Gambling has been an important part of many cultures for centuries now. Even back in Roman and Ancient Chinese times, dice and other games were played for money.
But it was the arrival of the internet into many people’s lives that introduced the activity to millions more than ever before, thanks to the online casino.
It’s a phenomenon that is truly global and there are literally thousands of online casinos all in competition for players’ stake money.
That’s great because it means you’ll be offered big incentives to sign up to new casinos. But it’s also important to know how to budget for your play and make the most of your money. So here are six tips that should put you in a good position when you start to play.
1. Set yourself a budget
It might sound obvious, but often obvious is best. There’s a principle that covers all forms of gambling and that that you should only ever bet an amount that you can comfortably afford to lose.
There’s some flexibility over exactly how you set your budget though. Some people like to do it per casino session, others over a week or a month. It’s really a question of what exactly is going to work best for you.
The more self-disciplined you are, the longer the period over which you can set the budget but it’s probably best to start off by budgeting over shorter periods of time just until you get used to the principle.
2. Keep your stake money and winnings separate
Another very important part of gambling discipline is to have firm lines between the money you’re using to play and the winnings that you are gaining.
Firstly, this is going to help you stick to the budget that you’ve set yourself. Secondly, if the two-start getting mixed up it becomes all but impossible to work out if you’re up or down on your play.
So, when you do have winnings in an online casino, make sure that you withdraw them as soon as you can and save them in a separate bank or savings account. At the end of each week, do a running tally of whether you’re up or down financially, and adapt your play and strategy accordingly.
3. Go for small deposit casinos
The superficial image of casinos is that they’re for all for high rollers with large amounts of cash to deposit. But the great expansion of online casinos has opened the activity out to a wide range of people. So today you don’t need huge amount of money to play. In fact, there are many casinos that welcome players who only want to make a very small initial deposit. An example are some online casinos in New Zealand who are currently offering a minimum of $5 deposit to all new players.
Rather than spend ages looking for these individual online casinos yourself, there are a number of review sites that have done the searching for you. These also let you connect directly with the casinos in question making everything as easy as possible for new players on a budget.
4. Look out for welcome bonuses
All casinos offer welcome bonuses to players, and this often amounts to giving you free money to play. These tend to take a couple of different forms – either a matching of your initial deposit up to a set limit or a number of free spins on selected slots games.
These are both well worth claiming although it’s important to also read carefully what the terms and conditions are for claiming them. There is usually a time limit that you need to keep within, and you may also have to play with a certain amount of your own money first.
But this should always be clearly explained when you sign up so there shouldn’t be any trouble finding this information.
5. Play free slots
Ever since they were invented in the late 19th century slots have been a perennial favourite with players. In fact, they are by far the most popular games in any online casino.
There’s something about the tumbling reels, bright designs and exciting soundtracks that makes them irresistible to many people. And, while it’s nice to play for money, it can also be fun to play on the free games that many sites offer. It’s also a very good way to get to know a slots game before you start playing for cash. So maybe mix up any session with a period of free play too.
6. Only play slots with the very best RTP
Great care is taken to ensure that online slots truly are as random as physical machines with actual spinning reels. This is done with a piece of software called a random number generator. But, within this randomness, all slots are also programmed to deliver a certain Return To Player, or RTP for short. Expressed as a percentage, this is the amount of stake money that is returned in the form of winnings.
It is almost always at least 90% but in some slots it is as high as 96 or 97%. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be getting this proportion of your stake money back in the form of winnings, hopefully you’ll be getting well over 100%. But it does give a good indication of how geared a machine is to paying out.
So, hopefully, you’ll find these six tips useful in spreading your casino budget a little further. Now it’s time to put some of them into practice.