Guide to Online Casino Games
With millions of UK players now choosing to gamble online, it makes sense that there is a huge variety of games that you can now play from the comfort of your home.
All you need is an account with a trusted UK casino site, a stable internet connection - and that’s it you’re good to go!
Here you will find a guide on the many different games available for you to enjoy. We also cover the basics on how to sign up to an online casino, and what safeguards are in place to ensure you are able to gamble safely.
Getting Started: How do I Sign up?
Of course, the first thing you need to do is select an online casino. This might be based on the selection of games available on that particular site, a great reputation, or generous bonuses and promotions.
For the most part, online casinos will have its welcome bonus categorised and listed on its ‘landing page’. This is sort of like a marketing page, sometimes with links built-in, like welcome bonuses and a ‘join’ button.
This will usually be where your registration process starts. All online casinos will require you to register for an account in order to begin playing on its site.
Although the majority of casinos won’t charge a penny for registering with them, you will come across a few who ask for a deposit fee. This can, of course, be avoided by reading our depth casino reviews, so always check our site first to make sure you don’t get stung.
As part of the verification process, you will most certainly need to read and accept the terms and conditions and confirm that you are old enough to play (18 and over).
Much the same as when registering for anything, you will need to provide some basic information about yourself such as your full name, address, contact details, date of birth, email address, a unique username and password
Think very carefully when selecting your username and password, but don’t worry - if the username you selected is being used by another player, the casino will let you know and ask you to select another one.
This is a no brainer, but never share your chosen password with anyone, and always choose something personal to yourself. After all, the last thing you want is someone else playing with your casino cash.
As soon as you receive your confirmation email from the casino, you are usually required to click on the link within the email in order to verify your new account. Now you can log in to your account, and claim any welcome bonuses available to you.
Should you decide you don’t like an online casino that you have signed up for, you can just delete your account. In order to do this, you will need to go into your account settings and delete your account from there.
In this instance, the casino has to, by law, delete all of the information associated with your account, so that it cannot be used for any other reason.
How can I Deposit Funds?
It’s actually very easy. A good starting point is to use a payment method you trust completely and to make sure that this payment method is available on the particular online casino you’re interested in.
No two online casinos are the same, albeit, a large number of them will allow you to pay with a debit card. With that said, not every casino will accept your specific card - so again, check this before registering.
You might decide to make a deposit by using an e-wallet, which is basically an electronic card for online transactions. Some of the best examples of e-wallets are NETeller, Skrill, Paypal, EcoPayz and Paysafe; but there are more to choose from.
Most Popular Online Casino Games
Make no mistake about it - the best online casinos active in the UK space will offer thousands upon thousands of casino games. With this in mind, below we break down the main game categories that you will come across!
Slots seem to have been around forever. Originally starting in pubs, bars, and land-based casinos - slot titles are more popular and diverse than ever before with top slot sites attracting more and more players.
Let's start with the classic version - which most seasoned players have likely experienced. The main objective of playing a slot is to spin the reel, land a winning combination, and win.
For example, lemon-lemon-lemon-cherry, on a 4 pay line slot will give you a win (although you would, of course, win more by matching 4 symbols).
3 Reel slots
Reel slots have 3 reels, and then between 1 and 5 pay lines.
Once you’ve decided how much to bet, hit spin and you will win if you land 3 matching symbols in a row.
Bonus slots make the slot game a bit more interactive. They are triggered within another game by landing a specific selection of symbols, they do vary a lot depending on which online casino you are playing with.
3D slots deliver some exciting bonus features, as well as flawless graphics, realistic sounds, and of course 3D animation. It is essentially the same game, but the graphics and bells make for a more entertaining and visual game experience.
As we’re sure you can imagine, there are thousands of different slot themes available. There is something for everyone, whether it’s based on your favourite movie, comic book, TV show or musician.
In simple terms, each reel has between 2 and 8 symbols. There are literally thousands of ways to win because a large number of different combinations are created. When you do land a win, the respective symbols will be replaced by new symbols - subsequently giving you the chance to land another win!
The term ’table game’ refers to a game of fixed chance, played against the casino/house. Table games have actually been around for hundreds of years, and are more popular than ever.
However, the convenience of online casinos now means that at the touch of a button you can play all of the best table games whenever you like.
Below we’ve listed a few of the most popular table games around, and a guide on each to get you started.
We would imagine that just about everyone has heard of roulette. It’s one of the first games that spring to mind when thinking about casinos - a true game of chance! Meaning ‘little wheel’ in French, this game has been around since the late 1700s.
You can decide how much you are willing to bet, and set your own betting parameters. Some online casinos offer roulette as a multiplayer game, but in truth, it can be a lot of fun playing on your own due to its fast-paced nature.
