If you're new to online gambling, peruse our top 10 online casino tips to help get you on your way.
If you're an Australian who wants to start playing online casino games it can be a little daunting at first. There are so many casinos to choose from and so many different games to play. Not to mention some foreign concepts like a deposit match and wagering conditions. So to help you we've compiled a list of tips to help you get started and to help you ensure that you get the most enjoyment out of your gambling, win as much as you can and run as little risk as possible. Even if you have gambled online before you might pick up something useful.
1. Set - and stick to - a budget
Australians love to gamble. And we can be a bit cavalier about it. So you need to be wise. When you're playing online for real money always make sure that you set an affordable budget for each session. Work out how much you're prepared to gamble and how much you're prepared to lose. And, very importantly, stick to it. It can be very tempting to have just one more spin, one more hand. But that's how you get into trouble and start losing money you can't afford. Choose bet and coin sizes to suit your budget to help make your funds go as far as possible. Avoid the temptation to top up your bankroll with your credit card as you're playing, unless you have plenty of spare cash. Remember to only play with money that you can set aside for entertainment - don't use money that needs to be spent on other necessities. Read more about money management here.
2. Only play at reputable online casinos
There are plenty of online casinos offering play to Australians. You need to be able to tell the difference between the reputable ones and the fly-by-nights. The casino must be safe, secure and reliable. There are plenty of clues you can use to work this out. Firstly the casino needs to be licensed in a recognised jurisdiction and certified by an independent oversight body like eCOGRA or GamCare. This means that it has been verified to be safe and fair, and you can play there with confidence. Have a look at the banking methods that are offered - are they well-known and do you have experience with them? The more reputable casinos will offer reputable banking methods. Check out their customer service. Fire off a few email queries or pick up the phone and see how quickly and professionally they reply.
3. Make use of bonuses and promotions
Firstly, you need to realise that there is no such thing as truly free money. No matter how the bonuses are advertised, they all come with wagering conditions. This is fine, though, because bonuses are a great way to increase the amount of money you have at your disposal to play with. Some casinos offer specific bonuses and promotions for Australian players, so look out for those. Click here for our selection of casino bonuses.
4. Choose games with the best return to player
We Australians love our pokies. But realise that this isn't the most favourable game to play. We're not saying you shouldn't indulge yourself; just pointing out that there are more profitable games to play. All games have a built-in return to player, which is the theoretical amount that you can expect to get back for all your betting. Some games have higher RTP than others. Generally table games will offer you better RTP than slots games or video poker. Click here for a complete list of available casino games.
5. If you're going to play pokies, play the progressives
If you really don't care about RTP because you definitely want to play the slots, then you may as well go for broke. Which is one of our national Australian characteristics, after all - having a go. Instead of choosing slots with limited maximum payouts, choose the progressive slots which will reward you exponentially more if you do hit the jackpot. It could be the difference between winning some great pocket money and changing your life forever.
6. Choose high roller casinos if you can afford to
Casinos tend to reward their high rollers more than the other players. There are lots more promotions, free offers and perks that come with being a high roller. So if you have a big gambling budget, take advantage of this. Most casinos have VIP loyalty programmes and some will have promotions specifically for Australians that reward you nicely the more you deposit and play. Click here for our selection of high roller bonuses.
7. Take regular breaks
Never play when you're tired - it's one of the best ways we know of losing money. Take regular breaks to stay fresh. Walk around, make yourself a cup of coffee, go outside. Anything to refresh your mind and keep yourself sharp.
8. Accept that gambling is about luck
No matter how great your system, no matter how perfectly you play, the overwhelming factor in gambling is pure luck. You can't control how the cards fall, where the wheel lands or where the reels stop. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to play as well as you can. We're just advising you to accept that you're going to get good luck and bad luck, and to take them both with good humour. There's nothing more destructive to your bankroll than getting angry at a piece of bad luck and going on tilt, throwing one reckless bet after another.
9. Don't drink and gamble online
Sure, we Australians love a beer or five. But it's never a good idea to drink while you're gambling. It's not so much that you'll make bad decisions on the pokies - how hard is it to press a button? It's that you're more likely to make rash decisions with your money. Like losing too much and then fishing out your credit card to top up, so that you lose control of how much you're gambling away. So just don't do it.
10. If you think you might have a problem, stop playing for a while
We all know that gambling can be addictive. It's all too easy to find yourself in a problem gambling situation, so keep an eye on yourself. As soon as you think you're gambling too much, or others tell you this, you're in danger. Rather step away from the casino for a while. And if you really do have a serious problem, contact one of the gambling help associations for assistance. You'll find their details on the website of any reputable online casino.