What are Online Casinos?
Online Casinos are gambling sites that run on the internet, and use specialized Canadian gambling software. The most popular gaming software are developed by Netent, Microgaming and Elk Studios all from Canada. Some of the best advantages of playing on the internet, are that gambling sites use software and therefore you do not have to pay tips to the croupier as you would do on land-based casinos. Another advantage is that on many games like slots the payout percentage is higher compared to land based casinos, and that can make a big difference in how much you can win in the long run.
The best gaming sites have a big selection of slot machines, including huge slots jackpots with some of the biggest jackpots going up to 10 Million dollars, and they of cause also have blackjack, video poker, roulette and other poker games.
You will also find that the best Canadian online gambling sites have 100’s of exciting bonus slots games like the popular Divine Fortune, Hong Tower, Guns N Roses, Fairy Tale Legends, and my personal 2017 favorite Wild Toro slot machine, all are multi-line slots with several exciting bonus games.
Another good thing is when you play at online casinos from Canada, they will often offer you a free welcome bonus on your first deposit. Some will have a 100% match bonus, so if you deposit $100, you will get an extra $100 free bonus to play with.
You can see the different bonuses in above casino chart.
There are 1000’s of casinos on the internet, and some are good, and unfortunately, some are not good, so we have made the chart with the most popular and trusted ones, and we have also listed the sites that have been voted the best 2017.
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Help Choosing Good Online Casinos
In this section, we will explain in depth some of the most important aspects of choosing an online casino to play at.
This, of course, extends to Canadian, European and UK players because many of the online casinos available to Canadian players are also available to players in Europe and UK, but you will need to check because some European countries such as Spain and Italy also need local licensing.
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Security at Online Casinos
Every one of the online casinos we review and recommend has passed our security and safety tests. This is paramount to making sure you play at an online casino that can be trusted. If you see an online casino recommended on our website, then you can guarantee that it is 100% safe to play at.
As mentioned above, players should always check to see that the online casino that you are thinking about playing at is covered by one of these licensee: Canada The Kahnawake Gaming Commission, EU The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority, United Kingdom Gambling License (UKGC). These have so many advantages that work in favour of players.
- 10 Steps to Cyber Security
Here is and example of why it is important to only play at online casinos with good licensee like the ones above. This is a formal UK government act to make sure online businesses pass 10 cybersecurity tests. It means that the casino must make sure it has security policies in place to protect the business and the members of the online casinos. Employees and members are taught and informed how to act responsibly when playing online. This also means the casino must have state-of-the-art security systems.
With a casino licensed by the UKGC, you can guarantee your money is safe. 128 Bit financial grade encryption secures all transactions. Plus, players account balances must be kept in a separate holding account from the casinos own operating accounts. That means should anything happen to the online casino, players are 100% guaranteed to recover all their cash.
- External Third-Party testing
Another important rule that the UKGC forces online casinos with a UKGC license is to allow for third-party external testing of LIVE Dealer Suites as well as Random Number Generators (RNGs). The RNGs are an algorithm that mimics the results of real-life dealers on virtual casino games. They are amazingly accurate, but they also need to undergo stringent testing for both algorithm code worthiness as well as security.
Lastly, before any casino can get a license with the UKGC, it needs to show that it is serious about responsible gambling. This means advertising places to get help when it comes to online gambling problems by providing links to sites such as Gamble Aware and GamCare who can help people that may or potentially could have a gambling problem. On top of this, the online casino must provide software that allows players to restrict their deposits and ban themselves from playing so they can cool off.
- Protecting Consumer Rights
The UKGC is governed by the British Government. This means that UK consumer laws are forced upon any online casino that wants to operate in the UK under a UKGC license. This is great news for UK players because should there ever be a dispute with an online casino, then the UKGC will act on the casino member’s behalf as firstly a mediator, and if the casino is found to be guilty of breaking UK consumer rules, then the casino will be fined or even suspended and casino member compensated.
Other licensing authorities
If you are playing from other places in the world, then there are other good online licensing authorities that have been around to regulate online casinos . HM Government of Gibraltar Gambling authority is also a well-known online casino licensee.
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The Casino Games
Much of the time many online casinos players will finally choose their online casino because of the games available.
- There are firstly the software companies that design the games:
Some players prefer a mix of software providers at their online casino so they can have a diverse gaming experience, especially when it comes to slots. There are also those that like to stick to their favourite software provider because they like a particular designers perspective if how slots or table games should be played.
Our casino reviews cover every software provider contributing games to an online casino:
- Net Entertainment
- Evolution Gaming
- NYX Gaming
- ELK Studios
Most slots players like to have a mix of different software game designers because this offers true diversity.
