How to Pick an Online Casino Site
We understand how difficult it can be to pick an online casino. With the sheer number of online casinos in the United Kingdom, how do you even start finding the right site for you? Well, that’s why we’re here as we’ve made numerous lists of recommended casino sites to help you find a site that suits your needs. And once you’ve found a website, we’ve even prepared a guide on how to successfully register at a casino and verify your account, which you can read here.
If you’d rather do the work yourself, you’ll need to consider several important factors. When playing for real money, there are many aspects to consider, but the welcome bonus is undoubtedly a good entry point. Ultimately, you want to gain as much as possible while risking the least amount of your own money.
However, have you noticed that welcome bonuses have become much more diverse? Ten years ago, it was all about no deposit and free cash offers, a few years later spin promotions had seemingly disappeared, and 100 – 300% match deposit offers were incredibly popular. Today, it’s a little more complicated as gambling companies are more creative than ever. Especially newly launched casinos find new ways to excite new customers.
You might have already noticed that no deposit and free cash offers are making a comeback but what’s really hot at the moment are promotions that focus on no wagering requirements. That’s right – although online casinos do ask you for an initial deposit to start playing, there are absolutely no strings attached to your winnings. Keep what you win is their motto!
Here are two UK casino sites that have zero wagering requirements in place meaning you can request withdrawal of your winnings immediately.
Online Casinos with No Deposit Offers
Nevertheless, players are still up for a bit of free cash, so it’s no surprise that no deposit and free spin offers remain popular and it’s nice to see that online casinos, new and old, increasingly add them back to their list of promotions. Some sites offer a combination of a deposit bonus and spins whereas others focus on free spins only.
Here are three top casinos with no deposit offers.
Please do keep in mind that when accepting free spins, online casinos almost always have wagering requirements and/or maximum cashout limits in place. Always refer to the terms & conditions before signing up to avoid disappointment later on.
Payout rates in UK Online Casinos
Almost all casino games, whether online or offline, are luck-based unless you can count cards like the MIT Blackjack Team. It means that there is no guaranteed return on investment, which is one reason why you should never wager more money than you can afford to lose!
However, luck-based does not mean that you cannot adjust to increase your chance of winnings. You might have already guessed it, but we are about to talk about RTP, short for Return to Player, rates.
Online Slots with high payout rates (RTP)
RTP describes the percentage of wagered money a casino will pay back to their players over time. Should you have ever searched for a specific online slot, you might have noticed that it was advertised with a percentage figure, e.g., 97% Return to Player. It means that for every £1 wager the slot machine will pay out to players £0.97. The remaining 3% (3 pence) is what is called the house edge or the casino’s revenue.
Now, while RTP rates are calculated over time, you are not guaranteed any return, but online slots with a high Return to Player rate increase your likelihood of winning money.
If you enjoy playing slots, then it’s worth knowing that some online slot games pay out on average as little as 75% while others have an RTP rate of up to 99%. It should be a no-brainer which game you should choose if you care about winning real money.
Here are five online slots with high payout rates along with online casinos that currently offer them:
Blackjack and Roulette Payout More
Have you ever accepted a welcome bonus in an online casino and noticed that specific game categories, such as blackjack and roulette, count differently towards the operator’s wagering requirements? It’s not a mistake, but most table games do, in fact, only contribute 10% – 20% whereas online casinos regularly allow a 100% contribution from video slots. How so?
The reason for this discrepancy is plain and simple a difference in the RTP rates. Online Blackjack games commonly exceed the 99.5% payout rate hence makes it much more likely for players like you to win money. As a consequence, online casinos lower the percentage contribution towards the wagering requirements. They’re greedy, aren’t they!
Long story short; playing table games at any casino site can significantly increase your chance of winning real money, but before you put all your money on black now, you should keep in mind that for most cases you might only double your stakes. Big jackpots, like you can win playing online slots, are a no-no at table games.
For those of you that do fancy a round of blackjack or roulette, we’ve put together a list of the best online casinos UK for table games.
Why Choose Us as Your Single Source of Truth
There is a lot of information about UK online casinos out there, and you’ve probably come across a few other review sites, which can make it hard to pick your single source of truth. Let’s see what makes us different and why you can count on us!
- WE SAY HOW IT IS
We don’t beat around the bush. We review casino sites and give you the facts, good and bad, about each operator. Unfortunately, we also haven’t found the secret to guaranteed winning yet.
- WE’RE ON A MISSION
Our team has over a decade worth of experience working with UK casinos, and we made it our mission to build the most comprehensive gambling resource for British players. We work hard, so you don’t have to.
