Gambling is big business in the UK- according to the UK Gambling Commission, it had a total market value of £14.3 billion in March 2020. Online gambling makes up for almost 40% of the market, and the gross gaming yield of online UK casinos has increased by 8.1% in the past year alone. Online gambling in the UK is very well regulated thanks to the Gambling Act of 2005. The real boom in UK’s online gambling industry came in 2014 with an amendment of this act that relaxed a lot of the rules, regulations and licencing associated with online casinos.
Provided you are not a professional gambler, you can gamble without a licence in the UK, and any winnings are tax free. Playing in online casinos is for most a fun and exciting experience, but can also be lucrative if you play your cards right. Contrary to popular belief, you need more than just blind luck to earn big in online casinos. While roulette wheel spins, jackpots and the cards you are dealt are definitely out of your control, there are some tips and tricks that can stack the odds in your favour. Whether you are a high roller or novice, here are some basic steps to increase your winnings in online casinos.
Understand the House Edge
It is no secret that all casinos make a profit by providing games that give them an inherent edge over players. This is known in the industry as a house edge, and online casinos operate on this principle as well. Put simply, a house edge is the average gross profit a casino expects to make for each game over time. If you want to maximize your chances of winning, your first step is to choose games with the lowest house edge. This varies wildly from game to game- keno has the highest and blackjack has the lowest house edge.
If a player follows a perfect wagering strategy when playing blackjack, the house edge can be as low as 0.28% in some more liberal casinos. This number goes up for less experienced players, and averages out at 5% for the less strategically minded player. Baccarat is another safe bet with a house edge of 1.06% when betting on the banker and 1.24% when betting on the player. It is important to note that wagering on a tie is the most risky move in baccarat as it gives the casino a house edge of 15%. If you are looking to play it safe avoid the tie at all cost.
Read the Small Print
Online casinos offer welcome bonuses to entice new players, as well as loyalty rewards for regulars. The devil is in the details, so it is important to read and understand the terms and conditions of every bonus and reward offered by an online casino. Some casinos need you to wager a bonus multiple times before you can withdraw your winnings. An example of this would be that players must wager 20 times their deposit plus the value of any welcome bonus before they are eligible to claim their winnings. It is also common for players to find that bonus funds can only be used for certain games, and for a limited period of time.
Another thing to watch out for is the terms and conditions regarding withdrawal limits. Many online casinos limit the amount of money you can withdraw at any one time. These can either be monetary or temporal. An example of a monetary limit would be a maximum of £1000 at a time, while a temporal limit would be only allowing one withdrawal per week. While reading terms and conditions is no-one’s definition of fun it could be the difference between a lucrative and disappointing online casino experience. Not reading the small print can leave you frustrated and disappointed when you do not get the rewards you were expecting.
Fine Tune your Strategy
While some games like slots or bingo are purely luck based, strategy is a key element of table games. There are well documented strategies for all the big table games such as poker and blackjack, so doing your homework can definitely increase your chances of winning. However, you do not have to spend ages learning the finer points of table games. Beginners can implement some very simple strategies such as limiting their online gambling time. The longer you play, the bigger your chances of losing are. More advanced players can delve deeper into the technical details of the game. This can include knowing the probability of a particular card being dealt, or the safest action to take in a particular scenario.
Bankroll is a term that originated in the world of brick and mortar casinos, and is also used in online gambling. It is the initial amount of money you are playing with, whether it is a physical roll of banknotes or digital money. Before embarking on any gambling activity, you should have a clear limit of how much you are willing to wager and loose. This not only sharpens your sense of what you have to play with, but also puts a limit on losses.
Online gambling comes with a certain variance- a deviation from the expected outcome that depends on the given odds at play. You can protect yourself from this variance by only wagering a certain percentage of your bankroll at any one time. Smart gamblers usually wager less than 1% of their bankroll on individual wagers. The size of your bets needs to be relative to your total bankroll. Going all in on a bet might be thrilling, but it is unnecessarily risky and can limit your future opportunities and put you in the red in a heartbeat.
Fair Games Only
Even the best strategies and wagering management techniques will not help you if the games you are playing are rigged not to be fair. An integral element of online casino games is randomness. Online casinos use Random Number Generators to ensure games are truly random and not rigged. Although the majority of casinos are tested regularly for fairness and valid RNG’s, some unethical games can slip through the cracks.
If an online casino is not open and honest about the random number generator they use, it is best to avoid it altogether. There are several independent testing agencies in the UK that guarantee fair random number generation. Look for the following certifications to be double sure: TST, eCora, Verisign or Gaming Associates. If an online casino is certified by any of the above you are good to go.
While nothing can guarantee you success in gambling, following the advice above will put you in good stead to make some money in online casinos. It is always advisable to choose the right games, stick to a strategy, make the most of bonuses and rewards, and keep a close eye on your bankroll. Even though making money in online casinos is great, the most important thing is to remember to have fun while playing. If it stops being fun, stop playing.