black at the same time in roulette.

Security and privacy

Online casinos encrypt all the sensitive data, financial and otherwise, exchanged between their customers’ devices and their servers. If you join a legitimate casino, your personal information will never be compromised or shared with third parties without your consent.

Online Casino FAQ

How do online casinos work?

Online casinos provide Vegas-style casino games that you can play for free or real money via computer or mobile device. Most online casinos allow you to deposit with a credit or debit card, but some only accept eWallets such as Paypal and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

The gambling options they offer include slots, video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and other popular table games, as well as specialty games such as scratchers and keno. Most games are played solo, but some sites also offer live dealer games, which retain the social aspect of the casino experience.

Additionally, online casinos offer bonuses and are safe to use as long as you stick to reputable gambling sites.

Are online casinos rigged?

Some online casinos are rigged, but legitimate, licensed online casinos are required to undergo regular audits to ensure that the RNG software they use is 100% random and fair. If you play on a site that is licensed and publishes game audits, you can rest assured that none of the games are rigged. If you live in a country/location without locally regulated online casinos, there is significantly more risk when you play at offshore online casinos.

Are online casinos safe and trustworthy?

High-profile online casinos are generally safe and trustworthy because they can’t afford to engage in foul play. There are many online communities dedicated to monitoring casino fairness, so any scandal involving unethical conduct on the part of the operator can carry business-ruining consequences.

Still, we recommend playing it safe on smaller sites as some of them are elaborate scams running on stolen software. For more information see our list of the safest online casinos.

Can you win real money at online casinos?

Yes, you can win real money at an online casino as long as you make a deposit and put your own money on the line. Some sites may offer no-deposit bonuses that allow you to win real money without making an investment as long as you complete the playthrough, but such offers are few and far between.

Is it possible to beat online casinos in the long run?

A: Albert Einstein famously stated that no one can win at roulette unless he steals from the table while the croupier isn’t looking. While this statement is true in mathematical terms, turning a profit over short gambling sessions is entirely within the realm of possibility. This is due to casino games’ inherent volatility.

Regardless of the game you choose, the house always has an edge—you’re mathematically guaranteed to go bust if you engage in an infinitely long gambling session. This doesn’t change the fact that you can exploit the volatility of the games, get lucky, and come out ahead. Just keep in mind that the more time you spend at the reels, the less likely you are to beat the game.

The average return-to-player rate is always lower than 100%, but that doesn’t mean that the probability of scoring a lucky streak is 0%. In fact, if you keep your gambling sessions short, that probability can be relatively high. For example, if you have $100 at your disposal and you go all-in betting the banker in baccarat, you have a 45.86% chance of coming out $95 ahead. That’s fairly close to a coin flip.

Many inexperienced casino enthusiasts have a tendency to keep their bets small because they’re afraid of putting their entire deposit at risk. This protects them from going bust over a single bet, while simultaneously guaranteeing that they will lose their entire bankroll over the long haul.

This is because the longer you play, the more likely your results are to reflect the true house edge. An infinitely long gambling session will reduce your bankroll to nothing regardless of any success you may have had in the short term.

This slow erosion of players’ funds over prolonged gambling sessions is known as the grind. The grind is also the reason why bold players are more successful: if you’re playing an EV-negative game, a single $100 bet is always preferable to one hundred one-dollar bets.

Do betting systems work at online casinos?

A: Betting systems are often advertised as a surefire method to overcome the house edge, but achieving this goal is impossible because modifying your betting pattern can’t influence the odds built into the game. Simply put, the coin doesn’t care whether you’ve wagered $10 on heads or $50 on tails.

You can maximize your odds by limiting the grind and placing optimal wagers, but you can never go outside the mathematical constraints imposed by the game rules.

Most betting systems are based on gambler’s fallacy, which is the false assumption that the outcome of a random event can influence the outcome of a different, unrelated random event. Someone who believes in gambler’s fallacy would say that if you flip tails four times in a row, the result of the next coin flip is more likely to be heads. In reality, the odds are always 50/50 for any individual flip regardless of the outcome of previous flips. The same holds true for casino games – the odds are never 50/50 (the house always has an edge), but the general principle applies.

Can you cheat online casinos?

