Best Real Money Casino Sites In 2021: Win Real Money Today

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There are few things more fun than playing at a casino, whether it's land-based or online. There are so many different things to see and try, and if you walk away empty-handed you can still count on having a wonderful time.

Even if playing at a casino is meant to be an entertaining and enjoyable experience first and foremost, no one can deny that there's a certain thrill about the idea of getting a big win. There are never any guarantees, but when they do happen, the excitement is like nothing else.

How can you play for real money at an online casino, what are the differences between playing for real money and free, and why should you try it at least once?

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    Most online casinos offer a wide selection of 3D games but it’s TopBet that really takes it to another level. Choose one of their blackjack offerings or try your hand at video poker. They also have specialty games like keno and online scratch cards. For those in search of an internet casino experience that’s second to none, this is the site for you.

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How We Review Real Money Casinos

When you think of a real money casino, what do you expect them to have? Tons of games? Generous bonuses? A strong VIP program? Great customer support? All of these things and more contribute towards having a wonderful casino experience, and if any of them were missing or not quite up to a high standard of quality, that experience isn't as good.

We at Odds Shark rate every real money online casino based on how appealing it is to both new and long-term players. We give star ratings out of four or five for a variety of criteria across two sections: Summary and Value & Benefits.

The Summary section examines the overall experience of playing at a casino on both desktop and mobile. Gambling sites are typically feature-rich, so being able to navigate easily on multiple devices is incredibly important.

The Summary section also considers how attractive the casino's welcome bonus is for new players. The welcome bonus is typically the largest bonus offered by a casino, and is primarily used to encourage new signups, though it may have strings attached. The bonus may only be fully available across a certain number of deposits, or there may be a time limit associated.

The Value & Benefits section is oriented at long-term players, and looks at how rewarding the casino is to play at over time. This section assesses a casino's bonuses, its loyalty or VIP program, and its customer support.

Customer support is particularly vital when playing at a real money casino because of what's at stake. No one, including the casino, wants any player to have a bad experience where real money is involved, and so having a support staff that can quickly and confidently resolve issues is hugely important.

For more details on how we review real money casinos, including additional information on rating subcategories, please visit our casino reviews page.

What to Look For in a Real Money Casino

Just like every gambling site, every player is different. When some people look at an online casino, they may be primarily concerned with the variety of games that are available. Others may care more about a casino's suite of promotions, to help them extend their bankrolls and have a better chance to win real money.

Games Selection

Most online casinos for real money boast thousands of games, and there is typically a good amount of variety. However, different casinos cater to different types of players; if you love roulette and can imagine it being your primary game, you're not going to want to sign up at a casino that doesn't offer it, or only has a couple of versions.

When you choose a real money casino, you should think about which games you might want to play in the future in addition to what you want to play now. This is especially true if you're not a slots fan, given how much of the game volume they typically represent at an online casino.


It's a fact that when you play at an online casino with real money, the balance in your account is eventually going to run out. Taking advantage of casino bonuses and promotions can keep you playing for longer, as they commonly give you extra money or free spins for slots to take advantage of.

When considering which real money casino to play at, have a look at the available bonuses, and ask yourself if they match your play style. If you see yourself playing very casually, you may not be interested in making large deposits to secure big amounts of bonus cash. However, if you're a high-roller, that type of bonus is likely exactly what you're looking for.

Banking Options

It's a uniquely frustrating experience to find a casino that looks promising, has a large number of games and solid bonuses, and then find out that your banking methods of choice aren't supported. Real money casinos should provide you with several ways to add money to your account, including credit cards, Interac, eCheck, e-wallets like EcoCard, and even Bitcoin. The more deposit options that a casino supports, the better.

Real Money Casino Games

Both in person and at the best real money online casino, games make up a huge part of the experience. One of the hardest parts of enjoying an casino is figuring out what you'd like to play, since the average casino for real money might offer thousands of unique slots, table games, live dealer games and more.

The following are just some of the games that you can expect to find at a real money casino.


Baccarat is a classic card game where the goal is for your dealt cards to add up to nine. It can seem a little bit imposing due to its rigid rules, but it is a fast-paced and highly enjoyable real money casino game.


The most popular casino game around, blackjack requires no introduction. Both you and the dealer are given two cards, and whoever can get the closest to 21 without going over wins.


Another game that can seem a bit overwhelming due to the sheer amount of things going on, craps is a dice game where bets are won or lost based on the rolled numbers.


Similar to craps in that it has many betting options, a game of roulette sees a ball spin around a wheel. Which compartment it stops in, both in terms of number and color, determines which bets are winners.


A fixture of every casino for real money, slot machines are the most variable item on this list. Within the framework of slots are dozens of themes, mechanics, and features. By far the most popular category of casino game, there are often hundreds of different games to play.

Video Poker

As opposed to traditional poker, which is played against others, video poker is a single-player game where you play five-card draw poker against a computer.

