What our Beginners guide is about
Our beginner’s casino guide is a new tool aimed at new casino players looking for an expert introduction to the world of online casinos. It should also prove equally useful for seasoned players looking for a thorough list of online casino guides as a quick refresher!
- What is an online casino?
- How to choose a casino
- How to pick a bonus
- How to open an account
- How to make a deposit
- How to choose a game that fits your style
- How to withdraw your winnings
- What to do if you encounter any problems
- The casino phrases you need to know
Resourceful and trustworthy casino guide
Our team at Casino Hawks has been closely following the UK online casino industry since 2015, bringing players an impressive and vast array of knowledge. Players also get to read in-depth casino reviews to bump up their casino knowledge and determine which casino is worth the time and money. You can learn more about the team by checking the About Us page.
|Part of a Global Group|
|Casino Hawks is part of a group of premium review sites covering the online casino industry all over the world. This includes European countries like Greece, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic, as well as Asia and the Americas!|
What is an Online Casino?
An online casino is a website where online casino players can play casino games on the internet. The games available are the same as those found at land based casinos, and include slots, poker, blackjack, and roulette. You can access an online casino through your device’s internet browser, although some casino sites offer a mobile app for easier playing on the go.
Are Online Casinos safe and fair?
- Yes, if they are licensed casinos. Specific government agencies take care of online casino licensing on a regional or national level, and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) covers the UK. Getting a UKGC licence requires the online casino operator or game provider to comply with strict regulations that cover all aspects of online gambling.
- An online casino should use trustworthy payment methods to handle transactions.
- Customer data must be encrypted using 128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology while complying with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards..
- The Random Number Generator (RNG) powering the games needs to be audited by third party agencies such as Gaming Labs International (GLI) or Technical Systems Testing (TST)
- We go the extra mile to prevent players from engaging with Blacklisted Casinos. Such casino sites are guilty of issues to do with invalid licences, not paying players, running unfair games, or having weak security and privacy protection.
- An online casino needs to take care of customers by having Responsible Gaming measures in place. These should encourage players to treat gambling as a leisure activity while preventing underage gambling and protecting vulnerable players.
|The history of the UKGC|
|The UKGC replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain in 2005, following the publishing of the Gambling Act. It has oversight over all legal gambling activity in the UK, be it physical or online, including the National Lottery!|
How to choose the right casino
Here is what you need to do to find your best casino site:
Explore our casino reviews
Casino Hawks’ casino reviews page is a great starting place to your search of finding your perfect online casino. We rank casinos by using a set of criteria to help separate the best from the rest.
5 online casinos recommended for beginners
You might not want to do your own search for the best online casinos, and we totally understand. So here is the Casino Hawks beginner’s casino guide list of sites recommended to first timers based on ease of use and overall friendliness:
|Rank||Online casino||Overall score||Why I picked those casinos|
|1.||Casumo||97||A bright design, great loyalty scheme and particularly straightforward terms and conditions|
|2.||bet365||98||An award-winning name with a clean site design and plenty of games|
|3.||LeoVegas||96||Transparent T&Cs, a mobile-friendly site and regular promotions|
|4.||NetBet||94||A great welcome offer with 500 bonus spins|
|5.||Paddy Power||95||The humorous Irishmen bring a fine game selection and friendly customer support|
|A gambling stalwart|
|Another online casino we can recommend is William Hill, a brand you’ll surely recognise from the high street betting shops. It’s also one of the oldest; founded way back in 1934!|
How to pick a casino bonus
Online casinos attract new players through a variety of promotions, which provide what we call bonuses to use and play online casino games. Below are some of the most popular bonus types which you should keep an eye on.
|The origin of casino bonuses|
|The idea of the online casino bonus came with the rise of online casinos in the late 90s. These sites needed something with which to entice new customers, and it turns out bonuses were (and remain) the perfect answer.|
How to open an online casino account
You’ve found the perfect casino with the bonus that’s right for you, so now its’ time to open your account and start playing. A lot of online casinos have simplified this process to make it as pain-free as possible, so here’s how it typically goes:
- Check the Casino’s Terms and Conditions – Reputable and licensed casinos in the UK willl display their T&Cs clearly on their website, so make sure to read these before registering
- Visit the Casino’s Registration Page – The new account registration page is where the magic happens, so either head there or click on the link found in the Casino Hawks review.
- Opt-in the Welcome Bonus – A lot of times you need to confirm you opt-in the casino’s welcome bonus, so make sure to click that check box.
- Input Your Contact Details – Your details need to match your identification documents.
- Look for a Verification Email or SMS – Once your account is registered the casino will send you a verification account link via either email or SMS.
- Forward Your Documents – The UKGC requires online casinos to verify the identities of their customers by asking them for a copy of their government ID. You can supply clear scans or photos of these documents in the “Documents” section of your profile.
- Confirm Your Account Details and Sign In – Once your documents are verified you are ready to start playing!
|Why casinos need to verify your documents|
|Online casinos will ask for your ID in order to confirm your identity, as well as to confirm that you are old enough to gamble and that you did not self-exclude from gambling. The information is then matched with that in databases such as the electoral roll or credit referencing agencies. If all is in order, this verification process should take no time at all!|
How to deposit funds
Playing online casino games with real money requires you to, of course, deposit funds. The choice of payment methods available at online casinos is as varied as that used to pay for items on Amazon or eBay.
Payment methods: Some of the best options for you
This beginner’s casino guide divides payment methods into three distinct categories:
- Debit cards are the most commonly used option, with Visa and MasterCard being standard with fast and free deposits.
