Online Casino FAQs

Online casinos offer Canadian players a rich and wonderful form of entertainment, augmented by the potential for winning real cash prizes. Many people who visit online casinos are already familiar with land-based casino play from numerous casinos across Canada and the world. The internet, however, opens a new dimension to the casino experience, and with it a number of questions about the games themselves, as well as this particular format of play.

The Expert's Answers to Online Casino FAQs

  1. Online Casino Basics – Getting Started Playing at an Online Casino
  2. What is an online casino?
  3. How do I find an online casino?
  4. What is the difference between a live casino and an online casino?
  5. Is gambling legal in Canada?
  6. Is online gambling legal in Canada?
  7. How old do I have to be to play at an online casino?
  8. Bonus Questions
  9. What is a welcome bonus?
  10. Why do online casinos offer bonuses?
  11. What is a cashback bonus?
  12. What are free spins?
  13. What are wagering requirements?
  14. Online Casino Games
  15. What types of games are available at an online casino?
  16. Can I play for free at an online casino?
  17. Can I win real money prizes playing online casino games?
  18. What are my odds of winning at an online casino?
  19. What is meant by the game’s RTP?
  20. What RTP should I expect from online slots?
  21. Game Tips and Strategies
  22. Is winning casino games a matter of luck or skill?
  23. What roulette system works best?
  24. What is the best blackjack strategy?
  25. Casino Banking
  26. What payment methods are accepted by online casinos?
  27. Casino Software
  28. Do I need to download special software to play at an online casino?
  29. What is meant by instant play?
  30. Can I visit an online casino from any browser?
  31. Is it better to play from the casino’s website or the software download?
  32. What is a mobile casino?
  33. How do I access a mobile casino?
  34. What is a casino app?
  35. Should I download the casino app?
  36. Safety and Security
  37. How is my privacy and personal data protected?
  38. What should I be doing to protect myself?
  39. Can I get rich playing online casino games?
  40. How do I best manage my bankroll?
  41. Is online gambling addictive?
  42. How do I know if I’m experiencing problem gambling?
  43. What should I do if I am worried I may be addicted to online gambling?

Online Casino Basics – Getting Started Playing at an Online Casino

What is an online casino?

An online casino is an internet based casino. It will typically offer you the same basic game selection as you would find at a brick and mortar casino, like slots, roulette, and blackjack. A good online casino may offer even more, like scratchcards and lottery type games. Each online casino is run on a casino platform, with games created by software developers like Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, and more.

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How do I find an online casino?

You can easily find an online casino by doing a Google search. Simply type in “online casino” and many options will appear.

That being said, we recommend being more selective. Putting in a bit of research will help you choose an online casino that will meet your desires, expectations and standards. For example, the casinos reviewed by the Casino.guide team are always a good way to start. This way you know that the casino has favourable performance in terms of game play, bonus terms, banking, customer support and the general player experience.

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What is the difference between a live casino and an online casino?

Pretty much every online casino these days has what is called a live casino as part of its offering. Basically the live casino consists of a host / dealer / croupier who is filmed in a studio that replicates a casino, and this is live streamed to your screen in real time as the game you have chosen to play unfolds. This gives your online play a look and feel similar to that of gambling in a live (i.e. land-based) casino.

Many people like the added interactivity of having a live host who speaks with them as they play. For them, it ups the entertainment value. Others find playing games like blackjack dealt with real cards (rather than graphic animation) more engaging, which is where live casino has the upper hand.

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Is gambling legal in Canada?

By and large gambling is legal in Canada, though each province has its own laws regarding each type of gambling. This includes what type of games and where they can be played.

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Is online gambling legal in Canada?

Canada FlagFor all practical purposes it is legal for Canadians to play at an online casino. However, the Canadian government does not issue online casino licences for them to operate here.

Basically what that means is that while it is not legal to run your own online casino in Canada, you can legally play at online casinos that are located offshore. That’s actually a good thing because most online casinos are based overseas. For players in Canada, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing where you want to play.

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How old do I have to be to play at an online casino?

You must be above the age of 18 to register and/or play at an online casino.

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Bonus Questions

What is a welcome bonus?

A welcome bonus is the bonus you get from an online casino when you make your first deposit. Welcome bonuses tend to be the biggest offer you will receive from an online casino, as they are used as a way to attract players and convince you that their casino is worth joining.

All welcome bonuses will include a cash element, usually a 100% bonus up to a certain amount (rare ones will even be at 200%). Some may also include free spins. The cash element may be for a single deposit, or tiered over a number of deposits, like your first three deposits at the casino.