- Casino Software Providers
Not all online casino game designers have a casino software platform. They instead use a casino software provider they have made a deal with to feature their game. The casino software providers then allow operators to use their casino software platform.
We cover several different software providers:
- Net Entertainment
Many casino software providers will have games from multiple software developers or they will only feature their own games.
- The variety of games available is important:
If you are purely a Blackjack player, then you will want to find a casino with the widest variety and variation of Blackjack tables, which is usually Microgaming.
For Baccarat and Roulette players the same is true. The choice is usually down to preference. Roulette, Blackjack or Baccarat players are no worried about a huge slots selection. On the other hand, a slots player will want to ensure that he or she has a variety of games available.
Every casino we cover, we give you a list of games available:
- Video Slots
- Progressive Slots
- Classic Slots
- Video Poker
- Casino Hold’em
- Texas Hold’em
- Three Card Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
- Caribbean Poker
- Red Dog
- Scratch Cards
- Sic Bo
Many of these games will come with different variants. We also cover as many of the different variants of each game on an online casino as we can.
- French Roulette
- European Roulette
- American Roulette
- Multi Wheel Roulette
- Single Deck Blackjack
- Bonus Paid Blackjack
- Speed Baccarat
- Mini Baccarat
- Baccarat No Commision
As you can see, an online casino can mention it has Blackjack, but you should also check on the variants of Blackjack available. To make sure you get a good variety of games at the online casino you want to play at, check out their gaming section or a casino review that covers the games available.
- LIVE Dealer Suites
When it comes to LIVE Casinos, you will be looking for much of the same aspects covered in section c) The variety of games available is important. There are also plenty of other aspects of a LIVE Dealer Suite that you should consider, which we always covered in our LIVE Dealer Casino reviews.
Here are some more things to consider if you want to play LIVE dealer games:
- Software Provider Reputation (Evolution Gaming, Extreme LIVE Dealer, NetEnt, Microgaming)
- Variants of table games available
- Can you play LIVE Dealer games on your mobile device?
- Are there always plenty of tables and dealers available?
- How does the software operate in a LIVE Dealer Suite
- Is the LIVE Dealesuite licensed by the UKGC?
- VIP Tables for high stakes bets
One of the most important points for many LIVE Dealer players is the number of dealers and tables that are available. There is nothing worse than having to wait in a queue to play. In today’s competitive online LIVE Dealer Suite industry, no one wants to wait to play.
If you are contemplating a LIVE Dealer Casino, make sure that they have plenty of tables and dealers always opening. You can see if an online casino has enough resources to meet peak demand by looking at the naming convention of their tables games. For instance:
- Blackjack A
- Blackjack B
- Blackjack C
- Blackjack D
- Blackjack E
You can instantly tell from this naming convention that there are plenty of Blackjack tables always opening to meet demand. You can also look for features such as ‘Bet Behind’ provided by Evolution Gaming. This applies to Blackjack tables that are already full.
Instead of sitting at one of the positions on the Blackjack table, you can bet behind the seated players. This stops the tables from getting full and means there is always a LIVE Dealer game of Blackjack available. Roulette tables don’t really suffer from this problem because they can accommodate multiple players.
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Devices You Can Play On
Lucky today many new online casino games are designed with mobile gaming in mind. You should always make sure that your online casino offers support for all your devices.
Consider 2 vital points first:
- Device Type
- Operating Systems Supported
Nearly all modern online casinos today will design either an HTML5 site, which means you can log on and play games from a web browser with no download needed. On the other hand, some online casinos will require you use an app to play on your mobile. Some casinos give you the option to either download or use your browser to play games. Then there are online casinos that will also have an app for your desktop.
- Play games from a web browser
- Play games on a mobile app
- Play games on a desktop app
Today, many online casinos offer all the options above so you can play with an app or web browser depending on your own personal preference. This means there is one feature left to check.
Make sure that you online casino supports your device:
Our casino reviews will always cover in detail every operating system, devices supported, whether the casino offers downloads or browser play and from which devices each option is available!
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Casino Bonuses and VIP Programs
Of course, the next aspect to look out for is the casino bonuses an online casino offers you. We make sure we cover everything you need to consider when choosing which casino offers you the best incentives to play and rewards you the most for your loyalty.
- Welcome Bonuses
- Regular Bonuses
- VIP Bonus offers
Welcome Bonuses usually come in several forms. Mainly this requires you to make your first deposit and you will get a percentage of your deposit on top known as a deposit match. Some online casinos will reward you instantly even without a deposit by giving you free spins, free cash, or free credits just for signing up. Some offer these free spins and credits along with your first deposit.
