Online Slots & Casino Reviews For 2021
With all the many choices out there as far as where to play online casino games, it is important to do our homework first, to ensure that we are doing our best to maximize our enjoyment. Many players do not put the work in and just jump on one of the first sites they see, perhaps being captured by the marketing efforts of a particular site or be pointed toward one though an online friend.
That’s just not a good way to do this as this experience is like just seeing something online at a store and buying it without really checking what other deals may be out there. To do this right, to navigate through all the good choices out there, and this isn’t even something that the most eager among us aren’t going to be able to do well without the proper experience and knowledge.
We provide to you the benefit of the years that we’ve been working hard to provide our readers with our expert recommendations on the best places to play casino games online. If you are sick or in legal trouble, you don’t try to be your own doctor or lawyer, and it’s always better to go with professional help, because you’ll just be better advised. That’s exactly what we do for you here, completely free of charge.
Expert Opinion Matters
Newer players, and especially those who have not been exposed very much to all of the things that can end up disappointing us or worse, may think that all online casinos are substantially the same, with perhaps only some minor differences between them. If they were this similar, it wouldn’t even be worth our time to bother finding the best ones for you if you will end up in substantially the same place doing it on your own or relying on our expertise.
Players who have been at this for a while and have tried out a bunch of sites along the way, as is typical among those who go at this alone, do get exposed to at least some of the ways in which some sites differ from others and how some may really disappoint. Players don’t move from site to site for nothing, as choosing a lesser site where you are not quite satisfied or even become upset or even feel ripped off will have you wanting to try somewhere else, where the grass hopefully will be greener.
The real risk with foraging online casino sites this way is that you will waste so much time finding what you are really looking for, and even when you find something you really like, and settle in with one online casino, there may be some even better sites that you should try out as well, but won’t know it.
If you can imagine yourself devoting a lot of time and money in sampling many online casino sites as well as doing a lot of research on the various choices, eventually knowing what to look for, taking your experience and that of many others into account, as well as staying on top of all the changes in the industry, including how new entrants stack up, you could do a good job of this, but just think of all the time and work this involves.
It’s just so much better to get someone else who is far more capable and has already put in all the work necessary and then some to get you to where you need to be, where you can just come to us and get everything you need to be in a position to not just need to be lucky in finding the best online casino sites, but take luck right out of the equation instead.
Weeding Out The Low Quality Sites
Many people wonder how the process of rating sites works, and it’s definitely a good idea to be familiar with this process as you can help yourself by knowing what to look for as you set off and try recommended sites yourself.
The first step is one of exclusion, where there are minimum standards that must be met to make a site a good enough one to consider, to make it to the next round so to speak, like they do with singing contests where some contestants are sent home right off because they simply can’t sing well enough to be worthy of further consideration.
Online casino sites that don’t meet the minimum criteria for desirability may fail in several different ways. They may have a number of things that they may do well, but if they fail to deliver in just one of them, you may not want to play there just based upon this, especially given that there are sites out there that do a good job at everything.
Trust is a big criterion here and is the first and foremost thing we look at, and trust covers more ground than just a site being around for a while and remaining in business. There are hit and run sites that will just rip people off until the word gets out enough, but there are others that just don’t seem to give much of a damn and can stick around for years by attracting enough new players to replace those who have stomped off.
Players come to an online casino with certain expectations, and we insist on sites that deliver on these. While some sites do commit out and out fraud, and these sites do become known for this pretty quickly, where people get ripped off and then post their experiences on the internet to warn others, sites also violate the trust that players put in them in more subtle ways.
They may actually be acting legally if they sneak in some unfriendly terms and conditions that people only learn about later, once they run up against them, and this is not an experience we want our own players having and we don’t recommend sites that use tricks like this, whether they are acting legally or not.
Our initial weeding process therefore covers a lot of ground, ensuring that prospective online casino sites hit all the marks in at least a good enough way to make them contenders. This is the most important of our vetting processes since it eliminates the sites people are unhappy with, where we can then turn to figuring out the great from among the good sites that survive this first step.
