There are literally hundreds of online casinos, so it can be a real minefield when it comes to choosing the right one for you. You want to know that an online casino has the best selection of pokies, the most exciting table games, and will protect both your details and your account balance. But how do you find out this information before you take the plunge and sign-up to an online casino? By reading reviews, of course.
This is where Pokies.com comes in. Our team love playing pokies and are regular online casino game players. We don’t just write reviews of online casinos. We physically sign up to them, see how easy (or not) the registration process is, play the various games to put the software through its paces before monitoring the withdrawal process. You can rest assured that the reviews you find on Pokies.com accurately reflect what your experience will be like when you sign up to a specific online casino.
HOW WE RATE OUR ONLINE CASINOS
There is no point at all in reviewing and rating an online casino if we are not being truly accurate. Some sites that do casino reviews out there will give top ratings to the online casino that pays them the most money. However, Pokies.com is not just some website.
We rate our casinos based on a number of factors, including the welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions for new and existing players, the banking options and the time it takes to process payments, the encryption methods the online casino uses to protect your data and to ensure its games are fair and, of course, the selection of different pokies and games the online casino offers.
If an online casino has high ratings on Pokies.com, you know you are in for a great time when you sign up to it.
WELCOME BONUS/CASINO BONUS
Let’s not beat around the bush here, online casinos are in the business of making money. With so many different online casinos out there, however, they are literally fighting one another for your business; you are in control when it comes to selecting an online casino to play at.
The most common way an online casino attempts to attract new customers is through welcome bonuses. These differ from casino to casino. But the overarching principle is the same: they give you money to play on their casino.
Most casinos offer what is often referred to as a first deposit bonus. As the name suggests, you receive this bonus when you make a real money deposit at the casino. For example, you may read reviews on Pokies.com where a casino is offering a 100% up to $1,000 bonus. This means however much you deposit, the online casino will match it 100% up to a maximum of $1,000.
Welcome bonuses are important to players because they give them the opportunity to try out the different games and online casino software. Also, they are a superb way of giving your bankroll a boost because most essentially double your money. Depositing $100 in the example above gives you $200 to play with.
WHAT OTHER BONUSES ARE THERE BESIDES WELCOME BONUSES?
Some online casinos also offer different types of bonuses to new and existing players. A reload bonus is a bonus awarded when you make another deposit at the casino. This is usually to top up your account balance. These do tend to be smaller than the first deposit bonus. But they are offered more frequently so it is possible to have a steady stream of bonuses flowing into your online casino account.
You may also be offered free spins, either when you first deposit at a casino or as a reward for being a loyal customer. Free spins can usually be used on a pokies machine detailed by the online poker site and you may have to fulfill wagering requirements in order to withdraw any winnings stemming from these free spins.
But what are wagering requirements? Although this sounds a little scary, wagering requirements should not frighten you. Basically, if an online casino gives you a $100 first deposit bonus, it will ask you to wager a certain amount on its pokies and games before you can withdraw the bonus amount. This protects the online casino from unscrupulous types who attempt to abuse the bonuses on offer. Wagering requirements will be clearly set out when you claim your bonuses. Our Pokies.com reviews will detail the online casinos with the lowest wagering requirements.
DEPOSIT AND WITHDRAWAL OPTIONS
The majority of online casinos allow you to try their games and pokies for free by using play money. However, you are going to want to make a real money deposit if you want to try and win some cash.
You have several deposit and withdrawal methods at your disposal. But not all online casinos have all of the methods available to them. You can also read about this in our reviews.
The most common banking option is via credit cards, especially those displaying the Visa or MasterCard logo. These are widely accepted, processing times for deposits are normally very fast and casino cashier pages often give you the option to save your card details so you can make a quick deposit at a later date.
OTHER OPTIONS BESIDES CREDIT CARDS
Other pokies players like to use e-wallets such as Skrill. You can load cash into your e-wallet via credit or debit card, bank transfer or by receiving funds from a friend or family. The great thing about e-wallets is you never have to disclose your financial information, such as credit card numbers, to the online casino.
Bank transfers are another common banking method. Simply fill in the online form with the required information. Then, your funds will move from your bank to the online casino when making a deposit and go the other way back to your bank when it comes to withdrawing.
The more technically minded among you may find using cryptocurrency is the best deposit and withdrawal method. More and more Australia-facing online casinos are using Bitcoin as a banking method. Pokies.com suggest you do your own research into cryptocurrencies before using them as some can be quite complicated. Although, they are simple to use when you know how.
Not all deposit and withdrawal methods are free. Online casinos receive a processing fee when they accept a deposit, or process a withdrawal. These fees can be expensive for online casinos. So, they will sometimes levy a small charge when using certain banking methods, usually a percentage of the amount. They might also ask you to make a deposit or withdrawal no smaller than a certain amount.
We would like to think that you wouldn’t just walk up to a complete stranger and hand over your personal information such as full name, date of birth, telephone number and home address without at least knowing if they are going to protect that information. So why would you give this information and your financial details to an online casino?
All of our casinos reviews look at security. The industry standard seems to be 128bit SSL digital encryption. This means that all of your information is stored in such a way that it is practically impossible to gain access to by criminals. This encryption also takes place while you are playing pokies and table games. It protects the stream of data between your computer and the casino’s servers.
Many online casinos proudly display logos from third-party auditing companies such as eCOGRA. These companies run hundreds of thousands of simulations and go through the online casino’s data. This ensures that the games are fair and pay out how they are meant to mathematically.
You will also see some sites showing they are licensed and regulated in a particular jurisdiction. Gaining an operating license anywhere means the online casino has to follow specific procedures and prove they are legitimate businesses with fair games. This gives you a little peace of mind when you select a casino to play at.
WHAT SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS ARE BEING USED
There are dozens of online casino software developers out there, although some are more established than others. Software developers such as Microgaming, Scientific Games, NetEnt, Playtech and Realtime Gaming have been in business for more than a decade, some of them for 20 years or more, and are experts in creating fun, safe and fair pokies and casino games.
Software developers use their excellent graphic designers to create games with a certain theme. Some of the biggest developers will purchase licenses to use well-known characters and super heroes. This also extends to television programs and films like Batman, Hulk, The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones. These really add to your enjoyment as they entertain you while giving you the chance to win money!
WHAT KIND OF GAMES CAN YOU PLAY?
It would take hundreds of webpages to list all of the available pokies you can play in an online casino. Check out our review of Kahuna Casino, which has more than 450 pokies at that casino alone!
Online casinos will spread more than a hundred different pokies such as three-line, progressive jackpot and countless more.
If you want a change from playing pokies, you’ll also likely find several table games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, basically any game you can find in an actual live casino you will probably find in an online casino, except you’ll have far more choice!
It is rare that you will encounter any issues when you play at an online casino site reviewed at Pokies.com. But if you do need to contact customer support, we will highlight the ways you can do this.
The most common is via an email address or a contact form on the support section of the online casino’s website. Perhaps you prefer to speak to someone. In this case, check out the casinos that have dedicated support telephone numbers. There are those of you who prefer the live chat option (think along the lines of Facebook Messenger). This is becoming a more popular support method.