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Real Money Games vs. Free Games

Even at a real money casino, you'll be presented with the option to play games for free. Sometimes you might just want to play a few rounds of something for a few minutes of fun, or there's a new game that you'd like to try out, and so the ability to play for free is very valuable.

The biggest difference between playing games for real money and playing games for free is the ability to actually win money. When you play at an online casino for real money, you do need to have enough deposited to cover any bets you might make, but it is a two-way street; anything won will end up in your account. Playing for free completely removes the financial aspect of gambling, and while it can still be fun, some may not find it to be quite the same.

There are also certain types of games that you're not able to play for free, like live dealer games or those with progressive jackpots. This is because these games have a cost of entry; everyone needs to equally contribute to the jackpot in order to make things fair.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to playing for free and for real money, so feel comfortable switching between them when it makes sense to do so.

Real Money Casino Bonuses

One of the most important aspects of gambling sites are the bonuses and promotions that they offer to players. Not only are they specifically only useful if you're playing for real money, they can be fun and useful tools to keep you playing - and winning - for longer than you'd normally be able to.

With very rare exception, every bonus available to claim at a real money casino is a deposit bonus. This means that in order to take advantage of the bonus, you need to deposit a certain amount of money into your casino account. For match bonuses, the amount of money that you choose to deposit directly impacts how lucrative the bonus is.

Real money casinos typically offer at least some of the following types of bonuses.

Match Bonuses

Match bonuses are one of the most common types of casino bonuses, with many welcome bonuses also following the format. Match bonuses match what a player deposits to their account by a certain percentage.

To use an example, if a casino offers a match bonus of 50% on deposits of $20 or more, up to $200, the value of the bonus could be anywhere between $10 and $200. As a result, the player's total account balance could be as low as $30, or as high as $600.

When you play at an online casino for real money, match bonuses can be incredibly helpful, because you always end up with more money to play with than you put in your account.

Free Spins Bonuses

Another of the more frequent casino bonuses, free spins can be used when you play online slots for real money. While they are usually only usable on one specific game, they do allow you to play for free while still being to keep any winnings you might earn.

An important point to make about free spins bonuses is that while they allow you to play slots without having to use your account balance, they don't activate the free spins feature that some online slots use as a bonus.

Cashback Bonuses

Cashback bonuses are increasingly gaining popularity at real money casinos, though they are more often used as a perk for VIP program members. They are a bit unique in that you can't directly claim them yourself; instead, you'll need to reach out to a casino's customer support staff in order to activate them.

Cashback bonuses allow you to regain a certain percentage of busted deposits. If you spent $10 betting on blackjack but didn't win, and you had a 5% cashback bonus active, $0.50 of what you lost would be returned to your account. While cashback bonuses do favor those who play a lot, they are a nice perk to take advantage of.

No Deposit Bonuses

By far the rarest and most lucrative type of bonus, no deposit bonuses are typically used to promote a casino to new players or reward existing ones. As the name implies, they provide players with real money for no deposit; you just need to sign up for an account if you don't have one, claim the bonus, and start playing.

No deposit bonuses are particularly useful because there are several types of games at a casino that can only be played with real money, like progressive jackpot slots and live dealer games. However, due to their extreme rarity, they're not a bonus that players should rely on.

Wagering Requirements

If you're going to be claiming real money bonuses, you should always read the casino's terms and conditions, as they indicate the wagering requirements for different bonuses. Wagering requirements refer to the amount that you must bet at a casino before you're able to withdraw anything you've earned using a bonus.

The average wagering requirement at real money casinos is between 30 times and 50 times the amount of the bonus you've claimed; if you've claimed a $10 bonus, you'll have to bet between $300 and $500 before you can withdraw anything that you have won using it.

Further, different games also contribute different amounts to the wagering requirement. When you play slots, 100% of the value of any bets you make will contribute towards the wagering requirement, but table games like blackjack might only contribute 5% of their value.

Wagering requirements are put in place so that bad actors can't exploit the casino. Luckily, depending on how much you choose to play, they can be fulfilled pretty quickly.

Responsible Gambling

Whether you're playing at the best real money online casino or in person, gambling is a lot of fun. However, it's also very easy to get caught up in the thrill and the chase of getting a big win, which may result in spending more money than you may have meant to. No one, not even the casinos, want you to spend more than you can afford to, and so many real money casinos offer responsible gambling features to limit the amount of money you can bet, or otherwise help cool you off.

Not every real money casino will have the same set of responsible gambling features; some may allow you to temporarily lock your account, or even limit the amount of money you can deposit. In order to find out what your casino of choice offers, or if you want to limit your account in some way, you'll need to reach out to the customer service staff. While this does mean you need to be proactive, it's better to have limits in place at the beginning than realize you needed to implement them sooner.

If you are experiencing a crisis, please reach out to the National Council on Problem Gambling's 24-hour helpline at 1-800-522-4700.