Casinos Online Guide: How to Gamble Online

In online gambling, casino sites feature all of the best games you'd find in a land-based casino: slots, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and so many more. The massive list of games makes it complicated for new players to find the best casinos online, but we can help. OddsShark's casino reviews help American players find the best gambling site in their part of the US.

Due to the patchwork of federal and state authorities who oversee gambling online, US online gambling laws are complicated. This guide to the best online casino sites for US players provides a detailed history and overview of the gambling laws that affect online players. We discuss which states have regulated online casinos, where you can gamble online legally in the US, and what payment methods you can use to fund your player account. 

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How We Review USA Online Casinos

When we review US casinos online, our reviewers focus on a long list of essential factors. Below is a quick overview of how we review US online casinos. As you read casino reviews and choose a real money online gambling site, you also should consider the factors below.

  • Real Money Games: First and foremost, does the casino support all of the real money casino games that US players like? If so, does the software package offer fun versions of the games with the best odds?
  • Slots Selection: If you're a slot player, then we focus on the online slots available. How many slots does the casino have? How many slot providers? Does it have enough 3-reel slots and 5-reel slots? How about its progressive slots catalog?
  • Welcome Bonuses: An online gambling site's welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions are important, too, because it gives players free cash to try new games. How big is the welcome bonus? What are the wagering requirements and other terms of use? What about reload bonuses and the VIP club?
  • Deposits Methods: Americans want to use the same payment methods they would use at other online merchants. We review sites based on how easy it is to use credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and various types of bank transfers.
  • Live Dealer Games: These days, most casinos online offer live casino games. These games have real-life dealers who deal with real cards, spin real wheels, and roll real dice. It all takes place in real time and is live-streamed to your computer from a gaming studio. Our casino reviews also cover a site's live dealer games.
  • Payouts: We also review an online gambling site's payout times, withdrawal limits, and general cashout policies. Does a site offer quick, reliable payouts? Is it a blacklisted casino that slow-pays a player's winnings? Does it support payouts with your favorite payment method? Are withdrawals secure?
  • Mobile Apps: Modern online casinos also should support Android and iOS players. Does the site have a mobile casino app or offer mobile casino games in the web browser? Which versions of Android, iPhone, and iPad devices are compatible with the games? Is mobile casino gameplay smooth, secure, and reliable? Can you engage in real casino gambling on your smartphone?

Reasons to Play at a New Online Casino

If you've only played at brick-and-mortar casinos or free-play mobile casino apps, you might not know the advantages of a real-money online casino. Here are several reasons you might prefer playing at a legal US online casino. 

Online Casino BenefitExplanation
Win Real MoneyPlay your favorite casino games for real cash payouts. Get the adrenaline boost of playing for real money. 
Jackpot-Sized PrizesSome slots, Keno, and scratch cards have progressive jackpots. Those that don't have huge fixed jackpots. 
Newest Casino GamesOnline casinos feature global table games and the latest online slots -- games you won't see in brick-and-mortar casinos. 
Mobile Casino AppsPlay on the go using your smartphone or tablet computer. Play anywhere you go that has Wi-Fi. 
Advanced Site FeaturesEnjoy live dealer games, multiplayer tournaments, random progressives, and Hot Drop Jackpots. 
Bigger Bonus ValuesCompetition for players mean casino site offer huge welcome bonuses and big savings for VIP players. 
Convenience and Lower CostsVisiting a land-based casino costs extra time and money. Playing from the privacy of your home is cheaper and easier to do. 

USA Casino Game Guides

Before you start playing casino games for real money, it pays to learn about the many game choices. Read our individual game guides for a full introduction. For the time being, here's a quick intro to the most popular USA online casino games.

  • Online Slots: Slots are fast-paced games that feature bright graphics and fun themes. They also feature huge jackpots and no strategy requirements, which makes them the most popular game in an online casino.
  • Online Blackjack: Blackjack requires players to learn basic strategy, but it pays off with the smallest house edge among the table games. Blackjack is a game for gamblers who value skill and who want to stretch their bankroll.
  • Online Roulette: Roulette is the most popular spinning wheel game in casino gambling. It provides players with a wide range of betting opportunities, payouts, and odds. With no strategy requirement, roulette is a game for casual casino players.
  • Online Craps: Craps also has many betting opportunities and a nice range of odds and payouts. Shooting dice offers the 2nd-best house edge for a game with no strategy. Combine that with the camaraderie it offers and craps is the world's most popular casino dice game.
  • Online Baccarat: Baccarat has the lowest house edge of any casino game which requires no skill or strategy. Baccarat is the most popular game in Asian casinos, while its low house edge makes it a staple in western casinos, as well.
  • Online Keno: Keno is an 80-call Chinese lottery game that offers payouts between $100,000 and $1 million in many US casinos online. The lottery-style jackpots come with a high house edge.
  • Online Bingo: Bingo is found in the Specialty Games section of most online casinos. In the best casinos that we review, players can choose from 30-ball, 75-ball, 80-ball, and 90-ball versions of Bingo.
  • Online Sic Bo: Sic Bo is a Chinese dice game with a wide range of exotic bets. While Sic Bo's house edge isn't as good as Craps', it's a good alternative in the occasional online casino that doesn't offer craps online.

