Online Gambling 101 – What It Is And How It Works

            Gambling 101

Online gambling is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people around the world. It’s a billion dollar business that provides gamblers with fun, entertaining games, ranging from poker to slot machines, table games to fantasy sports, and video poker to live dealer tables.

If you’re new to online gambling and are interested in getting involved as a player, then chances are you have some concerns, questions, and confusion about everything that’s out there. Here’s some basic information designed to help to understand and access this thriving Internet industry.

Types Of Gambling Online

Generally speaking, there are five primary types of betting sites around. Some online gambling sites focus on one area, while other provide opportunities in two, three, or more. Along with those types of common betting prospects available, you’ll also find, at various sites, bingo, scratch cards, keno, betting on entertainment, business, and election outcomes, and more.

In terms of gambling online, there are:

  • Casinos
  • Poker Rooms
  • Horse and Dog Betting
  • Sportsbooks
  • Fantasy Sports

Games You Can Play And Bets You Can Make

There are a large number of games that you can enjoy at online gambling sites. Here’s a list of what you will find at the various types.


  • Baccarat
  • Bingo
  • Blackjack
  • Casino Hold'em
  • Craps
  • Keno
  • Pai Gow
  • Pontoon
  • Red Dog
  • Roulette
  • Scratch Tickets
  • Sic Bo
  • Slots
  • Tri-Card Poker
  • Video Poker

Poker Rooms – Types of Games

  • Cash
  • Tournaments
  • Sit and Goes

Poker Rooms – Types of Poker

  • 5-Card Draw
  • 5-Card Stud
  • 7-Card Stud
  • 7-Card Stud Hi-Lo
  • Badugi
  • Crazy Pineapple
  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Razz
  • Texas Hold'em


  • American Professional Football
  • Australian Rules Football
  • Baseball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket
  • Golf
  • Greyhounds
  • Basketball
  • College Basketball
  • College Football
  • Horse Racing
  • Ice Hockey
  • MMA
  • Motor Sports
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Winter Sports

Fantasy Sports

  • MLB
  • NBA
  • NCAA Basketball
  • NCAA Football
  • NFL
  • NHL
  • PGA
  • Soccer

Online Bonuses

There are various types of bonuses that are offered by online gambling sites. It’s important that you read all rules and regulations concerning each bonus, as these can vary quite a bit. Some bonuses are awarded immediately, while others are given out in increments after you complete part of the play-through requirement.

A “play-through requirement” is often associated with sign up, welcome, and reload bonuses. In order to receive your bonus, you must spend a multiple of the bonus amount plus what you deposited. That multiple varies a lot, ranging from six- to 14-times the deposit and bonus. We explain more about this in our online gambling bonus guide.A “play-through requirement” is often associated with sign up, welcome, and reload bonuses. In order to receive your bonus, you must spend a multiple of the bonus amount plus what you deposited. That multiple varies a lot, ranging from six- to 14-times the deposit and bonus. We explain more about this in our online gambling bonus guide.

In terms of an actual amount, if you deposit $100 and get a 100% bonus, which would be another $100, and the play-through amount was eight-times that total, you would have to bet a total of 8 x $200 = $1600. After you wagered a total of $1600 at the site, you’d receive your $100.

Some bonuses are offered as a percentage of your deposit, others are flat amounts, and others are given in multiples based on how much cash you spend. Note that at most gaming sites you are not allowed to have two active bonuses in play at once.

Type of Online Bonuses

  • Sign up/Welcome/New Player: Awarded when you open an account, either as a percentage of your deposit or as a match of the amount.
  • No Deposit: Free money to entice you to try the site. It can only be used for betting and cannot be withdrawn
  • Reload Bonus: Given when you make a deposit other than your first. This is a percentage of your deposit.
  • Loyalty: Often given as VIP points, which are based on how much you spend during a month. The points may be converted into cash for gambling or used at the site’s online store for purchases.
  • High-Roller: If you make large deposits of $500 or more or spend more than $1000 per month, then you will receive the highest reload bonuses, extra VIP points, and special privileges.
  • Refer-a-Friend: These range from $25 to $100 and are given to you after you refer someone to the casino and they sign up, and make a deposit.
  • Payment Method: Certain payment methods result in players getting from 5% to 20% more than their deposit.
  • Cash-Back: This is given for certain types of losses and is often designated for specific games or types of bets.
  • Double-Points: Casinos often award double VIP points for playing certain games during times when they are trying to attract players, such as mid-week.
  • Double-Tokens: Similar to double-points as to why they are awarded, but this time in the form of betting token that you can use on games designated by the casino.

Free Rolls/Bets And Free Games

Many casinos, poker rooms, fantasy sports sites, and other online gambling websites give their members a chance to play in free rolls. A free roll, which is a tournament or competition that costs nothing to enter, offers players who finish at the top cash prizes. Often you’ll need some sort of special code or have participated in a new or special offering to play in a free roll. Still, many free rolls simply require that you sign up to play.

Racebooks, sportsbooks, and other sites offer free bets. Usually, free bets are associated with a special promotion, such as the start of a specific sport’s season, a sign up bonus, or your using a new service. The amount of the free bet is specified and each site has rules concerning where and when it may be used, if it may be split, and how any winnings will be distributed.

You may also play free games at many casinos and poker rooms. Free games simply allow players to bet with play money when using video poker machines, playing slots, or engaged in a table game. Poker rooms often have free tables where everyone is using play money. Thus, the main benefit of free play is that it allows you practice without any risk. It also offers great entertainment value.

Devices You May Use

Depending on the gambling site and its platform, software, and what devices are supported, you may play on your:

  • PC
  • Mac
  • Tablet
  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • Banking

Commonly, all sites utilize online banking methods and attempt to make sure members may easily access both deposit and withdrawal services, while the site maintains a safe and secure environment.

Types of deposit methods for US players:

  • MoneyGram cash transfer
  • Debit cards that are good for international Internet transactions

Types of withdrawal methods for US players:

  • Wire transfer into your bank account
  • Courier such as FedEx, which will deliver a real check to you
  • MoneyGram, through which cash is wired to you

Customer Support

The type of customer support you’ll find at on line gambling sites varies. Some websites provide support 24/7, while others have limited hours for such. Every site will have information concerning when customer is open and how you may contact them.

Methods of contact may include:

  • Live Chat
  • Email
  • Toll Free Phone Number
  • Postal Mail
  • Fax

Customer support that is knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful is an important aspect of any online gambling site.

Shop Around

Before joining an online gambling website make sure that you shop around and compare what various sites have to offer in terms of games, bonuses, support, and more. Read reviews, make sure their games are tested and audited, and check forums to see if there have been any complaints made that have not been resolved. Once you find an online site that you like have fun and use your money wisely.

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