We at are know the online casino experience so well that we sometimes forget how intimidating it can sometimes seem to the newcomer.

Not to worry! We’ll be happy to give you a basic introduction to online casinos — we’ll get you up to speed in no time. We’ll be using Golden Casino as an example, but the experience is quite similar (if not always so user-friendly) at most other online casinos.

The first thing that you see at an online casino is the Main Page (or Landing Page, or Lobby…you can call it anything that you want). It’s usually just an attractive cover page that shows you what to expect, and directs you to the main sections of the site.


You’ll see links to everything you’ll need to preview (games, promotions, help & FAQs). When you’ve decided to take the plunge, you may select “Download Now” to put the software conveniently on your computer, or “Instant Play” to get to the games from your Internet browser (especially handy if you use a Mac or Linux computer).

A smaller window will then pop up: if you chose Instant Play, you’ll first see a little “loading” screen. The next thing that you’ll see is the “Play for Fun/ Play for Real Money” screen, discussed below (Instant Players may skip the next two sections to let the Download Now players catch up).

If you choose “Download Now”, you get an even smaller gray box that asks you to save or run the file. Your browser will also go to Golden Casino’s helpful Download Guide page, which includes a video of the installation process. As we’ve said, not all online casinos are always as helpful!


Once that is done, you can run the downloaded software. Every so often (especially the first time), it may take a minute or two to make sure you have the latest and best upgrades to the software.

GoldenCasino_Instant Play confirm

The next step is to choose between playing for real money, or for fun. Like all of the best online casinos, Golden Casino lets you try out their games for free.

When you decide to play with real money, you’ll be asked to provide some information. Don’t worry, the best online casinos have the same high security as online banks and high-end retail and auction sites. Any information that you give them will be completely secure.


The account will just take a few seconds to set up, after which you will be returned to the main lobby. Here you can select your game and options, view info and mail, link to promotions and tournaments, and quickly see your current account and bonus amounts.


You may want to view the available promotions and bonuses. You may have seen the same promotions page on the website.

Your choice of online casino may have a lot to do with the bonuses that they offer. Sign-up or Welcome Bonuses generally add a percentage of your deposit for free, but may have some restrictions (always check the terms on the website for specifics). Golden Casino, for instance, offers 100% (up to $555) of your first deposit, which means that you can double the size of your first deposit.

Most online casinos will automatically apply the Sign-up or Welcome Bonus to your first deposit; Golden Casino is one of the few that give you the choice of playing without the bonus — but if you do decide to play without the bonus, make sure to give the customer service people a quick call before you deposit any money.

To deposit money, you choose “Cashier” from the casino lobby screen. This will also be where you specify withdrawals when you want to collect your winnings.


Online casinos always offer multiple ways to transfer money to and from your account, but the most common is to use a credit card. If you have an “electronic wallet” or eWallet account (Click2Pay, Moneybookers, it can make transfers a little easier and faster.

Whichever way you choose, you specify the amount that you’d like to play with, and select “confirm”. You’ll need to enter the appropriate info (card name and number, and billing address, that sort of thing), just like with any other online purchase. Once again, we reassure you that the security measures are guaranteed to be safe and secure at the best online casinos — that’s why you’ve looked up our recommendations, after all!

It may take some time before the funds are credited — this is a great time to practice your skills on the free games. Once your account has been properly credited, just select a game from the lobby menu and start playing!