USA Online Casino Games Overview

The global casino market is worth a massive $110 billion today. Online casinos are gaining an increasing share of this pot, particularly in the US.

For gambling operators, the US is a sleeping giant as a mere four states have fully legal online gambling available. These states are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Nevada (although the last only offers poker). Michigan and West Virginia have both recently passed legislation to legalize online casinos and sportsbooks, and so we hope to see online betting in full swing there in 2020. 

As gambling technology becomes more advanced, the number and type of online casino games is increasing and expanding. Today, gamblers have a greater selection of games than ever before.

How to Play Casino Games Online for Real Money

There is an increasing number of Americans playing in online casinos for the first time. Many of the online casino games can feel intimidating for those not used to playing via a computer or a mobile app.

But it only takes a few minutes to register an account, make a deposit, and begin playing popular slots and table games for real money.

Find the Right Casino for You

The first and most important step is finding the right casino.

There are a number of factors to take into account when choosing the right casino. The first being whether they have a selection of games you actually want to play. Think about whether you prefer playing online slots, online blackjack, or baccarat. Some players may also want to play live games, where they can see and interact with the dealer.

You also need to take into account bonuses. Many veteran players choose certain casinos because of the lucrative bonuses they offer. Most welcome packages offer free spins on specific slots games, deposit bonuses, no deposit bonuses, and wager free bonuses.

Finally, make sure they offer a variety of secure payment methods. You typically don’t have to worry about this when playing with an online casino bearing a major household name.

However, players are increasingly searching for online casinos in the USA that accept PayPal as a payment method.

Registering an Account

Casinos realize that they have a lot of competition. There are over 4,000 online casinos available online, so they attempt to make the registration process as fast as possible.

Just click ‘Register’ and enter a few personal details. You don’t need to provide any ID documentation at this stage. Make sure the personal details match those on your provided photo ID as you will be asked to provide it when you attempt to withdraw for the first time.

Making a Deposit

The next and final step is to make a deposit with the casino. Just search for the casino’s cashier, which should be at the top of your screen or within your account settings.

Choose your deposit method of choice and enter your payment details.

It’s recommended you use an e-wallet, such as PayPal or Skrill, or a credit/debit card. These payment methods are instant.

Once your deposit has been credited to your real money balance, you’re free to play at your online casino of choice for real money.

Can I Play Casino Games Free in USA Online Casinos?

It’s possible to play free games in USA online casinos. Casinos realize they need to prove themselves if they’re going to beat out the competition. The way they do this is through offering a free money balance, so players can try out a variety of online casino games before deciding whether or not to make a real money deposit.

No Deposit Bonus Codes

Casinos will either provide a no deposit bonus code or credit a no deposit bonus automatically when new players register an account.

This is usually for a small amount, such as $20. This money can be used to play free online slots, table games, and more.

Some casinos designate this as a ‘sticky’ bonus, so players will be unable to withdraw the bonus or any winnings derived from that bonus.

An increasing number of casinos are supplying ‘non-sticky’ bonuses, however. These come with wagering requirements, so if you receive a $20 no deposit bonus with a 20x wagering requirement you would need to bet any winnings up to $400 in order for it to be credited to your real money balance.

Which are the Best Online Casino Games to Play?

There has never been a larger number of online casino games available to play. Casinos may have as many as 500 different online slots games, for example.

You’ll also find a selection of table games, such as poker, blackjack, and craps. Different casinos may have a variety of card games to choose from, so it’s wise to research your choice of online casino first if you love a specific game.

Casino Table Games

Table games are second only to slots in their popularity. Common table games like poker, craps, roulette, and blackjack are available in practically every reputable online casino.

They’re highly recommended for players because not only are they fun, but they come with some of the lowest house edges around, thus giving you a higher chance to win big.

Online Roulette

Online roulette is a classic game of chance. Select your bet and spin the wheel. Where the ball lands will determine whether you win or lose. The beauty of online roulette is that it’s simple to play and comes with one of the best house edges around.

There is a selection of basic bets, where you can bet on whether the number will be odd/even, red/black, or an exact number. Simply place your bets, wait for the wheel to spin, and let the ball settle on a chosen number. Different bets will have different payouts. The payout depends on what type of bet you made.

Obviously, the best payout will come from betting on a single number, but rarely will such a bet actually hit.

