Can’t I Just Play At Any Online Casino?
Can’t you just set fire to your money?! Stop this madness. They’re not all the same.
Not every casino is as fair and legitimate as you probably expect. The Internet makes it easier for scammers and swindlers to put on a professional front. And sadly, this industry has more than its fair share of them.
All they need is a slick website and some malintent, and they’re well on their way to making a fortune at the expense of unsuspecting players like you. Don’t be fooled.
Let me guide you through the process of choosing a casino, and getting the best terms for your money, so you can get the most enjoyable experience when you’re gambling online.
How Do I Find The Best Online Casinos?
So what makes a casino great? Is it catchy graphics, a cool name, a good-looking dealer? Nope.
It’s about what they can do for you as a player, and the quality of the gaming experience you can expect once you sign up for an account.
At its most basic, you need to be making sure you’re playing at a casino that is legitimate, fair and transparent. If a shady man on the street offered you the chance to bet real money for a jackpot, you’d have to be pretty stupid to take him up on that offer. The same applies to online casinos – except in this game, some of the shadiest operators are dressed in the finest of clothes.
They should also offer decent bonuses, and a good selection of games from top tier providers. Bonuses are now the order of the day when it comes to signing up and playing with online casinos – they are simply everywhere, and any casino you come across will wave bonuses in your face. But not all bonuses are equal – stick with me, and I’ll show you the best bonuses without those sneaky terms and conditions, so you can get the most from your gaming. More on this later.
Perhaps even more importantly, you want to find a casino that has a wide range of high quality games. There’s nothing more frustrating that researching a casino and signing up for an account only to find there are just a handful of games, or you don’t like the quality. With our reviews and write-ups, you can find the casinos with the optimum range and selection of games, so you’ll never feel the need to play elsewhere.
With our help, you can find the best casinos for your gaming experience, tailored to the Aussie market. From the basics like finding a legitimate, trustworthy operator through to the specifics like bonus amounts, wagering restrictions and game selection, we’ve got it all covered.
A Word About Responsible Gaming…
Before we go any further, it’s worth spending a minute or two discussing Responsible Gaming. In the early days, online casinos were truly like the Wild West. Casino operators wouldn’t think twice about attracting and encouraging irresponsible gambling, and some even tried to get away with trashing their own reputations, blinded by the short-term rewards of ripping off unsuspecting or vulnerable players.
Today, it’s quite a different story. Casinos are now altogether a much more responsible breed online, dedicating resources and attention to protecting gamblers from any ill effects. Programs like self-exclusion allow problem players to take themselves out of harm’s way, while industry-wide commitments to standards and fairness make for a much more level playing field for the rest.
Here at NetBet, we only deal with operators who have demonstrated a commitment to fair play and Responsible Gaming. That doesn’t mean that all casinos are fine – just that you can put your trust in the casinos we review and recommend, as being responsible corporate citizens. We won’t recommend a dodgy deal.
When you’re looking for an online casino to sign up for a new account, there’s plenty to think about. Let’s start by taking a look at casino bonuses.
Casino Bonuses Uncovered
Casino bonuses are one of the most common sights you’ll see when you’re researching a new online casino. Whether it’s a wad of cash, free spins on your favourite pokies, or some other incentive, they idea behind them remains the same – to encourage you to sign-up for one casino over another.
There are generally a few different types of bonuses you’ll come across.
These are the most common bonuses you’ll see. Think of it like the digital equivalent of a bar offering you and your mates some free shots. Casinos want you to come on in and set up an account, in the hope that you’ll stick around. But this is a competitive place for them to do business, and for many new players, a casino is only as popular as it’s chequebook suggests.
Welcome bonuses are paid usually as a matching amount to your deposit, often at 100% up to a maximum limit. So when you see an offer for $100, it usually means you’ll get a free 100% match on your first deposit up to that number. There are also often subsequent bonuses, known as reload bonuses, which can award varying percentages on your next deposit, commonly 50%, 75% or a further 100%. But remember – all of these bonuses come with their own terms and conditions, so don’t let the big numbers blind your vision.
