Guide to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Casinos
In this guide you will find
- The Basics of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
- Use of Cryptocurrencies for gambling sites
- Advantages of Playing at a Cryptocurrency Casino
- Disadvantages of Cryptocurrency Casinos
- What makes a good crypto casino?
- Bitcoin Casino Loyalty Programmes
- Cryptocurrency Casino Bonuses
- Provably Fair Bitcoin Gambling
- Which are the Most Popular Cryptocurrencies for Gambling?
- Staying Safe While Playing at Bitcoin Casinos
- Bitcoin Casino Bonus FAQ
You might be wondering what is a Bitcoin casino. A Bitcoin casino is simply an online casino or gambling site that accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for depositing, withdrawing and sometimes even for playing games in the respective cryptocurrency. Instead of using fiat currencies like UD dollar, British pound, you are simply using a digital currency like Bitcoin. Try to imagine it as an alternative payment method or eWallets, such as Skrill, Trustly, Neteller, etc, except your funds are processed using a cryptocurrency.
In terms of crypto gambling sites, and more specifically crypto casinos, there are a few differences that are worth noting. In recent years there has been a rise in the number of pure crypto casinos. These casinos only offer Bitcoin and a selection of other cryptocurrencies as the way to fund your play, plus your bankroll or account base currency is in the respective cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), etc. This also means that the games are played in these cryptocurrencies.
The other type of crypto casino is hybrid, and these online gambling sites accept Bitcoin and fiat (regular) currencies. These hybrid sites may allow you to keep your account base currency in crypto or they may convert your balance into a fiat currency like USD, and when it comes time to withdraw, they convert it back to your preferred crypto and transfer the funds to your crypto wallet. Typically, with the hybrid sites, the games are played in fiat currency. A growing trend with many established and traditional online casinos is simply the addition of crypto deposit options, so if you already play at a well-known site, they may have such an option already.
The Basics of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
Before we dive into more details about Bitcoin casinos, let’s take a moment to understand the basics of what cryptocurrencies are, or "crypto" for short, and how it works and how to use it. By now, you have certainly heard of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin was launched back in 2008 and was supposedly invented by Satoshi Nakamoto. The concept of cryptocurrencies was to produce a digital currency that is decentralized i.e. it is not linked to any government or bank, is anonymous and offers excellent security. The is achieved is through cryptography and a technology called the blockchain. Blockchain uses what is known as a public ledger where all transactions are recorded and verified, plus it is entirely visible to anyone who wants to see. While this might seem counter-intuitive in terms of anonymity, the transactions shown do not reveal any personally identifiable information. By making this data totally public, combined with the cryptography used, it makes it near impossible for transactions to be manipulated or scammed.
While crypto is its own digital currency, you still need to convert fiat currency into crypto, and this is done through crypto-exchanges such as Binance, Btifinex and others. When you purchase/exchange your fiat money into crypto, you then store your digital currency in a crypto wallet. The wallet can be with the exchange (similar to a bank account), can be an independent online wallet such as Atomic Wallet or Mycelium (there is often a desktop and mobile App available for these), or even a hardware-based solution like Trezor. We won’t go into the details and pros and cons of each of these in this article, but in essence, you will need a crypto wallet of some sort to be able to store your digital money and to deposit and withdraw at a Bitcoin casino.
If you wish to learn more about crypto, how it works and how to store it, here some sites worth reading:
Use of Cryptocurrencies for Gambling sites
While there are still raging debates across the finance world and governments surrounding cryptocurrencies, it is clear that every day more and more people are accepting that crypto is here to stay. Gambling sites are proof that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have value and real-world uses. Gambling sites have been under heavy scrutiny in recent years with more and more regulatory requirements and one way that these sites have been impacted is the ability to process payments. This is where crypto is taking centre stage and providing an alternative way for them to accept payments and make payouts without the limitations of fiat currency processing. It comes as no surprise that the online gambling industry has always been progressive when it comes to technology and once again they are proving that there is a way forward.
