Preparation to Play - Things I wish I had known when I started Online Gambling

Diane

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
Hello,

With all the new members joining Casinomeister from the last several months, and the fact that I have tried some new casinos lately, it made me think that I should update my guidelines for online play. This is my list of things I wish I had KNOWN before I started gambling online. You may not agree and I am sure I missed some good suggestions, but here is what I have learned over the course of 2 years of online gambling that I wish I had known. I got messed up several times by NOT knowing, but its rare that I am surprised or upset any more because I prepare first and play second.

I posted it before over a year ago -- but have learned more since then and I throw it out here as a primer on some of the basics for our newer members. Your experience(s) may be different, but these are the guidelines I have learned and try to follow.

FWIW:

"Diane's Guidelines for Online Play"

1. Only play at Accredited Casinos in the beginning until you learn more about the various sites from fellow CM members

2. When you open an account at an online casino keep copies of all emails and chat exchanges with support and other casino personnel. Set up a filing system so that you have a separate file folder for each casino. In this you can put your emails, chat sessions, and I also keep copies of the promo emails sent from the casino so that I can refer back to a promotion or certain terms. I also keep the emails acknowledging a w/d until the w/d actually arrives.

3. Read the Terms and Conditions(T&C's) for each site when you open an account. You do NOT want surprises afterwards

4. If you want to consider accepting a BONUS from a site, make sure you understand the wagering requirements and WHICH GAMES are ALLOWED while playing under the bonus. Most new players get tripped up because they find a site, see "free money" and jump in and bounce all over the site trying different games. Most sites only allow SLOT play if you accept a SLOT bonus. If you play Video Poker or Black Jack while working on the wagering requirements for a bonus, you may end up with your play and any winnings voided out. THis is not fraudulent on the part of the casino -- its a very common rule. So know the RULES before you play.


5. Before you consider claiming a bonus -- make sure your account balance is already at ZERO. If not, your dollars in your account may become "contaminated" (my word) and the account balance + your bonus + deposit all get being counted towards the wagering requirements. For example. Your account balance is $100, you decide you want more money to play with so you deposit another $200 and claim a 100% bonus coupon. Balance $100 + $200 new deposit + $200 Bonus = $500. All $500 may be subject to the wagering requirements instead of just the "new" deposit and "new" bonus.

6. Know the rules on the bonus in terms of, is it a true bonus that is cashable after the wagering requirements are met? Or is it a phantom bonus that gives you dollars to play with, but if you win and want to cash out, the bonus dollars are deducted from your balance AND then you get to cash out the net winnings.

7. Be prepared BEFORE you play with the standard documents that are required for cashout at casinos. Most will accept either fax copy or scanned copy ----- but scanned copies are much more legible and accepted quicker. Plus you can bcc yourself on the email so you have the copies sent as a record and to use again for the next casino that requires the data:

* Scanned copy of Driver's License, Passport, or Photo ID government issued
* Scanned copy of a recent utility bill showing the same address as the one you registered with your account
* If you don't have utilities in your name (for example ours are all in my husband's name) mo st sites will allow you to simply send a copy of ANY recent bill or document that verifies y our name and address as matching. For example you could send a credit card statement
* Scanned copy of the front and back of any credit card used for a deposit, from experienc e some credit cards have dark backgrounds, in that case I try and lighten up the copy, bu t if that doesn't work, I take a pencil "rubbing" of the credit card so that the imprinted inf ormation raises up and is legible on the scanned copy
* Some sites will also require a phone validation where they call you to verify your phone nu mber and ask you questions about your registration information and method of recent dep osit such as $$ deposited and which credit card you used

8. Have a dedicated and segregated bank account set up for use with your gambling dollars. I do that anyhow whether it is land based casino gaming or online gaming. Keep it separate from your family financial accounts, use a different bank

9. If you have trouble depositing for whatever reason, consider using a prepaid Mastercard or Visa credit card. These are available in a variety of places, banks, credit unions, and stores. I have yet to run across a site that won't accept a prepaid credit card.