- Free Spins (No deposit or with a deposit)
- Free Credits (No deposit or with a deposit)
- Deposit Match Bonus (First, second, third, fourth, and fifth deposit bonuses)
It is important to make sure that you identify whether your online casino offers decent regular bonuses after you take advantage of the original sign-up and/or Welcome Bonuses.
There is little sense in getting a big Welcome Bonus and then never reaping the benefits of a very good regular bonus program as well as a VIP program that rewards you for your loyalty. The idea is to create longevity and large Welcome Bonuses with scarce loyalty or regular bonuses do not help you do this.
In every casino review we provide, we cover in great detail all bonus offers available to you.
- Customer Services
The fourth important factor to consider when choosing an online casino to play out is making sure you can get in contact with the support team whenever you need it. That means getting in contact quickly, not having to send an email and wait hours for a reply and repeat this process for several days before the problem has been resolved.
- LIVE Chat – this makes it really easy to get in contact with the support team because all you need to do is click a button and wait for the chat window to connect
- 24/7 Support – any decent online casino will be available to you 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. If not, they at least need to keep to UK opening times.
- Phone Numbers – If a casino has LIVE chat, then this is not always needed. However, there may be times when you want to pick up the phone and speak to someone directly
- FAQ – Test the FAQ section of an online casino to see if they supply answers to basic questions such as password resets, account lockouts, responsible gambling, bonus T&Cs, etc…
- Security – You should be asked a set of security questions so the support staff can verify they are speaking with the account owner. Without these checks, you should be very wary
Once again, we make absolutely sure we run several scenarios and tests by contacting customers services. We test their speediness, responses, availability (waiting times), and we make sure that they ask the right security questions when we make requests for support and information.
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So How Are We Different from the Rest?
We like to see ourselves as experts in the online gambling and casino industry simply because our team has been playing as well as reviewing online casinos and games since the very first online casino, Gaming Club, was released back in 1994.
There are few online casino teams that can boast this much experience. We truly believe that we are all-rounders when it comes to covering every corner of the online gambling industry.
Our focus is not just on the online casinos themselves, but also the entire package that comes with being an online casino player.
As you have read, we cover everything:
- Online Casino Reviews
- LIVE Dealer Suite Reviews
- Licensing Authorities
- Device specific Reviews
- Safety and Security
- Great Games
- Exclusive Bonuses & Promotions
- Customer support
Every aspect of testing is covered by our goal, which helps us to fulfil our mission. Without these structures in place, we would not be able to provide such authentic and detailed reviews.
Our goal is not only to be different but to make sure that you are provided with honest and accurate information leaving no stone unturned when it comes to answering any question you may have about playing at an online casino. Without our honest reviews, we would just be another online casino information website, which is not our mission.
To be honest in the reviews we provide so we can guarantee online casino players, new or experienced, can make the right decisions when it comes to choosing a high-quality online casino that suits their playing style and personal situation.
We Leave Nothing Out!
As you can see, we cover every aspect of an online casino experience that you could possibly come across. We do this using expert testing from a team of casino gurus that know the industry inside out. If you are looking for reassurance, then you have come to the right place because we take our reputation seriously!
If you do feel we have missed anything, then we would love to hear from you. Please contact us and give us your feedback and we will act on it.
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Responsible Gambling Help sites
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ONLINE CASINOS FAQS
Do you have questions about online casino play? Maybe you want to know if you can play on your mobile? Or you would like to know how to pay money into your casino account?
Online casinos can be confusing for beginners as well as those that already play at an online casino. Sometimes not all facts are there or the FAQ sections on the casinos are a little too helpful with masses of content making it difficult to sift through all the questions and answers as well as other information the casino has to offer.
In this online casino ‘FAQ’ guide we will cover some of the most common questions most newbies and regular casino players ask us.
We will cover several common areas when it comes to online casino play:
- Signing up for an online casino
- Making your first deposit
- Making withdrawals
- Bonus Codes, Loyalty Points, and VIP Rewards
- Online Casino Games and Betting Requirements
- Software, Safety, Privacy and Technology
Signing Up for An Online Casino
An online casino’s main objective is to get you to sign up at the very least. This is regardless of making a deposit. As such, it is extremely easy to sign up for an account without having to submit to much information. You could be online and playing casino games in a matter of minutes.
Initially, all you will need is an email address and to set a password. You will also need to confirm your age and some cases your address depending on which country you are playing from.