You’ll also see casinos offering free spins on your favourite selections of pokies. These are usually limited to one or two games, and often have to be used up within a defined period of time. You might also be restricted in the amount you can win, so again, take care to read the terms and conditions first before you’re sucked in by a free spins offer.
When you do get your hands on some free spins, you can use these to try out new games, racking up real money winnings in the process…but only if the reels are on your side. Free spins are a great added extra, often coming alongside or in place of the traditional welcome bonus. When you choose and use them wisely, they can be worth a pretty penny.
Free Play Bonuses
Less commonly, you’ll also come across free play bonuses. These work like free spins, but rather than being a free unitary number of spins, it’s a period of free play. You take the time allotted and try to win as much as possible within that time. When combined with some pokies, these bonuses can be particularly potent.
Of course, there are no guarantees you’ll win anything, and winnings will be subject to the usual suite of terms and conditions. But it’s still a great way to try out new games, and to bag some cheeky, free winnings with no money down. Nice touch.
High Roller Bonuses
One thing I’ve found from personal experience is that it pays to be a high roller. Not every casino can handle big money players…but those that can often fall over themselves to give you the best deals. So instead of depositing for smaller amount bosses, opt instead for those casinos that are setup to payout bigger bonuses.
There’s no real difference in the bonus structure in most cases, and you’ll still see the familiar hallmarks of matched deposit bonuses. The key difference lies in the amount, and when you’re depositing big league, it often pays to be doing so in return for a high roller matched bonus.
While these bonuses can be a great way to start life at a new casino, they are not always a fantastic deal. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. This is only proved by the terms and conditions of these bonuses, which restrict how you can use them, and often the amount of money you can win from them.
Terms like wagering requirements and maximum wins are designed to protect casinos from bonus abuse, or even from too many players winning too much money from these freebies. While they can still be a good way to increase your bankroll and try out new casinos with minimal risk, it’s always a good idea to understand the terms and conditions attached before you take the plunge.
Which Casino Games?
Talking about casino games opens a Pandora’s box of choice, in terms of game engagement, quality, house edge and cash potential. Few people play online casino games for a laugh – most of us want to win. With that in mind, there are a few games that prove eternally popular with Australian players for various reasons – you’ll find them all and more at the casinos we review.
Pokies are hugely popular. Known as slots to the rest of the world, they’re the digital version of physical pokies you’d find in casinos and arcades. There’s not a lot of skill involved – in fact, your gran has as much chance of winning big as you do. But players are drawn to pokies for the huge wins available, including those progressive jackpot games, where winners can land tens of millions of dollars.
Be wary of volatile, high variance pokies – these are games that pay out big, but gobble up money in the process. If you’re looking for more stable gameplay, check out the slots we recommend for their low to medium variance, for the best mix between winning potential and risk.
More synonymous with traditional land-based casinos, roulette has made a seamless transition into a popular game for Aussie gamblers online and on mobile. While not as big as pokies, the potential for winnings on roulette at 35x your stake for a single number still makes for an enticing draw. But for most, it’s the house edge that’s the real attraction. Comparatively lower than other online casino games, the slim house edge in roulette means it’s likely you’ll win more money, more often, than with comparable chance-based games.
Another popular casino game with Australian players is blackjack. Unlike pokies and roulette, blackjack is actually a game of skill – a huge part of its appeal, no doubt, amongst both casual and high rolling players. When you combine basic strategy with skill and experience, you can slim down the house edge in blackjack to around 2%. Some versions available online even offer side-bets, which can add further opportunities to win.
That doesn’t mean you’re more likely to win big if you don’t know what you’re doing – of course, you need to actually get good at blackjack first. If you want to become a blackjack shark ready to devour casinos for breakfast, check out our blackjack resources so you can learn what it takes to make more profitable decisions when playing blackjack online.
Video poker is a strange one, but it’s growing in popularity. I like to think of video poker as some kind of weird hybrid monster, half-way between pokies and actual poker. The game is usually modeled on 3 card draw, where you see your hand before deciding which cards to swap out. The key difference is though, with video poker, you’re playing against a machine. It’s up to you to make a hand of cards of a qualifying rank to walk away in the money.