- WE’RE A UK BUSINESS
To succeed in business, you need to stay close to your customers, which is why we’re based here in the United Kingdom. We learn about any changes to online gambling first-hand and, as a side-effect, we actively support British entrepreneurship.
Gambling NewsGame Developer Jogo Global Acquires UK Gambling Commission License Land-Based Casino Operator VGC Leeds Limited Fined £450,000 By UKGC Operator Asiabet33 Named As Fulham FC’s New Official Betting Partner
What Is the Total Number of Casino Sites in Great Britain
Great Britain has the largest regulated online casino market in the world and online gambling, which includes sports betting, accounts for 33% of all gaming in Britain. As at 30 September 2017, there were a total of 2,794 licensed operators, both online and offline, and about 420 of the licensees offered remote games to UK customers.
Are All Those Casinos Legal?
Yes. All operators in possession of a valid license issued by the UKGC are allowed to offer casino games to customers via a website, mobile phone, and TV. This includes online slot games, roulette, poker, blackjack, and other casino games such as craps baccarat.
However, not every UK casino that holds a license offers the same range of games to customers, and there are also many other criteria, e.g., design and customer service, that can make or break a casino. It’s for that reason that we review and rate each operator in Great Britain.
What About Illegal Casinos?
There are other countries that offer online gambling licenses such as Gibraltar (Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association ) and Alderney (Alderney Gambling Control Commission) and online casinos in possession of such license do not operate illegally per se. However, Great Britain has stringent guidelines when it comes to remote gambling operators and does not recognise permits from other territories. To gamble legally in the Britain, you must play with a casino website that holds a valid license from UK’s Gambling Commission.
Now that we’ve learned more about online casinos and how we at Casinostoplay.com review and rate them, let’s take a look behind the scenes. Although UK casino websites often have entirely different looks they rarely develop the casino games themselves.
Instead, gambling operators partner with gaming software developers such as Microgaming, Netent, and the like, to gain access to a broader range of games and to focus their efforts on player support and promotions.
We’ve talked a lot about software providers to let’s have a more in-depth look into three of them, namely Microgaming, Playtech, and Netent. What have they been up to over the last few years?
Microgaming is probably the most famous software developer. The company launched in the early 1990s when they released what’s thought to be the first ever online casino. They’ve since gone on to become a leading provider and developer due to their focus on customer experience over anything else.
The firm creates exciting and fun games which are known to push boundaries. They also prioritise quality and design, making sure the game is fun to play and features jaw-dropping visuals and sound effects. They’re even responsible for creating the explosive Mega Moolah progressive jackpot slot game, which allows users to win large sums of money.
Today, Microgaming has won numerous awards including Gambling Online Magazine’s 2003 Top Casino Software award, the Best Casino iGaming Software award and an Editor’s Pick Award. While winning all of these awards, Microgaming worked to make itself available in over ten languages and to offer over 300 fun games.
Playtech is one of the industry’s pioneers. The company started in the early 1990s, just like Microgaming, and its founder Teddy Sagi showed a good instinct for how the online casino market would develop.
Between 1999 and 2006, Playtech and Microgaming pretty much split the global online casino market 50/50 and earned billions during that time. It helped that gambling online was still allowed in the territories of the United States.
Playtech developed games in high-quality fashion right from the start and quickly earned a competitive advantage, especially for card games and roulette, which made players love them. However, the company struggled to compete for online slots due to to a low number of games and a lack of creativity. This changed to the better ever since Playtech invested further resources and acquired Quickspin, a slot-focused games developer, back in 2016.
Today, many of UK’s Top 20 Online Casinos feature either Playtech or Quickspin games on their platforms.
Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold. The company’s reputation took a beating when a player only received a partial payment for her jackpot win due to a ‘maximum cashout clause’ in the casino’s T&Cs. Although it wasn’t Playtech but the casino that denied the payout, many blamed Playtech for giving out licenses to casinos that show a lack of integrity.
Founder Teddy Sagi started to sell most of his ownership in Playtech in the early 2000s, which turned out to be a smart decision. Since 2010, the market for casino games have become incredibly competitive, and Playtech’s share price fell by 50 percent.
Fun Fact: Teddy Sagi invested some of his returns into London’s Camden Town area and is its largest landowner, e.g., Camden Market.
Playtech is still having a hard time keeping up with today’s creative masterminds Big Time Gaming, Thunderkick, and Pragmatic Play. However, the company remains to be one of the industry’s leaders and their games are available at many large online casinos such as Bet365 and Betfred as well as Quickspin slots at Casumo or Dream Vegas.
