THE TOP 10 ONLINE CASINOS OF 2017
Playing casino games online can be awesome fun; however, the choice of online casinos is now so wide that deciding which of them to try can be arduous. We are here to help you to make such a decision; on this site, we precisely detail what different operators offer across their games, bonuses and much more.
We have spent a lot of time researching and testing the UK's leading casino operators before providing in-depth reviews of our experiences. We always look at these aspects of a site, including:
- Game selection - This includes the number, range and quality of the games. Popular ones like blackjack and roulette should have several variants, while slots should also vary hugely.
- Bonuses - Virtually every operator offers a welcome bonus, such as free spins or more money to be added to a deposit.
- Promotions - These can include ongoing and one-off promotions. We also negotiate exciting promotional offers, which influences where they rank in our often-evolving list of the 10 best places to play.
- Deposit/withdrawal options - Different sites offer different methods of depositing and withdrawing money. We recommend that you research sites to identify the best assortment of deposit and withdrawal options, including online wallets and credit card options. It’s also important to evaluate how quickly payments are made.
- Customer service - Customer service can come in the form of FAQ, free tutorials and 24-hour live customer support. It’s important to find a site that demonstrates its care through its responsiveness to customer needs.
With these aspects in mind, you can find the best site for you.
IMPORTANCE OF COMPARING ONLINE CASINOS
It bears emphasis that operators are far from identical. Yes, there are certain general features that you can realistically expect to see in all of the sites that you visit. Those include a range of games and payment methods, not to mention bonuses aimed at enticing you to join.
However, once you have spent time with various operators, the differences between them could become starker. You could notice that some sites offer a much greater range of games than others. You may also find that your favoured payment method isn't accepted at all sites.
Especially depressingly, you might realise that some of those bonuses aren't as promising as they initially seemed. A site might advertise a hefty welcome bonus that nonetheless can't be withdrawn until you bet a certain amount known as a "wagering requirement".
This hints at why you should carefully compare casino sites before selecting one. With help from our reviews, you can discern - for example - which places offer an especially generous slots selection if you enjoy slots games, or those that accept PayPal if you would favour this.
Our reviewers have already thoroughly put different operators through their paces. For that reason, they can give you a heads-up about certain pitfalls of using what could otherwise be a very appealing site. One of those drawbacks may ultimately be a deal-breaker for you.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF REGULATED ONLINE CASINOS?
Before November 2014, remote operators that provided gambling services to UK players tended to be licensed and regulated in the European Union, with Gibraltar and Malta particularly popular bases. Less than 15% of these were licensed by the UK Gambling Commission.
However, when the Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Act 2014 entered force, it required all offshore operators to each hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. This change was aimed at further protecting UK players by making the regulation of these companies consistent.
Each of these gambling brands must adhere to particular, strict standards in order to both obtain and keep its UKGC license. These technical standards include testing its Random Number Generator software to verify that its games and payouts are fair.
Operators also need to clearly inform customers about how their funds are being protected and comply with policies and practices aimed at tackling money-laundering. They must also exercise the social responsibility of preventing minors from gambling and act to prevent compulsive gambling.
Each site that we work with has a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. This ensures that the provider is regulated and meets specific standards for safety and security.
HOW ONLINE CASINOS DIFFER IN SOFTWARE AND GRAPHICS
If you have sampled various sites and developed a strong feeling of déjà vu, this could be due to the same software purveyor providing many games for all of them. It is rare for a site to use software that it has made itself; third-party firms instead usually supply the software. Some of the most respected and well-known software providers in the industry include Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt.
As these firms tend to supply this software to numerous brands, strong similarities can result between casinos; however, there can remain precise differences in the game selections. You should be able to trust that a reputable provider's software is stable and reliable.
If an operator uses a low number of software providers, this does not necessarily mean that the game selection is narrow, as some providers offer a much broader range of games than others. The reputation of the providers, rather than their number, should hold greater weight in your thoughts.
