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Best Online Casino Reviews 2018
So you’re ready to dive into the online casino world but don’t know where to start? You’re in the right place.
Our expert online casino reviews take the mystery out of the casino sign-up process and get you right to the most important things:
- Who has the best games?
- Who has the biggest bonuses?
- Who has the best software?
- Who has the best customer support?
- Who has the best payout ratio?
- Who has the best interface?
- Who has the best rewards and comps?
- Who is officially licensed and regulated and will keep my money safe?
If you’re looking for answers to all or some or those questions, we’ve got you covered. Our online casino review experts have put in the time, played the games, scoured the web and done the research to point you in the right directions.
Online Casino Reviews
While what makes the “#1 best online casino” is different to each individual casino player, we’re confident our online casino review scores give a good overview of each online casino and what value they can bring to you.
While we’re confident our casino review editors are at the top of their games, we’re still always interested in feedback so if you have a differing opinion about an online casino or new information you think we should include in our reviews, let us know about it!
What Should I Look For in Casino Reviews Online?
While all of those questions listed above are priorities in finding the best online casino sites, we can’t start any discussion about an online casino if it’s not officially licensed and regulated by a government jurisdiction.
All of our online casino reviews listed here are for officially licensed, regulated and monitored casinos. That means they all have to apply to, be approved by and continually pass inspection from overseeing government agencies.
That means you’re guaranteed:
- Games are fair and monitored
- Payout ratios meet industry standards
- Deposits and withdrawals are safe and secure
- All player funds are kept separate from operating funds
- Proper age identivification and problem gambling protocols are in place
- Customer support is properly provided and there is an escalation process in place for any disputes with an online casino
We wouldn’t even begin to trust our money with a rogue, unlicensed online casino so why would we expect you to either?
So that’s the starting point for our online casino reviews. IF you’re not licensed and regulated by a proper authority, we have no time for you. A quick note on online casino licensing and regulation:
There are several agencies around the world who provide licensing and oversight for the online casino industry. Some of the most well known and trustworthy in Europe are:
- The UK Gambling Commission
- The Malta Gaming Authority
- Gibraltar Gambling Commission
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
In the United States the current licensing agencies are:
- Nevada Gaming Control Board
- New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
- State of Delaware Divison of Gaming Enforcement
- Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
All online casino that are licensed and regulated by these reputable authorities will have a seal or emblem displayed on their front pages to certify their licenses and games are up-to-date.
We do the leg work for you in making sure our casino reviews only list safe and secure online casinos in good standing. But it’s always worth that extra look to ensure your gaming dollars are safe.
Online Casino Review Criteria
On to the good stuff. Once you’ve found a licensed and regulated casino and can bank on your money being secure you can dig deeper into the types of attributes your ideal online casino should have.
Here is a quick overview of the criteria we use to rank our online casino reviews appropriately:
How Good is the Game Selection?
An online casino is useless to you if it doesn’t offer the casino games you like to play. Thankfully these days we’re literally spoiled for options as most online casinos offer hundreds of different games and slots.
Top-end online casinos these days offer anywhere from 100-700 online slots in all sorts of varieties from classic 3-reels to 3D animatronics to 200-hundred payline mega reels to multi-million dollar progressive jackpots.
As for tables games they all also offer 20-40 types of Roulette (there really are that many!), 40-60 variations of Blackjack, 20 or so variations of video poker and any number of classic and odd games from Bingo, Keno and Scratchcards to Sic Bo and Roshambo.
Yes. It really is an overwhelming array of choices. And, as you can imagine, far superior to the selection you can find in a live brick-and-mortar casino.
If you’re an experienced casino player and have a specific favorite game you like to play (with a specific set of house rules) it’s best to dig into the details of an online casino’s game selection before you sign up to see if it meets your expectations.
It’s also important to note that if you like having live dealers and webcams, not all online casino will have those offerings. If you’re classic casino dabbler and like a quick punt on a few games here and there, any of the major casinos will have enough variety to offer something appealing.
