Once you've selected one of my recommended casinos, or opted for your personal preference it's time to start the fun by downloading and installing the software, surfing to the games lobby, playing for fun/real, making a deposit, banking the bonus and much more!
Check out my quick-start guide to getting going as quickly as possible in an online casino.
Downloading a reputable online casino is safe, fast and easy. In fact, I've even timed how long it takes to download a big online casino such as Betsafe Casino and the answer is typically less than 5 minutes from clicking the 'download button', to launching the casino for the first time!
- Simply surf to your chosen casino and locate the 'Download Now' icon. This is very easy to find, and at most casinos this button will be a flashing icon in the middle of the screen.
- As soon as your click the download icon, a grey box will appear with the familiar 'Save Now' or 'Cancel' options. If you wish to download, simply click 'Save Now' and the casino will automatically download to your desktop.
- Once the download is complete, a 'graphical casino icon' will appear on your desktop. Simply double click on the icon to load-up the casino whenever you wish to play. Casino downloads are essentially 100% automatic, once your click 'save'. However remember that the software is always 100% free, and there is no obligation to play.
When I was an online casino 'newbie' I downloaded a huge array of software! Now, with hindsight, I had no idea how safe the software was. What's more, because casino downloads are '.exe files' they can easily contain viruses, adware and other malicious nasties, which can all crash your system (and believe me this can cost hundreds to repair!).
This is reason enough to only play at highly reputable casinos, powered by market-leading casino software (Microgaming, Playtech, Cryptologic). It is in the interest of big casinos to ensure that their software is 100% clean because otherwise, they would be out of business in a flash. By opting for a high-class casino you are guaranteed a very high level of anti-virus protection.
Once you've downloaded your casino, it's time to enter the casino for the first time, by double-clicking on the desktop icon. The casino launches in a 'standalone' browser window, meaning it won't get in the way of any websites you're viewing.
High-class casinos such as Spin Palace, Ruby Fortune and Mummy's Gold provide slick Flash openings, with their own graphical themes and tunes (personally, I love the Ruby Fortune's opening which is reminiscent of a James Bond film ideal for the fantasy gamers among us!).
You can click on the screen to skip the casino intro, if you want to head straight for the action. When you enter the casino you'll often see a main casino lounge screen, overlapped with pop-ups which feature bonus news and daily casino offers. If you're interested in the news, then take a read if not, simply close down the pop-ups by clicking on the 'x' in the top right-hand corner, as you would with a browser window.
The main casino gaming lounge contains all the different genres of games, with an easy to navigate 'click and view' format. Clicking on each gaming-sub section shows you each individual game. To launch a game simply double click on the associated icon.
Making your way around the casino lounge is intuitively simple with big icons at the bottom of the screen to navigate your way to the bank, promotions, games, news, my account, help. Remember there is no rush at all so chill out and take your time like a Vegas pro!
When you load up the casino you'll be offered the chance to play as a guest or opt for Real Play.
Essentially, guest gamers can play the games with free credits, however, it's just for fun and you can't win for real. Naturally, if you're a total novice then this is an excellent way to sample the action, hone some basic skills and find out if casino gaming is a leisure pursuit you wish to pursue with the thrill of real money wagering. In addition, the Guest gaming can be a cool way to test out casino systems and strategies with zero risk!
Opening a Real Play account allows you to qualify for the casino's sign-up bonus offer, deposit cash and place real money wagers (and of course win anything from pennies to millions). To play for real, you must register a real account; registering a casino account at a top-class casino is very easy. In fact, the best casinos will offer you the chance to register your details while the casino is downloading. If you can type relatively quickly, then you may even be registered before the casino download is complete! You'll need to provide the usual data such as your age, address, sex and occupation but all data is 100% confidential and the process is very intuitive.
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