If you’re looking for the best online casino experience, then check out our list of best casino sites. Our top recommendation is Grosvenor Casino, which scored 80%.
Online casinos aren’t exactly new on the scene, but their popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. Players from all walks of life are seeking out the best destinations in search of both entertainment and the possibility of winning. Not sure where to start your online casino journey? Let us take you through everything you need to know before you get started.
Why Play at an Online Casino?
If you want to experience the thrills of playing at a casino, there’s nothing stopping you from heading out to your local brick-and-mortar establishment. However, this isn’t always convenient. Whether you just don’t fancy the journey or would simply rather play in your living room, an online casino is a more efficient option. Yet, it’s not simply a matter of convenience. Many online casinos provide games collections that feature over 500 different games, with the very best featuring over 1000. These are figures that land-based casinos struggle to match, with online casinos often offering video poker, scratch cards and slingo in addition to more traditional games.
With so many options, there’s something for everyone at online casinos, whether you’re a complete beginner or more experienced.
How to Play for Real Money at an Online Casino
- Choose where to play
First things first, you’ll need to decide which online casino you want to play at. There are thousands of options at your disposal. Don’t fancy spending hours looking for your ideal casino? We’ve done the legwork for you. Our expert review team has put together a strong line up of the best licensed online casinos, featuring some of the biggest brands and a few exciting newcomers too.
- Sign up
After pinpointing a favourite, you’ll need to sign up to create an account. This is increasingly an effortless task, only requiring you to provide a few details and some personal information for the casino to verify your account.
- Deposit & claim your bonus
The next step is to make your first deposit. Pretty much every online casino offers support for debit card deposits, as well as accepting payments via bank transfer, Neteller and Skrill. Some of the best UK online casinos accept PayPal deposits, and there are even pay by phone bill casinos, which means there’s probably a payment method that suits you. Make sure you meet any minimum deposit requirements, or you may not be eligible for your welcome bonus. You’ll be prompted to opt in or out of the welcome bonus. If you opt in, your welcome offer is usually credited to your account almost immediately after depositing.
- Try free demos
For the uninitiated, a bit of practice will go a long way in your quest to become a successful casino player. Fortunately, you won’t have to risk your hard-earned money while you get the hang of things. Almost all of the online casinos we list offer free demo versions of a wide range of titles. This is a great opportunity to get familiar with a game, it’s features and controls.
- Find a game to play
Once you’re familiar with the games and ready to play, you’ll be able to switch over to a real money game within seconds. Simply head over to your chosen casino’s games collection and pick out a game. Whether you’re a slots fanatic or a table game aficionado, you’ll find plenty of games that match your preferences.
How we Choose
What we Look For in a Great Casino
You’ll never find a gambling site without a licence at Compare.bet. Before any site is considered for our shortlists, we confirm that it’s fully licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Governing bodies like the UKGC and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) essentially ensure that gambling operators play by the rules. This means that any online casino you find here is guaranteed to be trustworthy. Expect fair gameplay, secure payment methods, reliable withdrawals and helpful customer support.
Online Casino Games
A market-leading gaming experience comes as standard when you pick a casino featured on our site. We’ve worked hard to filter our casino list to the best in the gambling industry. We’ve featured sites that host a top tier game selection, including a blend of old favourites and a consistent conveyor belt of new game launches.
Online slots fill out the bulk of the games collection at most online casinos. It’s no surprise either. With dozens of high-quality casino software providers such as NetEnt and Microgaming constantly pushing the envelope, the calibre of modern slot games is constantly improving. There are some classic slots that have long been fan favourites such as Starburst and Book of Dead. Progressive jackpot titles have also become quite popular in recent years. These offer lottery-sized wins for stakes starting as low as 25p a spin. Of course, your odds of winning are low, but that’s to be expected with jackpot slots and it certainly doesn’t take away from the fun.
While slots are arguably the most buzzworthy gaming category, classic casino games are a staple of any good online casino. Table games, such as roulette, craps, baccarat and sic bo are widely available at top UK casinos. These games are great fun – some have been around for centuries, so they’ve stood the test of time very well. If you’re looking to put your skills to the test, popular card games blackjack and poker involve elements of strategy and might be your best bet if you’ve got some experience under your belt.
