Online Casinos Changed the Gaming World – A Guide to Regulated Online US Casinos
Casino gaming has been popular in the United States ever since the games were introduced well over 100 years ago. Whether in licensed land-based properties or in the back rooms of clubs, people have loved to gamble on the dice, cards, and spin of a wheel or a reel. The only thing holding the industry back was that you needed to leave your house and enter one of the facilities to be able to get your gambling fix.
In the late 1990s, as the internet was starting to become a part of our lives, the casino industry pounced on the opportunity to allow players to play games on their computers. Globally, the industry took off in the early 2000s, and although the US government has taken a particularly conservative stance on online gambling as a whole, there are signs that a more modern, open approach is on the way.
One thing is for certain: players continue to love playing games online, and Americans will be lined up on their computers and mobile devices as states begin to regulate the market.
Why Do People Play Casino Games Online?
Before we take a look at the games in more detail and the state of the industry in the US, let’s look at the reason why these games have become so popular. The casino games that we play today are not much different than the ones that were introduced decades ago, so there is definitely some consistency to playing online if you have gambled in the past. However, the reasons to play these games go much deeper than that.
The Convenience Factor
Let’s start with the most obvious fact about online casino games – you don’t need to be in a casino to play them. The United States is a huge country, and the bottom line is that many people do not live close to a land-based casino. There are millions that do, but life tends to get in the way as well, so people just don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to going out to a casino for the night. Online casino games allow players to play for as short or long a time period as they want, all without the added time of getting to and from a casino. This convenience means that a player can get the itch to play some online blackjack and be playing within a matter of seconds.
The Speed Factor
Some players don’t like to have to wait for other players to finish their hands or for cards to be shuffled, and this impatience is perfect for online casinos. Most online casino games are being delivered by a random number generator and are one-player games, meaning that players are in control of how many hands or spins they see in a particular period of time. This can have both positive and negative impacts on the playing experience – slowing down the hands means less money is getting into play in a session, which actually may be better for a novice gambler.
The Enjoyment Factor
Those who love playing casino games clearly enjoy the land-based experience, but online casinos offer so much more content that the overall enjoyment experienced by players from the comfort of their own homes is without question enhanced. These days, the graphics and sounds that can be found in some online casino games rival that of a movie studio, and with thousands of titles to choose from at many casinos, a player could spend hours at the tables and slots without ever growing bored of the action.
The Learning Factor
When you are in a land-based casino and see a game that you haven’t tried before, it can be somewhat intimidating to sit down with a bunch of strangers and try to learn as you go. While the majority of players won’t say anything, if you experience one frustrated gambler, you may be turned off a game forever.
Online casinos give players a chance to try new games and learn them without disturbing other gamblers. Most casinos offer a play money version of their casino suite, meaning that players can also learn without having to use real money. This is a huge bonus for players who are new to casino games. We have an entire section on casino strategy which you can use to learn a game that you haven’t played in the past.
Tracking Online Casino Regulation in the US
Online casinos have had a rough ride in the United States since the inception of the industry. Early on, Americans led the way in online casino play and revenues, but this was all in a climate that was unregulated. While some government folks tried to make the Wire Act of 1961 stick as the precedent for online gambling being illegal, there was no general consensus on the topic. However, in 2006, the government passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which crippled the industry by restricting the way players from the US could get money to and from offshore sites.
Since 2006, there had been some talk about regulating the industry, but at the state level like the rest of gaming in the country. Movement has been very slow on that front, but there are some states that have taken the leap, with many others discussing the regulation of online casinos.
While they are few and far between, there are a handful of US states that have adopted online casino regulations and either have launched or are in the process of launching regulated gaming sites. New Jersey leads the way in this new era of regulation.
States Discussing Regulation
The good news for most Americans is that the introduction of regulated online casino games in some states has moved the needle in many other states. There are some states that have laws ready to go to a vote, while others are discussing the language in bills being introduced to Senate floors.
States on the Sidelines
With all this movement, there are still some states that are sitting back and either waiting to see how it unfolds across the country or are simply not interested in pursuing online casino regulation. Remember that there are 6 states that currently don’t even offer lottery games, so getting those states to move towards having casino games available on a computer or a mobile device seems like a longshot.
Our Online Casino Game Guides
While many players have tried a couple of games in a casino, there are actually dozens of exciting table and digital games available in a casino. We want to make sure that you all have the knowledge necessary to enjoy these games, so we have created a series of game guides that outline the basics of any of the games you will find in an online casino lobby.
Online Casino Game Guides:
- Video Poker
- Three Card Poker
- Pai Gow Poker
- Casino War
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Live Dealer Games
Whether you are new to casino gaming or have been playing for years, you will get some value out of checking out this section of our site. We cover the following games in our online casino guide:
Blackjack is the most popular of all the table games, and our guide covers the basics of betting, as well as giving you an understanding of the rules that can be changed in different variants of the game. Online blackjack offers far more variants than you would find in a land-based casino, and we review the most common that you will find in the lobby of an online casino.
The spinning of a roulette wheel is one of the most social times that players have in a casino. Waiting for that ball to drop gives players a chance to chat and think through strategy for the next spin. Online roulette is a game that is typically played with one player, so while the social component may not be there, the game is super easy to learn and can provide a ton of enjoyment. Our guide reviews the major types of roulette offered by online casinos.
One of the more confusing games to watch, craps is also one of the most exciting to play! This game offers a ton of betting options on every throw of the dice, and that means that there are that many more ways to win on the results of the dice. Our guide looks at how the game works, why it can be tricky to bet, and outlines the most basic strategy followed by players.