Netbet Bonus CA

NetBet Casino offers new players a first deposit bonus of 100% up to $200.

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Why do online casinos offer bonuses?

Online casinos offer bonuses to attract and retain players. It’s really as simple as that 😉

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What is a cashback bonus?

Once in a while you may encounter what is called a cashback bonus. This type of bonus is unique in that it awards you money back for losses you may have incurred at the casino.

As opposed to a deposit bonus, this one has to do with how much you have wagered, rather than how much you have deposited. For example, the promotion may be phrased something along the lines of “Get 20% cashback up to $100 this weekend only”. So if you wagered $500 and lost it all, you would get the full $100 back. If you wagered just $100 and lost it all, you would get a $20 bonus, i.e. $20 cash back.

Wildz Canada Loyality

Wildz Casino offers its loyal players 20% Cashback

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What are free spins?

Lucky Days Canada Free Spins

New players at Lucky Days Casino Canada get 100 free spins

Free spins in terms of a promotion, are spins that the casino gives you for free.  You will usually need to do something in order to receive them. For example, you may receive 10 free spins on a particular slots game when you make a $10 deposit.

Once in a blue moon you may receive absolutely free spins, i.e. ones that do not come with any conditions in order to receive them. For example, the casino may be releasing a new game and want to entice you to try it with 10  spins on this particular game.

Keep in mind, the free spins from a casino promo differs from free spins which can be won during play from within a slots game.

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What are wagering requirements?

Every bonus you claim at an online casino comes with a wagering requirement. This is the number of times that you need to wager the bonus amount before you can withdraw subsequent winnings. Sometimes it’s also called the playthrough requirement. While 20X used to be the standard, nowadays it is rare to find less than a 30X wagering requirement, and 40X is even considered quite reasonable these days.

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Online Casino Games

What types of games are available at an online casino?

Pretty much all of the casino games that you would find in a bricks and mortar casino can be found in an online casino. And more! Since there are no limitations on space, an online casino can easily host thousands of games including hundreds of different online slot machine options, dozens of versions of roulette and blackjack, as well as craps, baccarat, video poker, and more under one virtual roof.

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Can I play for free at an online casino?

free iconAlmost all online casino games can be played for free. Generally speaking, the only exceptions are progressive jackpot games and live casino games which can only be played for real money wagers.

In some cases, you will need to create a casino account in order to access the free games. These games are played in demo mode so you can get a taste of things before putting down any money. Other online casinos will let you play even without signing up for an account. Free play, by the way, is an excellent way to explore new games or discover new game types, risk-free. It is also a great way to practice your skills, before you move on to real money play. But do remember that you can’t actually win any cash when you are playing in demo mode.

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Can I win real money prizes playing online casino games?

Yes, you absolutely can win real money prizes playing online casino games. After all, the potential to win real money is a big part of the draw, and of course the overall thrill of the game.

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What are my odds of winning at an online casino?

Your odds of winning at an online casino depend on the game you are playing. Each particular slot machine, for example, has its own odds, as does each version of roulette, blackjack, and so on.

idea iconInterestingly enough, online casino games as a whole are considered to have better odds than the same games played at a bricks and mortar casino.

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What is meant by the game’s RTP?

A game’s RTP (return to player) is the percentage of wagers a certain casino game will pay back to the players over the long run. The higher the RTP, the more money the game is returning to players. So for example, if a game’s RTP is listed at 95%, it means that if you bet $100 on the game you should win $0.95 back. You being a theoretical person over the course of time, of course. So don’t expect that exact equation in one gaming session.

If a high RTP is something that interests you in terms of making your game selection, make sure to look it up before you begin playing. It can easily be found in the information section of each game, and if you need help finding it, feel free to contact the casino support for assistance.

Mega Joker LeoVegas Canada

The popular slot Mega Joker from NetEnt has a RTP of 99%

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What RTP should I expect from online slots?

Each online slot machine has its own exact RTP, down to the decimal. In general, the 94% to 96% range is considered standard, even good. That being said a 92% RTP is not unheard of and could still be worth a spin if you particularly like the game’s theme or features. As for the higher end, it is certainly possible to find newer games in particular that are closer to the 97% range.

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Game Tips and Strategies

Is winning casino games a matter of luck or skill?

