You should never take any chances when you are gambling online, other than the ones you set out to take, of course. With the nature of the internet being what it is you could easily find yourself playing at a less than reputable casino sites if you are not careful.

We recommend you spend some time compiling a list of requirements which you expect a casino to supply, and never compromise if the casino at which you are thinking of playing doesn’t tick all the right boxes – simply move on and find another one.

Knowing what you should be demanding from an online casino can be difficult if you are new to the game, so to point you in the right direction we’ve come up with a list of essentials that any online casino must offer, so that you can decide for yourself whether any particular casino is worthy of your custom and business.

Is the Casino Licensed?

You probably wouldn’t place your money on the find the ball gambling game played by street hustlers, where you watch three cups being moved around in the hope you will find the one with the ball underneath. Hopefully common sense would tell you that you are being cheated of your money. However you would be amazed at the number of people who will play at the casinos that simply offer them the biggest bonuses.

To ensure you are getting a fair and honest game and with the ability to have some recourse should things go wrong, it is paramount that you stick to playing at online casinos that have been fully licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction.

Look out for casinos which are regulated by places such a Gibraltar, Alderney or the UK as opposed to casinos which claim to have a license from places such as Costa Rica. The former have strict codes of conduct for the casinos they license and the latter, well, don’t- meaning you’d be on your own should things go wrong!

Some players, namely those in the US, are having great difficulty in finding casinos which will accept their action, and this means they are compromising themselves by playing at unregulated clip joints. If any online casino is offering massive bonuses and is not open and honest about where they hold a recognized gambling license then you really should avoid playing there – they are simplymore trouble than they are worth.

What Software is the Casino Powered by?

Whilst the majority of online casinos will be powered by well known and respected casino software companies, there are still some out there who are operating on priority software, or strange software’s you’ve never heard of. Many of these casinos are untested in terms of their game fairness and should be avoided.

Playing only at casinos using reputable, tried, tested and certified fair software such as Playtech, Wagerworks, Microgaming, Real Time Gaming or Cryptologic means you will be getting a fair game. Playing anywhere else could see you playing against games that have been programmed to make it impossible for you to win, so think long and hard where you play and choose your online casino wisely.

What are the Deposit Options?

In terms of transferring money into and out of an online casino there is no real shortage of ways to do this, however you should look for casinos who, when you first open up an account with them, will let you choose your own home currency. Playing in another country currency will impose exchange fees – immediately reducing your bankroll, or even your winnings.

So before you rush to play, choose a casino that offers your own currency and then select a deposit option which gives you personally the most peace of mind. You are of course free to use your credit or debit card in most casinos and and as long as that casino is fully licensed and from one of the major software providers, your card details will be encrypted and processed securely.

Some players prefer to use one of the many web wallets that are offered online. These allow you to move money from casinos, poker sites and bingo and betting sites quickly and easily whilst controlling all of your own gambling budgets in one place. However, make sure you are aware of any fees that are associated with using these web wallets as some can be quite expensive to use.

Should you be worried about over spending or losing control when you play at an online casino or any online gambling site then opt to use one of the pre paid voucher systems such as Ukash or PaySafeCard, these let you pre buy coded vouchers from shopping outlets and stores and they only ever let you spend the face value of the voucher.

What Bonuses and Comps are available

Whilst good comps and casino bonuses will play a part in your online gambling, it should not the primary deciding factor. Only after you are 100% confident that your chosen online casino is safe, honest and hassle free, should you let yourself be swayed by bonus offers.

There can of course be plenty of value by shopping around in the hunt for promotional offers. However, to be able to actually cash out any winnings from such bonuses you will need to have read and understood the rules, terms and conditions of each bonus. Make sure that you always know the conditions of the bonus you’re taking so that you don’t risk having your winnings voided by playing restricted games.

Use Casino Guides

It may seem like the main purpose of this site is to relay all of the casino bonus offers that are currently available. But we’ve also done a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to casino assessment. For an online casino to even be listed on this site they have to meet a series of criteria – these include the casinos reputation and history, licensing jurisdictions and the software they use. This lets you get straight to the fun part – picking a bonus.

So choose wisely, play sensibly and most importantly – have fun. And never gamble more than you can afford to lose.