This bitcoin gambling guide is designed for experienced bitcoin users and newbies alike. We will begin with a quick list of the best bitcoin casinos for those who are already familiar with the concept and then continue with a simple but thorough step-by-step guide for getting started with bitcoin.
For those of you already familiar with bitcoin, here are our recommended bitcoin casino sites:
Sign Up BonusDeposit €100 Play With €200 18+ to Play, T&Cs ApplyBetsson CasinoClaim Bonus
Sign Up BonusSee Website 18+ to Play, T&Cs ApplyWilliam Hill CasinoClaim Bonus
Sign Up BonusWager £10 Get £30 + 100 Free Spins 18+ to Play, T&Cs ApplyBetVictor CasinoClaim Bonus
Sign Up BonusDeposit £10 Get £40 18+ to Play, T&Cs ApplyUnibet CasinoClaim Bonus
Sign Up Bonus100% up to €500 + 100 Free Spins 18+ to Play, T&Cs ApplyNordicBet CasinoClaim Bonus
Each one of these is reputable, pays winners quickly and provides the full range of gambling games that you would find at any other mainstream casino site. Each of these casinos accepts bitcoin deposits without forcing you to jump through any hoops or come up with workarounds. If you have bitcoins and a wallet, you have everything you need to get started today.
Online bitcoin casinos work just like regular casino sites except they accept bitcoin deposits by default. You deposit in bitcoin, gamble in bitcoin and then get paid in bitcoin. The best part of all is transactions going each way are almost always processed within an hour.
Why Gamble with Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that operates free from government interference; there is no central authority out there “printing money” or setting artificial interest rates to manipulate the value and movement of the currency. Gambling with bitcoin is gambling without government interference.
Transaction fees are small to nonexistent with bitcoin. Making a large deposit with a normal currency can be expensive when you consider transaction fees such as credit card processors tacking on a 4% fee or bank wires tacking on a $30 “service charge.” Moving bitcoin from place to place is cheap, and this adds up to a significant savings over the long run.
Bitcoin payments provide greater privacy than payments made with traditional currencies. You don’t have to give your credit card number or bank information to anyone when you make payments via bitcoin. All that’s needed to complete a bitcoin transaction is the wallet address of the receiving user.
Bitcoin payments are fast. Processing times are much shorter with bitcoin than most other forms of payment. Whether you are depositing to an online casino or receiving your gambling winnings, the transaction can be completed within minutes.
No bank account is necessary. Although having a bank account makes it easier to buy and sell bitcoin, you can actually get by without involving the bank at all. Bitcoin can be bought and sold in person via cash, and an increasing number of retailers are accepting bitcoin payments.
Bitcoin casinos can afford to offer better bonuses and more generous odds. Payment processing is expensive for traditional casino sites. Just to accept simple credit card deposits, a traditional casino site must apply for a credit company’s merchant account, pay fees to maintain that account and pay that company a percentage of every deposit made using credit cards. Bitcoin casino sites can handle payments at a fraction of the cost, leaving the with extra money to throw at players.
Are there any downsides?
Yes. We are huge bitcoin fans around here, but there are some downsides. One issue is that getting started with bitcoin can be a bit confusing. Learning how to buy bitcoin, open a wallet and manage security will all take some time. It’s super easy once you get yourself situated, but you will have to invest a little time the first time around.
The other major issue with bitcoin is its lack of popularity relative to other currencies. There are not many bitcoin casino sites in operation today and you will probably find yourself having to exchange your bitcoins into some other currency in order to spend them as most merchants in the real world do not yet accept bitcoin payments.
The third major downside is the volatility of the currency. Bitcoin is still a new and growing currency, and it has experienced some major fluctuations over its life. The value of the currency has settled down quite a bit recently compared to its early years, but it still fluctuates more than major world currencies.
Step by Step Guide for Getting Started
There are two things you need to do to get started so you can play at all the best bitcoin casinos:
- Set up a bitcoin wallet
- Acquire some bitcoins
Setting Up Your Bitcoin Wallet
To put it simply, your bitcoin wallet is used to store and secure your funds. Bitcoin is a digital currency and that means there are no physical bitcoins that you can store at home under the bed or in your back pocket. Instead, a digital bitcoin wallet is used to keep your funds safe and in one place.
It is from your bitcoin wallet that all transactions either leave or enter your possession. When you make a payment to a bitcoin casino, the funds leave your bitcoin wallet and move to the casino’s wallet. When you make a withdrawal from your gambling account, funds are deposited to an address managed in your bitcoin wallet.
You can choose from a variety of wallet types, but the easiest for getting started is an online wallet such as one offered by Blockchain.info or Coinbase.com. Both are easy to set up. All you need to do is visit either website, sign up for an account and choose a password. Once you get more familiar with bitcoin, you can look into other options such as mobile wallets and even offline paper wallets.
Acquire Some Bitcoins
There are multiple options to acquire your first bitcoins. The easiest option by far is to visit an online exchange where you can purchase bitcoins in a safe environment using your credit card or direct bank transfer. Purchasing bitcoin from an established exchange is similar to making a purchase from any other online retailer. All you have to do is choose an amount of bitcoin you would like to buy and then complete the payment using your credit card or bank account.
Some of the most popular and easy-to-use exchanges include Kraken, Bitstamp and Coinbase.
If you don’t like the idea of giving anyone your personal payment information, you can also buy bitcoin in the real world using cash. Doing it this way requires you to find someone local to complete the transaction face-to-face and you have to trust the other person to deliver as promised. There are ways to protect yourself should you go this route, but it’s probably not the best option for someone new to bitcoin.
Putting It All Together
Once you have a wallet and an exchange, you have everything you need to get started at the best bitcoin casino sites. Your wallet will serve as the basic holding point for all bitcoins coming and going. Your exchange can be used to turn your bitcoins into US dollars, euros, pounds and just about every other world currency.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.