Any reputable online casino should have policies in place regrading responsible gambling, as well as a clear policy on preventing underage gambling. This is not only in the interests of individual players, but also the casinos themselves and the wider industry as a whole.
Online gambling does come in for more than its fair share of criticism from some sectors of society, and so the industry as a whole takes the issue of responsible gambling very seriously, as any breaches have an impact on the perception and reputation of the wider gambling industry, and don’t just affect the individuals or sites involved.
For this reason, we only recommend online casinos that have clear, transparent and accessible policies with regard to responsible, problem and under-age gambling. However, we are also here to give players tips and advice on how they themselves can assume greater responsibility for their own gaming, and show you how playing at the best casino sites can go a long way to making sure that all players can enjoy a safe and secure gaming environment that has the proper controls in place.
One of the first things that you can do to ensure that you’re taking a responsible approach to gambling is to avoid putting yourself into a position where you may lose more money than you can realistically afford. This means managing your bankroll, playing for the right sized stakes, and understanding the games you play and the odds of any bets you make.
It is crucial to set yourself both targets and limits. This can be for a gaming session, or a period of time like a day or a week, but it’s important to set a limit on how much money you are prepared to lose during that time and then sticking to it. The most important element of gambling responsibly is not to chase your losses, so once you establish a limit for yourself, it’s imperative to adhere to it.
For instance, if you decide to set yourself some targets for winning, an increase on your bankroll for the session of between 30%-40% is a very healthy return, and the ideal time to walk away. On the other hand, if you haven’t set a specific loss limit for a gaming session (however long that may be), any time that see your overall bankroll shrink to 50% of its original size is probably the right time to log out and come back another day.
Likewise, not playing for stakes that you can’t afford is also an important part of taking a responsible approach to gambling. If you do, your bankroll can diminish more quickly than you plan, and then sticking to your limits becomes harder. Your approach to the stakes you play for will differ from game to game, and so here are some suggestions as to how you can measure this.
When you’re playing online pokies, for instance, choose a coin size that lets you bet the max but means you’e not spending more than 1% of your limit for the session per spin. When you’re choosing a blackjack table, you need to know that the game is played at a rate of about 150 hands per hour, and there is a House Edge of roughly 1%. If you’re wagering $1 a hand, then you can reasonably expect to lose about $15 per hour, and you should then use this calculation to determine which minimum bet size you should opt for.
Another way to ensure that you’re gambling responsibly is to have a good understanding of the games you’re playing and the odds of the bets you’re making. For instance, did you know that craps has some of the very best and some of the very worst bets of all casino games? Which version of roulette has the best House Edge? Are all video poker games the same, or do some offer better odds than others? If you want to make sure that you’re playing and wagering responsibly, take the time to find out more about the games you play, and which bets will give you the best value. You can’t change the outcome of the spin, or the roll of the dice, but you can make sure that you always know exactly what your chances are of winning.
Responsible gambling doesn’t just to apply to your wagers — it also has to do with the sort of site you play at. You have a responsibility to yourself to get the best value that you can by playing at a site that is safe, secure and offers you an open and fair gaming experience.
The best way you can do this is to read our casino reviews before you decide to platy anywhere. This is because we only recommend casinos that fulfil certain criteria with regard to the quality of the site and their games, and that have the appropriate accreditation in place.
For starters, we only recommend online casinos where the software is by leading and reputable game producers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech. As well as enabling you to enjoy the best online pokies and other casino games, this also means that you know the casino itself has no influence on how the games are operated, as this is all managed by the games’ developers, who guarantee the 100% randomness of the their RNGs (random number generators). The fact that a casino can’t manipulate a RNG or in any way influence the outcome of a spin or bet means you are playing at a fair and well-operated site.
To further add to this, we make sure that all of the sites we feature are operated out of well-respected and properly regulated countries and principalities like Malta and Gibraltar. In addition, they also have to be accredited and licensed by that jurisdiction’s gaming authorities (and in many cases, by the UK Gambling Commission as well), and have their authority to operate easily accessible on their site so that you can check out their accreditation for yourself. Most sites will also include a direct link to the relevant gaming authority’s own website, so that you can be clear in your mind as to what obligations a casino has if it is to fulfil the licensing requirements, and what the penalties are if they fail so to do. In this way, you can know what to expect from a well-governed casino site.
On our site, you can also only expect to find casinos that are independently tested, audited and certified by independent, third party agencies, whose aim it is to maintain fairness, and operational and security standards across the industry. Agencies such as eCogra, GLI and TST are charged with ensuring that online casinos conduct themselves lawfully, have good business practices and ethics, and are transparent in the way that they operate. The results of these agencies’ monthly inspections can be viewed directly on the casino’s site, along with a report certifying to the fairness of the RNGs, the security of the software and whether it is virus free, along with the return to player percentages (RTP) or payout rates of the casino as a whole, as well as the RTP for individual categories of games.
There are unquestionably some rogue casino sites out there — although you won’t find any listed on our site. These are the sites that don’t pay out, accept a deposit without crediting it to your account, or close player accounts without warning. Therefore, if you come across a site where there are no contact details where you can get in touch with casino customer support, or one that has limited or no functionality with only a rudimentary design, or a place purporting to be an online casino but there are no games by any recognisable brands, then this is a casino site to avoid.