Online Casino Games 101: The Basics

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Since the rise ofthe internet, online casinos have skyrocketed in popularity the worldover. Today, you can find all sorts of different casino games online,from classics like blackjack and poker to quirky, unique titles likegame shows, Slingo and even Minesweeper. You can play all of thesegames for real money or just for fun.

However you’re choosing to play, it’salways important to understand the game you’re playing before youstart, especially if you’re opting to put money down.

Sothat you can feel confident and have fun as you play, let’s gothrough the rules of some of the most popular online casinogames:


You’ll notice pretty quickly that the vast majority of onlinecasino games are slots. They’re super accessible, withstraightforward gameplay and attractive interfaces, and they’re easyto develop with a lot of room for creativity. It doesn’t hurt thatthey offer some of the biggest payouts, too.

Playing slots is oftenas easy as choosing how much to bet and pressing go. Put down yourwager, click to start and watch the reels spin! If the symbols fallinto a winning combination, also known as a pay line, you win!

You can find winningcombinations listed in the game’s paytable, usually displayed besidethe reels. This paytable explains what different symbols are worth andhow you trigger additional features like multipliers and freespins.

These are the basics for slots,but this can change depending on the slot you’re playing. Forexample, grid slots function differently than reel slots, and othergames have extra gameplay features to make the experience moreengaging. As such, it’s always worth reading through the rules ofthe game you’re playing.


Blackjack, sometimesknown as 21, vingt-et-en or Pontoon, is the most commonly playedcasino game in the world. The goal is simple: get your hand as closeto 21 as possible without going over, which is called going bust. Inblackjack, players don’t play against each other but against thedealer.

To play,the dealer first deals two cards to each participant. As a player, youthen have four choices. The basic two are ‘hit’ or ‘stand,’where you either take another card or keep your hand. You can also‘double down,’ take another card and double your bet, or‘split,’ where if you’re dealt two of the same card, you cansplit them and play two separate hands.

The dealer will draw cards until they reach 17 or higher. Ifthe dealer goes bust or your hand is higher than the dealer’s, youwin. If you draw, it’s called a push, and your bet is returned toyou.


The roulette wheel is one of the most iconic images weassociate with casinos. It’s a simple game where players place betson where they think a ball will land on a wheel. If you’re correct,your bet pays out.

Roulette wheels come in different varieties depending on whichtype of roulette you’re playing. The most common roulette types areAmerican, European and French. The differences lie in wheel size,betting options and house edge.

To play, you place your bet on the table of bettingoptions, also known as the ‘layout.’ You can bet on one or a rangeof numbers, a colour, or evens vs odds. The host, called the croupier,will then spin the wheel to roll the ball. If the ball lands accordingto your bet, you win.

To startplaying online roulette at online casinos,clickhere.

Video Poker

Don’t get this mixed up with the classic game ofpoker. Video poker is a single-player experience more akin to a videoslot in how it plays. The goal of the game isn’t to outwit youropponent but rather to build the best hand possible.

You’re dealt fivecards at the top of each round. You then choose which cards to holdand which to discard to improve your hand. Those cards are thenreplaced, and your hand is matched against the paytable (the list ofwinning hands) to see how much you potentially win.

The paytable lists various poker hands, suchas flush, four-of-a-kind and full house. The rarer your hand, thebigger the payout. Video poker comes in a handful of varieties, allwith slightly different rules and paytables. Because of this, be sureto take a look at the rules for the video poker game you’ve selectedbefore placing your first bet.


Baccarat is a curiouscard game in that the participants aren’t playing at all. Instead,participants bet on whether the dealer or player will win a givenhand.

The playerand banker are both dealt two cards, at which point they hit (takeanother card) or stand (keep their hand). The hands are then compared,and whoever's total is closer to 9 is the winner. Determining thetotal of a hand is simple: cards are totalled, and if the total goesabove 9, the first digit is dropped. For example, you count 16 as a6.

Participantscan bet on whether the banker or player will win or if there will be atie. When the player wins, the payout is double the bet, but when thebanker wins, the bet is matched by less than 100% to account for thehouse edge, usually around 95%. Finally, a tie pays out 8 to 1, withthe most significant risk versus reward.

Other popular onlinecasino games

Ofcourse, there are many, many more games to find at online casinos,like craps, keno, bingo, scratch cards and even game shows.

All of these games willhave instruction windows when you start them, so read through thembefore you play. Many online casinos also provide additionalinformation about these games and their specific selections.

Tips for playing online casino games

Now you know how to playsome of the most popular online casino games out there. But that’sonly half the battle! So here are some general tips for playing atonline casinos to keep the experience fun and safe:

  • Set a budget ahead of time and stick to it

  • Don’t chase your losses

  • Take frequent breaks — don’t letyourself get swept up

  • Don’tmake a bet until you understand the rules of a game

  • Take full advantage of any promotions onoffer — this could include free play