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Best Online Casinos & Apps for Beginners

Ever since legalized online casino gambling debuted in New Jersey in 2013, the tremendous appeal of this convenient alternative to land-based casinos has been undeniable. On the flip side, many people, and perhaps you are one of them, have no previous experience playing at an online casino but would like to give it a try. This article is written with these beginners in mind.

Thinking back to the first time I played online, I know what it feels like to be in your shoes. The prospect of playing online by yourself, where you feel like it is you vs a machine instead of being at a real casino surrounded by friendly faces, can be quite intimidating to a newcomer. However, we can help you embark on this new venture better prepared. We will tell you which online casinos are the best ones for beginners and why. We will also walk you through the sign-up process to help you feel comfortable from the get-go.

As soon as you complete the registration process and make your first deposit, you can start betting–and hopefully winning–real money. But with hundreds of games to choose from, how do you pick one over the other?

Rather than just randomly picking any game, let our experts guide you regarding which types of games are your best bets and which to avoid. Luck is an important factor in all gambling games, so while we have some useful tips to help you win, we cannot guarantee you will win. But some games give you better bang for your buck and a better chance to win than others.

Good money management is also essential and can go a long way toward making online casino gambling a highly enjoyable experience.

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As of this writing, only five US states – ConnecticutNew JerseyPennsylvaniaMichigan, and West Virginia – offer legalized online casino gambling. You do not necessarily have to live in one of those states to open an account and play as long as you are 21 years of age or older and can be physically situated in that state when betting real money.

The good news is that as long as you only play online at legal casinos that are state-licensed and regulated, you are well-protected. Your funds are safe and secure, and all of the games give you a fair chance to win. The same cannot be said if you try to gamble at online casinos anywhere else, including overseas casinos. You would be taking a big chance, and you would have no legal recourse if the operator absconds with your winnings without paying you.

That said, if you are new to online casino gambling, which legal state-licensed and regulated online casino you choose of the many that might be available to you does matter. The reason is that some casinos do a better job of catering to beginners and meeting their special needs than others. This section will introduce you to the five best online casinos to sign up with if you are new to the online casino gaming experience.

🥇#1 Golden Nugget Online Casino

Golden Nugget has been a trusted operator in the online casino gambling industry since 2013. While it was not the first legal NJ online casino to launch, it became one of the fastest growing and most successful. Month after month, year after year, propelled by an unwavering commitment to keep getting bigger and better, even as the field of competitors became very crowded, Golden Nugget has consistently ranked as one of the industry’s top performers. In fact, its resounding success from the get-go has served as a model for other online casinos in this country.

Golden Nugget was the first online casino in the US to introduce live dealer games. That was back in 2016. Today virtually all of the top online casinos offer them.

Golden Nugget Online Casino is now available to those 21 and older in three states: New Jersey, Michigan, and West Virginia. Since sports betting is now also legal in those states, casino customers also have access to Golden Nugget Online Sportsbook. With an incredibly large number of games to choose from, a generous welcome bonus consisting of a 100% match of your first deposit up to $1,000, special promotions galore, plus the player’s rewards programGolden Rewards, what is not to like?

Of course, there is a lot to take in, but no worries. Golden Nugget is not a place where new players find themselves floundering around in a sea of slots or a maze of hard-to-understand table games. The dedicated customer support team is available round the clock and eager to help newcomers with any questions and concerns. For all of these reasons, Golden Nugget gets our vote as the very best online casino for beginners.

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Great Features for Beginners

  • Golden Nugget offers virtually every online casino game available, almost certainly including all of your favorites, along with many more that you have not played yet but might be eager to try. Regardless of what your personal gambling preferences and playing style might be, or how often you play, you have no chance of being bored. Golden Nugget offers something for everyone!
  • If you are not sure what you want to play, no problem. You have the option to filter your search according to Game StudioGame Type, or Game Theme. In addition, every game comes with a handy i tab that you can click on to get more information to help you decide if it is the right choice for you.
  • Unlike at many other online casinos, most of the games at Golden Nugget offer the option to play for free in demo mode, not just for real money. In fact, you can take advantage of this option before opening an account and making a deposit.
  • If you are curious to see for yourself why live dealer games have become such a big hit, Golden Nugget offers plenty of opportunities. Because you get to interact socially with other players and a live dealer in a relaxed and friendly setting, inexperienced players might find these games less intimidating and more fun than traditional table games. While most live dealer blackjack games have high minimums, Golden Nugget also offers Unlimited Blackjack and other live dealer games, like roulettebaccarat, Casino Hold’em, and Three Card Poker where the minimum bet is only $1.
  • Golden Nugget is one of the few online casinos that currently offer 24-hour live customer support by phone

Golden Nugget Help Center

🥈#2 BetMGM Online Casino

BetMGM is a brand that hardly needs any introduction, as it is a household name to gamblers throughout the world. As the result of many years of experience in both land-based and online casino gambling, this casino has an excellent handle on the kinds of games and services that today’s players want.