- E-wallets are also popular, especially PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
- Bank transfers are old-fashioned but incredibly safe, making them ideal for those who don’t want to use their debit cards for online gambling.
|No Credit Cards in UK Online Casinos|
|The UKGC banned the use of credit cards in the British gambling industry as a whole on the 14th of April 2020. This is due to a pair of industry reviews that revealed credit cards caused a lot of players to gamble money that wasn’t theirs, causing them debts that could potentially reach thousands of pounds.|
Which are the best casino games?
Online casinos are, of course, all about the casino games. Since this is a beginner’s casino guide, here are the most popular UK online casino games.
Who makes online casino games?
The answer is game providers, companies specialised in creating online casino games, from slots, roulette, poker, and more. Like online casinos, game providers need to be licensed by the UKGC in order to ensure their releases are safe to players.
|The first online casino game provider|
|MIcrogaming is considered to be the first “true” provider of online casino software. The company was founded by Martin Moshal in 1994, and it provided the software behind The Gaming Club, a site believed to be the first online casino.|
How to withdraw your winnings
You’ll probably want to withdraw any winnings you are entitled to while playing casino games. Here is the beginner’s casino guide for doing this:
What to pay attention to when withdrawing
- Be aware of wagering requirements
The wagering requirement is the amount of times you need to wager your bonus funds before you can withdraw any winnings.
- Make sure to check withdrawal limits
Some casinos have a withdrawal limit in place. This is the maximum amount of cash you can withdraw at a time.
- Check the time limits
The online casino might have a limit on the number of withdrawals a player can make during a specified time period.
- Some casinos might have Security Checks/KYC
The UKGC obliges online casinos to run Know Your Customer (KYC) checks on transactions. These require you to supply the casino with a proof of funds document such as a recent bank statement or payslip.
|Tax-Free Gambling in the UK|
|If you’re worried about paying taxes on your winnings from a UK casino, don’t be – gambling is tax-free in the UK! You can thank former PM Gordon Brown for this one, as he scrapped the tax on gambling income back when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2001.|
What to do when encountering problems
An online casino needs customer support in order to run smoothly. After all, any player can run into issues, whether it is a seasoned or a complete beginner. A casino has to provide customer support agents that are available 24/7 and can be contacted in a variety of convenient ways, including live chat, telephone or email. The details for these should be easily accessible on the site.
Other ways to seek out help:
Many online casinos have an extensive Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section that could help you find solutions to common issues without having to contact customer support.
- Social media
Most online casinos have a presence on social media, mainly Facebook or X (formerly known as Twitter). These are run by dedicated employees who can help you with problems.
Your fellow players can have a wealth of information, and will generally be more than happy to help members on online forums where they gather.
|A letter might also help!|
|Some more serious issues with an online casino might require a more formal approach, and that is when the old art of letter writing might come into play. A small minority of online casinos might even have a fax number available, making for a good reason to dust off that old machine should you have one!|
Useful online casino phrases to know
Online casinos come with their fair share of particular phrases. Casino Hawks has a glossary that will quickly help you tell your RTPs from your RNGs. Here are some of the common terms you’ll come across when stepping into the world of online gaming.
What is RTP?
Return To Player (RTP) is the percentage of rewards a player can expect back while playing a casino game. The RTP percentage is calculated on the probability of outcomes and the prize associated with those outcomes over an extended period of time.
What volatility is
The volatility of a game indicates how much risk is involved while playing. A low volatility game promises small, but potentially regular, payouts, while a high volatility game has big win potential, if with the risk that you can lose more as you play.
Look into house edge
The house edge is how a casino makes a profit. Every casino game has its odds shifted slightly in favour of the house, ensuring the casino receives more than it pays out in the long term.
Master bankroll management
The art of bankroll management – where you set aside a fixed budget for your online gambling and a spending limit – is key for a fun online casino that will not break the bank.
All about account management
Whether you are a novice or a veteran player, you should know how to take care of your account and keep it safe. This is where account management comes into play.
How RNG works
RNG is the acronym for Random Number Generator. This is the technology that runs online casino games such as slots and roulette, and is a means to generate truly random outcomes in these games of chance.
|Games where the house wins less?|
|There are two games with a better house edge than most. These are Video Poker and Single-Deck Blackjack, which have a house edge of 0.46% and 0.5% respectively.|
Casinos are fun but always play responsibly!
Do you feel guilty that you are playing too much, or that you are spending too much money on online casino games? Do you only find games exciting if you’re placing large wagers? Is your gambling causing problems to your life, financial or otherwise? These are all signs of problem gambling, and are what Responsible Gambling deals with on a daily basis.
Online casinos are obliged to tackle problem gambling through tools such as session limits, self-assessment, time alerts and self-exclusion, but this is sometimes not enough. In this case, you can contact organisations that offer services related to Responsible Gambling. Here are the main organisations in the UK together with their contact details:
24/7 Freephone – 0808 8020 133
Freephone – 0808 8020 133
Email – [email protected]
Email – [email protected]
You’re All Set for a Great Start in Online Casino!
With this knowledge at hand, you are now ready to make your foray into the grand world of online gaming. Select your online casino carefully, make sure it is properly licensed, and everything is in place before you go ahead and play your favourite games.
Casino Hawks’ beginners’ casino guide is here to provide you with all the information you may need to play safely and enjoy your online casino experience. If you are happy, we are happy – simple dimples. If you are new to online casinos, go, explore and enjoy.