No. All modern online casinos will let you play their games for free just for signing up. You will be given play money, so you can go to any of the casino games and practise. All the free games are exactly the same as the real money games so even though you are playing for free, you are getting the same user experience as real money players.
You must be 18 years of age. Even if you want to play the free play money games, you still need to be 18 as a prerequisite to signing up for the online casino.
It is totally up to you. If you want to sign up via your mobile, then you can. If you want to sign up via your desktop device, then this is also possible. You will be able to access the same account from both your mobile and desktop after you sign up provided the casino offers both mobile and desktop gaming.
Making Your First Deposit
Online casinos make it very easy to deposit money. If they didn’t, then the idea of an online casino would immediately be defeated. What is the use of an online casino that you cannot deposit to? Due to this fact, online casinos have very clear deposit FAQ sections that you can refer to.
Usually, most online casinos will require you to send a government form of ID and proof of address. This is a requirement to make sure that all players are over 18 as per the laws of their licencing issuer, which will be the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). This also protects you in case of fraudulent activities financially. Once you have provided the casino with this information, you can start playing for real money.
You will need to check with the specific online casino that you want to play at. For Canadian and UK players usually, you have the option of US Dollars, UK pounds, and/or Euros. Normally, you will need to set which currency is your displayed currency. Currencies are always subject to exchange rates the casino sets, which are taken from up to date currency markets.
Many of the larger online casinos today allow you to deposit in cryptocurrencies. Mostly this will be Bitcoin as the UKGC accepts Bitcoin under its licensing laws. Some casinos also allow Litecoin and Ethereum. Check with the online casino you want to play at as the information will be available either in the footer of the homepage or in the deposits area of the FAQ section.
It is safe to say that almost every online casino accepts a form of e-wallet payment. Neteller and Skrill are the most widely accepted, and you will also find that some online casinos accept PayPal.
Yes. Debit cards and credit cards are the most common way to deposit funds into an online casino. VISA and VISA Electron are common for debit cards as well as Maestro and sometimes Union Pay. For credit cards, the most widely accepted are VISA and MasterCard. Diners Cards and Amex are not so widely accepted, so if you want to use either of these, you may need to do some hunting.
Not to worry. There are so many other ways made available to you to get your cash into an online casino. Here we have shortlisted some of the alternatives to credit/debit cards.
- Pay by phone (UK mobile phone bills can be used)
- Wire transfer or bank transfer (Use your internet banking to wire money to your account)
- Cheque (Although quite outdated, you can deposit by cheque)
- Get a pre-paid credit card (This solves the issue of not having a credit card)
- Trustly, GiroPay, PaySafeCard, iDeal, Sofort, Qiwi, WebMoney, EUteller
An online casino would be useless if it did not give you plenty of ways to withdraw your cash. The only point we would like you to be aware of is that not all deposit methods can be used as withdrawal
As you will have already provided ID to play real money games as per the law, you will easily be able to withdraw your cash from an online casino. Just go to the cashier section, click on withdraw, select where you want to withdraw your money to, and the withdrawal will be processed. Easy as 123!
Some online casinos will add a pending time to all withdrawals. This is to give you a chance to dispute any withdrawal requests that you may not have made. The standard is 1 to 3 days and then the casino has given you enough time to make a dispute. The money will then be transferred.
E-wallets are usually instant and come with no pending time. This is because the cash will go to an e-wallet where you can dispute any withdrawals there if you wish to. Here is a general list of what to expect from most online casinos in terms of withdrawals.
- Credit Cards (5 working days)
- Debit Cards (5 working days)
- E-Wallets (Instant or 1 working day)
- Bank Transfer (4 to 10 working days)
- Other (3 to 10 working days
- Cryptocurrencies (Instant)
Bonus Codes, Loyalty Points, and VIP Rewards
Casino bonus codes are a great way to begin your online casino experience and to continue playing by adding extra cash and other benefits to your casino play. Do you due diligence and search for regular bonus codes, promotions, VIP rewards, Loyalty points, and welcome bonuses.
This is your chance to get deposit match on your first deposit made with the casino. Some online casinos offer 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th deposit matches. They will also throw in free spins on slots or free chips to play on table games.
These are bonuses awarded just for signing up to an online casino. You can get free spins, free chips, or free cash just for creating an account with the casino and without having to commit any cash.
Regular bonuses or promotions are featured at nearly every online casino. They are used on a daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis. After you have used your no deposit and welcome bonuses, you will be able to use regular bonuses as a casino member for more free cash, free spins, and free chips. Some online casinos have a set schedule for regular bonuses; while others send you customized offers.
