Tips for Switching From Live to Online Casinos
With recommendations in most countries to avoid large groups in public, many players will be matching the switch from brick and mortar casinos to the live sector. In what follows, we’re going to break down a number of tips for people who may be getting into the online casino side for the first time or who have played some but aren’t super familiar with it.
Making the Switch to Playing Online
There’s a sizable number of individuals who may have tried online casinos several years ago, perhaps more than a decade ago even, and didn’t like it, so they never came back to try it again once further developments happened. Along with that, there are more who simply haven’t ever cared to get involved playing on the Internet at all.
For those players, there can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to getting in on the action and getting everything set up when online is made to be the only viable option.
What we want to do is give players a chance to catch up and learn how to get started off on the right foot. For players who already enjoy online games pretty regularly, you may get something out of this too by learning something you didn’t already know or being reminded of something that you should be doing but aren’t.
Differences in Security
When you play in a land-based scenario, there are certain things you need to do to stay safe like avoiding carrying too much cash at once or keeping an eye on your chips so that none of them are stolen.
In the online sector, the nature of security is a bit different, and here we’ll show you a few of the basic things you need to know to keep yourself safe.
Tip #1: Use a different email address to sign up.
We strongly advise that you use a different email address for all of your online casino correspondence than you use for your regular dealings with people. This will make it harder for someone to try to get your password by using the “forgot my password” option, which uses your email to verify your identity.
If they know your email address for your casino account, then they know half of the information they need to compromise your account balance (the other half being your password). You can make things much more difficult on any shady individual by simply creating a new email address that you only use for online casino sign-ups and nothing else.
Tip #2: Don’t use public Wi-Fi networks.
Once you realize that you can play anywhere on your laptop, or even your phone or other mobile device, then you may want to play when you have access to the Wi-Fi through public networks at places like pubs, restaurants or hotels.
It’s very important that you avoid doing this. We say so because the people who actually operate the network could have applications called “sniffers” running, which are freely available to download on the Internet, and those applications can capture and read any information that you send over that connection.
That information could include your username, password and site that you’re playing with, which is everything someone would need to know to compromise your account.
Tip #3: Don’t automatically log in to any casino accounts.
It doesn’t matter if you play at home on your desktop computer or if you play using a tablet or smartphone while you’re out and about. You should never have your casino accounts set to automatically log in without having to use your username/email and password.
For an example of how this can go poorly, there have been several cases of children getting on a relative’s computer, loading up thousands on an online casino account and losing it, not realizing it was real money they were playing with. The casino won’t be able to return your funds in most instances because that would open up the floodgates for anyone who lost money to use the same excuse.
When you leave your account to automatically log in, you’re giving up access to all of your finances to anyone who gets access to or steals your computer or mobile device, and that’s something you definitely don’t want.
Differences in Strategy
In land-based casinos, there are certain things that happen or do not happen at online sites that can drastically change the available strategies. Here we’ll offer some tips on how to avoid falling into traps or common mistakes based on these differences.
Tip #4: Don’t count cards online.
Counting cards is a very important strategy in land-based blackjack that allows you to have a really good idea of when you have an advantage against the house based on the composition of the remaining cards in the shoe.
However, this whole idea is based on the premise that there is a physical shoe that is dealt from and that you can see which cards come out so that you can have an idea of what to know about the cards left in.
In the online world, you don’t get to see cards coming out of a shoe in any meaningful way. This because they’re shuffled back into the shoe after every single hand, so you can’t really do any card counting in most blackjack or Baccarat games.
The exception to this rule is certain live dealer tables online where a shoe is used, but you should exercise some caution because these shoes don’t usually get dealt into with any serious amount of depth, which can mitigate the edge you can gain from counting-based strategies.
Tip #5: Double check video poker pay tables.
It’s well-known that there are certain brick and mortar video poker machines that will pay out more than 100 percent for players who have the right strategies and can consistently implement them. While you’ll find similar games online, there are virtually always small differences that will keep you from getting the advantage.
Full pay Deuces Wild is a good example, and you’ll often find this game’s pay table in land-based machines where you can get a little more than a 100 percent payout, giving you an edge over the casino, if you use the proper strategies.
When you look at the online pay tables, however, you’ll see that one or two key payouts for certain hands are reduced, and this moves the maximum payout rate to down below the 100 percent level. The most you’ll see in video poker is usually in the 99.0 to 99.5 payout range for perfect play, though some online games have payouts as high as 99.6 or 99.7 just depending on what you’re playing.
Differences in Promotions
Playing in a live venue gives you opportunities to get promotions and comps in much different ways than playing online. If you aren’t prepared, or if you don’t know what to expect, then you can miss out on a ton of value when playing in online casinos.
In the following, we’ll break down some tips that will help to make sure that you know what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to promotions, bonuses and other comps.
Tip #6: Check the wagering requirements before you deposit.
Bonuses and promotions for online casinos are based largely around what are called wagering requirements or play-through requirements. They’re in place to keep people from abusing these deals who don’t actually intend to play the games, and they’re essentially an amount that you have to actually play in total bets before you can be credited a bonus (or otherwise cash it out).
A simple wagering requirement might be 20 times the total of your bonus and deposit. That’s a really easy thing to understand, but if you don’t know that you’ll be expected to clear that, then you’ll be stuck in a position where you lose out on value simply because you didn’t know any better.
Tip #7: Look for game restrictions on those wagering requirements before playing.
Choosing where to play often involves choosing which games and which promotions match up with what you’re looking for as far as your individual experience goes. The whole idea is that you want to find the games that you’re interested in, but you want to find them somewhere that has a bonus or promotion that will give you extra value.
Game restrictions are parts of a bonus’ terms and conditions that keep you from playing certain titles or types of games while you shoot to clear out certain wagering requirements. For example, if you are in the middle of clearing the play-through for a slots-oriented bonus, then they may not allow you to play blackjack. Instead, there would be a different bonus in most cases for playing table games with different terms that do allow those titles.
This is probably the single most common mistake that players make when they’re making the transition from the land-based sector to the online sector as a player.
Tip #8: Find an online casino home based on long-term comps and loyalty programs instead of first deposit bonuses or welcome packages.
It’s really easy to get distracted by all of the flashy promotions and deals that are offered to players in the online environment. However, if you’re looking to play over the long run, then you should make sure that you look for casinos with good deals that will be more suitable beyond the immediate offers they give you for the short-term.
Loyalty programs, regular reload bonuses and other ongoing promotions are the best things to look at. However, some casinos will put up a big welcome package instead of offering long-term value, and if you don’t plan to stick with one site for long, those types of deals can be fine.
With that said, it’s generally better overall to find a site with the game selection and terms and conditions that you prefer and to stick with them. This will mean that you get to know what they’re like and what to expect, and it also means that you’ll rise higher in their VIP and loyalty programs to get better returns on the points that you earn with your play.
Putting It All Together
The key thing to realize overall is that there are some very serious differences between the online and land-based environments. If you decide to be stubborn and jump right into playing instead of learning those differences, then the end result is pretty simple: You’re going to lose value.
What we’ve done with the tips that we have put together for you here is give you a miniature road map to help you get to where you want to be in terms of value and overall experience without having to learn these things the hard way during your transition to the online world from the land-based one in the casino industry.