The key to winning at roulette is to keep your bets simple. Betting on whether a number is odd/even or red/black is usually the best strategy. Typically, you want to avoid any betting systems, like the Martingale system. Keep it simple and you’ll get your fair share of wins.

You may have heard of two variations of basic roulette, known as French (also known as European) or American roulette. The rules are the same but the difference is American roulette has an extra ‘00’ compartment, which weights the odds in the casino’s favor.

Most regular gamblers won’t touch American roulette games for this reason.

Play the Right Type of Roulette

Newer players may not know the difference between American roulette and European roulette, otherwise known as French roulette. As far as casino games go, you want to avoid American roulette at all costs.

The game is the same, but in the American version, there’s an additional ‘00’ spot. This actually turns the house edge from 2.7% to a massive 5.26%.

You may not think it matters too much in the short-term, but over time you’ll notice a big difference in your profitability.

Online Blackjack

Online blackjack is the most common table game involving cards. The aim of the game is simple - to beat the dealer’s hand without the value of your cards exceeding 21. When you go over 21 or ‘bust’ you automatically lose.

There are exotic bets to take into account, such as the ability to split and play with two hands or double down with certain card combinations. Splitting means you’ll play with two hands under the same rules but double the bet. Double down means you double your bet and take just one more card.

A ‘natural’ is where you hit an ace and a face card with your first two cards. This is an automatic win unless the dealer also has a natural. A natural will pay higher odds than a normal bet, such as 3-2 or 4-5.

Basic Strategy

The dealer deals out two cards to you. Aces are worth 11 or 1, with face cards worth ten. You then have the option to take another card or to ‘stick’ with whatever total you have. Contrary to what many beginners think, the goal is not to make 21. It’s to beat the dealer’s total. So even a low number of 14 is great if the dealer busts their hand. You win either way.

In an online casino situation, it’s just you vs. the dealer, so you don’t have to worry about what other players at your table have.

The house edge when playing with basic blackjack strategy is around 1% vs a 4% house edge when not playing with basic strategy.

Basic blackjack strategy can be learned in a few hours. Since you’re playing with an online casino, you can have the table in front of you. Your action is typically determined by your total from two cards and the dealer’s face-up card.

You would never double down or split if the dealer is showing a face card. Give yourself the best odds by always assuming the dealer’s face-down card is a ten.

If the dealer’s face-up card is a four you would assume they have 14. So if you made 15 or 16 from your two cards it’s safer to simply stick and let the dealer bust themselves.

Check the Odds on a Natural Carefully

Casino games like blackjack are the same in every online casino, apart from one aspect. Always check the payout for a natural as this can influence the house edge in the long-term. This is where you hit 21 with your first two cards.

Casinos will vary between 6:5 odds or 3:2 odds. Obviously, 3:2 odds on a natural is far superior to 6:5.

Only play online blackjack with casinos offering these odds, as it will seriously impact your profitability in the long-term.

Online Baccarat

Online baccarat has always been known as the glamor game of Vegas. Despite its stature, this is one of the simplest card games to play for new players. It’s almost entirely based on luck.

Classic Baccarat is played between the dealer and the player with two cards each. The aim of this game is to make a total of nine. The closest to nine wins. It’s similar to online blackjack, but in this game, the face cards are worth nothing and the ace is worth one. If your total from two cards is more than nine the left digit is removed. Only the numeric value of the card matters.

For example, if you score twelve in baccarat your actual total is two.

If nobody has a nine, the dealer will give out one more card. The winner is the person who’s then closest to nine. Unless it’s a tie, you can guarantee a win by hitting either nine or 19 (as the left digit gets removed).

Score an eight or a nine with your initial cards and that’s known as a ‘natural’, so you automatically win.

The house edge in online baccarat depends on which hand you bet on. There are no strategies to make it more or less likely you’ll win.

However, the optimal approach is to always bet that the banker’s hand beats the player’s. Doing so will give you a house edge of 1.06% vs a house edge of 1.24%.

There are other variations of baccarat, such as mini-baccarat, punto bunco, and chemin de fer.

Online Craps

Craps is the classic game you find in brick-and-mortar casinos. If you see a group of people yelling, the chances are it’s a craps table.

