It’s undeniable that many of us have learned what we know about casinos from what we have seen on the cinema screen. Yet, movies as diverse as Rain Man and The Hangover have created many stereotypes about casinos that are either exaggerated or simply not true. Those assumptions can often lead to disappointment.

Even when it comes to online casinos there are many ‘misunderstandings’, beliefs that we hold that are erroneous or exaggerated. Make no mistake about it: The casino operator still has the advantage when it comes to the games, but there are bona fide ways with which you can tilt the odds back in your favour. Consider these golden rules for playing smarter and safer at casinos online:

1. Check the Credentials

If you were in Las Vegas do you choose to plush casino with the beautiful fountains, or do you choose the one on the dark back street with the broken sign? Of course, it’s the former. Online casinos should be the same. Bigger is not always better, certainly, but it’s important that you choose a brand that is trusted. If, for example, you look at the Mansion Group and its leading brands like, you will see that each website is licensed by an accredited body like the UK Gambling Commission. This licensing is important, because it ensures the casinos must play fair and it gives you support if there is ever a dispute.

2. Who’s Suppling the Games?

Behind the top online casinos there is a bustling industry of software development. These are the designers and developers who create the games. As with any industry, some are better at their craft than others. For instance, some of the best slots around are created by Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt and IGT. “Best” is not a subjective stance in this case, as these developers have won many top awards from the gaming industry.

3. Set Your Own Rules for Playing

In the UK, as with many other parts of the world, there is pressure from governments to ensure that people are playing responsibly at casinos and betting sites. Thankfully, the best gaming sites have made moves to equip players with the tools to play safely. You can, for example, set deposit limits in line with your budget. Or, you can put controls on the amount of time you can play at the casino. The smartest thing you can do at a casino is play with a cool head: These controls have cooling off periods, meaning you’ll have to wait 24 hours or so before changing them.

4. Do Some Research

Did you know that European versions of roulette have better odds than American? Or that certain blackjack games have a lower house edge than others? Indeed, certain slots will have better rates of return than others. This information is readily available online, sometimes on the casinos sites themselves. A few minutes research before you start playing a game can bump the odds in your favour by a couple of percentage points. It could be the difference between a winning and losing session.

5. Hunt for Those Promotions

Like the big casinos of Las Vegas and Macau, online sites will have plenty of flexibility when it comes to giving out perks and freebies. An astute player should look beyond the welcome bonuses and see what they can get on a regular basis. That means not only looking through the site on the promotions section, but also following the casino on social media platforms. Indeed, if you are a high roller, you can also be ‘cheeky’ and ask for a freebie or two, just as you might do at the check-in desk of a swanky Vegas casino.