Fun Money vs. Real Money Games in online casinos
Once you have downloaded and installed the gaming software from a casino, you are ready to begin playing. Invariably, the software will have more than one gaming mode. The two most common playing mode options are covered in the article below.
The first mode, and one you really want to begin with, is often called Fun mode, Practice Play or Play for Fun. While the names might differ from one casino to the next, the intention is the same. These games allow you to play for virtual money, at no real cost to you.
Fun mode allows you to familiarize yourself with the specific software in use by a particular casino. Similarly, if you are new to a game like blackjack, practice modes allow you to get to grips with the game, and some of the intricate playing strategies with no downside. There are sometimes sufficient differences between the ways the different casinos' software works, that even if you are an experienced player, it is worth playing a few practice games at every new casino you might join. While there is no downside, there is also no upside. Even if you hit a string of really good blackjack hands, and win a sizeable pot, there is no way of cashing out this virtual money.
At many online casinos too, players can play these fun money games through the browser windows, without needing to download and install any software on their computers. The main downside though, is that often, the browser based games are offer a playing experience not as rich as one would get playing through the casino's own software. Another downside too, is that the familiarity with the browser based interface will not always translate directly to the gaming software when you decide to upgrade.
The second mode usually available is the 'Real Money' mode, allowing players to wager real money on their games. Any money you might be wagering at an online casino is as real as it would be if you took it to a table in Vegas. Players should never forget that the virtual chips on their computer screen represent real money. Before you can play with real money though, you will need to deposit some with the casino. Your options for doing this will vary from one casino to the next but will include checks, bank transfers, and credit cards.
The rule that you should only gamble with an amount you can afford to lose, is as true with online casinos as it is with their bricks and mortar equivalents. Additionally, try not to deposit a large amount of money with one casino, until you have satisfied yourself that their operation is a sound one, *and* that you are happy gaming through their software. It is much quicker and easier to switch from one casino to the next when you don't have all your gaming money tied up with one establishment.
As the article above notes, use the 'fun money' mode to familiarise yourself with the way a particular casino's software platform works. If a casino does not offer a practice mode, or they want to charge you for this, quickly move on. There are always numerous alternatives that won't want to bill you till you are ready to play with real money.