In an online casino setting, you’re typically playing against the dealer only. The key to winning at online craps is to not get too distracted by the various bets you can make. Optimal online craps strategy is to only bet on the ‘pass’ or ‘don’t pass’ wagers. The most common bet in craps is the pass line bet. The shooter, which is the person rolling the dice, will perform a come-out roll. You’re betting on whether the player rolling the dice wins or loses. 

A pass bet automatically wins if a seven or 11 appears on the dice. The pass bet automatically loses if the dice land on 2, 3, or twelve. which is where the term ‘crapping out’ comes from.

If none of these numbers hit, a point is set. For example, if a five hits the pass bet wins if a five is hit again or a seven appears.

The truth is it doesn’t really matter as long as you’re sticking with these two bets. A pass bet has a 1.41% house edge and a don’t pass bet has a 1.38% house edge.

There is also a range of exotic bets in craps, so it’s the perfect online casino game for both beginners and veterans.

The Importance of the Odds Bet

An odds bet is a type of wager you can make if a point is set. This is always a multiple of your original bet. Different casinos will allow for different maximum wagers on the odds bet.

You should be placing the maximum odds bet at every available opportunity. When you place an odds bet, the house edge becomes 0.02%, so you have a 50/50 chance of winning every time.

Online Poker

Online poker comes in many forms. The reason why these casino games are so popular is your chances largely depend on your skill. Luck is less of a factor in online poker.

The reason why classic online poker is so different is you’re often playing against other players, rather than the house. The house takes a cut of the proceeds through the rake. Rake percentages are often around 5%.

There are so many variations of poker to take into account. Make sure you know the game before you play.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is everyone’s favorite online poker casino game. Many online casinos have dedicated poker rooms for these players, separate from the main casino area.

Online Texas Hold’em gives you an edge over beginners of anywhere from 1% to 10%, depending on how good you are at the game.

The game is simple enough to understand. All players receive two face-down cards. Then a round of betting follows. Three community cards are dealt. Then there are two rounds of betting, both ending with another community card.

Your goal is to create the best hand you can from your two cards and the five community cards. Payouts are not decided by the strength of your hand but by how much money is in the pot when the hand ends.

This form of the game requires extensive knowledge to make it up to the high stakes tables and to win on a consistent basis. Just some of the things you need to know include:

When to Play

Just because a hand looks good doesn’t mean you should play it. Studying hand ranges is essential. A queen and a jack suited in the worst position at the table is a hand you would often fold, but most novices would continue to play with it.

Positional Play

Where you are on the table in relation to the dealer’s button influences your whole strategy for the hand. Failing to understand positional play will guarantee you lose money.

Betting Sizes 

The biggest mistake newer players make is not betting aggressively enough to account for future variance. Betting the right amount at the right time will win you hands and ensure you extract the maximum value from winning hands.

Studying Other Players

Poker is so interesting because it’s not just about your hand. It’s about what other players have and how they typically like to play. If a player rarely plays and always has a great hand, you need to know that so you don’t try to bluff him.

Understanding Bankroll Management

Managing which tables you play, when compared to your bankroll, will determine whether you’re profitable in the long-term. So many players go bust because they try to play at high stakes tables too quickly, and without taking into account natural variance.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean stud poker online is a variation of poker where you play against the house.

Both the dealer and the player will receive a five-card hand. You’ll place an ante bet and have the option of betting on the progressive jackpot. To win the progressive jackpot you need to get a specific hand.

One of the dealer’s cards will be dealt face-up, so you’ll use this to influence your next decision. The first choice you have is to fold or raise. If you fold, you lose anything you bet. If you raise, you’ll need to double your ante bet.

Assuming you didn’t fold, the dealer will turn over their cards. The dealer needs an ace or a king to ‘qualify’ for the next round. If they don’t qualify you to win even money and the next hand begins. The raise doesn’t come into play.

If they do qualify, you compare hands to see who has the best poker hand. If the player wins, they get even money on the ante. The payout from the raise is calculated by the hand in question. So a full house will pay better odds than two pairs.

There’s a certain amount of strategy to play Caribbean stud poker effectively. It’s mainly based on the dealer’s face-up card and the hand you’re dealt.

The number one rule you should remember is not to play the progressive jackpot. It may be annoying if your cards come up, but in the long-term the jackpot has a 26% house edge, thus making it one of the worst bets you can make in a casino.