10. Understand wagering requirements before you claim a bonus -- I have seen some wagering requirements as low as 2x and as high as 99x. It makes a huge difference. Know before you claim it what hoops you must jump through to satisfy the wagering requirements.

11. Understand also if there is a MAXIMUM CASHOUT on the bonus you claim. This happens more with the FREE NO DEPOSIT chips -- where the maximum you can cashout from a free chip is 5x or 10x the value of the chip. This varies greatly so find out in advance so there is no bad surprise. If you are lucky enough to have won more than the allowed cashout ------- keep playing, you are still generally accumulating comp points on the overage. Play until you have run the balance down to the allowed cashout amount and then cashout the entire amount, zeroing your account out again before you deposit. (side bar ------ one time while playing on a bonus with max cashout, I hit a random jackpot, I did really well overall and by the time I cashed out the allowable amount, I had already earned somewhere around $1900 in comp points. So it was disappointing not to keep the random jackpot $$$, but the comp points were a nice consolation prize for the extra play I received from the jackpot dollars that I couldn't cash out)

12. Some bonuses also have maximum cashouts such as 10 or 15x the bonus claimed. Know the rules

13. Understand that the "Live Chat" or "Live Support" people do not generally have access to what goes on with your account in regards to finance or cashouts. Don't berate them or curse at them, no one will want to help an abusive player AND they only can access certain information

14. In the file you have established for each casino, include the basic data for the casino such as toll free phone numbers, contact names such as Finance Manager, VIP Manager etc. Also very important to note what is their cashout policy? Is there a 48 hour processing period? Do they only process withdrawals M-F? Do they process daily or once per calendar week? What hours is the finance department in the office so that you can talk to a real person if you want to? I always note the time zone difference. So for example if there is a 6 hour time zone difference from where I live and where they are -- I know to call first thing in the morning when I wake up or I lose any chance of talking to a live person about my cashout question

15. What are your withdrawal methods if you win? How long does it take for each method you want to consider? If check by courier -- do you need to be home to SIGN for it or will they just drop it off? If wire transfer is selected, be ready with your segregated gaming account info when you do the withdrawal. What are the fees for each method you pick? Does your bank charge antyhing for incoming wires or ACH withdrawals that might be in addition to the charge from the paying casino?

16. What is the maximum allowed to be withdrawn by each method at any time or over the course of a week? Some of the check by courier options only allow up to $2500 per check and 1x per week. But at some sites you can do both a check AND a wire transfer. Some sites only allow one w/d per week regardless of method. What is the weekly maximum you can cashout? Some sites are as low as $500/week, some allow withdrawals as high as $15k each time and up to 3x a week.

17. If you withdraw from a casino -- will they let you redeposit again immediately? Or is it one of the casinos that has the rule that you can't redeposit when there is a pending withdrawal? In that case, be sure to leave enough money in your account to play with while you wait for the pending w/d to be processed.

18. If you like to play tournaments at casinos, know that you can't play a tournament that has an entry free using dollars that are subject to a bonus' wagering requirements. So if you want to play tourneys, don't deposit and claim a bonus.

19. Remember if you claim a bonus, CLAIM BONUS first and deposit second.l If you inadvertently forget to claim the bonus, do not play on the deposit until you contact support and get them to manually adjust your account for the bonus you intended to claim. Once you have played any of the deposit dollars, they cannot go back and retroactively credit you with the bonus. It's generally too late.

20. If you have a problem with a casino, try and solve it FIRST with the casino. Do not come here to the site and start trashing the casino publicly on how you got screwed or that they are frauds or stalling or whatever. If you can't resolve it in a reasonable time with the casino by email and phone calls, then try sending a PM (private message to the Casino Rep) through this site. Give the Casino Rep a few days to respond. If that doesn't work, you can consider a Pitch a Bitch (PAB) which is the internal CM appeal process. But BEFORE you bother MaxD our PAB guy ----- read first the FAQ's for that process. Don't waste his time if you have not followed the process correctly.