Reputation, Value & Player Satisfaction
It’s actually pretty easy to lose the lesser sites because this is just a matter of looking at what they promise, ensuring that they are promising enough, and then seeing how well they deliver on these promises. Sites that waver at all simply aren’t ones we want to recommend because a big part of being the great sites that we look for is taking care of their players the right way, and disappointing players is just not the right way to do this.
To make it from good to great requires that sites have no real weaknesses and a lot of strengths, which ultimately boils down to how well a site makes their players happy and how happy their players end up being.
A great site has an excellent reputation, which may have been earned by way of doing a good job for years or perhaps even for a fairly short time, as it doesn’t really take that long for us to get a good enough feel about how good of a company and now good of an online site a newer one is.
This is where our expertise really gets put to work, as we know what to look for to see what to expect of a newer online casino, knowing how things are supposed to look and checking off the things we require. Even something as simple as taking too long to respond to inquiries will turn us off, as we have been up against this ourselves and know how frustrating it can be when you have to wait quite a while to hear anything back, if they even get back to you at all.
We particularly want to see that a site truly values our business as online casino players, and any site that is run by smart operators know how important this is. Whenever they do less than their best or don’t pay as much attention to this as they should, they not only lose players, these players tell other players, and quite a few of them due to how well information travels around the internet.
Player satisfaction is at the heart of our rating in fact, and this one even includes getting past the first round of exclusions as sites that do not have it together in the right way don’t make their players as happy as they should.
Among those who do, some sites just do a better job of this than others, and these are the sites that we want to play at, the great sites instead of just the good ones, the ones that players simply love and just keep coming back for more. The better an online casino understands this, the more we like them, and the more players like them. That’s what it is all about.
Our Stringent Quality Standards
We do want to share with you the various things that we look at in selecting from among the fairly long list of acceptable sites, where acceptable is nowhere near enough. While a great site needs to have good regulation, raters tend to put too much weight on this and there really isn’t all that much difference between the good ones out there, on the A list, although being regulated by a lesser regulatory body does suggest that they may not be good enough to want to be taken by an A quality regulator and that can be a red flag.
Beyond that, the idea here is to go with sites that do not have issues with regulators, where we want to avoid them getting involved in squabbles at all, either with players or situations that get escalated to regulators. This is why we need to pay so much intention to their own behavior, which is much more reliable than a site being regulated even by the best ones where you know they won’t allow us to get treated badly, but it’s better to just avoid this sort of treatment in the first place.
We already mentioned the importance of customer service, and this means more than just getting good service when you need it, as the quality of this also speaks loudly for the quality of the site as a whole. This might not seem to be all that big of a deal but on the whole it certainly is.
Great sites also need to provide lots of options to their players, with everything from offering great game selection to ensuring that you can withdraw and deposit with ease. We want to see not only a lot of games offered but a lot of games of the highest quality, ones that are both in demand as well as innovative. We want to not only see a lot of deposit options but we also want to see a lot of different ways to withdraw to make it easy for you to cash out as well.
We also need to see the sites that make our list have good payout ratios, and this one can differ a fair bit among different online casinos. Few players even look at this but someone needs to. We also want to see these sites actually pay out what they say, and we don’t want to just take their word for it, we want this independently verified by a trusted third-party company.
In countries where access to online casinos is more restricted, we need to make sure that the sites that we recommend for these countries are truly up to the task and not take care of people from these countries in a lesser way than we should expect. There may be some challenges involved as far as depositing and withdrawing but this can never be used as an excuse to make less than their best effort.
Bonuses are nice but we don’t want to put too much weight on this, as you only get a bonus once but you are looking for a site where playing there is itself a bonus and a lot bigger bonus than just what they give you to try them out. We’d rather play at a better casino that may not have bonuses quite as big as a site that uses this to distract players from their shortcomings.
Rewards matter more than bonuses do, which are basically bonuses that go on and on. We want our play rewarded and the best sites show us how much our play means to them through a number of different ways, which definitely includes how much they give back to us for playing with them.
It’s not enough to have the best games, as online casinos also have to deliver them in a great way by way of their software packages. We want both quality and speed with this, and especially want our sites to take care of their mobile players to ensure they get the same great experience regardless of the device they use.