No. The casino calculates the outcome of each game. If you get disconnected in the middle of a spin or a card game hand, your account balance will likely reflect the results of that spin or hand even if they weren’t properly displayed on your screen.

What are the best online casino games to play?

A: From a profit-seeking standpoint, it’s best to play games that give the house the lowest edge. Assuming you play the game optimally, video poker, tri-card poker, and blackjack are all excellent choices. If you don’t want to study the games and learn the most advantageous strategies, roulette and craps are also decent options.

If you’re looking for entertainment and flashy visuals, slots are an excellent choice, especially if you stick to machines with a high return-to-player rate. Some casinos provide you with RTP information out of their own volition, but in some cases, you might be required to do some digging by yourself.

Regardless of your personal preferences, we recommend staying clear of keno as many keno games give the house a 30%+ advantage.

How do online casinos earn money?

Online casinos earn money just like their land-based counterparts. The expected return on all wagers is lower than 100%, so in the long run, the house always wins. However, online casinos aren’t as expensive to operate as brick-and-mortar establishments, which allows them to offer better promotions and higher-paying games.

How did online casinos get started?

A: Online gaming all started on IRC (Internet Relay Chat). Yes, you heard right – the first online casinos were scripts in online chat rooms that allowed you to bet virtual currency. This was the first underworld of the Internet. Online poker and blackjack could be found on IRC in the early 90’s.

It may be hard to believe, but the beginnings of online casino websites were very humble. It all started in 1994, when Antigua and Barbuda started granting licenses to online casino operators.

The first web-based online casino was based on what would one day become Microgaming software. It used security from Cryptologic. By late 1996, 15 legitimate sites were already online. Microgaming has since become one of the most popular online casino software platforms. Unfortunately for U.S. players, Microgaming stopped accepting bets from Americans in 2009.

The first sports bet ever accepted over the Internet was by Intertops in January 1996. A player laid 25-1 on a big soccer favorite.  The $50 wager won $2. Intertops still exists today and takes sports, casino, and online poker action from invited U.S. players, as well as those located throughout the world.

From then on, the market exploded. By 1997, the number of active internet casinos grew to 200. By 2001, there were more than 8 million active online gamblers, and in 2002 the entire industry was valued at $4.5 billion – less than 10% of what it’s worth today.

Throughout the noughties, many countries introduced new legislation that was supposed to limit the availability of online casino games. This goal was never achieved, which led numerous governments to assume the more realistic approach of establishing fenced iGaming markets.

Glossary of general online casino terms

  • Betting system: a codified way of betting which is supposed to give you an advantage over the house. Betting systems don’t change the game odds, so they won’t impact your long-term results.
  • Expected value: an abstract parameter that expresses the average value of a particular bet or action. Bets and actions that benefit the player are referred to as EV-positive, while bets and actions that benefit the house are referred to as EV-negative. All bets in casino games are EV-negative.
  • Gambler’s fallacy: the false belief that there is a statistical link between the outcomes of causally unrelated events.
  • The grind: the effect of the house edge slowly eroding your bankroll to nothing during long gambling sessions.
  • RTP (return-to-player): the percentage of wagered money mathematically expected to be returned to the player over a long series of bets.
  • Play money: virtual currency used when testing out an online casino’s games for free.
  • Playthrough: a set of requirements that must be met to clear bonus funds for withdrawal. Typically involves wagering a certain amount of money.
  • Wagering contribution: the percentage of your bet that contributes towards bonus clearing. At most online casinos, slots and Keno contribute 100% towards completing the playthrough, while table games contribute only 10%-25%.
  • Welcome bonus: free money awarded to players by the casino, typically for registering a new account or making a first deposit. Cannot be withdrawn until certain requirements are met.
  • Recurring bonuses: free money awarded to regular players and frequent depositors.
  • Cashback program: a tiered system offered by most casinos. It rewards active gamblers by returning them a small percentage of their total wagers or losses.
  • House edge: the casino’s advantage over the player. For example, playing a game with a 1% house edge means you can expect to lose $1 for every $100 wagered at that game.
  • Live dealer games: an online casino game that’s played against a real casino dealer visible through an internet camera.
  • Pay table: a table listing the payouts for various outcomes of a casino game.
  • Casino lobby: the main interface of an internet casino. This is where you can access all available games and account management features.
  • Whale/high-roller: a casino player known for placing very large bets.