This is the million-dollar question. In general, winning at most casino games is more a matter of luck than skill. But for each game type, there are certain things you can do to help improve your odds. This is truer for games like roulette which has a number of strategies associated with it, and blackjack in particular which is considered more of a skills based game. This is opposed to slots which are about as random as they get in their outcome, i.e. essentially a matter of pure luck.

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What roulette system works best?

Martingale SystemMany roulette players make their bets based on instinct, whim, or their own personal experience. Others, on the other hand, subscribe to one of the numerous roulette systems that abound. Which of these roulette strategies works best is a matter of debate, and also to an extent a matter of personal taste.

The most common roulette strategies include what is probably the best-known and most employed roulette strategy known as the Martingale system. After that many would say the Fibonacci system, the Reverse Martingale system, the Grand Martingale betting strategy, the Labouchere system, the D’Alembert system, and even the James Bond betting strategy.

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What is the best blackjack strategy?

Of all the online casino games, blackjack is probably the most skill based. As such, there are certain blackjack strategies that you can use in order to improve your odds at a winning hand.

The best blackjack strategy is actually surprisingly simple in its obviousness and that is learning the rules of the particular game you’ve chosen to play, as well as the house advantage. Remember, each of the online blackjack games is upfront about its house edge. Going in with this knowledge is always a good thing.

After that come the card strategies themselves, which dictate what you should do based on the dealer’s shown hand and what you’re holding yourself – that is should you hit, split, double, hold, or fold. There are actually what are called blackjack strategy calculators to help you out, or you can read up on each of the different scenarios to get a better grasp.

BlackJack Games at NetBet casino

Various Blackjack tables can be found at NetBet Casino

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Casino Banking

What payment methods are accepted by online casinos?

money iconEach online casino works with a number of different payment methods. Some of the most common ones you would expect to find are the major credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, as well as e-wallet services like Skrill, NETELLER, paysafecard, and MuchBetter. Many online casinos that we at Casino.guide recommend also include a number of preferred payment methods in Canada like Interac, iDebit, and Instadebit.

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Casino Software

Do I need to download special software to play at an online casino?

In the past, you had to download the online casino to your personal computer in order to access the games. This manner of play, however, is becoming increasingly rare. In fact, it has become progressively difficult to find online casinos that even offer a software download option.

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What is meant by instant play?

Instant play basically means the form of play you enjoy when you access the online casino is through your computer’s web browser. That is, you are playing instantly from its website, without the need to download any software. Another term for instant play would be web play or web-based play, though more and more these days, online play is a direct synonym.

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Can I visit an online casino from any browser?

Most online casinos these days are programmed to work with any browser that supports HTML5. That basically includes any browser that functions in 2020. HTML5 casinos are all instant-play from your web browser, whether you are on your computer, phone or tablet. You should be able to see all of the graphics in excellent quality, and access all of the links and navigation equally well whether you are using Explorer, Chrome, FireFox, Safari or Opera.

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Is it better to play from the casino’s website or the software download?

download-64x64.pngWhether you prefer to play direct from the casino’s website or download its software is a matter of personal choice. Some people prefer to download the software, which then adds an easy to access icon to their desktop.

But nowadays, we are actually recommend website play first. It is simply more convenient. Just type in the URL and you are good to go from any computer, at home, at work, or even at a friend’s place. Plus, the website tends to have more games available with all new titles added there first.

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What is a mobile casino?

A mobile casino is exactly as the name implies. An online casino that can be accessed from your mobile device, whether it is a smartphone or tablet.

Nowadays, most online casinos are programmed with HTML5, which makes them inherently mobile compatible. This includes the ability to play all casino games, do all of your casino banking, and claim all casino bonuses from your mobile device. The only difference is sometimes the navigation, which is duly adjusted to better fit the dimensions of a smaller screen.

As such, thanks to this unified experience, the terms online casino and mobile casino are basically interchangeable for the most part.

mr-green-mobile-gaming

Mr Green Online Casino on different devices

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How do I access a mobile casino?

You can access a mobile casino in the exact same way in which you access an online casino. Simply type the casino’s URL into the browser on your cell phone or tablet and you are ready to go. If you already have an account with that casino, you can use your same username and password to log in through your mobile.

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What is a casino app?

Leo Vegas mobile AppA casino app is an app that you can download to your mobile phone or tablet to access the casino.

Some online casinos have a casino app in addition to mobile play from their website. Since iOS and Android operating systems are a bit different from one another, the apps for each are obtained separately. If you have an Apple device, you could download it from the App Store or better yet from the casino’s website. If you are on an Android device, you should note that at the time of writing, Google does not allow real money gambling apps to be listed on Google Play and should be wary of any casino app you find there. If the casino has an Android app, you will find it available for download from the casino’s website.

