Finding top online casinos to play at is a challenging task, even if you’re an experienced player. If you’re new to online gambling altogether, distinguishing between quality real money casinos and those that don’t belong to that category can be almost impossible.
Being players ourselves, we understand all too well the importance of finding good real money sites, as well as the frustration that comes from depositing your money with a crooked operator.
This page is dedicated to helping you find top online casinos for real money.
This knowledge has been gathered through years of experience and some unfortunate mistakes, so we hope you will find it helpful.
Our goal is to try and help you get the best, most enjoyable online casino experience possible while avoiding some of those mistakes we made ourselves!
Finding Top Online Casinos in 2023
If you try to search for an online casino by simply using a search engine, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the sheer number of results.
There are probably thousands of real money online casinos out there. Some have been around for years; others have only opened recently. And, to add to the confusion, new casino sites are popping up almost every day.
So, how should you know what casino to sign up with? Who can you trust with your money?
The internet isn’t the Wild West it used to be back when I started gambling online.
These days, the names of online casinos for real money that come up on the first page of your search results will usually be the good ones.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as there are different ways for websites to boost their rankings and make themselves look more legitimate than they really are.
Instead of rolling the dice and hoping for the best or spending a lot of time trying to figure out how you can identify top online casinos, keep on reading. By the time you’re done, you’ll know everything there is to know about finding the best and safest options.
Identifying Trustworthy Online Casinos for Real Money
Unless you’re completely new to online gambling, you’ve probably heard how it’s important for an online casino to have a license. But what does that even mean?
Many real money casinos didn’t have to respond to anyone back in the day. Someone would open a site, offer real money games, and invite players to join.
Not surprisingly, many of those sites turned out to be complete scams, and after a few months or years, the owners would disappear with the money, leaving players in limbo.
After a while, the industry started to regulate itself, realizing that this approach was bad for legitimate online casinos.
It created an atmosphere where players were afraid to deposit any money as they had no guarantee they’d ever be able to cash out if they got lucky and won.
So, several licensing bodies were established, and these organizations became a buffer of sorts. They took it upon themselves to regulate online casinos by verifying their business details, checking out their software, etc.
The biggest such licensing bodies are:
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
If you’re looking for the best online casinos, you should always look for the sites licensed by one of these organizations. The Malta license is held in particularly high regard, and the casinos licensed by the MGA tend to be the safest and most reliable out there.
In recent years, there has been a rise in local regulations, too. More and more countries are regulating online casinos operating within their borders, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and more.
While I’m not thrilled about some of the decisions brought by these different commissions, you should always stick to locally regulated sites if you live in a country that issues local licenses.
The reason for this is twofold. It’s not just that these governmental organizations will protect you better than the international ones.
It’s also the fact that those casinos that continue to cater to the players in a particular jurisdiction without obtaining the necessary license have questionable business practices.
Can you expect they’ll treat the players any better if the push comes to shove if this is how they treat the laws?
Real Money Online Casino Bonuses – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Remember how I mentioned that I’d had my fair share of mistakes during my early gambling days? Many of those were directly connected to casino bonuses.
First of all, I do need to say that casino bonus & promotions are one of the best things about online gambling, no doubt about it.
You get to have more fun and more winning chances without risking additional money.
And, if you do find a good and trustworthy real money casino, you’ll usually be in the clear.
That said, you can never be too careful when it comes to bonuses, and you shouldn’t trust anything right off the bat.
While these can be great, they are also a part of the marketing strategy used by the casinos, and if there is one thing we can all agree on is that marketing isn’t exactly about telling the whole truth.
For example, a casino will tout a huge welcome bonus of 500% up to $1,000. That sounds pretty good, right? You only need to deposit $200, and you’ll have $1,200 to play with.
What they’ll often “forget” to tell you is that the maximum cashout is just $500 or maybe even $200 on top of your original deposit.
Of course, you can find this info somewhere in the terms and conditions, but someone not familiar with how real money casino bonuses work might not even think of that. And then, when you win big and get all hyped up about it, you’ll get the bad news.
