The fairest casino games and websites from an end-user standpoint should always be at the top of your list when it’s time to engage in online gambling. If not, you run the risk of falling prey to crooked software, lengthy payments delays, and all the other aggravations you might associate with unethical casino providers.
Luckily, this article is devoted to helping you navigate the sometimes treacherous waters of the online gaming industry. We’ll detail the most important qualities you should watch for when selecting an online casino, as well as providing a list of the best places to play and the games with the lowest house edge.
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Qualities of a Top Gaming Site
When compiling a list of the fairest online casinos, there are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration. Otherwise, you’ll just be throwing a bunch of random names together without a proper understanding of what makes a casino “fair.” When you’re doing your own research, I suggest paying close attention to each of the following items.
- Speed of Payment – You’ll no doubt want to receive your winnings as quickly as possible, which is why I consider this one of the most important elements of a “fair” casino. In fact, one of the surest ways for an online gaming room to earn a bad reputation involves delaying payments to their customers.
The casinos with the fastest payment times should process your request within 11 hours, although 12 to 24 hours is still an acceptable period of time. Payments that take 24 to 48 hours rank in the middle of the pack, while anything longer is at the low end of the spectrum.
- Withdrawal Restrictions – It’s a common practice for Internet casinos to place limits on the amount of money that a player can withdraw on a weekly basis. This is meant to regulate the casino’s cash flow and prevent an unexpected wave of players from requesting a massive amount at the same time.
Casinos with no limits are the best options, of course, but finding them may be more difficult than you’d think. A $10,000 limit is more realistic and should satisfy high rollers and average players alike.
- Casino Software – No matter which site you choose to play at, you can count on it being powered by some manner of third-party software. This means that the casino pays a yearly fee for the right to use the software and have access to all the games that accompany it.
The best software companies pay close attention to the casinos using their product, as any sort of unethical behavior also reflects on them. Software developers with less stringent standards are usually unconcerned as long as they get their money.
In my experience, Microgaming is the best software provider for Internet casinos. Other quality options include IGT, Playtech, Cryptologic, WMS, and NetEnt. Feel free to experiment with other brands, but beware of the following: Chartwell, Random Logic, Nuworks, and Vegas Tech. This latter group is known to have received poor marks in categories ranging from quantity and quality to overall customer service.
- Customer Service – A fair online casino should respond to any questions or concerns in a timely manner. If the customer service department is unresponsive or combative, then it’s a sure sign of an establishment you want to avoid in the future.
- Bonus Money – Casinos love to offer bonus money when a player signs up, but withdrawing this “free” money often comes with a number of strings attached. Before you deposit money into a casino based on the bonus amount, read the fine print and see what requirements you’ll need to meet. In most cases, you’ll need to wager the value of the bonus amount several times over before you’re allowed to cash it out. The harder it is to find these stipulations, the more you should wonder about the credibility of the casino.
- Overall Reputation – Important details can fall through the cracks, so it’s always wide to look at a casino’s overall reputation before making a choice. There are numerous casino watchdog sites on the Internet, and the astute gamer should compare and contrast their rankings.
Fairest Casino Games
A fair casino game might sound like an oxymoron to some veteran players, but there are choices that offer a lower house edge than others. Since a truly fair casino game should place the player on an equal footing with the casino, I suggest sticking to the following games:
- Blackjack – Offers a low 0.28% house edge with liberal Vegas rules. This means the dealer stands on a soft 17, the player may double on any two cards, resplit aces, double after splitting, and oft for late surrender.
- Craps – While some bets in craps are less than generous, the odds wager is the fairest wager you’ll find in a casino. After a point is thrown, the player wagers that the point will be rolled again before a seven comes up. This wager carries a 0% house edge, which means the player has an equal chance with house. In the world of gambling, this is about as good as it gets.
- Spanish 21 – This blackjack variant offers a house edge of 0.76% when the dealer hits on a soft 17. If the dealer stands, the house edge is 0.40%.
- Super Fun 21 – Another Blackjack variant, this game gives the house an advantage of 0.94%.
- Video Poker – If proper strategy is applied, a full pay game of Jacks or Better only has a house edge of 0.46%.
Casino Websites with the Best Reputation
Now that you know which games to play, it’s time to select an online casino and try your luck. While other reputable casinos do exist, the following establishments combine a fine reputation with diverse gaming options, fast withdrawal times, and superior customer service. Listed in no particular order, these include:
Sky Vegas – This casino offers no payout limits, plus transactions can be conducted over the weekend. Their company is publically traded, and they feature a full range of gaming options (from bingo to poker). They’re also licensed in Alderney, which is known as one of the toughest jurisdictions to issue casino licenses.
RedBet – Received awards for “Best Casino Manager” and “Best New Casino” in 2012. They feature instant cashouts, strong customer service, and payouts during the weekend. Their gaming software is provided by Microgaming and NetEnt, which are among the best in the industry.
Paddy Power – Established in 2000, Paddy Power is licensed in Alderney and the Isle of Man and is also a publically traded company. Cashouts are done within 24 hours and are available on the weekends. There are also no limits on payout, meaning you can withdraw any or all of your winnings.
Kerching Casino – In business since 2007, this casino is powered by IGT software and licensed in Alderney. It’s a publically traded company, although their services are not available to U.S. players. Withdrawals are processed within 24 hours, and they can also be obtained over the weekend. Casino games are exclusively offered, so don’t expect to find bingo, poker, or sports betting options.
Now that you’re aware of some of the fairest casino games and websites from an end-user standpoint, you’ll be able to play online with a greater feeling of confidence and safety. Locating a reputable Internet casino is vital to getting the most from your gaming sessions, and the smart player always looks for games that provide the greatest chance of reducing the house edge to zero. By following these two common sense strategies, you’ll ensure a fun—and perhaps profitable—gaming experience. Remember to use legitimate deposit options with fair fees, for example amex is trusted, and eCheck is a fair deposit option in 2013.