21. After you have some time under your belt, you can be a bit more adventurous and try some of the non-accredited casinos. I only recommend this for the more experienced player who already knows the ropes of online casino play. Whatever you do, stay away from any casino that has been listed on the CM ROGUE list. But there is a wide range of casinos that are not accredited that are still good places to play. But any casino on the ROGUE list is there for a reason -- avoid those like the plague.

22. Know that there is always RISK involved with online play. Even an accredited casino can go rogue without warning. Do not play with the grocery money or money you cannot afford to lose. Don't play with money that is needed to pay an upcoming bill. There is NO GUARANTEE that if you win you always get paid. Keep that in mind at all times.

23. Gambling should be considered as entertainment much like going to the movies or out to a fancy dinner. Fun while you are doing it, but most times you come home with an empty wallet, but hopefully memories of having fun while spending money.

24. Once you are lucky enough to win -- DO NOT EVER, EVER, REVERSE a WITHDRAWAL. You worked hard for that money, resist the temptation to give it back. Wait for it to arrive and start over again with new money.

There is a lot more I am sure I forgot or still don't know that others can contribute, but its a dreary day here, so I thought I would ramble on for a bit and share some of my experiences. Forgive any typos or duplication or any of the thoughts where I sound stupid or ill informed. I am just sharing what I have learned the hard way....if this generates additional ideas or contributions from others on the CM site, great.

If you have additional questions, post and I will try and answer or somebody smarter than me will jump in and help out. I would also add the caveat that my experiences are as a US based player. I cannot help, provide info or options for those who have lots more choices than we do here in the US.

Have Fun,

Diane
 

Diane

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
I realized after I posted this that I sound rather pompous. I just wanted to clarify that for most of these items I learned the "hard way" after getting burned and just not understanding. So by no means did I do things right as I bounced around from casino to casino.

I made a lot of mistakes (and still occasionally do) especially in terms of personal discipline and knowing when to quit.

FWIW,

Diane
 

daveboz

Banned User
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Location
Seattle
Hello,

With all the new members joining Casinomeister from the last several months, and the fact that I have tried some new casinos lately, it made me think that I should update my guidelines for online play. This is my list of things I wish I had KNOWN before I started gambling online. You may not agree and I am sure I missed some good suggestions, but here is what I have learned over the course of 2 years of online gambling that I wish I had known. I got messed up several times by NOT knowing, but its rare that I am surprised or upset any more because I prepare first and play second.

I posted it before over a year ago -- but have learned more since then and I throw it out here as a primer on some of the basics for our newer members. Your experience(s) may be different, but these are the guidelines I have learned and try to follow.

FWIW:

"Diane's Guidelines for Online Play"

1. Only play at Accredited Casinos in the beginning until you learn more about the various sites from fellow CM members

2. When you open an account at an online casino keep copies of all emails and chat exchanges with support and other casino personnel. Set up a filing system so that you have a separate file folder for each casino. In this you can put your emails, chat sessions, and I also keep copies of the promo emails sent from the casino so that I can refer back to a promotion or certain terms. I also keep the emails acknowledging a w/d until the w/d actually arrives.

3. Read the Terms and Conditions(T&C's) for each site when you open an account. You do NOT want surprises afterwards

4. If you want to consider accepting a BONUS from a site, make sure you understand the wagering requirements and WHICH GAMES are ALLOWED while playing under the bonus. Most new players get tripped up because they find a site, see "free money" and jump in and bounce all over the site trying different games. Most sites only allow SLOT play if you accept a SLOT bonus. If you play Video Poker or Black Jack while working on the wagering requirements for a bonus, you may end up with your play and any winnings voided out. THis is not fraudulent on the part of the casino -- its a very common rule. So know the RULES before you play.