With free demo games on offer, too, you can even try out some new ones and maybe find a new favorite. Any way you cut it online casino patrons are spoiled for choice nowadays and our reviews rate those with the widest variety of online casino games slightly higher than those without.
Read more about Online Casino Games:
How Good is the Casino Bonus?
If you’re signing up for a new account at an online casino you’re undoubtedly interested in getting a bit of free dough to scale back some of those house odds. Nowadays online casino bonuses are handed out in a few different formats including:
- Welcome Bonuses
- Deposit Match Bonuses
- Free Spin Bonuses
- No Deposit Bonuses
- Reload Bonuses
- Payment Method Bonuses
- Wager or Play Bonuses
- Reward bonuses
All of them come with slightly different terms and conditions for you to claim (and, ultimately, withdraw) them.
It’s maybe not THE most essential factor when going through an online casino review but it can make a difference when you’re just getting a handle on things to have a bit of a financial buffer in your online casino account.
They can also help you test and try out different betting systems or just dabble in games you might not otherwise get to play. More important might be the loyalty or rewards programs at each online casino as if you’re going to spend a bit of time playing you’d like to be rewarded in some way.
Bonuses aren’t the most highly rated factor in our online casino reviess but they are taken into consideration and it’s better to have a medium-sized bonuses you’ll be able to clear easily over a gigantic one you’ll never be able to touch.
Read more about our Online Casino Bonuses:
How Good Are the Payouts?
Another factor we take into consideration in our online casino reviews is the effective Return-to-Player (RTP) ratios at each casino.
Across the board these can be fairly consistent across most big online casinos but if you’re a game specialist – say, Blackjack – the RTP could differ greatly from variation to variation.
Many online casinos in fact publish their payout reports as done by independent monitoring agencies and you can find them on the casino website.
Note that these will be the average of money paid out to winners of certain games over an extended period of time so won’t necessarily be what you will get paid out every session.
They are a good overview of what your expectations should be over time, though. At some casinos and in some game variations payouts can reach as high as 99.9% so it’s good to know just how much (and where) you can expect to get paid.
Generally speaking you’ll find payout rates between:
- Online Slots 90-97%
- Online Roulette 92-98%
- Online Blackjack 97-99.9%
- Online Craps 97-99%
- Video Poker 95-99%
At licensed and regulated online casinos you can bank on these numbers being fair and accurate.
- Payout Rates at Online Casinos are Generally Higher Than They are at Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
Yet another perk of online casino gambling over live casino gambling: You will find higher payout rates online as there is less overhead for the casino to pay for!
How Good is the Software?
If you’ve dabbled around at a bunch of modern online casinos you might have the feeling that all of them feel a bit “same-y,” if you know what we mean. That’s not your eyes playing tricks on you. That’s because many of the top online casinos use the same software providers to supply their casino games.
PlayTech, Microgaming, NetEnt … these are just a few of the powerhouse casino software makers that you’ll find at many online casinos.
If you love variety that’s maybe not your favorite thing to read but as technology and software programming has improved exponentially it’s nice to see more consistency and flash in online casino software.
The best are the best for a reason and when you don’t have to deal with glitchy or mistake-prone software anymore, it’s a win for everybody.
How Safe & Secure is the Online Casino?
We touched on this earlier but it’s safe to say there’s no value in putting your money into an unregulated or unlicensed casino.
With no regulatory oversight, no guarantee you’ll get your winnings and no real customer support to speak of you’re really throwing your investment into the wind.
We won’t let you do that. All of our listed casino have the seal of approval from a respected regulatory authority and offer rock solid guarantees on their games, payout rates and dispute resolution.
Most of the major UK casinos, for example, are listed on the London Stock Exchange and are publicly traded so you can rest assured your online casino experience is being closely monitored.
Beyond the technical audits and licensing, online casinos also need to have modern ssl encryption technology to ensure financial transactions are safe and secure.
How Good are the Live Dealer Games?