Video poker is a game that not that many people currently play compared to some table games and slots, but those who do play it are huge lovers of the action. Video poker combines the best of two worlds – slots and poker – into one game that can be played for small sums of money but very quickly. We cover the different types of video poker being offered online and why it is important to know the payout tables of the games.
The slots catalog of online casinos is the place where you will find the most content, with some sites offering hundreds of titles from multiple vendors. We clear up some of the clutter by telling you which games you should play, which you should avoid, and how the progressive jackpots are making millionaires instantly.
Three Card Poker
Three Card Poker is one of the fringe games in a casino and is also one of the newest. Our guide will show you how the game is played (it is actually two games in one) and will give you tips on how to best play hands without getting yourself into too much trouble.
Baccarat does not have a lot of gameplay for a player to be involved in, but the betting can be frenzied at a table. Online baccarat won’t have the same spectacle you find at a land-based table, but the decision-making is still the same. There are a couple of variants of the game that we outline in our baccarat guide, as well as explaining the strategy you may have seen implemented while watching a table.
Pai Gow Poker
Pai Gow Poker is another variant of poker that gives players a chance to work with the cards they are dealt to try to beat the dealer. While this is another game that can seem confusing to players just watching the action, after you read our guide, you will be armed with all the knowledge necessary to sit down at a table and enjoy hours of poker action.
This game, which many of us remember from our youth, has become a popular online casino game. The rules are slightly different than the game we used to play as kids, so we review how to play Casino War for money and discuss why someone would choose this game over another more skillful game in an online casino lobby.
Caribbean Stud Poker
A game with some semblance of playing a 5-card poker game, Caribbean Stud has not been around for that long compared to other games you would find in an online casino. However, the game does have a rabid following, and with a built-in progressive engine adding to the excitement, this game continues to grow in popularity online.
Live Dealer Games
In recent years, the online and land-based casino worlds have moved closer together with the introduction of live dealer games. An increased number of players who could access broadband connections helped bring these live-streamed games to life, and today the online casinos that offer live dealer games find this segment to be the fastest-growing of all the games they offer. Our page reviews the differences of playing with a live dealer.
The Difference Between Online and Land-Based Casino Games
We have already discussed why people like to play online casino games, so we should also talk about the differences between playing online and in a land-based environment. Some players swear by one over the other, while others have found the differences between the two to be a nice change of pace. Here are a couple of main differences between playing online and live.
We talked about this above, but the speed of games being played at an online casino is very different than that of a land-based version of the game. Players who are playing online do not have to wait for cards to be dealt and shuffled or chips to be cashed in, so there is a much better chance of having more action playing online. This is being broken up these days by live dealer games, but those who like the rush from playing hundreds of hands an hour love that this is offered online.
When someone is playing online, they are typically sitting alone at a table and alone wherever they are logged into the casino. This means there are far fewer distractions for players, but it also eliminates the social aspect of the game that many people like about casino gambling as a whole. When you are playing online, some chat rooms are available, but ultimately you will have to make your own entertainment without others at the table to converse with during play.
Land-based casinos have limited real estate for gaming machines, and the overhead of these facilities forces them not to be able to offer low-stakes games. Online casino operators have the luxury of being able to add as much content as they like and also to offer that content at as low a stakes level as they would like. You can find many casinos that allow you to play table games in denominations as low as $1 per hand, which is significantly lower than most land-based casinos. This allows players to stretch their bankroll, which in turn will provide longer periods of excitement at the tables.
Online Casino FAQ
Can I play all online casinos on my phone?
There is a growing percentage of the online casino market that is accessing games from a mobile site or app. The majority of games are available via these methods, with a few that simply don’t work in that format. The increase in mobile activity has forced sites to update their websites to be more mobile-friendly, and now is a great time to get into mobile casino gaming.
Can I win money by playing at online casinos?
Well, just like they don’t build billion-dollar casinos in Las Vegas because players are winning money, online casinos are not charities. Every game has a house edge of some sort, so your best bet is to learn the strategies that put you in the best position to win. From there, it comes down to a bit of luck and a lot of discipline. Many players who end up losing were at some point making a profit during a session, but it is hard to walk away when the games are hot. We always recommend that you exercise caution and restraint when gambling online.
How do I know a casino is safe?
This is where GamblingSites.us comes in! We have built a team of staff whose job is to review online casinos, and one of the most important factors that go into these reviews is a look at what stepsa casino is taking to ensure the safety and security of players who visit the site. From online gambling licenses to software and financial audits, some casinos are better than others at protecting players. Our reviews will direct you to the best site for your particular needs.
What are the bonuses I see on a casino website?
Bonuses and promotions are the best way for an online casino to attract new business and retain their players. There are loads of different offers out there, and we have an entire page dedicated to understanding what offers you are seeing on an online casino’s website.
Do online casinos protect problem gamblers?
The benefit of an online casino is that it can track all the play of anyone who joins the site. Many casinos have programs in place that monitor the play inside the casino, warning management of someone who may be gambling outside their means. The casinos offer a way for a player to self-exclude or limit the amount of money they can spend on a daily or weekly basis, as well as reaching out to players to suggest counseling if it looks like there is a problem. The industry is constantly trying to protect those who have trouble controlling themselves.
How do I get my money to and from a casino?
Payment processing has always been a troublesome part of the online casino business. The great news for you is that we have stayed on top of the payment options available to players and have built an entire section of this site dedicated to teaching you about what solutions are available today.