5. Before you consider claiming a bonus -- make sure your account balance is already at ZERO. If not, your dollars in your account may become "contaminated" (my word) and the account balance + your bonus + deposit all get being counted towards the wagering requirements. For example. Your account balance is $100, you decide you want more money to play with so you deposit another $200 and claim a 100% bonus coupon. Balance $100 + $200 new deposit + $200 Bonus = $500. All $500 may be subject to the wagering requirements instead of just the "new" deposit and "new" bonus.

6. Know the rules on the bonus in terms of, is it a true bonus that is cashable after the wagering requirements are met? Or is it a phantom bonus that gives you dollars to play with, but if you win and want to cash out, the bonus dollars are deducted from your balance AND then you get to cash out the net winnings.

7. Be prepared BEFORE you play with the standard documents that are required for cashout at casinos. Most will accept either fax copy or scanned copy ----- but scanned copies are much more legible and accepted quicker. Plus you can bcc yourself on the email so you have the copies sent as a record and to use again for the next casino that requires the data:

* Scanned copy of Driver's License, Passport, or Photo ID government issued
* Scanned copy of a recent utility bill showing the same address as the one you registered with your account
* If you don't have utilities in your name (for example ours are all in my husband's name) mo st sites will allow you to simply send a copy of ANY recent bill or document that verifies y our name and address as matching. For example you could send a credit card statement
* Scanned copy of the front and back of any credit card used for a deposit, from experienc e some credit cards have dark backgrounds, in that case I try and lighten up the copy, bu t if that doesn't work, I take a pencil "rubbing" of the credit card so that the imprinted inf ormation raises up and is legible on the scanned copy
* Some sites will also require a phone validation where they call you to verify your phone nu mber and ask you questions about your registration information and method of recent dep osit such as $$ deposited and which credit card you used

8. Have a dedicated and segregated bank account set up for use with your gambling dollars. I do that anyhow whether it is land based casino gaming or online gaming. Keep it separate from your family financial accounts, use a different bank

9. If you have trouble depositing for whatever reason, consider using a prepaid Mastercard or Visa credit card. These are available in a variety of places, banks, credit unions, and stores. I have yet to run across a site that won't accept a prepaid credit card.

10. Understand wagering requirements before you claim a bonus -- I have seen some wagering requirements as low as 2x and as high as 99x. It makes a huge difference. Know before you claim it what hoops you must jump through to satisfy the wagering requirements.

11. Understand also if there is a MAXIMUM CASHOUT on the bonus you claim. This happens more with the FREE NO DEPOSIT chips -- where the maximum you can cashout from a free chip is 5x or 10x the value of the chip. This varies greatly so find out in advance so there is no bad surprise. If you are lucky enough to have won more than the allowed cashout ------- keep playing, you are still generally accumulating comp points on the overage. Play until you have run the balance down to the allowed cashout amount and then cashout the entire amount, zeroing your account out again before you deposit. (side bar ------ one time while playing on a bonus with max cashout, I hit a random jackpot, I did really well overall and by the time I cashed out the allowable amount, I had already earned somewhere around $1900 in comp points. So it was disappointing not to keep the random jackpot $$$, but the comp points were a nice consolation prize for the extra play I received from the jackpot dollars that I couldn't cash out)

12. Some bonuses also have maximum cashouts such as 10 or 15x the bonus claimed. Know the rules

13. Understand that the "Live Chat" or "Live Support" people do not generally have access to what goes on with your account in regards to finance or cashouts. Don't berate them or curse at them, no one will want to help an abusive player AND they only can access certain information