After choosing your roulette table, you will be presented with a wheel containing 37 numbers (this is 1 to 36, and a zero). The numbers will alternate between red and black, and will be non-consecutive and out of sequence, the zero will be green.
Top Tip: Stay away from American roulette. Even though the table has an extra zero, the odds remain the same as European roulette!
Now to the roulette board.
It’s a wise idea to have a good look at the roulette board before you start, as this is where you are going to place your bets. The numbers we talked about earlier will be shown in three column - in consecutive order, left to right.
It isn’t recommended to place all of your chips on one number, as you can actually increase your risk by spreading your bets around. You are able to bet on the first eighteen numbers, the second, or any of the three columns.
There are other bets to be played - such as a:
- Corner bet: to bet on 4 numbers
- Street bet: to bet on 3 numbers in a row, beginning with the left column
- Split bet: to bet on 2 numbers
- Line bet: to bet on 6 numbers.
Of course, you can also bet on black/red or odd/even - which pays even money!
If you don’t want to take a risk right away, you will find plenty of online casinos which will let you play a demo or trial game.
Definitely one of the most popular table games on our list - estimated to have been born in the late 17th century and much loved by players all over the world
The basic objective with blackjack is to reach 21, or as close it as you can, without going over. You must also have a higher hand than the dealer. If, on the other hand, the dealer goes above 21, he goes bust and loses the game, and vice versa.
In order to play, you must first join a blackjack table. As soon as players are ready, each player will be given 2 cards face up. The dealer of the table will deal himself 2 cards as well, only 1 will be face up and 1 faced down.
Now you need to decide whether you want to ‘stand’ or ‘hit’.
Here is a brief explanation on both moves;
- Stand: If the value of your cards is high (for example; over 17) but you’re still not sure whether the dealer can beat you, you can request for the dealer to deal you no cards, and move on to the next player.
- Hit: If you’re quite willing to risk the dealer getting a better hand than you, or you are pretty sure that your next card isn’t going to make you go bust, you can ask the dealer for another card.
By now, you will have a different hand value. If your card is anything less than 21 you will remain in the game.
Once all of the other players at the table have decided whether to hit or stand, the banker will then reveal their card (which was face down).
If the banker has a closer number to 21 than the players at the table, they win. If your hand is closer to 21, you win.
Meaning ‘zero’ in Italian, this game dates back to as early as the 15th century, although there is much debate about whether the game originated in Italy or France. Nowadays, Baccarat is favoured by high-rollers. Crucially, the low house edge and fast-paced game allow high-rollers to make the most of the higher-than-average stakes.
In online casinos, Baccarat is a single-player game, as opposed to up to 9 players in a land-based casino. Although in truth, this is irrelevant really. This is because there will only be one hand dealt, and you/all players will make their bets on the same hand.
With this game, you don’t really have to do much. The banker has a hand, and you have a hand; then the banker takes care of everything(although you will have to press a deal button). It’s a bit like betting on another player's hand.
It’s a good idea to understand the value of the cards when playing Baccarat. This is because it does differ from other games you might be more familiar with.
All 10’s and face cards will have the value 0 and the ace has a value of 1. From 2 through to 9 the card has the same value as the number. The aim is to get as close as you can to 9, and you can use 2 or 3 cards to achieve this.
To start you will have to make a decision on whether to bet on the banker’s hand, the player’s hand, or a tie.
A tie generally means a bigger payout as a lot of Baccarat games pay 8 to 1. Of course, statistically, less than 10% of hands are going to give you a tie, so you are less likely to win. Having said that, you might just get lucky.
Betting on a banker should mean that statistically, you have a good chance of winning, due to the banker usually winning slightly more than you (this is because of the banker having different rules to the player - see below).
If you bet on a player, you are able to keep all of your winnings if you win. Whereas betting on the banker usually means you have to pay the house 5% in commission. Again, this depends on the house rules of your chosen online casino.
- Place your bet, and hit ‘deal’. Now the banker will give 2 cards face up to your spot, and 2 cards face up to the banker spot.
- If neither yours nor the banker’s hand is an 8 or 9 you can continue to play. If, however, yours or the banker's hand is 8 or 9, then the game stops there, as this is considered to be ‘a natural’.
- Now, your hand will be first. If you have a 6 or a 7, the banker will not draw any more cards. If you have a 0-5 (remembering 10’s and face cards are worth 0), a 3rd card will be dealt.
- Whatever the total of your cards, that is your score for that hand.
This is where the banker's hand comes back in. The banker will play with the same rules as you, that is if you haven't taken a card. If you took a card the banker has a different set of rules, and they are as follows;
- If the banker's hand is 2 or less in value - the banker receives a 3rd card.