One example is its highly acclaimed nationwide multi-tiered loyalty program, MGM Rewards, that links all of your play at any MGM-owned destination online or offline. Another terrific perk, and one not available anywhere else, is a mobile app that not only works for every casino game you can play online but travels with you, so you can use it in any state where BetMGM operates. These features make BetMGM an excellent choice for gamblers on the go.

BetMGM is available in all four states where online casino gambling is currently legal. Online casino players in each state also have single login and same account access to BetMGM Online Sportsbook.

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Great Features for Beginners

  • Just for signing up, all new players receive $25 on the house in the form of an initial “no deposit required” bonus to try some of the games for free. Those who have never played in an online casino before will especially appreciate this opportunity. Then, after you make your first deposit, BetMGM will match it with a 100% bonus up to $1,000.
  • Slot machines are the first thing that many beginners gravitate toward, and understandably so, because they are among the easiest casino games to play. So, if slots are your game of choice, you will love what BetMGM Casino has to offer. BetMGM is a slot player’s paradise. Choose from a vast collection of diverse slots offering a wide enough betting range to suit virtually any player. All of the top manufacturers are well represented, including their most popular games. But you will also find many new and exclusive games, not available anywhere else. Not just seasoned slot players but also beginners love playing at BetMGM, not just for the sheer number of slot games but also for the tremendous variety and many exciting and highly entertaining extras. Megaways, cascading reels, cluster pays, and “InfiniReels” (which start with 3×3 reels but award winning combinations with free spins and extra reels) not only keep gamblers on the edge of their seats but offer many more ways to win.
  • BetMGM is also home to an unusually large collection of Jackpot Slots, including many games with progressive jackpots. You can check the current size of these jackpots on your screen at any time. Since the size keeps growing with every spin and the jackpot can be hit at any time, these prizes are clearly worth playing for, and some of them can be life-changing.
  • If table games are more of your thing, BetMGM also offers all of the most popular online casino table games. The casino’s live dealer platform is particularly impressive. In addition to the standard live dealer games that many other online casinos offer, you can try your luck on a variety of other games like Lightning Roulette and Lightning Blackjack. In Lightning Roulette, from 1 to 5 lucky numbers are “stuck by lightning,” awarding win multipliers to the players who bet on them. In Lightning Blackjack, every time a player wins two or more consecutive hands, the payout is increased by a randomly generated number. Or experience the fun and excitement of Dream Catcher, which features a money wheel, and Live Football Studio, which is played like baccarat but in a setting that resembles a football field.

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  • Lastly, you do not have to be a high roller to benefit from your membership in the casino’s player loyalty program BetMGM Rewards. Even players at the lowest tier level (Sapphire) can earn and redeem MGM Rewards Points and are guaranteed the lowest room rates available based on their level of play and discounts to select shows.

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🥉#3 Caesars Online Casino

Caesars is another brand with a worldwide presence that is an excellent choice for online casino gambling beginners. Caesars Online Casino has existed in New Jersey since day 1, November 26. 2013, when the very first online casinos in that state opened.

Since then, it has grown steadily to become one of the biggest and most highly regarded online casinos in the US. Caesars Online Casino and Caesars Sportsbook are currently operating in all four states where online casino gambling is legal.

Great Features for Beginners

  • Caesars is a large online casino, offering many of the most popular games, which beginners might be already familiar with and therefore comfortable playing. The site is also very easy to navigate. If you are not sure which specific game you want to play, no problem. The lobby organizes your many choices by type of game (slots, blackjack, live dealer, video poker, etc.), so you can narrow down your search quickly and easily.
  • Caesars is also one of the few online casinos where you can try before you buy. Before you even sign up, as well as anytime thereafter, Caesars gives you the option to play most games in demo mode rather than requiring you to risk real money from the outset.
  • New players receive an especially generous welcome bonus consisting of a $10 sign-up bonus just for registering, followed by 200% of their first deposit up to $200. However, small players can deposit as little as $20 and still qualify for the Caesars bonus. Furthermore, at Caesars, if you clear the bonus with slots, the wagering requirement is only 10x the bonus, which is very reasonable and less than the amount of wagering required at most online casinos.