14. In the file you have established for each casino, include the basic data for the casino such as toll free phone numbers, contact names such as Finance Manager, VIP Manager etc. Also very important to note what is their cashout policy? Is there a 48 hour processing period? Do they only process withdrawals M-F? Do they process daily or once per calendar week? What hours is the finance department in the office so that you can talk to a real person if you want to? I always note the time zone difference. So for example if there is a 6 hour time zone difference from where I live and where they are -- I know to call first thing in the morning when I wake up or I lose any chance of talking to a live person about my cashout question

15. What are your withdrawal methods if you win? How long does it take for each method you want to consider? If check by courier -- do you need to be home to SIGN for it or will they just drop it off? If wire transfer is selected, be ready with your segregated gaming account info when you do the withdrawal. What are the fees for each method you pick? Does your bank charge antyhing for incoming wires or ACH withdrawals that might be in addition to the charge from the paying casino?

16. What is the maximum allowed to be withdrawn by each method at any time or over the course of a week? Some of the check by courier options only allow up to $2500 per check and 1x per week. But at some sites you can do both a check AND a wire transfer. Some sites only allow one w/d per week regardless of method. What is the weekly maximum you can cashout? Some sites are as low as $500/week, some allow withdrawals as high as $15k each time and up to 3x a week.

17. If you withdraw from a casino -- will they let you redeposit again immediately? Or is it one of the casinos that has the rule that you can't redeposit when there is a pending withdrawal? In that case, be sure to leave enough money in your account to play with while you wait for the pending w/d to be processed.

18. If you like to play tournaments at casinos, know that you can't play a tournament that has an entry free using dollars that are subject to a bonus' wagering requirements. So if you want to play tourneys, don't deposit and claim a bonus.

19. Remember if you claim a bonus, CLAIM BONUS first and deposit second.l If you inadvertently forget to claim the bonus, do not play on the deposit until you contact support and get them to manually adjust your account for the bonus you intended to claim. Once you have played any of the deposit dollars, they cannot go back and retroactively credit you with the bonus. It's generally too late.

20. If you have a problem with a casino, try and solve it FIRST with the casino. Do not come here to the site and start trashing the casino publicly on how you got screwed or that they are frauds or stalling or whatever. If you can't resolve it in a reasonable time with the casino by email and phone calls, then try sending a PM (private message to the Casino Rep) through this site. Give the Casino Rep a few days to respond. If that doesn't work, you can consider a Pitch a Bitch (PAB) which is the internal CM appeal process. But BEFORE you bother MaxD our PAB guy ----- read first the FAQ's for that process. Don't waste his time if you have not followed the process correctly.

21. After you have some time under your belt, you can be a bit more adventurous and try some of the non-accredited casinos. I only recommend this for the more experienced player who already knows the ropes of online casino play. Whatever you do, stay away from any casino that has been listed on the CM ROGUE list. But there is a wide range of casinos that are not accredited that are still good places to play. But any casino on the ROGUE list is there for a reason -- avoid those like the plague.

22. Know that there is always RISK involved with online play. Even an accredited casino can go rogue without warning. Do not play with the grocery money or money you cannot afford to lose. Don't play with money that is needed to pay an upcoming bill. There is NO GUARANTEE that if you win you always get paid. Keep that in mind at all times.

23. Gambling should be considered as entertainment much like going to the movies or out to a fancy dinner. Fun while you are doing it, but most times you come home with an empty wallet, but hopefully memories of having fun while spending money.

24. Once you are lucky enough to win -- DO NOT EVER, EVER, REVERSE a WITHDRAWAL. You worked hard for that money, resist the temptation to give it back. Wait for it to arrive and start over again with new money.

There is a lot more I am sure I forgot or still don't know that others can contribute, but its a dreary day here, so I thought I would ramble on for a bit and share some of my experiences. Forgive any typos or duplication or any of the thoughts where I sound stupid or ill informed. I am just sharing what I have learned the hard way....if this generates additional ideas or contributions from others on the CM site, great.

If you have additional questions, post and I will try and answer or somebody smarter than me will jump in and help out. I would also add the caveat that my experiences are as a US based player. I cannot help, provide info or options for those who have lots more choices than we do here in the US.