So, as a general rule of thumb, I’d say you should stick to realistic bonuses from reliable online casinos. If you see something that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It might still be worth your while, but before you decide, make sure to examine all the relevant details.
Real Money Casino Bonuses: Wagering Requirements, Restrictions, and More
If you’re a complete novice to online gambling, everything I just talked about can be very confusing. Can the casinos really do these things?
Well, gambling sites, at least regulated ones, are quite limited in what they can do with your money. However, when it comes to bonuses, they have pretty much total freedom to do what they like.
Every casino bonus you claim will come with a set of terms and conditions attached to them, which may or may not include some or all of the following:
- Wagering requirements – the number of times you need to wager the bonus money before you can cash out. For example, if you get a $200 bonus with 30x wagering requirements, you’ll need to wager a total of $6,000 before you can withdraw.
- Maximum cashout – as mentioned, you could get a huge bonus, as big as $5,000, but a casino could cap your maximum bonus winnings at just $500. This means that when you finally beat the wagering, you can only withdraw $500 from the bonus funds. The rest is simply removed from your account.
- Game restrictions – often, you won’t be allowed to play certain games while using bonus funds. Some casinos will even put it on you to figure out these games by going through all the terms. If you make the mistake of playing the wrong game, they might confiscate all of your winnings.
- Game contributions – even if a game is allowed, it doesn’t mean that it fully contributes to wagering requirements. For example, slots will usually contribute 100% ($100 played is $100 wagered), but blackjack could only contribute 5% (so, $100 played counts only as $5 wagered).
I realize that this may sound a bit scary and confusing, and, honestly, it is, especially when you’re just starting.
The reason I’m writing all of this isn’t to deter you from playing or claiming bonuses, though.
On the contrary, I want you to know exactly what you’re dealing with so that you get only the best and most valuable bonuses from top online casinos.
As you get more experienced, you’ll become better at figuring these things out and knowing what works for you. For the time being, though, here’s a quick overview of what constitutes a decent real money casino bonus:
- Wagering requirements: 30 – 35x on bonus funds only; anything over this is too much.
- No maximum cashout: maximum cashout clauses are seldom used by quality real money online casino sites.
- No excessive game restrictions: while some slots will be restricted due to very high RTP, you don’t want to play in a casino that forces you to play only certain games.
Real Money Casino Games – What Can You Play at the Best Online Casino Sites?
If you have any casino experience from brick-and-mortar venues, you won’t be surprised by what online casinos have to offer. The only surprise is the number of available games, especially at top online sites.
The best of the best have thousands of games available at your fingertips.
These sites partner up with dozens of game suppliers to ensure huge gaming portfolios, and it’s probably one of the biggest reasons why online gambling for real money is sometimes so much more enjoyable.
When it comes to real money casino games, nothing can compete with video slots. Even on an average online casino, you’ll easily find 500+ titles.
If we’re talking about the best real money casino sites, you’ll be able to choose from thousands of themes.
These games are all about luck, so there isn’t much advice I can share with you, but you can always use some slot machine secrets to make your bankroll last longer. With so many options to choose from, you should go for the ones you find entertaining and enjoyable.
That said, you should always check one small detail before you start playing, and that’s the Return to Player percent (RTP).
You can usually find this number somewhere in the slot’s info table, and it basically tells you how “generous” the game is.
The number tells you how much money the game gives back over the long haul, so the RTP of 96% means that for every $100 played, on average, it will pay back $96.
Without going too much into detail on all this, the simplest way to think about this number is: bigger is better!
Top online casinos try to cater to a wide range of players, so they’ll often feature a decent selection of video poker games, even if they aren’t nearly as popular as 20 or 30 years ago.
You’ll find the most popular video poker variations at most gambling sites like Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, Tens or Better, etc.
Some casinos will go out of their way to provide some more exotic versions of the game, too.
I wouldn’t say that the selection of video poker options is particularly important when rating an online casino. However, if you enjoy these games, you should definitely look for sites that offer a good variety, and you won’t have problems finding quite a few.
