Gambling occupies an interesting intersection in motivations and understanding for human beings. On the one hand, gambling is the most effective form of training, knowing as random reward operant conditioning. On the other hand, the more you know about it, the less fun it becomes.
Fortunately, it’s hard to retain the kinds of number theory needed to calculate odds. This leaves gambling fun for people of all ages and all walks of life. Speaking of all ages, how old do you have to be to gamble online?
That highly depends on where you live, where you are connecting to gamble, and the types of games and events you are dealing with. Confused, excited?
Read on for all the clarity you care to keep in mind.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Gamble Online?
Worldwide the legality of gambling fluctuates wildly. In the US, it follows a narrower band. Rules are different on a state-by-state basis, so it’s easy to get confused.
Rather than tread into unwelcome and uncertain territories, you can check the legality of gambling online from your state. Head over to https://www.howtobet.com/ and browse their list of states and beginner gambler tips.
Now, for the main question. To start sports betting you only need to be 18 in some states, 19 in others, and 21 for the remainder. By age 21 you are good for all types of gambling online and in brick and mortar casinos.
Remember that the legality of your age matters for the online casino you are gaming in, not where you are. So if the casino is in a legal state, such as Nevada, you only need to match that state’s legal age (which for Nevada is 21).
Certain international casinos are legal for anyone over 18. Be careful in searching for international casinos, though, as some are only legal to gamble in when you are from a geographic area. For example, French poker games are only legal for French citizens operating within the country itself (and a few islands).
1. Sports Lead the Pack
Gambling fun fact: sports betting is the most popular of online casino activities. While more games of slots and video poker are played, more money passes through the sportsbooks.
Sports betting was the first type of online betting, which makes sense, it only requires a verbal contract about the bet and the result is broadcast by whatever media.
Sports betting covers many more sports than you’re likely familiar with. It’s also the only ‘skill’ game that can be bet on in places such as India, where all other gambling is done on contests of pure chance.
2. Poker Plays Worldwide
Next up, poker is the most widespread game played online. Different variations help contribute to this total but the popularity of stud and hold em poker dominates the pack.
Because poker is both a game of skill and a subtle game at that, poker games are the most exclusionary in online gambling. Poker players, outside of internationally broadcast invitations, held in person, face regional restrictions.
This keeps the playing field somewhat flat and helps limit player lag and timeouts. Newer poker programs offer more player interaction and broadcast live dealers remotely.
3. Free Games Proliferate
Unlike brick and mortar casinos, gambling online is low-cost to the casino entity. They can afford to offer many bonuses and incentives.
These incentives include extra spins and plays on games and even totally free games. After all, it’s good advertising to use the same programs to entice players.
Doing well at the free version? Why not hit a few buttons and start playing for real money?
Online casinos also benefit from letting players learn games on a free-to-play basis. When involved in a game where decisions need to be made or other players exist, knowing the game and playing with confidence increases the engagement and enjoyment of all involved.
4. Lower House Advantage
Perhaps the most exciting of all online gambling facts is the higher return to player percentage found online.
Like the previous fact listed, lower overhead costs enable online casinos to pay out more frequently. Knowing that you have a better chance to win online than offline brings in more players.
There is a nice synergy to the whole affair.
As with any game of chance or casino game, always read the provided information on the odds and the RTP. These will tell you which games give you the most frequent payouts.
For beginner gamblers, winning more often is more exciting than winning big bucks. Accordingly, you’ll find that payouts on smaller denomination games are more frequent than higher-tier ones.
5. Data Security Is Key
It shouldn’t shock you to learn that the entity most concerned with the privacy and security of personal and financial information is the casinos themselves.
The question that opened this article is one important factor. A casino that is caught allowing players that are underage or out-of-area face strict fines. They have a moneyed interest in verifying information.
The few security breaches that have struck online casinos have received prompt responses. Data theft triggers massive shutdowns and loss of revenue, so they fight that vigorously.
The more common threats to an online casino are denial of service attacks and certain third-party cheating hacks.
Monitoring your personal information is one of the best ways to gamble safely online. Be aware of the site you are dealing with and check for white-listed and verified sites.
What Are the Odds of Winning?
The odds of winning at any given game are printed by law in the rules of each game.
The software that governs the performance of each game is tested and must return integers that comply with the printed numbers. Gaming commissions check these periodically to ensure you know what you are facing with each game.
For sports betting, the odds are set by the bookies hosting the bets. Even there, they are often within a margin that is calculated carefully.
Now that you know how old do you have to be to gamble online you can get started. The preceding facts should give you an idea of what is important in gambling circles and get you going to become an effective, knowledgeable player.
Don’t stop now, for more articles on the world around you check out our other articles.