Have Fun,

Diane

"DO NOT EVER, EVER, REVERSE a WITHDRAWAL. You worked hard for that money, resist the temptation to give it back. Wait for it to arrive and start over again with new money."

Thanks Diane, wish I had the discipline. When I do cash out and it has left the pending stage sometimes I will deposit again because the withdrawal is now in transit.
 

Diane

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
"DO NOT EVER, EVER, REVERSE a WITHDRAWAL. You worked hard for that money, resist the temptation to give it back. Wait for it to arrive and start over again with new money."

Thanks Diane, wish I had the discipline. When I do cash out and it has left the pending stage sometimes I will deposit again because the withdrawal is now in transit.

daveboz,
That's ok. I do that also. But the difference is, we are "starting over".

Re-depositing is ok, its the reversing of hard won cash that finally made it through the wagering requirements that I am mostly talking about. Cashouts are usually larger amounts that what we would normally deposit so it keeps us back to playing within our comfort zone -- rather than taking the shot on bigger bucks that have already been put aside.

If that makes sense?

Diane
 

threescatters

Dormant account
PABnonaccred
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Location
UK
Diane that is an excellent post, especially since it is from a US players perspective. Awesome, 5 stars.
 

jod5413

Is That Better?
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Location
somewhere on the planet
Diane, this is an absolutely wonderful post!! You have managed to put the cardinal gambling rules in a no BS, easy to read fashion! WTG!!

I wish I had had this type of info when I started playing years ago. I eventually learned by experience, some not so good, and think any newbie would be thrilled to read something like this!

Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

cr120450

Newbie member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Location
USA - Delaware
You hit just about every nail on the head

Hello to Everyone,
Ive been gambling online I would say 12 years now & am from US & I bet Ive played at most casinos that are on line,one time or another. Diane,has cover about everything with her post,& a great post at that. Ive kinda got away from the rogue casino, thats any rogue. They are just not worth the headachs. I thought I was going to get ripped off by a few of them,but it took time,& I don't mean timely,were talking 1-2 months to get my withdrawals. I must say tho I have always got my withdrawals even from some big rogue casinos. I had to stay on there backs. If I haven't I might not had got it. Right now am just going with the Accredired Casinos when I play. Ive never really had a problem yet with any of them. Anyway thats my 2 cents. Everyone take care.
 

Diane

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
Diane, this is an absolutely wonderful post!! You have managed to put the cardinal gambling rules in a no BS, easy to read fashion! WTG!!

I wish I had had this type of info when I started playing years ago. I eventually learned by experience, some not so good, and think any newbie would be thrilled to read something like this!

Thanks! :thumbsup:

Jod,
Thanks for the nod on this. I enjoyed drafting it and sharing it. Prompted by some of the new members who joined here without really knowing how to navigate the "snarky" world of online gaming.

Praise from you means a lot -- thanks.

Diane
 

mattsgame

Meister Member
webmeister
CAG
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Location
Out Of Town
Excellent

Great post Diane,

Taking all that time and effort to help out others is commendable, your posts are always well written and friendly :thumbsup:

Wish I had some of this advice when I first started a few years ago.
 

Diane

Dormant account
Joined
Dec 20, 2009
Location
WI
Great thread Diane. I think CM needs to bring back the Post of the Fortnight award.

Thanks --- I like to share when I think I have something that can help others. I did so many dumb stupid things in the beginning, that I hope others don't run into. So that's why I did this.

From your posts -- you know what is going on, so praise from you is a nice compliment.

Diane
 

maxd

Complaints (PAB) Manager
Staff member
Joined
Jan 20, 2004
Location
Saltirelandia
I think CM needs to bring back the Post of the Fortnight award.

It has been promoted to be a front-page article in the "Forum Content" section, see Link Outdated / Removed
 
Top