- If the banker’s hand is 3 in value - unless your 3rd card was 8 - the banker receives a card.
- If the banker's hand is 4 in value - unless your card was between 2 and 7 - the banker receives a card.
- If the banker’s hand is 5 in value - unless your card was between 4 and 7 - the banker receives a card.
- If the banker's hand is 6 in value - unless your card was 6 or 7 - the banker receives a card.
- If the banker's hand is 7 in value - the banker doesn’t receive a card.
When all of this has been done, the winner of the game is decided by whichever hand has the highest total value.
Like other games there are a number of variants of Baccarat;
- Punto Banco: Also known as American Baccarat, this is essentially a standardised version of the classic Baccarat game. The online casino is the banker, and you can bet on a player, banker or tie. The way that the respective hand wins never changes, no matter which variation of the game you're playing.
- Mini Baccarat: follows the same rules as punto banco, but what sets it apart is its appeal to players with any budget, due to the games low stakes - The banker will always handle the cards
If you fancy giving Baccarat a try, you should look out for promotions, bonuses, and different variants to try.
Live dealers have become increasingly popular amongst players. It’s a bit like a land-based casino experience without travelling to one, in the sense that your game will be dealt by a real-life person, and you can watch it play out live.
Although live dealer online casino sites offer a wide variety of titles, you will find that they primarily offer table games and card games, and more recently live slot machines.
The most favoured live dealer games are usually blackjack, Baccarat and roulette, and you are likely to discover that there is a good selection of tables to choose from.
With the vast majority of live dealer casinos, you will find there are options available such as choosing your specific dealers, language and also side bet and feature options.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
One of the most thrilling aspects of online casino slots can be hitting a progressive jackpot,
The progressive jackpot will get bigger and bigger with each spin of the slot, so of course, the prize pot will continue to increase in value - that is until someone wins it.
At this point, the progressive jackpot value will reset, go back to the number it started with, and around it goes again.
The value will continue to go higher and higher until it plays out, eventually paying out a potential life-changing prize. Of course, every time that you play, your wager will be put towards the jackpot (as will other players’ wagers).
Generally speaking, you might be required to wager a maximum amount (per spin/play), in order to be a part of the progressive jackpot, so always check the terms and conditions of the particular site and paytable.
Other Casino Games
Don’t fancy a table game or slot machine? Below are a few other game types for you to consider!
An exciting game of chance, Keno is a fast-paced game which is very reminiscent of lottery games, or bingo.
There are 80 numbers on a Keno card grid, depending on the variant you are playing, you can usually select anywhere from 1 number to 20.
Now select your wager (the amount you want to bet/play). There will be a minimum and maximum bet allowed, like with most online casino games, so always check that information.
Then you can select your numbers - whether lucky and personal to you, or just random. It is important to remember once you have selected your wager and numbers, you’re committed and cannot undo it.
That’s it, now you have selected your numbers and your wager, you can see which numbers are drawn and hope for the best!
There are different variants of Keno, depending on the online casino you visit, so do double-check that the same rules apply if you change platforms. And as with any game, checking out the online casino payout section is always a good idea to gain a better understanding of how you can win and how much.
Bingo, everyone is familiar with this classic. It’s believed to have been invented nearly 500 years ago by an Italian lottery company. Bingo has not wavered in its popularity, with young and old enjoying a flutter, only now around 85% of players prefer to do so online.
There are a hugely vast variety of bingo games, bonuses, and enhancements to explore. A large part of the experience for a lot of people who play online bingo seems to be socialising with their friends at the same time via the chat facility.
Autoplay: is an option which lets the system automatically mark the numbers on your cards for you as they are called. This is best advised if you are planning to play with several tickets!
Best Card Highlighting: The system will actually alert you when your cards are close to a win.
Best Card Sorting: The computer places any cards with the best possible chance of winning at the top of your screen so you can easily keep an eye on them.
As well as the jackpots you might expect from bingo games, some online casinos also offer some impressive extras, like progressive jackpots, free plays and even prizes.
Put simply, much like the classic version of a scratch card you might buy at a newsstand or in a lottery shop; an online scratch card is a fast-paced way of gambling, with instant gratification.
Whilst usually you would need to dig out a coin or a key to scratch the boxes on a scratch card, the online version has the same premise, without the mess.
It’s just a case of tapping on areas of the card in order to reveal a possible win. You can usually hit the ‘reveal all’ button if you want the full reveal right away.
It’s always recommended to see what the variance is (you will find this in the paytable on the site).
To give you an example; a game with high variance will likely give you a much bigger and better jackpot.