From old school Seven-Card Stud to the all-conquering Texas Hold’em, fans of the felt are able to play practically every kind of poker online these days. You can head to dedicated poker rooms to play in cash games and epic tournaments. Or, explore the poker options at all-round casino sites. Here, you can find simple, virtual versions with random number generators, along with live dealer poker games which stream the action from studio sets. Some major poker sites, such as 888poker and PartyPoker, run on their own custom-made software, while others rely on the work of innovative developers like Playtech and Evolution.
It’s easy to see why blackjack is so popular at online casinos. It’s simple to pick up, relies on an appealing blend of skill and chance, and waiting to see who’ll get closest to the magic number of 21 is a nail-biter every time. Plus, with some basic strategy, you’ll be playing with the lowest house edge of any casino game. Most UK casino sites offer plenty of virtual games to choose from – using colourful graphics and random number generators to simulate casino blackjack. Alternatively, you can hit the live dealer blackjack tables, where variants include fast-paced Speed Blackjack and the breezy, low-stakes Blackjack Party. NetEnt, Evolution and Microgaming have all created some of the best blackjack games on the market.
When people think of casinos, there’s a good chance roulette is the first game that springs to mind. So it almost goes without saying there’s a wealth of options when it comes to seeing what the wheel of fortune has in store online. Thanks to leading developers like Evolution, NetEnt and Playtech, you can explore virtual versions of American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette, not to mention exciting live roulette with real croupiers. The inventive options here include Lightning Roulette, with its potentially lucrative multipliers, and Immersive Roulette, which employs close-up, movie-style camerawork to thrust you into the action.
You might think this iconic dice game can’t possibly work outside the context of a land-based casino, but the clever software developers at Evolution have managed to make it happen. The live casino games specialists have developed an engrossing take on craps, featuring a cool, speakeasy-style vibe. It also has a special Easy Mode interface, which will be welcomed by players who’ve never ventured into the complex world of craps. The company also offers First Person Craps, a random number generator version that replicates the look of the live set.
Craps isn’t the only dice game in town. There’s also sic bo, which is played with three dice and particularly popular in casinos in Asia. If you’re curious to see what all the fuss is about, the good news is sic bo is readily available at UK online casinos. There’s a particularly good random number generator sic bo game from Switch Studios, a software development firm affiliated with Microgaming. As you might expect, Evolution has a live dealer sic bo game on the market. It’s called Super Sic Bo, and it boasts 1000x multipliers to really shake things up.
Live Dealer Casino
The latest innovation on offer –and our personal favourite– is live dealer casino. If you’re looking for the most realistic, immersive casino experience available online, you’ll want to make sure that you choose an online casino with live dealer games. You’ll find live versions of popular table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat at online casino sites. These games bring the realism of Vegas’ finest land-based casinos directly to your desktop or mobile device by live streaming a live croupier, using real casino equipment. You’ll be able to see and hear all the sights and sounds of a real casino game whenever and wherever you want.
We’ve just scratched the surface here. The best online casinos we cover on Compare.bet offer a number of variations for the most popular casino classics, as well as the latest and greatest HD video slots – the collection of games only tends to increase with time. Have a browse, you’re sure to find a game that you fancy a flutter on.
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons of Live Dealer Casinos
Bonuses & Promotions
While the biggest bonuses are usually designed with new players in mind, loyalty rewards and promotions are made to keep existing players coming back. We’ve picked out casinos that offer fresh, exciting new promotions and regularly give back to loyal players. With giveaways, VIP schemes and free spins bonuses on offer, there’s plenty of incentive to stick with your chosen casino.
When weighing up your options, you might find that comparing games collections and promotions isn’t enough to filter down your list. Casino bonuses aren’t just a great tool used by casino operators to attract players, they’re also an excellent way to make your decision a little easier and kick off your casino gameplay with a bankroll boost. Let’s have a look at the best you can find online right now.
