The Ultimate Guide To Gambling On Your PC, Laptop Or Mobile Device
Most online gambling still takes place on Windows PCs and Laptops – despite the huge take-up of mobile devices. This page gives you an overview of the fast changing (and ever-improving) world of online gambling, including links to detailed guides for many of the different areas.
The three major gambling verticals are covered first below, with an outline of the current state of play for Sports Betting, Casino and Online Poker fans. After this a special section for US readers covering the complex legal situation can be found. Finally my practical guide to enjoying gambling online from your computer.
Many of us have more than one device – and here at High Tech Gambling I have tested them all. Check out the following:
- iPad Gambling Guide
- iPhone Gambling Guide
- Android Phone Gambling Guide
- Android Tablet Gambling Guide
- Mac Gambling Guide
What You’ll Find On This Page
- 3 Main Gambling Verticals
- Note On US Laws
- Download v Browser Debate
- Practical Info + Links
Online Gambling Guide – The 3 Main Gambling Verticals
90% of online gambling takes place within one of the 3-main verticals of Casino, Sports Betting or Poker. There are others covered on this site including Bingo / Keno and Fantasy sports too. This section shows you the innovations which have occurred within the major verticals over the last few years.
Innovation has been intense at online casinos, particularly in the area of slots. If you have not check out these games for a few years then it will be something like comparing the first console games with a PS4 – things are really that different.
This has been made possible by the combination of faster computers, faster networking speeds and better software. I recommend you check out the latest 3d video slots. Many of these have feature and bonus rounds which are more like video games than anything an old slot would have included. You will also enjoy some huge jackpots too, with some progressive prizes linked between casinos – making $1m+ prizes common.
Table games have improved too – you’ll find plenty of variations of classics like blackjack and casino poker – along with much smoother and better looking graphics.
The key phrase in this area is opportunity – you’ll have a lot more than you had a few years ago in terms of the types of bet and the sports / events you can bet on.
In-play betting is just coming of age, and thanks to streaming technology you can now watch the sports at major bookmakers and bet right alongside. I should note that you’ll still need your TV for the major events, as these would be too expensive for the bookies to show.
At the same time online technology has made it possible to bet on niche sports and events (TV shows, elections and awards ceremonies) that would simply not have been possible a few years ago. You can also compare odds and lines at different sports books – which opens up a ton of opportunities for value and arbitrage bettors around the world.
Sure, there are restrictions in the US, though sports books like Bovada (part of Bodog) and BetOnline are now offering an awesome range of bets and value lines too. For worldwide sports betting fans I recommend Unibet with no hesitation for great bonuses and a lot of cool promotions.
Millions of people enjoy online poker games every month, ranging from multi-tabling ‘pro grinders’ through to amateur players who like to have the occasional game. Worldwide this vertical is huge, with tournaments with 6 and 7 figure prize pools and huge buy-in cash games a regular feature. There are literally 100’s of lower stakes games covering a lot of different poker formats – with No-Limit Holdem still the most popular.
Innovation in this area is in the speed of the games. New ‘fast-fold’ poker formats are making the games quicker than ever, with the ‘pooled’ structure meaning you no longer have to wait for opponents to finish their hands.
You can find out more in my Poker Sites Guide here.
Online Gambling Guide – Notes On The US Legal Situation
This section is here to clarify one thing – that despite a lot of misinformation in the press and from politicians – there is nothing making online gambling illegal for the individual player at the Federal level.
The law people usually refer to is called the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) of 2006. What this did is make certain types of financial transaction between gambling site operators and banks illegal. This is why there are issues with deposit methods for US players wanting to gamble. Nothing in that law criminalizes players, and no player has ever been arrested via this law in 8 years of its existence.
Now that is cleared up, there are still restrictions for US players. Offshore gambling sites fill the gap, for Casino and Sports Betting fans the choices are excellent. Poker does need a lot of players to be able to run the biggest games and tournaments, and with only mid-sized sites available, there are some restrictions. For casual and lower stakes players the choices of sites like BetOnline are actually pretty good.
Online Gambling Guide – Practical Considerations
In this section I cover 3 of the key practical questions for Windows PC or Laptop gambling fans. First whether to download the software or go via the browser version of the games? Second some notes on the importance of security, and third a word of warning about impossible bonus offers.
Software Download Or Browser Games?
Previously the windows download was an easy pick, with much smoother game-play and better features in just about every gambling game possible. Nowadays, the download and browser games are much closer. I am already on record saying that these will be on par by 2016.
Which you choose does depend on your vertical. Browsers are fine for Sportsbooks these days, and casino games (which you’ll usually play one at a time) are usually fine in your browser too. For poker, this choice depends on whether you will be multi-tabling and using many of the additional tools popular with serious players. In this case the download will be your default, if you just play the occasional game then some of the browser versions will be absolutely fine for your needs.
If you are using a shared computer (or work machine) then the browser games also become a better pick. For me the Windows downloads have an edge – though only just.
I have a dedicated page on online gambling security, so this is just a quick overview of the main points.
One thing you must do is log off of the gambling sites when away from your computer, if you lose your laptop then you might find your accounts emptied to add insult to injury. This is particularly important with poker, where ‘chip dumping’ will soon leave your bankroll empty.
Remember to log off of e-mail too, as these can be used to reset passwords.
I also recommend you keep only the balance you need to play with on any single gambling site. There are plenty of ‘electronic wallet’ services out there like Neteller or Skrill, which will allow non-US players to hold funds safely. These create a buffer between your bank and the gambling sites, I see this as an extra layer of security.
My final practical tip for online gambling fans is to carefully check the terms and conditions of your bonus offers. Many of these require so many points to be collected, or such a high play-through, that your bonus will expire before you ever clear it.
Here at High Tech Gambling I vet the bonuses, along with requiring 5+ years of service and a clean + fast payouts record. If you plan on going it alone then I urge you to check those terms carefully, as many will have small print meaning that if you play the wrong game you could lose the bonus completely.
Check out the latest bonuses and special deals on this page!