When we recommend online casino sites, our reputation is on the line just like the sites that we look at. We’ve worked hard over the years to build this up and since our mission is to do the best we can, together with our very extensive experience and expertise, you are in very good hands.
- Why shouldn’t we just do our own research on the best online casinos?
There is quite a bit of information on the internet about online casinos, of varying quality. This only tells part of the story and much of it may be driven by marketing, through either the site directly or from people who are paid to promote them. You can research lots of things on the internet, which can be helpful if you for instance are looking for medical help, but you also should be seeing a medical professional as well.
- Is there really that much of a difference between online casinos?
Quality does differ quite a bit among online casinos, anywhere from fabulous to terrible, and the fabulous ones are the sites we want to play at, and certainly don’t want to be stuck with an awful site that we will regret playing at, or even a middling site which we may play at for years and never know what we are missing. By being referred to the best sites, you will ensure that the quality of your experience is what it should be and not end up setting for less than you deserve.
- What tricks do the poor online casinos try to get away with?
Any online casino will take your money, but not all of them will give it back to you or even may close the place down on you. Good bonuses are easy to get, but some sites don’t live up to them and may even tie your own funds to them, leaving you no chance to take them out. Many sites offer great games, but some may look to get by on the cheap. Good casinos offer excellent customer service, while others may just ignore you. These are just a few things that can go wrong at the wrong sites.
- Do you weigh a site’s trustworthiness with other factors?
Trustworthiness is a necessary condition of any good site, because if they aren’t trustworthy, they can’t be good. No matter how good a deal a site may seem, if they do not live up to their obligations, including the obligation to treat us with value and respect, this is not anything that anyone should ever want to put up with. We give these casinos our money and trust them to hold up their end of the bargain, and we need to be sure that they can be trusted.
- Why does customer service matter so much with online casinos?
Looking at an online casino’s quality of customer service allows us to peer into their soul, and if they don’t care enough about this or put enough effort into taking care of their players, this does not bode well at all for how well they are going to treat us generally as players. They need to show us that our business matters to them, and if they do, we will get both great customer service when we need it and also have this positive attitude reflected in everything else that they do.
- How do we know an online casino’s payouts are what they say they are?
The first thing we need to do in order to determine how friendly or unfriendly an online casino’s payouts are is to check them out and then compare them to what other online casinos are paying. This isn’t enough though as we also need to see if they actually do pay out these amounts and aren’t just making these numbers up or are misrepresenting them. This is why the best sites have these numbers independently verified by a trusted company.
- Are deposit bonuses really as important as some think that they are?
Deposit bonuses are certainly nice, and we especially need to see the requirements for earning the bonuses reasonable. If we can’t collect them, they are no use to us and we would have been better off shooting for lower but attainable ones. Sites with big but difficult to earn bonuses is a reason to stay away from them in fact. We don’t want to focus too much on bonuses though as we need to take a more holistic view of a site, especially if we are looking for a site to play at longer-term.
- How much does regulation matter in all this?
Apart from the rogue sites, the online casino industry basically regulates itself, where sites are constrained a lot more by the betting public than any regulator. If an online casino does things that people would want to complain to regulators about, the effect of players complaining among each other is more than enough to keep sites on the straight and narrow. If a site is regulated by a sketchier regulator though, the sort that take pretty much anyone, this can be a concern in itself.
- What does a site with great game selection look like?
The best online casinos select from among all of the best software providers, sparing no expense to ensure that their players do not see games offered elsewhere that they may enjoy more and leave them over this. It cost money to add games though, especially the top ones, and having the best games not only allows us to enjoy them but also speaks very well to how much an online casino cares about our business and is willing to make us happy.
- How important are player rewards?
Unlike welcome bonuses, which you just get for a fairly brief period, player rewards are bonuses that keep on giving. Among the two, rewards programs are the more important of them, and while new players to a site pay a lot more attention to welcome bonuses than rewards, if we are truly looking for an online casino to spend some real time at, how well they take care of us over the long term should matter even more.