Overall, Caribbean stud poker comes with a house edge of 2.55%.

Let it Ride

Let it Ride is another type of poker that involves playing against the house. The difference in Let it Ride is these casino games only require you to make the strongest hand possible. The dealer doesn’t have any cards, so you’re not in competition with them.

You receive five cards and you need to make the best hand out of those cards and the additional community cards dealt.

Every hand of Let it Ride starts out with three bets. You have the opportunity to remove these bets as the community cards are dealt, hence the term ‘Let it Ride’.

Each casino will have a paytable for the different hands that come up. You need a minimum of a pair of tens to make even money. The rarest hand in poker is the Royal Flush and, in this game, pays 1000:1.

The general strategy for Let it Ride is to always carry your bets forward if you have a winning hand or if you’re close to making either a flush or a straight. If none of these criteria apply, you should remove the bets and move onto the next hand.

Playing with the correct strategy on Let it Ride will yield a 3.5% house edge. If you play without basic Let it Ride strategy, the house edge rises exponentially.

Online Bingo

Players searching for a game they can play quickly in a more casual setting may want to look into a game like online bingo.

Online bingo is simple. You receive a card filled with numbers and numbers are gradually drawn until someone manages to fill in their cards. Bingo games are more casual and you’ll be playing alongside other players, so it’s a great way to make friends.

These games usually have low wagers involved and can be played on the go when you only have a few minutes.

Newer players love online bingo as it’s all about luck, not skill.

There are also similar games, like online lotteries and online keno.

Video Poker

Video poker is a variation of poker, whereby the player is not playing against an opponent. It comes from the computerized consoles found in casinos.

The player is dealt five cards, as the game is based off five-card draw poker, and they have the opportunity to discard as many cards as they like. The amount paid depends on the hand the player makes, with a pair paying the least and the incredibly rare Royal Flush paying the highest.

There are also variations of video poker, where a wild card is introduced. The most common wild card variation is Deuces Wild, where a two will serve as the wild card. Sometimes joker cards may also be included as a wild card.

Video poker sometimes includes a progressive jackpot. The more players playing these online casino games the higher the jackpot, which can be won at any time.

Online Poker Rooms

Many online casinos also have poker rooms attached to their classic casino games. Online poker rooms are typically played against other players, rather than the casino itself.

Big names in the online poker industry include PokerStars and 888. They often have separate casino bonuses for players new to the rooms.

Different casinos have different quality rooms, with different rakes, free buy-in tournaments, and a number of active tables, so if you want to play in online poker rooms it’s wise to do your research.

The most common online casino games within poker rooms are Texas Hold’Em and Omaha.

Take note online poker requires a considerable amount of skill, so it’s not one for beginners. You can win large amounts of money but also lose large amounts in a short space of time.

Many of the more popular poker rooms offer free or low buy-in tournaments on Sundays, so if you want to try out online poker with a relatively low risk you have that option.

Live Casino Games

Live casino games are a new brand of casino games. They’re more advanced than traditional casino games as players can play their favorite games with a live dealer.

The live dealer deals out the cards, spins the wheel, and even interacts with the player. The chatbox can be used to interact with the dealer, who will speak to the camera.

Casinos will either have a live dealer section on the floor of their casino or a specialized studio for handling these games.

Live casino games are most common with online blackjack, online roulette, and online poker.

Take note live casino games are typically only available at certain hours.

If you’re looking to play live casino games, you should go out of your way to check out different casinos first. Not all online casinos have live casino games and your experience may vary depending on the casino you play with.

However, live casino games are becoming more advanced and more widely available as time goes on.

Online Slots

Online slots are by far the most popular type of online casino game in the USA, through both desktop casino suites and mobile casino apps.

Slots all follow the same basic principle. You wager a specific amount and spin the reels. What separates different slots games are the themed bonus rounds.

Different online slots may have themes from popular movies or TV shows. Others, such as the famous slots game Starburst, have unique themes specific to the software provider.

You may also come across progressive slots, which are progressive jackpots that reach huge amounts. A single spin can trigger the jackpot and a massive payout. The odds of winning a progressive jackpot, though, are low.

Progressive jackpots increase in value based on the number of players playing a specific slot game.

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