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How to Play at Bitcoin Casinos
Online casino banking has traditionally revolved around credit cards, eWallets, and bank wires. But some players tire of using these methods for various reasons, including high fees, long cashout waits, and strict policies.
Enter Bitcoin (BTC), which is a peer-to-peer payment solution that can be used for online purchases. Bitcoins are becoming more popular in the gaming world by the day.
But why is this the case? And how do you make Bitcoin deposits so that you can play online casino games?
Let's find out by looking at how bitcoins work along with the casino depositing process.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment solution that can be used to make online purchases. This cryptocurrency isn't backed by a central government or bank. Instead, it's an open-source currency that utilizes a blockchain and miners.
The blockchain is a public ledger that records every BTC transaction. The transactions are recorded in chronological order, thus helping market participants track the currency without central record-keeping.
Every node, or internet device connected to the BTC network, automatically receives access to the public blockchain.
Bitcoin miners are people who verify transactions and add them to the blockchain. The mining process involves putting recent transactions into blocks (hence the blockchain), and solving difficult computing puzzles to do so. This action also releases new Bitcoins, which is how miners are rewarded for their efforts.
How do You Get Bitcoin?
The two main ways to get bitcoins include the following:
- Buy Bitcoin on an exchange site
We already covered how miners invest their time to earn bitcoins. And this can be a worthwhile investment due to the increasing value of BTC.
Purchasing Bitcoin from an exchange site is a more-complicated process. But you can make it easier by using the following steps.
Step #1: Visit a Bitcoin Exchange Site
A Bitcoin exchange site lets you trade fiat currencies (e.g. USD, GBP, EUR) for bitcoins. The number of exchange sites has increased greatly in the past few years, meaning there’s no shortage of options. If you're looking for recommendations, then Coinbase is a nice site for new BTC users.
You'll need to create an account at whatever exchange site you choose. This involves entering details like your name, username, password, and email. You also have to enter your bank account information so that you can transfer funds to the site.
Once your account is complete and your bank info is entered, you need to decide how much fiat currency to exchange for Bitcoin. The site always shows you how much BTC you’ll receive for the currency. An example is if you entered US$185, and the exchange hub shows that you'll receive 10 milliBitcoin.
The exchange site charges a fee for the transaction. But this is a very small percentage, such as 1% of the total transaction.
Step #2: Open a Bitcoin Wallet
Getting Bitcoin is only part of the equation because you also need a wallet to carry out transactions. A Bitcoin wallet is a special address that’s used to make purchases.
The nice thing about Coinbase is that you can exchange currency for BTC and create your wallet in one place. However, some people use separate sites for the exchange and wallet. But no matter what site you choose, you'll still need to use the same process.
If you're using a separate site for the wallet, you must first create an account. You then need to visit the section where you can create a wallet.
The site gives you a "mmemonic," which is a private key that accesses the wallet. The mmemonic is crucial because it keeps your funds safe from hackers. After entering your account password and mmemonic, the site will issue you a wallet address.
Step 3: Fund Your Wallet with Bitcoin
You need to go back to the exchange site, or visit the exchange section if you're using a combination site. Enter how much Bitcoin you want to fund the wallet with.
The next step involves confirming the amount being sent to the wallet. Once your transaction is approved, you'll need to wait for approval from the blockchain (miners). Your wallet will be funded once the blockchain has completed the process.
Making Bitcoin Deposits at Online Casinos
The first thing you need to do after funding your wallet is find an internet casino that accepts Bitcoin. You can either do this by looking at reviews or directly visiting casinos and checking their banking section.
Once you find a Bitcoin casino, the next step is to make a deposit. You do this by choosing the Bitcoin option in the casino's deposit section. The site will give you a wallet address, either through email or the cashier area.
You need to go back to the wallet site after receiving the wallet address. Here, you enter both the address and how much you wish to deposit. After confirming the transaction, you'll have available BTC to play with.