Advantages of Playing at a Cryptocurrency Casino
Anonymous/pseudonymous - Bitcoin is known as pseudonymous, which means your personal information is never revealed in a transaction. As explained earlier, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain and can be viewed by everyone, but only shows an amount transferred between two addresses that are represented by numbers and letter. The advantage of this, when it comes to playing at a Bitcoin casino is various online casinos offer completely anonymous accounts. This means you can come and play without revealing your name or any personal information. By playing like this it means your bank account or credit card bill will never show a transaction with an online casino.
Global Acceptance - This is one of the keys aims of cryptocurrencies; to offer a global payment system that is independent of any country or bank. What this means is, 1 BTC is the same no matter where you are in the world.
Low Transaction Fees - In the world of commerce, it goes without saying that someone has to make money when funds are transferred, whether it is your bank, PayPal, Skrill etc. Typical fees can be high with conventional payment methods; however, cryptocurrency fees are very low in comparison.
Decentralized - As mentioned, Bitcoin and other crypto are decentralized i.e. they are independent of banks and governments, this means you control your funds. No one can freeze your account or block your funds. When you play at your favourite Bitcoin gambling sites and you withdraw your funds to your crypto wallet, it is yours without the prying eyes of "big brother". Please note however that every country has different legislation, so you may still need to declare any incomes, even if it came in as crypto.
Verifiable - Because of the public ledger, you can see your transactions, so there can be no disputes whether you did the transaction or if the casino paid your withdrawal if the addresses were correct. This also assigns accountability.
Disadvantages of Cryptocurrency Casinos
Volatility - If there is one thing that cryptocurrencies are renowned for, it is their volatility. This means their value can fluctuate substantially in a matter of minutes. While this can play into your favour, if for example, the value of Bitcoin goes up, it can work in the reverse too. If you are playing at a Bitcoin casino in BTC, the volatility does not affect you until you want to exchange your BTC back into a fiat currency. However, if you are gambling on a site where they convert your BTC into fiat currency, you may lose some value on the conversion, or you might even gain.
No Reversals / Chargebacks - Once a transaction has been confirmed on the blockchain, the funds are no longer in your wallet and if you have an issue with the Bitcoin casino, there is no way to reverse or chargeback like a credit card. Therefore it is vital to stick to reliable and reputable online casino sites.
No Recourse - Because the blockchain doesn’t belong to anyone, if you have an issue, it can be really difficult to get help in resolving any issues relating to a crypto transaction. While the Bitcoin casino or even the wallet provider may offer you some assistance, the blockchain is completely out of their hands. Plus, if your funds do happen to be stolen from your crypto wallet, it is untraceable and the odds of getting your funds back are slim. Note that using a good crypto wallet and securing it properly is vital for your security.
What makes a good crypto casino?
Choosing the best Crypto Casino to play at follows most of the similar requirements of any online casino, with a few extra considerations. Let’s take a closer look at the key factors you should consider when choosing a crypto casino:
Licensed and Regulated - If you want to ensure your online safety and have the confidence you are playing at a fair and secure casino, your first step is making sure the casino is licensed and regulated. However, playing at a regulated Bitcoin casino means you will have to sign up with your personal information and verify your account. This only poses a problem if you had intended to play completely anonymously, such as an Instant Casino.
Trust and Reputation - When it comes to Bitcoin casinos, many brands have been around for some years now and proven their trust and built a good reputation. If you plan on playing at a Bitcoin Casino that is fairly new with very little reputation, there are risks you must consider.
Third-party Auditors – The most reputable casinos are audited by third-parties, especially the regulated casinos to ensure that they are fair and honest. If the Crypto casino is a regulated brand, then this is part of their requirements, however, if you plan on playing at a non-regulated Bitcoin Casino, it is in your best interest to select a casino that is at minimum audited by an independent third party.
Available Games - It goes without saying you want a good selection of games. The hybrid casinos generally offer games from all the major game developers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, etc, plus a variety of other specific Bitcoin slots and games. There are the "pure" Bitcoin Casinos that offer just Bitcoin slots and games, so their variety of games may be limited.
A Mobile-Friendly Casino - Playing on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become the most popular way for players to enjoy their online casino experience. Ideally, try choosing a mobile-friendly crypto casino, so you have the convenience of playing anywhere you choose.