If you enjoy real money casino games that aren’t in the above two categories, the good news is that most sites also feature a great number of electronic table games like:
- Casino Hold’em
- Three Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud
- And much more
The biggest advantage of these games when compared to brick-and-mortar venues is that the minimum bet is much lower.
You can enjoy these betting as low as $0.10 if that rocks your boat. And, since these are electronic games, you get all the time in the world to play as fast or as slow as you like.
I’ve learned over the years that people are often afraid to play these games because they believe they might be somehow ‘rigged.’
I can tell you that this fear is not based in reality, as licensed casinos have their games independently controlled and audited, and any kind of tempering could cost them their license.
So, even if they wanted to, it would be a very poor and short-sighted business decision.
On top of that, casinos don’t even have that kind of access to the games.
These games are usually hosted on the servers of the game providers, so real money online casinos are just renting them. They don’t have any control over how the games behave.
Live Dealer Games
Live dealer casino games represent a crossover between live and online play, the latest craze in the real money online gambling world.
As the name suggests, these are casino games handled by real, flesh-and-blood croupiers, just like in a physical casino.
However, you can enjoy these games from the comfort of your home, placing bets via the internet.
If you enjoy table games, these are a much better option than their electronic counterparts. You get a much better experience of the real roulette wheel, real cards, etc. Plus, you can also interact with the dealer during the play.
One small caveat is that even at the best real money casinos, you won’t be able to play these in a free mode.
So, if you’re new, take some time observing the action and familiarizing yourself with the outlay before you jump into the action.
When you do, start with a few small bets to make sure you got everything right. Once you’re comfortable, you can up the bets to the level you’re more used to.
Online Casino Real Money Deposits and Withdrawals
If there is one thing that most people are uncomfortable about when gambling online, that’s moving their money around.
For a novice, it can be a scary proposition. For a more experienced player, there is always the fear of something going wrong at any point.
From my experience, top online casinos are very well aware of all these concerns and do their best to address them.
First of all, when it comes to deposits, you can use a huge variety of options and pick the one that you feel most comfortable using, including:
- Credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Discover, etc.)
- E-wallets (NETELLER, Skrill, WebMoney)
- Different online banking options and systems
- Prepaid cards (AstroPay, Paysafecard)
- Cryptocurrencies (at least with some online casinos)
Depositing money with an online casino is really no different from making an online purchase.
When you select your method and enter the required details, the money is sent to the operator.
The only difference is that you don’t receive a product, but instead, you get the balance that you can use to play real money casino games.
Withdrawing Winnings from Real Money Casinos
The best online casino sites understand that it’s of the utmost importance for the players to be able to withdraw their winnings at any time and with as little hassle as possible.
Is the process always hassle-free and simple? Unfortunately, no.
If you pick the wrong casino site that’s not properly licensed, you’re probably going to face complications when cashing out.
As I said, these casinos do what they want, and paying money isn’t their favorite activity.
But even with legit casinos, you might bump into some problems. They’ll need to verify your identity, and due to increasing regulation, this process isn’t always as smooth as we’d like it to be.
One important thing I have to say on that topic is that you shouldn’t panic. Trustworthy casinos aren’t trying to scam you out of your money. They are just dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s and will happily pay you as soon as that is done.
The best way to avoid this ordeal is to verify your account before you even start playing, and top online casinos will let you do it.
While this may delay your entertainment a bit, it will be well worth it if you do happen to win on your first go, as you’ll be able to cash out immediately without any hassle.
Top Online Casinos – Summary
If you’re looking to gamble online, it’s essential you do so with a reputable, licensed, and trustworthy operator.
Gambling is risky enough, so you don’t need to add extra layers by going with a questionable casino site.
I sincerely hope that the advice and the experiences we shared on this page will help you find the right real money online casino.
One final piece of advice that I want to share is that you shouldn’t rush your decision. Always take the time to check out the things I’ve mentioned here before making up your mind.
Taking those extra few minutes will pay off in the long run as it will result in a much more enjoyable gaming experience and much less unnecessary frustration!