Creating an online casino account
In order to play blackjack anywhere online, you will first need to create an account. This is as true for 'fun' websites, as it is for those online casinos where you play for money. Many of these casinos even allow you to create an account, and play for fun, before you commit to staking real money in any games. This is a good way to try out a casino's website and software interface before paying any cash. In fact, you should really stay away from any casinos that do not give this option.
Always choose a username that does not reveal your real identity, since this often displayed to other players in any games you might play. Avoid using your firstname, your lastname, or worse, both, in this username. Similarly, pick a password that is unique to each site. Do not share the same password across online casino sites, and do not use the same password you might use in your email accounts.
While it is unlikely that anyone outside the website will ever get hold of your password, do not choose one that might have personally revealing information such as your birthday, or mother's maiden name. If you share your computer with anyone else, make sure you commit your password to memory, instead of choosing the "Remember my Password and Username on the computer" option in your web browser. For added security, try and pick a sufficiently long password, and one that mixes letters, numerals, and wildcards, such as the plus sign, asterisk or ampersand.
There are a number tricks to choosing a password that is both long, and also easy to remember. One such method, is using the first letter from each word in a poem or song lyrics that you know well. Remember though, that your username and password will be the only things protecting your account from being used by anyone else, so do take special care to choose both well.
You will eventually need to provide credit card details and other personal information when you start playing for money. Even then there are ways you can protect yourself, including the use of credit cards with a small limit, and (sometimes) prepaid credit cards too.
Some casinos will need you to download their software, and you might also need to update the Java and Flash applications on your machine as well. Flash based casinos will be particularly attractive to players with older, slower computers, since there is no need to install any additional software. In flash based games, all the games are played through the browser window. If you do have to download any software, protect yourself by first ensuring that you have an anti-virus program installed, and that the virus definitions are up to date.
In conclusion, remember that your username and password will be the only things protecting your account from being used by anyone else, so do take special care to choose both well. By being sensible and careful about what you install, playing online can be a safe experience. As a general rule, if in doubt about any software, don't download it, and certainly don't install it.