Bitcoin Slots and Table Games - As mentioned briefly above in the "Available Games", there is a selection of Bitcoin Slots and table games that have been specifically built for your enjoyment. A term that you will come across more and more when it comes to Bitcoin casino games and crypto casinos is "Provably Fair Games", which we discuss in more depth a little further on. Here some of the Bitcoin games to look out for:
Bitcoin Slots - Slots certainly don’t need an introduction, but there are more and more Bitcoin and cryptocurrency themed slots that are making their way into the casinos. Some of the most popular Bitcoin slots are Satoshi’s Secret, Platinum Lightning, The Ninja and others.
Bitcoin Blackjack - No casino experience would be complete without blackjack. There are already plenty of bitcoin blackjack variations available to play.
Bitcoin Roulette - Just like blackjack, roulette is another classic that needs no introduction. If you’re a roulette fan, be sure to pick a crypto casino that has your flavour of roulette on offer.
Bitcoin Dice Games - Playing dice has been a firm favourite of gamblers for centuries and now there is a selection of Bitcoin Dice Games that are growing in popularity.
Bitcoin Lotteries - You’ve probably played the lotto in your country at some stage, so you understand it is all about picking your lucky numbers, waiting for the draw and hopefully winning some cash. Now you can start playing Bitcoin Lotteries online and winning Bitcoins.
Bitcoin Poker - If you are a poker buff, then you definitely want to try the various Bitcoin poker sites out there. You bet in BTC and you win BTC.
Bitcoin Betting - As you can see, pretty much all the online casino games and betting you can enjoy with fiat currencies can also be enjoyed with Bitcoin, so it comes as no surprise, that there is also sports betting, e-Sports, virtual sports and more that can be wagered on with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Casino Loyalty Programmes
Before you start playing at a Bitcoin casino, you definitely should check out their loyalty programme and what benefits they offer. Most casino loyalty programmes work the same way by rewarding you with points for playing and allowing you to redeem your points for credits or bonuses. If you are a high-roller, then you want to make sure the crypto gambling site has a VIP programme and that you are not simply getting the same deal as the "minnows". The VIP programmes typically offer much bigger bonuses, exclusive promotions, birthday gifts, invites to exclusive events and a VIP host (account manager). Don’t overlook the benefits of joining a crypto casino loyalty programme, it can certainly be worth your while.
Cryptocurrency Casino Bonuses
Online casinos, whether they are fiat-currency casinos or a crypto casino as renowned for their bonuses. Let’s take a brief look at the different types of bonuses and specifically at crypto and Bitcoin casino bonuses.
Casinos offer bonuses to get you to deposit and play, whether it’s a bonus to entice you to sign up or regular bonuses once you are already a player to keep you depositing and playing more. But, very important to remember is that not all bonuses are created equal.
Two major categories of bonuses are deposit match and no-deposit bonuses. The first and most common Bitcoin Bonus is the traditional deposit match, where you are rewarded with a certain percentage bonus related to your first deposit, up to a maximum amount. Some Bitcoin casinos may even offer a whole welcome package, which entitles you to a bonus with your first few deposits.
The second and less common Bitcoin Bonus is the no-deposit bonus. In this case, you get a small amount of "free money" by simply signing up, that you can use to try out the casino.
Another type of common bonus offered by regular and Bitcoin casinos are free spins and these can be part a welcome package, be awarded when you make a deposit or even some free spins with no deposit required.
The most important part of any bonus or free spins offer is not the amount that the Bitcoin casino offers you but in fact, the terms and conditions, which most players overlook. It doesn’t help if the crypto gambling site is giving you a 10,000% bonus if the terms, such as the wagering requirements are unachievable. To avoid disappointment, be sure you understand the offer and the Terms and conditions. Check-out our comprehensive Bitcoin Casino Bonus guide.
Provably Fair Bitcoin Gambling
This is a term that you will start to see more and more, especially when it comes to Bitcoin Casinos. Provably is defined as a capable way of proving something. This is the essence of the whole blockchain concept, where every single transaction is visible, cannot be manipulated and provides proof that the transaction took place.
When it comes to Provably Fair Gaming, a similar concept is applied for every single transaction. It works based on an algorithm that assigns a unique identifier to every action that can be analyzed and verified. The operator then publishes the method for verifying each action, making everything more transparent for the player. The major benefit of Provably Fair Gaming is that third party verifications or auditing is generally not necessary and therefore contribute to an extent to the trustworthiness of the gambling site.
