An Open Letter to Newbies from a Seasoned Casino Player

An Open Letter to Newbies from a Seasoned Casino Player

November 17, 2015.

Dear newbie,

So you’re new to this whole online casino thing, huh? Well, it wasn’t that long ago that I was in your shoes. And I’ll be honest: my first time could have been a lot better. So, please, don’t make the same dumb mistakes that I did.

Beginner’s luck doesn’t last forever

I’ll never forget my very first time playing at an online casino. I deposited $25 and opened up Warlock’s Spell. A few spins in, I hit the feature and won a little over $500.

I had to do a double take. Seriously: I won $500 in what, 5 minutes? This online gambling thing isn’t so bad!

I thought about cashing it out. I should have. But greed got the best of me. I maybe won a hundred or so more, but a few hours later my beginner’s luck was gone.

So don’t get carried away. If you win on your first time playing, stop while you’re ahead and enjoy it!

These are the rules

When’s the last time you actually read the terms and conditions when you signed up for something online? If you’re like most people, you probably just hit the “I Agree” box and call it a day.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make at an online casino.

You see, every site is different, and each casino has its own policies that you must be aware of. How much can you withdraw at a time? What can you do if things go wrong? Are residents of your country even allowed to play at the casino?

In order to get a definite answer on these and tons of other questions, reading the terms and conditions is absolutely necessary.

And trust me: it gets easier. You’ll figure out what areas of the terms to focus on so you can start playing right away. It’s a bit of a hassle, for sure, but definitely worth a few minutes of your time.

Bonus or bogus?

Free cash is awesome. Casinos know that. That’s why every site has about every kind of bonus under the sun.

But casinos can’t make money just by giving it away. Every bonus you take will come with restrictions. The first time I claimed one, I was shocked to see that I had to play through thousands of dollars on just a $25 deposit before I could cash out any money.

But by then it was too late to do anything about it.

Don’t get caught by surprise. Know the ins and outs of every bonus you take. How much do you have to play? Is there a limit on how much you can cash out? Are you actually eligible to claim the bonus? Can you play your favourite games with the bonus?

Then, and only then, decide if it’s worth actually taking the offer. There are a ton of bad offers out there. And it’s not really a bonus if you can’t really win, is it?

It’s the name of the game

When I first started playing in an online casino, I honestly had no idea where to begin. And that was years ago when there wasn’t nearly as much variety as there is today.

I ended up just playing whatever looked fun. But it turns out being confused isn’t a fun way to play! I lost way too much before I realized that.

So if you don’t know what to expect from a game, or how to play it right, hit the pause button. Do a little research on the game, especially if you have to make decisions while you play. And consider playing some slots for fun instead of with real money until you know how big the ups and downs will be.

A few pointers: if you’re looking to get a long amount of playtime, stick with tried and true “low variance” games like pai gow poker, baccarat, and the outside table in roulette. Or, if you’re in the mood to hunt for a jackpot, go ahead and try the slots or video poker, but use a lower bet size. And always know the rules before you start playing!

Winning is good, but wisdom is priceless

You know what’s a lot worse than losing? Winning and not being able to get your cash. Unfortunately, as I’ve seen time and time again, no amount of luck can make a shady casino pay you.

The key is to use genuine casino reviews from real players. It’s the only way you can know for sure whether a casino can be trusted. Keep your eyes peeled for the typical red flags: slow or no payouts, rude customer service, confiscating funds.

And please, make sure the reviews you’re reading are genuine! Don’t trust the casino’s own “te­sti­mon­ial­s” page. Use independent sites like, well, AskGamblers!

It’s all for your entertainment

Last but not least, remember that gambling should be fun. It’s not a reliable source of income, so get that idea out of your head now! You’re going to lose more than you win over time. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the moments where you do win big.

For me, it’s been all about setting limits. Give yourself a budget to work with and stick to it. If you lose too much, stop playing! You don’t want to get yourself in the habit of chasing your losses. It never ends well.

Go forth and have fun!

Well, I think that about covers it. Just keep these tips in mind, and I have no doubt that you’ll have an awesome time with your first online casino.