How do You Use Bitcoin at Online Casinos?
Understanding BTC units helps when playing Bitcoin casino games. Here are the main units you should know with regard to Bitcoin casinos:
- Bitcoin (BTC) = 1 BTC
- deciBitcoin (dBTC) = 0.1
- centiBitcoin (cBTC) = 0.01
- milliBitcoin (mBTC) = 0.001
- microBitcoin (uBTC) = 0.000001
Another factor that you should understand is how the exchange rates affect your casino funds. At the time of this writing, one Bitcoin is worth around US$18,500. Obviously this is far more than the average player is going to deposit.
Therefore, online casinos break your deposits down into milliBitcoin (mBTC). An mBTC is worth US$18.50 at the creation of this guide. This makes a milliBitcoin easier to bet with when compared to smaller or larger BTC units.
Let's look at an example of using mBTC for different casino bets:
- You deposit 20 mBTC (worth $370).
- You make 0.01 mBTC slots bets (worth $0.18 each).
- You make 0.30 mBTC baccarat bets (worth $5.40 each).
- You make 0.10 mBTC blackjack bets (worth $1.80 each).
- Week 1 (Monday): Bitcoin was worth US$17,800.
- Week 2: Bitcoin was worth $15,400.
- Week 3: Bitcoin was worth $18,500.
Bitcoin bets are higher than those made in fiat currencies when comparing unit sizes (e.g. USD penny vs. 0.01 mBTC). But this Bitcoin unit is still close enough to a US dollar, euro, or British pound that you can make manageable bets with it.
How to Withdraw Money from a Bitcoin Casino
Eventually you'll want to withdraw money from a Bitcoin Casino. And you'll find that the cashout process is different than what you use for standard banking methods like credit cards and eWallets.
The first thing you need to do is visit your wallet site. From here, navigate to the section where you receive money. This brings you to an important step, where you can either use the previous wallet address or create a new one.
We suggest making a new address because this does a better job of keeping your transactions anonymous. This is critical for anybody who doesn't want all of their online gambling transactions tracked to a single address.
The next step is to copy your wallet address and paste it at the online casino. This moves your BTC to the wallet site, where you can either keep or exchange it for standard currency.
Advantages to Playing at Online Casinos with Bitcoin
Bitcoin Makes Internet Casinos More Accessible
Certain countries have banking restrictions against online casinos, or deem them outright illegal. This makes it hard for online casinos to serve specific countries through traditional banking methods like credit cards, eWallets, and bank transfers.
Bitcoin offers a way around this, though, because there's no third-party involvement. BTC is a decentralized currency that isn't controlled by the bank or central government.
The end result is that Bitcoin casinos can offer their services to a wider range of customers. But as mentioned in the previous section, you want to do your research on these casinos to make sure they’re legitimate.
Transactions are Processed Faster
You can look forward to quicker online gaming transactions, regardless of whether you're depositing or withdrawing with Bitcoin.
The lack of third-party involvement is one reason why BTC transactions are faster. You do have to wait for miners to approve deposits/cashouts on the blockchain in some cases. But the wait time is rarely anywhere near what’s experienced with eWallets and credit cards.
Another plus is that you don't have to worry about miners calling you regarding the nature of your transactions like credit card companies. Likewise, miners won’t ban you and temporarily withhold your funds like eWallets can do.
Bitcoin is More Anonymous than Other Payment Options
Bitcoin isn’t completely anonymous, especially when you make lots of casino deposits with the same wallet address. But it offers far more anonymity than common banking solutions.
BTC transactions are recorded on the blockchain, which anybody can look at. But these records don't reveal your personal details to the public. You can provide yourself further anonymity by using a different wallet address each time, making it harder to trace online casino deposits.
You'll Pay Lower Fees
Transaction fees are one of the downsides to making deposits and withdrawals at internet casinos. But the good news with bitcoins is that your fees are typically lower.