How To Gamble Online Safely on US Casino Sites?

Our reviewers research US online casinos for safety, fairness, and reputation before we recommend a site. Many players prefer to do independent research to verify that their favorite online casino is trusted in the industry. That's especially important when it comes to offshore casino sites, but many beginners don't know how to research whether an online casino is safe. For those players, here's a checklist of ways you can independently verify whether your chosen US online casino is safe and trusted.

  • Licensing: Most offshore online casinos receive a license from foreign regulators. Check a site's licensing to assure safety and fairness.
  • eCOGRA: Many join eCOGRA, an industry watchdog that audits casinos every month. See if a site has an eCOGRA seal of approval or has third-party auditing of its games.
  • Player Reviews: Word travels fast on the Internet. Check player BitcoinFast, Safe, PrivateBlockchain payments are both transparent and anonymous, making payments faster.EthereumFaster than BitcoinAltcoins like Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV are all fast, safe, and private. Credit CardsCashback and RewardsMost sites accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express. Some accept Discover, JCB, Diners Club.Debit CardsPay as You Go. No Debt. Visa, MasterCard, Amex branded cards work. Can't pay more than you have. Prepaid CardsNo Personal Information.Visa, MasterCard, Amex branded cards work. Can't play more than you have. Gift CardsNo Personal Information.Visa, MasterCard, Amex branded cards work. Can't play more than you have. PayPalFamiliar and WidespreadHigh fees, take a couple of days and are unavailable in most US states. SkrillNo banking or credit card information is shared.High Fees and Slower Payouts.NetellerNo banking or credit card information is shared.High Fees and Slower Payouts.Wire TransferPay using your bank account. Instant deposits but payouts cost a fee and take 5-10 business days. 


Casinos Online FAQ

Can I play USA casino games for free?

Yes, you can. The best USA online casinos offer every single one of their real money games in free-play mode. Simply click on the game icon, then choose "Play for Practice" or "Practice Mode" when prompted.

Are USA casinos online legal?

Yes. Gambling online in the USA is legal in all 50 states. Only 6 US states have licensed and regulated online casinos. The other 44 states might not regulate sites, but they also don't prosecute individuals who play online for real money. These players bet at offshore online casinos. These don't have consumer protections or self-exclusion protocols, so players should research a site before making a real money deposit.

Do USA online gambling sites offer bonuses?

Yes, they do. In fact, US online gambling sites have bigger bonuses than most countries. These tend to be anywhere from $1000 to $7500 bonuses, depending on the casino and the banking method. In most cases, you'll receive a bigger bonus if you fund your account with Bitcoin or another crypto payment method.

Can you win big at USA casinos?

Absolutely. While the slots and Keno jackpots might not be as big as the best online casino sites in the UK or Canadian markets, US online casinos have million-dollar payouts. The reason is big software providers like Microgaming and NetEnt don't operate in the US. Instead, many US casino sites offer RTG and Rival Gaming software, which have big but not record-setting jackpots.

Is it safe to play USA casinos online?

Yes, but only if you choose the best USA casinos online. Hundreds of casinos accept US players, but we only recommend avoiding the offshore online casinos. Because they are offshore sites beyond the reach of US authorities, Americans must do their research and choose wisely. Read through our reviews of the best online casino sites before depositing your money.

What are my casino deposit options in the USA?

Americans have a wide range of deposit options. Visa and MasterCard credit cards are supported at any legitimate casino site. Debit cards, prepaid cards, and gift cards branded with Visa and MasterCard usually work for deposits, too. Many sites support American Express deposits, while a few accept Discover Card and Diners Club.

Also, many US online casinos accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Among the altcoins, sites often accept Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. Web wallets like Neteller and Skrill are available, though PayPal isn't accepted at US online casinos. For those who prefer direct bank transfers, use bankwire transfers, EFTs, and echeck deposits.

Which USA casino games pay you real money?

All of the games that are playable on USA casino sites can be played for real money or for free. Whether you prefer slots, table games, video poker, or specialty games, all of them are available for real money play. When you click on a game's icon, you'll be prompted to play for "Real Money" or "Practice". Whether you're on the desktop, instant play, or mobile version, the game loads with a simple click. Choose "Real Money" and you'll be playing in seconds.

Which casino game is best for new players?

Games like baccarat and craps are the best for new players. The reason is: baccarat and craps have low house edges without having to learn strategy. The house edge for the banker bet in baccarat is 1.06%, while the house edge for the player bet is 1.24%. The house edge for the pass line or come bet in craps is 1.41%, while the house edge for the don't pass or don't come bets is 1.35%. If you learn how to take the odds in craps, the effective house edge is smaller.

Certain versions of blackjack and video poker have a lower house edge than craps or baccarat, but they require players to learn strategy tips. Games like slots, Keno, and roulette don't require strategy but have a higher house edge than baccarat or craps.

