5 Things Poker Players Should Look for When Selecting an Online Casino

By James Guill
August 28, 2017

As longtime fans of Cardplayer Lifestyle know, this site is all about poker, both live and online. With that said, we also know that many of you out there also love to play casino games online. These are often tied to online casino clients that are separate from the standard poker clients you’re used to. In some cases, you may not even have a casino client option.

Just like you need to game/table select wisely when playing poker to maximize your hourly rate (i.e., sometimes you ought to ask for a seat change), by the same token you need to choose wisely when selecting an online casino. Anyone who has ever played at one knows that not all casinos are the same. In fact, some places stack the proverbial deck against you so severely that you’d be better off going out to buy lottery tickets!

Without further ado, below are five things to look for when selecting an online casino.

1. Quality of Welcome Bonus

One of the top things to check out before signing up is the quality of the site’s Welcome or First Deposit bonus. If the match portion is less than 100%, you might want to consider finding another place to play. If you like to play slots, then you want a bonus with free spins.

You also want a bonus that gives all of the rewards on the first deposit. Some sites will string you along over three to five deposits to get all of the promised rewards.

Lastly, be sure to check the fine print regarding play-through requirements and game contributions. A site that offers a 200% bonus but only contributes 5% for all games other than slots is inferior to a 50% match bonus with games that contribute 50%.

2. Banking Options

How many options does the casino offer for making a deposit? Do they only take credit cards and maybe one or two other forms of payment? Do they offer bank drafts? These questions are important when selecting an online casino as you want to utilize payment methods that make it easy to deposit and withdraw.

In addition, you want to play at fast paying online casinos. If you have to wait for two weeks or longer to get your funds (other than requesting a check by mail), then you might want to look for another option.

The best sites are those that pay out e-wallets within 48 hours and other forms within 5 to 7 business days. If your online casino can beat those times, even better.

3. Video Poker

Surprisingly, there’s still a number of online casinos out there that don’t offer video poker, or if they do it is a very limited selection. Video poker is highly popular – just ask Allen Kessler! – and the lack of these games in a casino can often point to an overall lower quality of gaming.

The same holds true for online casinos with a very limited number of video poker titles or those that offer bad pay tables. If you cannot find at least one 9-5 or better machine in a casino’s offerings, consider moving on.

4. Sports Betting

The better online casinos will offer players some type of sports betting. Gamblers love to place bets on their favorite sports teams or the latest fight. Just look at the insane amount of money that the poker community put on the recent mega-fight between McGregor and Mayweather.

It doesn’t have to be a robust sports betting facility, but one that lets you bet on all of the major sports plus major sporting events globally is ideal.

5. Low Number of “Gimmick” Games

Pay attention to the number of gimmick or casual games on a site. If they have a high number of games like Heads or Tails, Red or Black, and Bonus Bowling, chances are that the casino is going to be “tighter” overall.

Some casinos are going to offer this type of gaming, but it is usually a small sampling. If your intended online casino offers a large section of these games, check out the payouts of the other games before committing.



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James Guill poker author
Written By.

James Guill

James Guill started his poker career playing semi-professionally from 2006 to 2008. In 2008, a colleague suggested he try his hand at poker writing and the rest was history. Since 2008, James has written for numerous publications including PokerNews, PokerUpdate, Ivey Poker, PokerJunkie, PokerListings and PokerNews Australia. James also spent several years providing content for […]


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