The reason why is because Bitcoin isn't a multi-billion-dollar corporation that charges outrageous fees. Instead, you sometimes pay small amounts to reward the Bitcoin miners. These fees are usually so small that online casinos will even cover them for players.
Drawbacks to Using Bitcoin at Internet Casinos
Bitcoin Casinos are Riskier
Given how Bitcoin helps offshore casinos serve more customers, we're seeing far more Bitcoin casinos these days. This is good from the perspective of giving customers lots of options. But some of these casinos have sketchy characteristics.
Casinos that only accept Bitcoin are commonly licensed in less-reputable jurisdictions like Curacao or Costa Rica. The dilemma here is that these jurisdictions don't do much to protect players in the event of legitimate disputes.
Instead, their primary function is to make sure casinos pass their licensing requirements. After this, the lesser gaming jurisdictions are largely hands-off with clients.
Even worse is the BTC casinos that aren’t licensed at all. This means that the company isn't even willing to invest in a cheaper license. An unlicensed casino has less reason to behave responsibly because they've invested less money into their operation.
This isn't to say that these types of casinos are automatically crooked. But you also take more risk with these sites.
Bitcoin Value can Fluctuate Greatly
The good thing about using fiat-based banking methods is that you don't have to worry about their value rapidly changing. Contrast this to Bitcoin, where the value can skyrocket or plummet in any given week.
The positive news is that the BTC is on an upward trajectory. But the downside is your online casino bankroll could be worth far less in the short-term future.
We tracked Bitcoin value leading up to this guide. Here’s what we found:
You can see that BTC dropped quite a bit in Week 2. And if you're somebody who plays online casino games on a regular basis, you don't want to see your currency value drop by over 10% in a week.
Using Bitcoin Requires More Steps
If you're used to using credit cards, eWallets, bank transfers, or prepaid cards, then you'll find Bitcoin to be more complex in the beginning. The reason why is because you need to take more steps to complete transactions.
You have to set up an account, give your banking information, and fund the account like regular payment methods. But then you also have to go back and forth between wallet and exchange sites (or sections) to make your transactions.
This will feel more natural with time. But it’s also a headache for new Bitcoin casino players.
Tips for Finding a Quality Bitcoin Casino
Play at Licensed Sites
Earlier we described the risks associated with playing at unlicensed Bitcoin sites. An easy way to mitigate this risk is by only depositing at licensed Bitcoin casinos.
This isn't to say that licensed operations are always perfect, especially when they're based in Antigua, Costa Rica, Curacao, or Panama. But casinos with licenses have more to lose by treating players poorly than unlicensed operations.
Read Reviews on Bitcoin Casinos
Another good way to find a quality casino is by reading reviews. This is a shortcut to learning about a Bitcoin casino's reputability.
You can also look at other aspects of a casino, including their welcome bonus, promotions, games, and customer service.
Look for Favorable Bitcoin Welcome Bonuses
Any Bitcoin casino can offer a huge potential bonus. But what are the terms behind the reward?
This is the question you need to answer before signing up and depositing your Bitcoin. And you can do this by looking at a casino’s terms and conditions page.
It's important to check out wagering requirements and the allotted time. Wagering requirements affect how quickly you can unlock your bonus through bets. The time limit determines how many months you have to earn your welcome bonus before the offer expires.
Final Thoughts on Bitcoin Casinos
Bitcoin has helped usher in the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency era. And while BTC hasn't totally replaced eWallets, credit cards, and other banking methods, it is becoming far more popular at online casinos.
The big reason for this popularity increase is the fact that Bitcoin offers so many advantages when compared to traditional payment solutions. These benefits include faster transactions, more anonymity, smaller fees, and no third-party involvement.
This isn't to say that Bitcoin is perfect, because it can fluctuate and will take some getting used to. But we still recommend that you try using bitcoins because they offer some definite advantages.
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