This naturally means your winning potential is limited, unlike in a No Limits table game, for example. However, if you treat this as a fixed odds game and look at the house edge, there are ways of reducing risk and improving your chances of winning.
It might seem pretty straightforward, but it’s a good idea to get your video poker strategy down to a T before you venture further. Of course, your friends here at NetBet Australia will show you how.
Mobile Casinos: The Future of Aussie Gambling
Remember when online casinos were the new kid on the block? You probably don’t, but I do. Now it’s all about mobile casinos. Sure, online casinos are still available, and they continue to dominate the market. But for a lot of ordinary Australians, convenience is king.
That’s why mobile casinos have become so popular – coupled with the fact they’ve got a lot better. In days gone by, playing mobile casinos was like playing ‘Snake’ on your old Nokia – fun at the time, but pretty lacking when you look back…
Nowadays, they’re all singing, all dancing platforms – much closer to what you’d find at your favourite online casino. While the games are still improving, and still steadily increasing in number, mobile casinos have already reached the point where they can provide a satisfying, fun experience for players who value that convenience.
With an account at a good, reputable mobile casino, you can play from your pocket at any time of the day or night. You don’t need to set up your laptop or pull up a chair in front of the PC – simply grab your smartphone and away you go.
We can help you sort the best from the rest when it comes to mobile casinos, so you can enjoy the full gambling experience with none of the hassle. Bonza. Check out our mobile casino pages for more info.
Up The Ante? Try Live Dealer Games
Q: What’s better than playing at a land-based casino?
A: Playing live dealer games online.
For some players, regular online casinos fall short. They just can’t get that authentic experience from playing video games, the sophistication, class and luxury that comes from a night at the casino. Depending on where you live, you might be hundreds of miles from your nearest land-based casino, so it used to be the case that there wasn’t much alternative – either play online like everyone else, or get on your bike.
Live dealer games changed all that. Today, Aussies nationwide are logging-on to take part in live dealer games, recreating that authentic casino floor experience with all the benefits and convenience of playing from home. There’s no dress code, so ditch the best Bob and Tucker – you can kick back in your shorts and sunnies while chatting to a pretty dealer, playing your favourite games in a realistic casino environment.
We’ve got plenty of recommendations for the best live dealer games Australian casinos have to offer. Check out our live dealer section to get the whole picture, and find the quickest way to the best live dealer games out there.
Jackpots, Jackpots, Jackpots
Was is Beyonce who said Go Hard or Go Home? Jackpots are the gambling equivalent. While some are interested in picking up a few bucks here or there, others are driven by mega money. These are the elite gamblers interested in landing a multi-million dollar win – we turn our noses up at anything less.
Jackpots are also a key feature of our reviews, and we make sure to cover the casinos with the best jackpot games, and your best bets of winning back something decent if luck takes a shine to you.
Aside from regular, in-game jackpots, you’ll also find a number of casinos offering Progressive jackpots, especially on pokies. These are jackpots that combine prize funds from a whole host of different local games into one, much bigger prize. Don’t hold your breath for winning it, but if you do, your life will never be the same again. These prize funds run into the millions and beyond, and you’ve got to be in it to win it.
Like the player on the Dark Knight pokey who walked away with AU$10,423,223. While their identity remains a mystery, you can be they’re not scrimping and saving. Or the British soldier who won enough to buy a new mansion, a Bentley, and pay for his dad’s medical bills with a lifetime of change to spare. Neither would have dreamed they could win big – but win they did.
There’s no telling who could be next to win these progressives, which is why so many players find them such an exciting prospect.
And so to Vegas from your living room…
While we’re here to help you find the best online and mobile gambling experience in Australia, we can only do so much before it’s over to you. As you log-on to deposit and play, keep these factors in mind – they could just be the difference between walking away in the moolah, or walking away with less than you started. And nobody likes losing to the casinos.
Feel free to check back here for more information, and check out our reviews, guides and other write-ups to give yourself the best chance of finding winning ways.
Otherwise, good luck. Gambling online can be great fun and winning money feels great. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before you sign up!