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  • As soon as you join, you are automatically enrolled in the outstanding multi-tiered player loyalty program, Caesars Rewards. Not just your play at Caesars Online Casino, but all of your play at any participating online or land-based Caesars Rewards destination counts toward earning both Reward Credits and Tier Credits. Therefore, your Reward Credits add up very quickly. Every 1,000 Reward Credits is worth $10 in comps, or if you prefer, you can convert them to $10 withdrawable cash online.

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  • Caesars is one of the few online casinos that still offers 24/7 customer support by phone. Having this option instead of having to depend exclusively on the FAQ section, live chat, or email can be especially beneficial to newcomers who may need help completing the registration process, making deposits and withdrawals, and accessing bonuses and promotions.

🎖️#4 FanDuel Online Casino

Long before FanDuel added online casino gambling to its offerings, it was one of the leading sites for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). FanDuel’s many years of experience in online gambling, along with being privy to the factors contributing to the success of other already established online casinos enabled FanDuel to capitalize on its stellar reputation to create its own highly successful casino.

Players in all five states where online casino gambling is legal now have access not only to FanDuel Sportsbook but also to FanDuel Casino.

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Great Features for Beginners

  • The FanDuel casino website and mobile app have a simple interface that beginners should have no problems navigating. The games are conveniently organized into broad categories like Slots, Live Games, Roulette, Blackjack, etc. In addition, if you scroll down the page below all of the games in a particular category, you will find a helpful general guide on how to play along with useful tips to help your bankroll last longer.
  • Many slot players enjoy playing jackpot games, and FanDuel not only offers many of them but makes these games easy to find by clearly labeling them in the lobby.
  • Besides many slots that always offer fixed or progressive jackpots, there is a special category of games called “Daily Jackpots.” These are rotating designated games that are guaranteed to pay a daily jackpot to one lucky winner. A small portion of every wager made on the game that day goes into the growing jackpot. The downside is that there is only one big winner, so the odds are against you. But you do not have to wager any more than usual and everyone has an equal chance, which makes it a fun game choice for beginners.

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  • First-time depositors who are down after their first 24 hours of play get the full amount back up to $2,000 as a non-withdrawable casino bonus credited to their account. You then have up to seven days to play through the bonus money once. Any resulting winnings (but not the bonus itself) are then yours to keep.
  • Existing customers receive lots of special offers and promotions, too, including three free spins every day on the Reward Machine, for a chance to win up to $2,000 in casino bonus money.

FanDuel Casino Rewards

🏅#5 DraftKings Online Casino

DraftKings is another leading all-purpose online casino and sportsbook that, like FanDuel, got its start exclusively as a DFS site. Through its many years in business, DraftKings has built a solid reputation as a trusted site that gamblers can count on to deliver top quality games and treat their customers fairly.

DraftKings Online Casino and DraftKings Sportsbook are currently available in all five states where online casino gambling is legal.

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Great Features for Beginners

  • DraftKings is one of only a very few online casinos that accept deposits of only $5.
  • Most online casinos offer new customers just one welcome bonus, take it or leave it. However, DraftKings lets first-time depositors choose which of two offers they prefer.
  • One offer is a 100% deposit match up to $2,000 in bonus funds. The other is $100 in casino credits when you make an initial deposit of $5 or more. Unless you can afford the hefty wagering requirements to clear the DraftKings deposit match bonus (15x the bonus for slots, more for other games), the second offer for $100 in casino credits to use on any game you wish is better for beginners.
  • Most online casinos assume you already know how to play the various games they offer and provide little or no instruction. However, DraftKings has an entire “How to Play” section, including an in-depth beginner’s guide for each major game category on game playing basics and tips and strategies to give you a better chance to win.

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  • Individual game preferences and styles of play vary considerably, not just among seasoned players but among beginners, too, and DraftKings recognizes that and offers a tremendous variety of games, with something for everyone. It is continually adding new games to the mix, including many that were developed in-house exclusively for DraftKings.
  • Many people who are new or relatively new to online casino games are avid sports fans. DraftKings caters to these players by offering sports-themed variations of popular table games like blackjack and roulette. These games are exclusive to DraftKings and not available anywhere else.