Matched deposits are arguably the most common bonus found at online casinos, and you’ll be pleased to hear they do exactly what they say on the tin. When you place your first deposit with a casino they will match it up to a certain amount. Most matched deposits will be something like ‘100% up to £100,’ which means that they’ll double your initial deposit, but only up to the value of £100. It’s not uncommon to see a deposit match as low as 50% and as high as 200%. Matched deposits will also come with certain wagering requirements attached to them that will affect how you play, so keep an eye out for those.
Free spins are another very common online casino bonus offer and they’re equally easy to understand. You can claim them as a standalone bonus, but you will usually see them bundled in with other bonuses like a matched deposit. It goes without saying that extra spins will typically apply to slot games, but because they are often part of a wider casino bonus, you can often use your free funds on a variety of other games too. There will still be wagering requirements attached to free spins so it’s best to keep an eye out for the terms and conditions.
No deposit bonuses are pretty easy to wrap your head around. All you need to do as a new customer is sign up to a new casino and the bonus should be waiting for you! They will usually come in the form of free spins or in-game tokens, but they can also come as free cash bonuses. They’re a great way to get to grips with a casino and test yourself on their games selection. These will also come with wagering requirements and winnings caps attached that can limit how you play, so make sure you take a note of them – they tend to be higher than what you’ll find on other bonus types.
Wagering requirements can often make or break a bonus, so finding an offer with no wagering requirements attached is a welcome boost. Any winnings you make as part of a no wagering bonus are, therefore, immediately withdrawable as cash. There are quite a few no wagering bonuses out there so you’ll have a fair selection to choose from. But, while they may come with no wagering requirements, they will come with other terms and conditions attached that will still affect how you play, like win limits and games restrictions.
It’s not just new customers that can get their hands on some great offers – leading online casinos will offer their existing players some top quality promotions as reward for being loyal customers. Let’s have a look at the offers you can expect to find at the best online casinos.
Some casino operators provide players with frequent cashback deals, giving you the chance to turn the tables when you haven’t got a rub of the green. While you’ll usually only receive a percentage in return and this amount will often be capped, it’s still a great consolation prize when you don’t land that win.
Much like the matched deposit reserved for new players, returning VIP customers can expect to find their deposits matched by their online casino. This means you can play with some extra funds for simply making a deposit.
While there are some great promotions for new players out there, the best offers are reserved for the VIPs. These include a larger number of free spins and increased matched deposit deals. Certain VIP programmes allow you to personalise your own promotions to suit the games you play the most.
Mobile Casino Apps
Gone are the days when players had to stay at their computer screens to play online casino games. Now you can enjoy the likes of slots, blackjack and roulette wherever you are thanks to mobile technology. Almost every casino site can be accessed through the browser on your phone or tablet, but it’s always good to download the casino’s native mobile app if you can. This will be better suited to your specific device, potentially offering faster and sleeker functionality. You’ll also get push notifications on the latest bonuses and promos as they become available.
New Casino Sites
The British gambling landscape never stays still, with new online casinos frequently entering the scene. Don’t worry about keeping up – that’s our job. At Compare.bet, we keep a close eye on the newest casino sites, as they often provide player-friendly welcome bonuses and generous promotions in order to draw attention away from better-known brands. The flipside is they may have smaller games libraries, and will probably not have mobile casino apps you can download. We’ll always weigh up the pros and cons when we recommend new casinos to you.
Online casinos offer a wide range of different payment gateways but they aren’t all treated equally. Many UK casinos exclude deposits via Neteller or Skrill from all deposit related bonuses – this includes the welcome bonus. Therefore, think about which method you want to use before joining, and make sure that you can get the bonuses if you want them.
Arguably the most familiar payment method to UK players, debit cards are accepted pretty much universally at online casinos around the world. It can take up to five working days for transactions to be processed and you’ll benefit from all the usual security measures provided by your bank. You will be unable to bet with your credit card, however, as they have been banned from any form of gambling since 14th April 2020. The change in the law came as a result of the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures which later saw the UK Gambling Commission announce that the payment method would no longer be accepted by online gambling sites.
PayPal has long been a popular payment method for customers and its popularity is now growing rapidly in the online casino industry. It’s completely free to sign up and transactions are usually processed within 24 hours, making depositing and withdrawing your funds very straightforward. What’s more, it’s very secure. You only need to share your email address with the casino, not your banking details, and PayPal’s two-factor authentication and 24-hour fraud monitoring service will keep your money secure. Bear in mind that certain casinos may disqualify PayPal deposits from the welcome bonus, so make sure to check your choice’s terms and conditions.