Differences between sites can also arise in the graphics and interfaces. We favour sites that look slick and contemporary while also making useful information easy to find. Such information should cover the likes of deposit fees, payout rates and terms and conditions for specific bonuses.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF GAMES
Casino sites offer a wide variety of games. These include games like fruit slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker and more, and sometimes even tournaments. At every casino, there are many variations and game types that are exclusive to one or a few specific casinos. Make sure the site you choose has the games that excite you. Popular game types include, but are not limited to:
- Roulette - Roulette, one of the most popular games, sees players bet on where a ball will fall on a revolving wheel. The odds and excitement can vary across multiple variations of roulette, which include European roulette, French roulette and American roulette.
- Blackjack - In blackjack, players aim to obtain cards, the total face value of which is exactly 21. Online blackjack is especially exciting for offering bonuses on deposits, unlike the blackjack that is commonly available at standard land-based casinos.
- Slots - These are the most frequently played games at both online casinos and their brick-and-mortar equivalents. Online, however, you can play slots games in a more streamlined way and enjoy a near-limitless number of bonuses.
- Live casino - This recreates the feeling of a land-based casino by providing a live video feed of a human, rather than computerised, dealer. You can interact with this dealer and watch them as they arrange components on the table. Here are our favourite live casinos online.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST ONLINE CASINO
There can be noticeable, sometimes even significant, differences in features between operators.We are here to draw attention to what these differences are and, along the way, assist you in choosing the right casino for you.
You should resist simply taking the site's word for what they offer, as this is unlikely to provide an entirely objective viewpoint. Our reviewer base includes people who are thoroughly experienced with the industry and highly enthusiastic about online gaming.
For each site that we review, we give a score out of 10 and also allow our visitors to provide their own ratings out of 5. Read each review, and you will see that we assess the welcome bonus, variety of games, customer support, payment options and payout policy.
However, when visiting a casino site, you should also look out for these:
- Promotions - A site can offer both permanent promotions and one-off promotions; either way, there can be exciting cash prizes and other bonuses to win.
- Software - Many operators source their games from third-party software providers, good examples of which include NetEnt, Microgaming and Playtech.
- Security - It is common for a site to have an FAQ section that includes details of the procedures and policies for keeping customers' money safe.
YOU CAN ENJOY PLAYING AT ONLINE CASINOS, TOO
People who have frequented casino sites since their infancy might recall how, back then, many such sites would give players software to download straight to their desktop and laptop computers.
With this software, a player could sample the games without needing to load and play them within a web browser. While such desktop software still remains available, many sites now tend to promote their mobile apps more heavily.
It's worth pointing out that mobile offerings remain highly functional when you are playing within a web browser. HTML5 has enabled casinos to make the quality of their desktop and mobile offerings largely equal. Nonetheless, mobile apps can differ greatly to in-browser casinos on mobile.
Some gambling brands might choose to slim down the features of certain games, like slots, on the app. You should also consider that mobile apps, unlike web-based games, will always take up space on your device, while the software updates will not necessarily occur automatically.
The question of whether you should use a website or app for your on-the-go gaming exploits is therefore very dependent on personal preference. Still, we hope that whatever way you ultimately choose to play, the decision won't be a tough one – perhaps due to valuable assistance from our reviews.
HOW TO USE TOP 10 BEST ONLINE CASINOS
We have chosen to review only the UK's leading casino sites. Naturally, this can help to ensure that your choice is a sound one. We have reviewed only operators that are regulated for your comfort and safety and also meet a range of other crucial criteria.
Such criteria include reputation and trustworthiness. We also scrutinise the safety and security as one way of assessing whether it backs up its good reputation. After all, a favourable image can be tainted if a site allows its security to lapse.
Also taken into account is the variety of games. Unsurprisingly, we tend to look more favourably upon sites that prioritise diversifying their games to include slots, blackjack, baccarat, live and other titles – although if a top casino largely specialises in a particular game type, we will still highlight this.
Other crucial factors include offers and payout times. Both of these will influence the financial returns if you go on a winning streak. Those factors and the others previously mentioned come under focus in our reviews, which are also based on our real experiences.
By browsing our various online reviews, you can see how much detail we pack into them. We provide statistics that help you to compare bonuses and the terms and conditions attached to them. We also reveal what "extra value" a site offers; in other words, what makes it especially stand out among the pack. This is where comparisons can get particularly interesting.
Use the ratings and reviews at Top 10 Best Online Casinos to discover and compare the leading sites operating today!