What's the easiest casino game to win?

That depends on your definition of "easy to win". Games like blackjack and video poker have the lowest house edge, so you have the best odds of walking away as a Sportsbook. Generally, though, a game with a low house edge also has strategy elements. You must memorize basic strategy in order to achieve that low house edge.

Games like slots, baccarat, roulette, and craps don't have strategy elements. These are games of chance. Once you learn which bets are the best in each game, a new player is just as skilled as an experienced gambler. From the perspective of mastering a casino game, these are the games that are the easiest to win.

What should I do if I have a problem with an online casino?

Contact an online casino's customer support staff if you have a technical issue or payment issue in an online casino. If that doesn't help, then your next step depends on the type of casino you use. If you play in one of the six US states with regulated casinos, then you can contact the state gaming regulator with your complaints. If you play in an offshore online casino, then you don't have much recourse, because it doesn't have consumer protections.

All you can do is make a complaint on a player review aggregator site like AskGamblers, which gives ratings based on aggregated player reviews. This [1] gets the word out about rogue casinos and [2] gives you a second chance to interact with customer support. To avoid bad publicity, some casinos review AskGamblers and respond to player complaints. This helps their aggregate score, so you have one last chance to receive help. If that doesn't work, then it's likely your problem will never go addressed.

Prevention is the best cure. Read trusted and honest online casino reviews before signing up and depositing at an online casino. Choosing a trusted online casino is the best way to avoid problems with an online casino.

How do I withdraw money from a casino in the USA?

In most cases, casino withdrawals work like casino deposits. In fact, many real money online casinos insist you use the same withdrawal method as the method you used for depositing.

To make a withdrawal request, sign in to your account and then visit the Cashier page. Choose your preferred payout method, input how much money you wish to withdraw, and confirm your withdrawal request. Finally, wait the allotted withdrawal time for your cash to arrive.

Which jackpots do online casinos offer?

The two primary kinds of casino jackpot are progressive jackpots, large prize pools which every player of a game contributes to, and hot drop jackpots. Hot drop jackpots are similar to progressive jackpots, though they are either time-based or prize-based. A progressive jackpot will continue to accumulate until it is won, and a hot drop jackpot has a specific limit the prize must be won before.

What is an online casino index?

An online casino index is an up-to-date listing of casinos that you can play at. Most sites in the online gambling industry simply call these a list of casino reviews. Each review includes information about individual casinos, sign-up bonuses, deposit options, and our ratings.

Where can I play casino games online for real money?

You can play real money casino games at online casinos. That's the only place online that offers legal online casino games for real money. Online casinos features every game you could play in a brick-and-mortar casino, plus additional games. All of them include online slots and a full list of table games, including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps. 

Casinos online also offer specialty games, which is a catch-all term for Keno, Bingo, and lottery games (scratch cards). The best online casinos feature live dealer games, which are streamed live to your computer screen in real time. Live casinos offer live blackjack, live roulette, and live baccarat. Also, some online casinos have their own poker rooms and sportsbooks.

What is the best online casino site?

In general, at a licensed US online casino. In specific, it depends on your game preference, as well as your preference when it comes to deposit options and bonus packages.

It also depends on the US state where you reside. Most US states don't have licensed and legal online casinos. The ones that do -- New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, West Virginia, and Nevada -- feature the best online casino brands in the world. 

Each of these brands has the leading table games in common. They also feature the same live dealer game providers. Where they differ is in their slot games and online scratch cards. If you prefer to play slots online, familiarize yourself with the various software providers' slot games. 

What is the best online casino for winning money?

In the regulated casino industry, individual states publish return-to-player (RTP) statistics for their licensed online casinos. RTP shows the percentage of individual casino games and individual casino sites pay back each month. The statistic is a percentage of 100% of the money wagered by players (the "turnover"). If a game has an RTP of 99%, then it paid back $99 of every $100 wagered last month. 

Remember that you always play against a house edge, so the odds are slightly in favor of the casino. Over a limited time, some games pay out more than their theoretical RTP -- sometimes more than 100%. Over a long time, the casino expects to win money. Pick any of the licensed US online casinos and you'll 

In what casino game can you win real money?

All of them, though some games have better odds than others. Blackjack and video poker tend to have the best odds. Both require strategy to achieve optimal odds, so you have to learn strategy for the best chance to win both games. Most other table games, as well as slots and scratch cards, do not have a strategy elements. Most table games have better odds than slots, while slots have better odds than most Keno games and scratch cards. 

As a general rule, the bigger the jackpot on a game, the lower its return-to-player (RTP). Progressive slots tend to have worse odds than fixed-jackpot slots. Fixed-jackpot slots tends to have worse odds than roulette and craps, because the slots have bigger jackpots. Most craps and roulette bets that pay off 15:1 or 30:1 have worse odds than baccarat, blackjack, and video poker, because those games tend to pay 1:1 (or 3:2 in blackjack). 

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