While the vast majority of players will never check the actual data, you can be sure that there are people out there that will check and expose the less than trustworthy sites. Bottom line is, if you are someone who values fair and honest gaming, you will want to play at Bitcoins casinos that provide Provably Fair Gaming. Most of these sites explicitly state that they offer this and will have a logo/seal on their site.
Which are the Most Popular Cryptocurrencies for Gambling?
Bitcoin (BTC) - The "grandfather" of crypto. Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency and remains the biggest and most valuable. Bitcoin was launched in 2008, but it really catapulted to stardom in 2017/2018 when the mad crypto rush took place and stories of people becoming instant millionaires hit the headlines. Bitcoin hit an all-time high value of ~$20,000 at the end of 2017, but in 2018, the crypto market crashed and saw Bitcoin lose more than 75% of its value. Since then, Bitcoin has steadily been growing in value and adoption. BTC is the most popular and accepted cryptocurrency with Bitcoin casinos.
Ethereum (ETH) - This is another one of the "crypto titans" and has been #2 after Bitcoin for some years. Ethereum is somewhat different in its underlying technology compared to Bitcoin and was built as a smart contract platform for developers to build decentralized applications, known as Dapps. Many other cryptocurrencies utilize the Ethereum framework to power their currencies. ETH is another popular and accepted payment form on many crypto gambling sites.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - The original Bitcoin (BTC) has various technological limitations which makes it difficult to scale and process high volumes of transactions at the same. The result of this led to what is known as hard-fork where some developers took the original Bitcoin code and improved the technology to deal with the shortcomings of BTC, resulting in Bitcoin Cash. There have subsequently been other hard-forks of Bitcoin that gave birth to Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin ABC. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is another firm favourite of many Bitcoin casinos and is fast and easy to use.
Litecoin (LTC) - This is a peer to peer cryptocurrency, that was built based on the underlying Bitcoin protocol but uses different algorithms that allow for it to be more efficient than Bitcoin.
Ripple (XRP) - Ripple is termed as an independent digital asset that is super fast and can handle high volumes. It is already being used by many financial institutions and is accepted by many Bitcoin casinos.
Tether (USDT) - Tether is a unique cryptocurrency that is known as a "Stable Coin". What this means is its value is linked to the US dollar and tries to maintain as close to a 1:1 ratio. Unlike other cryptocurrencies whose values fluctuate based on supply and demand, Tether’s value is always ~$1. Tether is often used by crypto traders and enthusiasts as a safe-haven during times of extreme market volatility.
Libra - This is a blockchain digital currency framework developed by Facebook. The actual currency and network do not exist yet. Lawmakers in the US have been debating for some time about allowing Libra, but as of Q2 2020, Libra is not yet available.
Staying Safe While Playing at Bitcoin Casinos
Staying safe on the Internet and especially when playing at a Bitcoin Casino is of paramount importance. Here some key things to keep in mind:
Passwords - It cannot be overstated that you should use strong passwords with any site you use, especially when it involves financial transactions. This means using a unique password for your Bitcoin Casino account. Your password should include upper case and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. It is also advisable that if you plan to play at various Bitcoin gambling sites, to use a different password for each. You should also change your password regularly. Never share your password with anyone, not even with the Bitcoin casino support.
Phishing Scams - Unfortunately the Internet is full of scammers trying to steal your information. Any message you ever receive that asks for your account information should be deleted immediately, even if it appears to come from your favourite Bitcoin Casino. Do not click on any of the links and if you are unsure, contact the Casino support and ask them. Rather be safe than sorry.
Crypto Wallet - Whatever crypto wallet you choose, go with a reputable one. You must never give anyone the password. If the crypto gambling site wants you to input your password, do not do it. With that said, when you create your crypto wallet, you will get what are known as private keys (a set of words) that are the keys to your wallet. These keys should be stored somewhere safe because if you lose them you will not be able to recover your crypto wallet and any funds saved in it. The golden rule of crypto is never to share your private keys with anyone, EVER! If the Bitcoin casino ever asks you for your private keys, they are not trustworthy and you should exit immediately. The only piece of information you can ever share relating to your wallet is the address (kind of like an account number). The address will allow the Bitcoin casino to deposit funds into your wallet when you cash out.