Neteller is another increasingly popular payment method for online casino players. It is trusted by millions of users in over 180 countries. Transactions are usually processed within 24 hours, meaning you’ll be able to get your hands on your funds relatively quickly. On top of this, it is one of the most secure payment methods operating today and even includes two-factor authentication in its service. The only real drawback is that it may disqualify you for certain bonuses depending on the terms and conditions of the individual casino.
As one of the longest-running e-wallets around, Skrill has become one of the most trusted payment methods available today. It is perfectly secure to pay with Skrill and what’s more, transactions are usually processed in a matter of hours. The Skrill 1-Tap feature even allows you to make your deposit with just one click, instead of having to go through the slightly inconvenient process of entering your email address. The only drawback is that, while the casino will never charge you for using the e-wallet, Skrill does have certain transaction fees for withdrawals. Using Skrill may also exclude you from specific bonuses if the individual casino’s terms and conditions disqualify them from the bonus.
Since it was founded at the turn of the millennium, Paysafecard has grown to become a popular deposit method for online casino users. It offers players top-level security because no bank, card or e-wallet details ever needs to be shared with the casino. Instead, you use a prepaid Paysafecard card, which can be purchased in shops or you can buy a unique PIN online. Then, you just have to go to the casino’s cashier page and type in the 16-digit PIN code to transfer the funds over. This is a one-way process, though. While it’s possible to set up an online My Paysafecard account and potentially find a casino site that allows withdrawals to that account, Paysafecard is for the most part used to make deposits only.
Tips on How to Gamble Responsibly
In order to operate with a licence in the UK, online casino sites must take responsible gambling seriously. This means you’ll be able to keep tabs on your gambling and control your spending using the following tools.
- Loss limits, which prevent you from placing bets once you lose over a certain set limit in a particular time frame
- Deposit limits, which put a cap on how much money you can transfer into your casino account
- Reality checks, which are alerts you can set to pop up when your playing session exceeds a set period of time
- Time outs, where you suspend access to your account for a set period of time
- Self-exclusion, a longer-term action that stops you from playing for a minimum of six months
For help and information regarding problem gambling, visit begambleaware.org.
Now that we’ve taken you through the ins and outs, you’ll now be well-equipped to pick out a great online casino. Check out our carefully curated list for a selection of the very best licensed brands available online today. You can review brands side-by-side to check out their bonuses, variety of games, promotions, banking, and mobile capabilities. Once you’ve found your perfect match, simply sign up, claim your exclusive welcome bonus and play top casino games today.
Your Questions Answered
How much do online casino games cost to play?
Most of the virtual games can be played for absolutely nothing in demo mode. Yet, for real money, games will start from mere pennies and go up to hundreds of pounds. It’s important to choose stakes that fit in with your bankroll to maximise the entertainment value of playing.
Do I need to download any software?
This depends on the casino which you choose. Many are instant play which do not require any downloading, you just direct your web browser to the casino, choose the game you want to play and away you go. Other casinos still use a download client (for desktops) which you must install, this then opens up the online casino lobby.
Do I need to prove my identity to play at an online casino?
You don’t need to provide evidence of your identity when joining an online casino, but you will have to in order to cash out your winnings. This is part of the industry’s KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations and it’s quite standard these days.
Can I join an online casino using a mobile?
Yes, you can. Registering an account is exactly the same via a mobile and so is claiming your welcome bonus. The only difference between desktop and mobile casinos is that there are usually a couple more games available on the desktop version.
Can I claim a bonus using my mobile?
Absolutely. Unless otherwise stated, welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions can all be accessed through your smartphone or tablet.
Are the games fair at online casinos?
You can be sure the games are fair if you stick to playing at casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. To meet the conditions of the licence, all online gambling sites must have their games pass regular, independent RTP and random number generator audits. This ensures they payout as advertised and aren’t rigged. At Compare.bet, we’ll only recommend casinos that are UKGC licensed.
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