Loyalty or reward points can come with different names depending on how the casino brands this section. Every time you bet, you will earn points that are recorded in your casino account. Different games will award a different amount of loyalty points per $/£/€ wagers. You can build these points up and exchange them for cash or merchandise as well as to increase your VIP level with the casino.
When you earn loyalty points, you can build up your VIP level with an online casino. The more points you get, the higher your VIP status will become. With higher VIP status you can expect a birthday gift, account opening anniversary gift, better regular bonus offers, VIP support, casino manager assigned to your account, insurance on your losses and much more.
When you are given bonuses from the online casino, you cannot instantly withdraw that cash. You will need to bet a certain amount of cash on casino games to convert the bonus cash into withdrawable cash. Check the playthrough amount with every bonus using the terms and conditions section that comes with each bonus you apply for.
Online Casino Games and Betting Requirements
The best asset an online casino has is its gaming list. Having a decent list of games is going to be one of the deciding factors for any online casino player. You can check the gaming section on the homepage of most online casinos or check one of our reviews if the homepage does not have a list of games.
Most online casinos nowadays offer over 600 games to play. Slots, Blackjack, Roulette, and poker games where you pitch your skills and strategies versus the house are the most popular. Other games include baccarat, craps, keno, instant win scratch cards, featured games, lottery games and more.
Online casinos will give you several variations of each game if they can. For example, Roulette comes with multi-wheel Roulette, multi-ball Roulette, European Roulette, French Roulette, US Roulette, and many more. Blackjack can have Vegas Blackjack, Bonus Blackjack, Spanish Blackjack, and poker come with Pai Gow Poker, Casino Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, and 3-Card Poker.
Desktop gameplay offers by far the widest selection of games. This is because many of the older games were never designed or converted to also operate on mobile. Therefore, you will find that some games are not available on your mobile.
LIVE dealer sites are the latest way to play casino games with a live dealer, live table, live cards or roulette wheel. You can connect to your online casino, then visit the LIVE casino section. Here you will be able to play a variety of LIVE casino games. Roulette, Poker, Baccarat, Blackjack, and other games can be streamed to your mobile or desktop device via webcam.
Every game will have a minimum and maximum bet set to it. Some will be as low as £/$/€0.10 per bet on low stakes tables. Some tables over in the VIP section will accept bets of up to £/$/€15,000. There is a very broad spectrum of betting allowed. For LIVE dealer suites, the betting requirements are usually a little higher than the virtual casino games. Also, you cannot play LIVE dealer games using free play mode.
Every game is different. You will need to check the house edge or RTP (Return to Player) in the info section for each game. Online slots generally offer an RTP of around 94% to 98%. The house edge or RTP for table games will vary depending on the variation of the game that you play.
Progressive jackpots normally offer obscene amounts of cash in their jackpot payouts. Most progressive jackpots are found on slots, but also some table games also offer progressive jackpots too. They are connected to one larger jackpot network so players from multiple casinos can play the same progressive jackpot game, which is why these jackpots build up to such a high amount.
There are several gaming developers producing casino games. Most online casinos will offer games from multiple developers. Here are just a few to look out for: Microgaming, NetEnt, NYX, Play ‘n’ Go, Thunderkick, and BetSoft are examples of some of the most well-known developers.
Software, Safety, Privacy and Technology
Today most online casinos are an operator connected to a casino platform. The platform is owned by companies such as Playtech, Microgaming, and NetEntertainment for virtual casino platforms. For LIVE dealer suites, Playtech, Evolution Gaming, Microgaming, and Extreme Live Gaming LIVE Dealers. These companies provide the technology to connect via any device as well as to manage casino loyalty rewards.
By law, every game must have an RNG. These are algorithmic codes that produce random results on virtual casino games. They mimic the probability and variations of a real dealer or croupier, which is what makes online casino games so random.
You need to look at the licensing of your online casino. For example, if the casino is licensed with the UKGC, then you can be sure that all your personal details can’t even be accessed by personnel at the casino without you giving them a code. The only time to do this is when you need support. Even then, there is certain information the support individual cannot see.
Firstly, the aforementioned RNGs are regularly tested by third-party companies. Also, the licensing authority requires all online casinos to be transparent with their gaming results by publicly publishing them every month. If anything looks out of place, this would speak an investigation. Furthermore, the licensing authority regularly runs checks on the games the online casinos provide.
All connections are protected by 128-bit SSL encryption as standard practice within the online casino industry. This is financial grade security in action. Furthermore, the casinos are required to have state-of-the-art firewalls and security systems in place as per UKGC licencing authority requirements.