Reputable Exchanges - When it comes to purchasing your Bitcoins or any other cryptocurrency, it is vital to do so through a trusted and reputable crypto exchange such as Binance, Coinbase, Bitfinex and various others. Many exchanges are not what they seem and be very wary of doing private deals with people over forums, as you may never actually receive your crypto.
Safe storage - Using an App or online wallet is the most convenient for day to day transactions. Cold storage or hardware wallets are somewhat less convenient. It is advisable to keep only what you need for regular use in your online wallet and to move any other balances to cold storage. To learn more about this visit: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Cold_storage
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Casino FAQ
❔ Is it safe to gamble at crypto casinos?
Yes, it is, if you choose a reputable Bitcoin Casino. Ideally, you want to gamble at a Crypto gambling site that is licensed and regulated by a gaming authority. For even more confidence, try choosing a crypto casino that has Provably Fair games.
❔ Are my favourite games available at Bitcoin Casinos?
It all depends on which Bitcoin Casino you choose to play at. Part of your due diligence before signing up with a crypto casino is to check out their games selection. If you want a very wide selection and all the popular games from developers like BetSoft, NetEnt, etc. then try choosing a hybrid casino that accepts Bitcoin as a payment option. In summary, you should have no problem finding a Bitcoin casino with a catalogue of games to meet your needs.
❔ What is provably fair gambling?
In essence, it is a technology that allows for checking that the games offered by a Bitcoin casino are fair. Every action taken is recorded and assigned a unique identifier that players can check the outcomes of themselves. For a more detailed explanation of provably fair gaming, read the section above.
❔ How do I buy bitcoin?
You can buy Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies through an exchange. Most of the bigger and reputable exchanges allow you to purchase using a credit card. The process, in summary, involves creating an account with the exchange, selecting the amount of crypto you want and then paying for your crypto with fiat currency. When making your purchase, the exchange will either put the crypto into a wallet that is created automatically with your account at the exchange or will offer you the option to send the crypto to any other wallet you have. Generally, the process is rather smooth and easy. Take note that most exchanges will require you to complete a verification (KYC) process. Another option that is becoming more and more popular is physical Bitcoin ATMs. Check out the official Bitcoin website for a detailed guide here: https://bitcoin.org/en/buy
❔ What exchange and wallet should I use?
There is no single exchange or wallet that we can recommend. The key thing is to choose a reputable exchange and wallet. Stay away from unknown exchanges and wallets. Doing a little bit of research beforehand is highly advisable. Remember this is your money we are talking about and the last thing you want is to be scammed.
❔ How do I sign up at a crypto casino?
Signing up with a crypto casino typically involves the same steps like a regular online casino. You complete some personal details, deposit funds and start playing. If however, you choose an instant casino, you won’t need to provide any personal details and just need to deposit funds and start playing.
❔ How can I deposit money to the selected casino site?
Depositing with a crypto casino is easy. Simply visit the cashier and select deposit. You will be presented with various deposit options. Choose the one that you want and then follow the steps. If you are depositing with crypto, the casino will give you their wallet address or even a QR code that you can scan with a wallet app. You then access your wallet and transfer the funds from your wallet to the casino. Most crypto transfers are completed within seconds up to a few minutes. If there is ever any doubt or question if the transfer is successful, you can check the Blockchain online by searching for the address or using the transaction hash (transaction #). You can check here: https://www.blockchain.com/explorer
❔ How to withdraw my bitcoin winnings?
Similar to withdrawing at a regular casino, Bitcoin casinos offer a near-identical process. Visit the cashier, select cashout/withdraw. You will then be prompted to where you would like your Bitcoin winnings to be sent to. You then put in your wallet address (not your password or public keys). You must enter your wallet address accurately because if your funds are sent to the wrong address, there is no way for the transaction to be reversed. Submit your request and the Bitcoin casino will process your withdrawal. The amount of time to complete the withdrawal will vary from casino to casino. Remember, you can always check the status of a transaction on the blockchain at https://www.blockchain.com/explorer.