How We Test Online Casinos for Beginners

There are many factors that we consider when testing different casinos to see which are the best ones for beginners. However, there is no better way to make these determinations than to try them for ourselves, putting ourselves in the shoes of a new player who is about to enter these unchartered waters for the first time.

A good casino for beginners must be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The important tabs must be clearly visible and easy to locate. First impressions are very revealing; therefore, an overly cluttered site that is difficult to decipher is a red flag. Most inexperienced gamblers are busy people who do not have a lot of extra time to spend figuring out how to sign up with a site and which games to play. They want a website or app that cuts to the chase and tells them what to do in a clear and concise manner, so they can start playing sooner rather than later.

Many online casinos offer a tremendous number and variety of games, which is great. However, the best ones for beginners organize the games into meaningful broad categories, so the user is not overwhelmed. Ideally, they also offer brief instructions on how to play the games. They should also include enough specific information on each game, such as the manufacturer, minimum and maximum bets, return to player (RTP), and volatility to help you choose wisely.

The best online casinos also include an option to try most of the games for free in demo mode. This gives new players a chance to test the waters with no risk to their bankroll before deciding whether or not to play the game for real money.

Another factor to consider is the nature of the welcome bonus. Bigger is not necessarily better, especially with inexperienced players who might not have the bankroll and desire to take advantage of a huge bonus initially. Accessibility and reasonable wagering requirements are more important.

Lastly, even the best online casinos cannot anticipate all of the questions and concerns of new players. Therefore, good customer support is essential.

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Here are the easy steps that you should follow to get started.

  1. Pick the place where you would like to play, giving careful attention to the criteria mentioned in this article. Then hit our links to sign-up and get enrolled in their offers.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the casino website or mobile betting app.
  3. Choose the types of games you wish to play and brush up on the basics. We recommend starting with relatively simple games with decent odds that do not require special skills, such as high RTP video slots and European roulette. Another advantage that slots have over other games for beginners is that they count 100% toward clearing the welcome bonus.
  4. Complete the registration form as directed.
  5. Make an initial deposit using one of the casino’s accepted deposit methods and claim your bonus. Remember to enter the applicable bonus code if the casino requests it.
  6. Start playing!

Easiest Games to Play at a Casino

Luck is an important factor in all casino games. However, in some games such as blackjack and video poker, skill also comes into play.

Knowing and applying the optimal basic strategy still will not guarantee that you will win, but it will significantly improve your chances. Conversely, you can play these games incorrectly and still win over the course of a given session if luck is on your side. But in the long run, poor play will catch up with you and you will almost certainly lose.

The easiest casino games to play are those that rely entirely on luck such as slot games, roulette, and keno. You can still win playing these games, and many players do.

But you need to discipline yourself and walk away while you still have at least some of your winnings intact.

First Time at a Casino: 7 Tips for a Safe Ride

Playing casino games online can be a daunting experience initially, and the sheer number of games can be overwhelming. However, the following tips will help ensure that your first time is not stressful but fun.

  1. Set aside a fixed amount of money strictly for gambling. In case luck does not go your way, these should be funds that you can comfortably afford to lose.
  2. Keep in mind that the house has an edge in every casino game. You can minimize the edge in some games with correct play and in any game with good money management. But the bottom line is that you cannot guarantee a winning outcome in any game.
  3. If you are winning, great, but no winning streak lasts forever, so it is important to leave the slot machine or table while still a winner.
  4. Conversely, if you are having bad luck, rather than chase your losses and risk losing more money, call it a day.
  5. Betting correctly matters in the games with the best odds like blackjack, baccarat, craps, and video poker. So, before playing these games for real money, learn and practice the correct basic strategy.
  6. Take advantage of casino bonuses and special offers and join the player’s rewards program to be eligible for more of the same.
  7. Treat playing online casino games as a form of entertainment that is not free but can still be both affordable and enjoyable.

Online Casino Facts to Remember

It is important to remember that every game has a built-in house edge. This is the long-term percentage of all of the money wagered on a game that the house expects to keep.

The opposite percentage is the return to player or RTP. During any given playing session, the results can vary greatly from these percentages in either direction. However, in the long run, the house edge prevails.

FAQs

What should a beginner play in an online casino?

Beginners should start with easy casino games that do not require any skill on their part like slot machines. If luck is on their side, they will win.

Which is the best online casino in the US for beginners?

The best online casino for beginners is Golden Nugget because the RTP, rules, and information about how to play are included for every game. You can also practice most games for free in demo mode before risking real money.