NetEntertainment is another popular provider to online casinos. They’ve been creating fun games for over 20 years and are primarily known for a series of well-designed online slot evergreens such as Gonzo’s Quest. NetEnt is so popular that they held the official Guinness World Record for paying out the largest jackpot worth €17.8 million through their popular progressive slot Mega Fortune.
In 2017, NetEnt’s gaming servers handled over 41.2 billion transactions. In addition to that, they serve over 200 of the world’s most prominent online casino sites and offer more than 200 games to their dedicated players.
Many of the casinos that made our Top 20 Online Casinos UK feature an expansive list of popular games. While most resemble the games you would expect at a brick-and-mortar establishment, you will often have access to unique variations that you wouldn’t be able to play anywhere else.
Some of the traditional table games offered at UK casinos include roulette, blackjack, poker, and baccarat with variations such as European and American roulette, pontoon blackjack, punto banco baccarat. If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon mahjong, craps, and pai gow.
Most casino games are also available on mobile devices, and some casino sites even offer mobile-only versions. For instance, Blackjack Touch is a mobile blackjack game that only works on smartphones and tablet computers.
Wide Range of Online Slots
Where online casinos excel is at the range of slot games. This might sound cheesy, but on the Internet, the only limit seems to be your imagination. It’s especially true for new slot sites that launch nearly every month. When it comes to online slots, you can play pretty much anything from the traditional three-reel fruit slots to video slots featuring fantasy or animal themes. You can even find slot games which are based on recent movies and television shows such as Game of Thrones, Jurassic World and Spiderman. If you want to learn more about slot sites, head over to Superslots.de, a website dedicated to everything Spielautomaten, the German word for slots.
Live Dealer Games for Experienced Players
If that isn’t enough then live casinos are the natural progression. At live games, you virtually sit down at your favourite table game, and a real-life dealer is being streamed over the Internet. You can directly interact with the dealer through a message system or chat room get even closer to a real-life casino experience. Please note that live dealer games are usually not available as a free version and are more tailored to experienced players.
What Is the Secret to Winning
We get this question a lot, and firstly it’s important to remember that online casinos are supposed to be fun. We recommend always to set yourself a limit and only wager what you can afford to lose. Long story short; there is no guarantee to win, whether it’s the lotto or at the casino, and anyone who tells you differently is selling something.
If the lotto jackpot were won every single time, there would be no jackpot, and if there were a secret way to win at a casino game, the casino would go bankrupt and close its doors.
However, if you’re looking to maximise your chance of winning, you might want to consider online slot games with a high RTP (Return to Player) or pick an UK casino that offers a generous welcome bonus with low wagering requirements and ideally no cash out limit.
Having access to help when things don’t go according to plan is important for you as a customer and essential criteria in our review process. If you ever run into technical difficulties or issues with your payments, whether deposits or withdrawals, you want to have access to someone who can help you out as quickly as possible. Most casinos offer a range of support options including a 24/7 live chat feature, which works great for resolving non-critical issues promptly.
Other casinos, however, aren’t so great at customer service. They might not have a live chat feature, or maybe they lack a phone number, and the only way to contact them is through a form on their website. We take customer support extremely serious and run extensive checks on the accurateness, friendliness, and ease of use of their service. Have a look at our live chat protocol to get an idea of how our checks work.
We only highlight and recommend online casinos that offer excellent customer support, but if you decide to find a casino on your own, we recommend only to pick those that offer various support options available to you 24/7 and ideally in your native language.
Questions & Answers (FAQ)
What's the best online casino?
It would be tough to answer this question in one sentence. We’ve developed a review algorithm that uses over 20 ranking factors to decide on the best online casino. Check out our results!
Can I trust online casinos?
Yes, as long as the casino site is certified by the UK’s Gambling Commission, uses SSL to keep player data secure and partners with third-party regulators such as eCOGRA. Please refer to our top list for the best casino sites in the UK that passed all security checks!
Which online casino has the best payouts?
Payouts vary by game and operator, and you should usually register with an online casino that pays out at least 97% to its players. We’ve put together a list of UK casinos with the highest payouts.
What are wagering requirements?
Some online casinos require you to wager the winnings from bonus money or free spins a certain amount of time before you can request a withdrawal. Only the best casino sites such as PlayOJO offer wager-free bonuses where you can immediately cash out your winnings.
Is it difficult to withdraw money from a casino site?
No, withdrawing winnings at a casino site is just as simple as depositing it. Navigate to your player account, click on the banking tab, and select your desired withdrawal method. The casino will process your request in most cases within 24 hours.