New Player's Guide to Rival Powered Online Casinos
THE SOFTWARE - IS IT FAIR?
One of the first things you’ll see, when you investigate online casinos, is many different makes of software being used by the operators. Is the software going to deal you a fair game? This is quite rightly the biggest concern to the new online gambler, who often feels uneasy about being dealt his cards by a computer. This is why it is important to know which software a casino uses before you sign up.
There are many different softwares out there (approx 20-25), and in my opinion most of then DO deal you a fair game however frustrating and unlikely it seems when you have a rotten run of luck at the tables! In my experience 'The Big Four' (MG, Rival, RTG & Playtech) and many lesser ones all deal fair games, but the people that run casino's that use them do not necessarily give you a fair deal. This is by far a much bigger danger for online casino players:
There are sadly, some casinos on the web which are run by rogues, thieves and frankly criminal people. Others are just totally incompetent or have extremely player-unfriendly terms & conditions. The main purpose of this and our sister sites is to guide players away from the unsavoury joints and recommend only the best casinos who treat their customers the right way.
The majority of casinos require you to download their software onto your computer before you can play. This can be a very time consuming affair with softwares which force you to download the entire casino in one go. However Rival lets you just download the lobby initially and then you just have a quick download of each game the first time you play it. This means you can register, log in & start playing in a relatively short time! To install a Rival casino, just look for the "download" link which is usually fairly prominent on the website, click it & follow the instructions.
Many Rival casinos also have ‘Flash’ versions that can be played in your browser window without downloading.
DEPOSITING & WITHDRAWING YOUR MONEY
Depositing is easy. The casinos will take your cash by any number of means in a matter of seconds! In most of Europe, the majority credit or debit cards will be accepted, however some card providers will not allow deposits into gaming sites. Note that withdrawals often can not be made back to Visa cards, and never to MasterCards. In this instance you will be paid by another method – usually by web-wallet. Always check what your withdrawal options are BEFORE depositing!
Withdrawing is a completely different story - you may need to be very patient. Each different casino may ask you for different things to verify your account before paying out for the first time and so there can be big differences in timescales.
ALL casino’s will reserve the right to ask you for further identity information to prove you are who you say you are. This is why it’s VERY important to enter correct & honest details when signing up to a casino, NEVER make duplicate accounts and to make sure you always read the banking T&C’s before you make your deposit.
Cash-out times once your account is fully approved (e.g. after you've made your first withdrawal), are quoted typically as 24 to 48 hours after the withdrawal request for indipendants and 2-5 business days for white label casinos. However, please note that some of the best casinos pay faster, while others can take a little longer.
CREDIT CARD SECURITY
Many people are worried about using their Credit Cards for online transactions. With modern encryption technologies the risks are almost non-existent. The biggest risk comes from giving your details to a ‘dodgy’ operator. I personally have made over 500 credit/debit card deposits to online gambling sites, and only once had a problem back in 2001 after I had to fax a copy of my credit card to a ‘dodgy’ RTG site.
By far the best way to fund your online gaming is by using a so-called E-Wallet. This is a company that acts like an online bank. You can then send this company a once-off amount to get you started, and then just move your funds into & out of various sites without having to repeatedly use your credit card.
There are many different web-wallets and different casinos will accept various types. For the USA the best ones are probably eWalletXpress and UseMyWallet (also known as QuickTender). For most other countries Neteller and MoneyBookers are best and are accepted by nearly all gaming sites.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Tedious, boring and dull as ditch-water, yes, but essential reading none-the-less. For your own protection & peace of mind you should always read the T&C’s at each & every casino you join.
Most of the content is essential legal stuff and if you’re signing up to one of our recommended casinos, there’s no need for you to read all of it, just make sure you at least check the following sections:
Banking; In particular, withdrawal method & what form of ID might be requested.
Restricted Territories; Some casino’s do not allow players from certain countries, and all will close your account if you play from a country where online gambling is illegal.* Also some countries get higher bonus WRs, or even no bonuses at all.
Age Limits; As with territories, some casinos do not allow players under 21, and NONE allow players under 18.*
Bonus T&C’s; Make sure you know exactly how much you need to wager, what games you can play or can’t play, and whether the bonus is Withdrawable or Phantom (Sometimes called sticky).
* Some unscrupulous casinos will let you ‘get away’ with breaking these rules when you sign up, deposit, and lose. But if you win & try to withdraw you can bet your bottom dollar they will find you out and confiscate your winnings. Please save yourself this grief & do not break these or any other T&C’s.
PLAYING WITH BONUSES - SOME WORDS OF WARNING!
If you are a high-roller or otherwise and like to place large bets you really should try to find out what the maximum bets on each game are before you start. You won’t find accurate information about this in the T&C’s as Rival casinos have a very large scope for changing betting limits and typically restrict the size of bets during bonus play much more than any other softwares.
Types of Bonus: Always look very carefully to see what type of bonuses the casino is offering:
Free-chip: Nearly all Rival casinos offer new players a no-deposit free-chip bonus to try them out. All you need to do to get these chips is download the casino & register an account - no banking details are required at this stage. If you manage to meet the Wagering Requirements (WR) you will be able to cash-out your winnings up to the maximum stated for the bonus. At this stage you will have to make a small deposit (typically $25) just to verify your age & identity, but you do NOT have to risk a penny of your own money - you can cash-out everything!
Cashable: Usually the best deal; the bonus credit is added to your account balance automatically on deposit, after you claim the bonus in the Cashier. As soon as you complete the WR, the entire account balance is yours to keep.
Note: If a bonus is cashable, it is not actually stated in the cashier; just make sure it's not Phantom, as below.
Phantom: So called because the entire bonus is removed from your account upon your first withdrawal request. These are normally high % bonuses which are very attractive to players looking for a long play-time from a small investment.
In the cashier screen it will state "The bonus money is not withdrawable" (or words to that effect).
Free-Play: These are sort of like Phantom bonuses, but they are free with no deposit needed to claim them. The casino will give you a certain number of bonuses chips and a time limit to play with them. If you manage to increase you balance above the start point, you can keep that profit (up to the max limit) in the form of a new bonus when you made a deposit. Make sure you read the terms for the second-stage bonuses before you start to ensure it has reasonable terms.
HELP AND SUPPORT
If you need any help with the casino the, Customer Service reps can easily be contacted by Phone, E-mail or Live Chat. The best place to find their contact details in on the actual casino website, though some have these within the casino itself too.
FINDING THE GAME YOU WANT
When you start up a Rival casino it takes you to the Lobby or Welcome Screen. From there you will find various buttons for things like settings, the Cashier and drop-down menus for the games on offer. It's pretty simple really! Example below.
GUIDE TO RIVAL SLOTS
Most people play online casinos because they love those slot machines! All casinos recognise this and try to supply the best and most entertaining ones they can - Rival are pretty good at this and add about 8 or 9 slots to their casinos every year. They have traditional 3-reelers, exciting 5-reel bonus video slots and their most famous innovation: the i-Slots. This last group are Interactive Slots and often follow a story-line taking you to different levels, different reels, different bonus games!
For more details on these, and all the other games on the Rival platform, please see The Games page.
An example of a Rival Casino's lobby;
Showing Games menus, Promotions panel, Cashier button and Comp Points counter.
Note: Box 24 has now switched to a different software!
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