On the other hand, a game with a low variance will pay out smaller sums of money, but on a more regular basis.
Unlike real horse races, in the online casino world, virtual races are available day or night at your disposal.
With a large number of betting sites allowing you to bet on virtual horses using the same premise as real horse racing, a full selection of betting options and pre-race odds will be accessible.
With video streaming technology and full commentary, the idea is for virtual racing to feel just like the real thing.
Of course, as there are no real horses involved, the result is random, although each horse will still be fixed by their odds, so a 2 to 1 favourite is still less risky than choosing a horse with odds of 25 to 1.
The same bet types are available too, examples include; forecasts, tricasts and of course win and each-way wagers. And just like in the real world, it is possible to find a site which assigns fixed odds (these can change before the race too)
Withdrawals - How do I get my Winnings?
So you won and now you want to withdraw your winnings from your casino account? The good news is that the withdrawal process is fairly simple.
Each online casino will vary, and it is also dependent on your payment method of choice. All factors considered it can take anywhere from a couple of hours, to 5 working days, so do check your payment method, and also the online casino’s estimated withdrawal timeframes.
Some online casinos will have a withdrawal limit or a maximum cashout limit in place, so always check what those limits are (of course some don’t have any limits at all)
For every game, each online casino site will also make their RTP (Return to Player) percentage available to you. This is an important part of understanding any potential winnings later on. Ideally, you should be aiming for no lower than 94% for the best payout on your favourite games (we have covered RTPs in more detail further down this guide).
Are Online Casino Games Legit?
Yes, most are. Although, it is always advisable that you check that the online casino is legitimate before you deposit any cash.
Luckily this is easy to determine, as all UK online casinos must be regulated by the Gambling Commission. Crucially, this means all games and slots on each and every approved online casino will be tested for fairness as well as randomness.
When the online casino is audited, they will receive an official ‘seal of approval’ from the Commission. Most sites will proudly display the auditors’ logo on its website to prove they are above board and to be trusted.
Not all superheroes wear capes, but when it comes to online gaming, software providers are sort of a big deal.
Without them, your favourite games wouldn’t exist for you to play online.
Software developers each have a portfolio of platform titles, although they will each have a slightly unique approach, the types of games on offer will be alike.
Some players decide to go with an online casino based on a specific software provider they use. This is sometimes due to a great reputation, or just an impressive and diverse range of games to select from.
Just a few of the major software developers you might have heard of (and likely played their games) are:
Netent: Best known for exceptional games, stunning graphics and unique and innovative platforms.
Microgaming: A pioneer in progressive slot machines - this software provider has hundreds of casino and slot games in its portfolio.
Playtech: This one is probably best known for the development of online casinos, bingo halls and poker rooms. Also offering ‘live dealer’ games, Playtech is one of the largest software developers in the space.
Betsoft: This company is not as well known as the above software providers, but they are actually one of the leading developers of 3D slot games. The range of unique bonuses and different slot game variants make this company a popular choice for newbie players!
What is the RTP?
The acronym RTP stands for ‘Return To Player’, and is a very important part of your online gaming experience. This is because it will tell in percentage terms what your long-term odds of walking away a winner are (this is your ‘payout percentage’).
How much you win or lose in the short-term will depend on both the win frequency rate and RTP. Having a basic understanding of what the RTP is can actually improve your chances of being able to efficiently manage your budget, and perhaps even give you a little more confidence when deciding which game or slot you are interested in exploring.
RTP calculates probability, which can give you a good advantage once you are more familiar with the kind of slots you want to play. For example, it will also measure how likely you are to win on a slot, based on the slot wins previously.
The lower that the house-edge is, the higher the percentage of the RTP will be, and much the same the other way around.
In simple terms, if you bet £1,000, and your RTP is measured at 90 percent, you will lose £100 in the long run. You can hazard a guess at how much other players have won, based on the calculation.
Less experienced players should probably stick to games with a higher RTP, and try to pick a slot in correspondence with the minimum bet size and number of paylines in operation. Ideally, for a higher chance of winning, you should be looking for a game with an RTP of at least 94%.
Set up in 2005 under the Gambling Act, the gambling commission’s main objective is to regulate the UK gambling industry. This covers everything apart from spread betting (trading on CFD price movements).
Essentially, the Gambling Commission provides licences to gambling businesses, in order to make sure they are being compliant and lawful in their practices.
All in all - the online casino space has never been in better shape. Not only are all UK gambling sites required to hold a Gambling Commission license - but you now have access to thousands of games.
Whether your favourite category is slots, table games, live dealers, or bingo - online casinos have your covered. Best of all, most online casinos offer new players a welcome package of some sort!