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Introduction to Internet Gambling

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Internet gambling at online casinos is quickly becoming one of the most popular activities on the Internet. Discover how these online casinos work and how you can get in on the action by reading the underlined sections below.

What is Internet gambling?

Internet gambling is, generally a means of using the internet to place bets on casino games, sports games, etc. Bets are usually placed through credit card accounts and wins or losses are paid or collected accordingly.

Most casino games and other gambling activities can by visiting various Internet casinos. There are generally 3 types of online casinos:

1) Downloaded Games: This first type requires you to download a program for free. These casinos are usually the most fun to play, but you will have the program on your hard drive. This means that you have to wait for the application to download from the Internet and then install it on your computer. Once installed, these programs typically offer great graphics, sound and animation.

2) Java-based: This second type uses JAVA instead of a downloaded program. These JAVA applets run through your WWW browser. Some of these casinos offer sound and animation, and all of them offer some pretty good graphics.

3) HTML-based: This third type of Internet casino uses all HTML and does not require any download time. Although these Casinos do not offer the sound and animation of the other Online Casinos, they do have great graphics and feature fast game play.

Internet gambling offers many benefits over land-based casinos, such as convenience. Internet gambling offers viewers the opportunity of gamble from the comforts of their own home, without having to worry about traveling to a city or state that contains real, legalized casinos.

Internet gambling also provides you with real casino environment, including style, real games and rules to real casino games. Multi-player games are now available also to include gambling with others through the use of the Internet. The popularity of Internet gambling is growing dramatically and will continue to do so as online casinos begin offering more and more real-life games and winnings.


Is Internet gambling legal?

Technically yes, Internet gambling is legal.

Internet gambling can be performed in almost all traditional manners. The most popular types of betting are online casinos, which feature just about every game available in physical casinos, and sports wagering.

Internet casinos are primarily based outside of the United States. They are based in countries where they can obtain a license to run an Internet gambling site.

Most casino sites are operated in the United States, while the servers that hold the casino sites are based in other countries where it is legal.

These countries that run gambling sites, like any casino, can profit from the many players that use or gamble on their games or at their sites. Most likely wherever you can obtain a gaming license, you will find some type of legal gambling site or location.

This ease of access, combined with simple gambling ethics, will inevitably lead to federal and state regulations seeking to either restrict access to these sites, or to regulate the use of them.


How Internet Casinos work

Internet casinos are basically web sites that provide a route to a specific location where bets can be made or placed.

The customer first arrives at an Internet casino, which provides them with a list of games and options to gamble on. Then that site takes them to a page designed to facilitate the opening of an account and depositing currency. The opening of an account usually requires that the user provides basic information concerning their name and mailing address. Funds are then deposited by using a credit card, electronic check, certified check, money order, or through a wire transfer.

Customers are then free to use the site to place bets and gamble at their discretion. Choosing from casino type games, to multi-player games, to sports bets, all depending on what the particular site has to offer.

Wins and/or losses are calculated electronically. Losses will be deducted from the players account. In winning situations, the player requests to 'cash out' and the Internet casino then issues a check for the winnings paid, and is sent to the users home address.


Fairness and Safety Concerns

Internet casinos are just as fair as normal land-based casinos. In fact, the casino game software that is used for gambling at casino sites has to be submitted through the government and its gaming regulations board for testing. The casino games that are passed for use at Internet casino sites are as fair as playing the actual games.

Since the probabilities for all software games are the same as with regular casino games, you will receive the same odds for winning and losing at an Internet casino site that you would inside a real casino.

It is important to understand that internet casino sites are watched very closely and regulated. So, in essence it is perfectly safe to gamble on the Internet with your money.

So far there have been almost no problems with casino payouts and deposit security, but that is not to say there will never be. Many of the jurisdictions require that the licensee post bonds of cash or insurance as part of the license requirements. To even get a license, those who apply have to go through some extensive government checks.

Your personal security (including credit card details and other personal information) is also guaranteed under license agreements in many, if not all, jurisdictions. Most casinos, in fact, use secure servers to conduct all of their transactions, and all information about you is held offline. Many also take out insurance against fraud.


How online casinos make money

Casinos make money because every casino game (with the exception of Blackjack and Video Poker) has a built in profit on every bet. This is known as the House Edge or Casino Advantage.

Every bet you make has a certain probability of winning or losing. If you bet on the flip of a coin, the probability of heads or tails is 50 50. This would be an even money bet. If you bet a dollar and was paid a dollar when you won, you would be paid TRUE ODDS. However if the casino only paid you 95 cents every time you won instead of a dollar the House edge would be 5%. Simply put, the house edge is the difference between the true odds and the odds that the casino pays you when you win.

The Casino has a different advantage for each type of casino game. All games are fixed, with the exception of Blackjack and Video Poker. In fact, these two games actually can have a positive payback depending on the skill of the player and the rules of the payback table.

Let's examine how the House Edge plays an important factors in the following casino games:

Roulette: The typical House edge for this game is 5.26% for the double zero game. This percentage is figured in the following manner: In the game, there are 36 numbers plus the 0 and 00. The odds of you winning are one in 38 or 1/38.

If you win, the casino pays you $35 for each dollar you bet. You keep your original dollar, and are paid $35 for a total of $36. The difference is $2 (38 minus 36). Divide the $2 by 38, which is the true odds, and you come up with the house edge of 5.26%.

What this means is that you could actually cover all the numbers on the layout and still lose money. These numbers are great odds for the house, but not for you.

Games like Roulette, Craps, Big Six a have a fixed percentage because one roll or spin will never change the out come. There will always be 38 numbers on a roulette layout and 12 numbers on a pair of dice.

Blackjack: As we've previously mentioned, this game is different from the fixed odds games because every time a card comes out of the shoe, it changes the make up of the cards remaining. Thus, the advantage can shift from player to house depending on which cards have been played and the Skill in which you play your cards.

Video Poker is another game that is based on skill. If you play the perfect strategy, there are actually some games that have a positive return based on their pay table.


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