An increasingly popular part of the online casino experience nowadays is actually incorporating a touch of the old school casino experience.
Now that casino software technology has caught up and we’re all walking around with high-powered computers in our pockets, live streaming an actual table and dealer is a fairly easy thing to pull off.
For those who like an extra assurance their game is fair and for those who enjoy a bit of social interaction with their online casino time, live dealer games are a big hit.
It’s still a comparatively small part of the online casino market but it is picking up some steam so we’ve factored that into our casino reviews as well.
How Good are the Deposit and Withdrawal Options?
If you want to gamble with real money online you need a fast, secure and simple way to get money into your casino account.
The top online casinos have gone the extra mile to provide the widest variety of deposit options to ensure most customers can find one that works from them.
Among the most common deposit and withdrawal options offered at the best online casinos:
- Visa Electron/Maestro
- Bank Transfers
Not all online casinos will offer PayPal, for example, so if that’s a preferred method for you you can search our reviews for the ones that specifically offer PayPal transfers.
Check along the right-hand side for the list of deposit and withdrawal options (along with expected wait times) for each option.
Another small factor with casino deposits and withdrawals might be fees charged to either get your money into or out of your account. Most online casinos won’t charge a few for a deposit or withdrawal but the payment method might, as they might for any currency exchange.
Check the terms of conditions for each payment method in the online casino cashier to see if any fees are charged.
How Good is the Customer Support?
Is customer support really a big deal when you want to sign up for an online casino site?
For some, yes; for many, no. If you’re dealing with a proper licensed online casino you really should have much cause to need or rely on customer support.
Still, things can (and do) get confused at times so it’s nice to know there is a dedicated staff there to help you resolve anything that might arise – eg your bonus hans’t been credited properly, your deposit didn’t go through as it should, etc.
The best online casinos do have very dedicated and professional support staff there to help make your experience as smooth as possible. The biggest and best have live chat available 24/7 as well as phone/email contacts you can use to help if needed.
Wait time for responses can vary from a few hours to a day or two but the important part is there IS a process and a dedicated effort to meet any support needs of the online casino patron.
Think of customer support like good insurance – you don’t notice it too much when you don’t need it but when you do you Really want it to work the way it’s supposed to.
How Good is the Casino Mobile App?
Who would have guessed in the 21st century you’d be able to place live blackjack bets with a dealer over your phone while you’re at 36,000 feet on your way to Australia?
It’s a brave new world we live in and mobile casino gambling is becoming a bigger and bigger part of it everyday. While a good mobile app isn’t a priority for many casino gamblers it is a huge priority for some so we take that into consideration.
A separate mobile app score will eventually be worked into the review score but for now we’ve factored it into the overall software score.
Online Casino Reviews Canada
If you’re looking specifically for online casino reviews for sites open to Canadians, we don’t have a dedicated page for that but we can tell you Canadians have a wide range of online casinos they can choose from.
Canadians in all provinces are not excluded from accessing offshore online casinos although some offshore casinos have excluded themselves from provinces where there is provincially regulated online gaming.
If you live in BC, Manitoba and Quebec there are government-run online casinos to provide you with safe and secure games.
Online Casino Reviews UK
As mentioned above if you live in the UK you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to online casinos as there is a well established UK Gambling Commission that oversees all online gambling licenses.
As of 2015 regulations were tightened and any online casino that wants to operate in the UK must be licensed by the UKGC, pays large fees and taxes and meet strict regulatory requirements for:
- Technical standards
- Separation of customer funds
- Social responsibility and
- Anti-money laundering practices
If you’re playing on a UK licensed online casino you’re playing on the strongest, most protected sites in the world so you can have confidence everything is above board and will have proper care and dedication.
They even have very strict rules on how promotions, bonuses and other casino promotions can be advertised to ensure fair play and zero cosumer manipulation. Major UK brands worth considering for your online casino dollar include:
- 888 Casino
- William Hill
See our individual casino review pages for more detail on each casino!
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