For the most part, the casino apps for download have fewer games than direct mobile play. And some are only for fun as opposed to real money play. Other online casinos, however, have casino apps that are on par with the online casino, offering almost all of the same games, as well as all bonus promotions and banking functionality.

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Should I download the casino app?

Whether you would prefer to play from the mobile casino or the casino app is a matter of personal partiality, which we can’t really advise on. What we can say is that the mobile site tends to have more games available. The casino app, however, is more convenient, in that it is right there on your mobile with an icon for you to open with a tap – just like you would do to access Facebook, Instagram, your Outlook, Gmail, or whatever other services you are regularly using.

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Safety and Security

How is my privacy and personal data protected?

Similar to your banking safety, your personal and privacy data is protected by secure encryption measures that include SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).

EGBA logoOperators based in the EU, which actually makes up the bulk of online casinos, must follow the EGBA (European Gaming and Betting Association) protocols for data protection called the Data Protection Code of Conduct for Online Gaming Operators. Regulated casino operators will also comply with anti-laundering and fraud prevention laws.

Furthermore, you should make sure that the privacy policy includes a clause that explicitly states that the online casino does not share any of your personal information with any third-party for whatever reason.

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What should I be doing to protect myself?

sicher-64x64.pngTo keep your money and your identity safe, you should always approach online gambling like any other transaction. Do not share your login details such as your username and password with anyone. You should also make sure the casino is licensed by a reputable licensing authority. And make sure to register only at online casinos with a good reputation, proven to be safe and secure.

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General Gambling Advice

Playing online casino games is a fun pastime, or hobby if you will. As such, you should look at casino games as a form of entertainment, that may also potentially result in real money winnings, rather than having winning money as your explicit goal.

Vienne Garcia“While it is true that you can make money playing online casino games, it should not be looked at as a form of employment to replace a job. Since casino games are about luck, you will not be able to generate a steady, reliable income playing them.” Vienne Garcia – Author und Casino Expert

As far as getting rich, a small number of very lucky players have won millions of dollars playing online progressive jackpot games. But this is the exception rather than the norm, so keep that in mind. More likely, if anything, you will win smaller sums which will give you a nice little boost in disposable income to buy yourself a pampering treat.

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How do I best manage my bankroll?

Managing your bankroll is crucial to having fun long-term at an online casino. Or most simply put, do not gamble more than you can afford to lose.

important iconDifferent people have different ways of managing their bankroll, much like their day-to-day budget. For example, you may give yourself a weekly allowance of how much money you can deposit at the online casino each week. Once you’ve played that money, that’s it until the following week.

If you have trouble managing your bankroll, know that many online casinos have settings that allow you to set limits on the amount of money you deposit or gamble in any given time period. These limits can even be set to restrict the number of hours you can play a day, a week, or at one sitting.

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Is online gambling addictive?

Like regular gambling, online gambling can be addictive. That does not mean that it is addictive. Many people are able to play at online casinos either sporadically or on a regular basis and keep their gaming habits healthy. A small number of people, however, either have an addictive personality or something in the format triggers addiction, and for them online gambling becomes a problem, which often requires professional help.

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How do I know if I’m experiencing problem gambling?

There are a few telltale signs that you are experiencing problem gambling. For example, if you find yourself preoccupied with gambling while engaged in other activities, that is a strong sign.

responsible gamingSimilarly, if you are constantly thinking about where you can get more money to fund your casino account, you should be worried. If you are trying to cut back on your gambling, whether in terms of money or time spent, and you find you cannot, again, this is a sign of a problem.

And if you are using money you allocated for other things – like your electricity bill or food – you know that something is definitely not right. Other signs may include increased moodiness, increased consumption of drugs or alcohol, or fighting with friends or family members over money, amongst other things.

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What should I do if I am worried I may be addicted to online gambling?

Recognising that you may have a problem is by far the most important first step to addressing the issue. Once you have done that, there are numerous online resources to help you assess your risk and give you the tools you need to overcome your addiction. In addition, every Canadian province and territory has a problem gambling helpline you can call.

You may also want to tell a close friend or family member so they can understand what you are going through and support you along the way. Additionally, it is worth looking for a local support group, where you will meet people with a similar problem and get the understanding and practical advice you need to overcome your addiction.

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