There are many ways to gamble online in the USA, and the differences between them can be extreme. Whether you’re interested in gambling for entertainment or profit, this guide will help you deposit your money with the right provider.
Online Casino Games
US online casinos give you access to the same games that you can find in most land-based gambling establishments. These include slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, and keno, to name a few. The outcome of each game is generated instantly by means of certified random numbers generators (RNG), which means that internet-casino games are more fast-paced than their traditional counterparts. Some platforms also offer live dealer games, which are played using traditional casino equipment and real croupiers.
Different casino games come with different rules, so players must follow different strategies in order to maximize their odds of winning. What almost all games have in common is their negative expected value. Whether you’re playing roulette or slots, the house always has an edge. This edge can range from above 20% to less than 1%, so picking the right game is important. Regardless of your choice, you will always lose your entire bankroll if you play long enough.
Consequently, casino games should always be treated as pure entertainment and cannot be played professionally. You can win money if you get lucky and exploit the variance, but every casino player is guaranteed to lose in the long run.
Online Sports Betting
Sports betting is offered by specialized US online sportsbooks. Some of them offer other forms of gambling under the same brand, but the sports betting section is always separate from the other games. Available bets range from simple money lines or over/under bets, through parlay bets that require you to predict the results of more than one sporting event, to futures.
Online betting sites allow you to bet on all major US sports including American football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
Online sportsbooks offer more options than their land-based counterparts and take less juice due to lower operating costs, so using them is always preferable as long as it’s legal to do so in your jurisdiction.
The odds offered by online sportsbooks don’t reflect their experts’ real predictions, however, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to become a winning bettor. In fact, there are people who turned sports betting into a successful career, but doing so requires a lot of hard work, and success is by no means guaranteed.
Online poker in the US isn’t as popular as it was in the first years following Chris Moneymaker’s legendary 2003 WSOP win, but it’s still one of the largest iGaming markets around. PokerStars, the most popular network in the world, gives you access to every imaginable variant of the game. It also hosts weekly tournaments with millions of dollars in guaranteed prize pools. Smaller platforms, such as 888 or PartyPoker, aren’t capable of replicating this experience due to lower traffic, but the competition is generally softer there.
This is even more true for real money sites that are forced to operate on fenced national markets due to strict iGaming regulations, as their player pools tend to be so small that they’re essentially forced to stick to No-Limit Hold’em.
Competitive poker is a game of skill, so becoming a consistently winning player is a matter of learning the game and playing enough hands or tournaments.
It also requires mental toughness and an adequate mindset. All of this means that the road toward becoming a professional poker player is a journey of self-improvement. If you’re able to access poker rooms without an excessive rake, you can undertake that journey yourself. Just keep in mind that online poker is significantly more competitive now than it was in the early days.
Online Horse Race Betting
Many sportsbooks accept bets on horse races. Available options typically range from standard Win/Place/Show bets to the more complex Quinella and Trifecta bets. High-profile betting platforms have excellent track coverage, allowing customers to wager on races held in Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the United States.
It’s possible to profit from horse race betting, but it requires more research than betting on regular sports. This is due to the sheer number of horses participating in most races. Typically, you won’t have access to data on the performance of individual horses against one another, which can be difficult to work around.
Online Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Fantasy sports betting allows players to assemble virtual teams composed of real sportsmen or women. These teams compete with one another based on the real-life performances of their members. The most popular forms of competition are head-to-heads, 50/50s, and guaranteed prize pool tournaments.
Being successful at fantasy sports requires a similar skill set to the one that makes a successful sports bettor. The key difference is that you will be dealing with individual players instead of the team-level odds set by professional oddsmakers.
E-Sports betting is a new service offered by innovative sportsbooks. Through it, you can wager on the outcomes of competitive gaming events, such as League Championship Series, The International, DreamHack, or the Evolution Championship Series. Most e-sports betting is centered around MOBA games (League of Legends, DOTA 2, King of Glory), RTS games (StarCraft 2, StarCraft: Brood War), and first-person shooters (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch), but other genres are also available around major tournaments.
Betting options are less extensive than in traditional sports betting, but the most e-sports-friendly legit sites continuously add new bet types based on the mechanics of specific games. In terms of profitability, betting on e-sports is very similar to betting on traditional sports. Match outcomes are difficult to predict, but this is balanced out by the fact that the oddsmakers are less experienced with competitive e-gaming than they are with professional sports. As with traditional sports betting, it’s possible to become a consistent winner as long as you’re willing to put in the necessary work.
From a mathematical standpoint, bingo is just another casino title. It’s a game of luck with a significant house edge, which usually amounts to about 10%. Players can improve their chances by buying the right cards, taking advantage of bonuses and discounts, and tracking the size of the field. However, once the game starts, the outcome is out of control.
Playing online bingo for a living is impossible for the same reason one can’t become a long-term winner at slots or roulette: the expected return on each bet is negative, which means that every player will eventually lose his entire bankroll. However, it’s possible to exploit the variance and become a short-term winner.
There are two ways to buy lottery tickets online. You can either use the official website, which is not different from going to a local distribution point, or you can use a lottery concierge service. The latter allows you to purchase tickets for any lottery in the world. The catch is that you’ll have to pay a small commission on every transaction, which reduces your potential profits.
In terms of profitability, playing the lottery is the worst form of online gambling by a large margin – the house edge is usually close to 50%. To put this in perspective, consider that casino games with a 15% or higher house edge tend to be considered highly unfair. Furthermore, the odds of scoring a large win are extremely low. As a result, you should only play the lottery for fun and without expectations.