Online Gambling: How Not To Get Scammed

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The online counterparts of land-based casinos have never been more popular. Blackjack, poker and hundreds of other games are a tap or a click away, and consumers can use their mobile devices to gamble on the go. This is a colossal industry that shows no signs of slowing down. Like other markets, it includes honest and shady providers. If you want to try gambling but feel skeptical about the security or fairness of casinos, read on.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Websites in any industry may be fraudulent or hackable. Gamblers may lose their sensitive data and money if they fail to use trusted sites. Finding them is fairly easy, as there are a plethora of guides and expert reviews like the articles. Still, cyber criminals find new targets and exploit their penchant for convenient gambling.

No website can be viewed as trustworthy unless it has a license. Reputable watchdogs like The UK Gambling Commission have strict requirements in terms of fairness, security, user experience, customer service and other aspects. If a casino is regulated, players have an opportunity to sue it if something goes wrong. Unregulated sites can vanish into thin air at any moment.

Key Considerations

Some online casino games are real works of art. They have razor-sharp graphics, riveting narratives, exciting features like Wilds and Scatters, and more. Trusted vendors use software from renowned gaming studios, such as Microgaming or NetEnt. If you would like to get a taste of their fascinating gameplay and stay safe, follow the tips below.

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1. Compare Vendors

New casinos are appearing all the time. The sheer number of websites available in your location may be staggering. To find the best ones, use expert reviews as your starting point. Websites that compare casinos professionally feature articles written by industry insiders.

Use different sources of information to do some comparative analysis. In addition to expert reviews, check feedback from real players on gambling forums, social media, and elsewhere. It is common knowledge that any reviews may be fake, so focus on patterns and recurring problems. If a dozen users have recently complained about blocked withdrawals, this is a major red flag.

2. Check the Legal Status

When a casino is legit, details of its license are found in a prominent place on the site. Most commonly, you can find it in the footer, in the About Us section, or somewhere else. If this information is missing, you are most certainly looking at a fake casino.

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3. Study RNG Information

The random number generator is the heart of any casino site. This engine is responsible for generating random outcomes for all games with the exception of the live dealer mode, when a human group here deals the cards or spins the roulette wheel. RNGs are provided by the software developers, but they must be inspected regularly to prevent rigging. Ideally, the operator must not have access to its RNG.

The engines are tested by reputable monitoring organizations, such as eCOGRA. If you see its logo on the gambling site, this means that its RNG is in order. Honest providers also share the certificates proving they have passed the test.

4. Check Encryption

Today, any website that processes financial transactions must have an SSL certificate. When you see https instead of http in the URL, you know that the website plays by the rules. Commonly, gambling operators use 128-bit or 256-bit encryption to protect data exchange between their platforms and users’ devices. Security measures may also be described in the FAQ section.

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5. Embrace Randomness

As RNGs determine the result in most games, you must understand that your past behavior does not determine the future. It is impossible to game the system, and anyone can hit the jackpot, even a newly registered member. Neither the size nor the frequency of bets can improve the odds, either.

This is a crucial realization. Unfortunately, some gamblers view their casinos as entities with a conscience and a hidden agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth. As long as the casino is licensed, and its RNG is in order, your results will be totally random. There is no rhyme or reason as to how the cards are dealt with or how the reels spin.

6. Build a Strategy

The majority of games at any casino are games of luck, not skill. Strategizing refers to betting and the choice of casino entertainment. To see which of the games are likely to pay more or more often, consider three criteria: the house edge, RTP, and variance (aka volatility).

Online, the house always wins just like in a land-based environment. However, this does not mean you cannot make money, and a lot of money, in the long run. Different variations of games, such as Vegas Strip Blackjack and Atlantic City blackjack, have a different house edge. This is the inherent advantage of the casino. The lower it is, the better, and these percentages are easy to find.

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RTP may refer to individual games or the entire website. Commonly, popular platforms have around  97%. This means that for every $100 wagered, you should receive $97 back in the long run. This indicator never reaches 100%, and the higher it is, the better.

Finally, slot players should consider variance, which is the proportion between the frequency and amount of payouts. Low-volatility slots deliver steady but minor winnings. In comparison, high-volatility games may have seven-digit jackpots, but they are hit only occasionally. For example, you cannot expect Mega Moolah or Atlantean Treasures to make players millionaires every week or month.

The Bottom Line

Casino games from popular studios are fascinating, aesthetically pleasing, and rewarding. However,  you need to do some solid research to avoid gambling scams. Choose your platform carefully, paying attention to all crucial requirements, such as license, encryption, and RNG audits.

Accept the fact that every outcome is random, and most games are purely based on luck. Set a strict budget for daily, weekly, and monthly gambling. Focus on the gameplay, not winnings, and you will be less likely to become addicted.

Written by Ana Weaver