The ultimate guide to bitcoin gambling
Bitcoin is in many ways the perfect conduit for online gambling.
The first Bitcoin casinos arrived around 2012, with Satoshi Dice and Cloudbet being among them.
However, as with early websites in the 1990s, the designs were primitive, the games simplistic and problematic, and the deposit/withdrawal system shaky (not to mention risky).
Within a few short years however, newer online bitcoin gambling sites had come along with better designs, more convenient and safer deposit/withdrawal mechanisms, algorithms to prove that games were being played fairly, and a wider selection of games.
Game designers too began to up their…er…game, creating slots and other innovative games alongside improving on classics like roulette and card games.
Nowadays, some crypto slots have the production values of expensive movies, with official tie-ins common.
Throughout all this innovation, Bitcoin hasn’t stayed still.
The Lightning Network has allowed microtransactions to take place in the blink of an eye and at a fraction of the cost of sending Bitcoin through its main chain, with its rapid increase in price also making millionaires many times over.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency based on a technology that was invented for the purpose, called blockchain.
Bitcoin is decentralized which means no single institution or government owns or operates it – it was invented by a pseudonymous person or persons called Satoshi Nakamoto and was handed over to the Bitcoin community in 2010.
Bitcoin is itself a pseudonymous cryptocurrency, with all transactions going back to the first one in 2009 publicly available on a ledger, with the entities at both ends of the transaction represented by strings of numbers and letters called ‘addresses’).
It was made this way so that people using it could retain a layer of privacy and protection from governmental overreach.
Bitcoin can be used online just like real money, with everything from online shopping to bitcoin gambling now possible.
It can also be cashed out for fiat currency at any of a number of online exchanges.
Benefits of Bitcoin Gambling
A big part of Bitcoin’s allure is the pseudonymous nature of the transactions.
When you are bitcoin gambling, all you share is an address that doesn’t in itself link to you, or any particular person in the world.
Most countries don’t consider Bitcoin to be a currency which means it’s not illegal to gamble with, whereas it would be with fiat currencies in those territories.
This opens the gateway to dozens of different platforms and operators for players, massively increasing user choice and improving the experience.
With Bitcoin being decentralized, payments and withdrawals are fast and in some cases instant, all with no officious eyes watching over players as they interact.
Some crypto casinos have 0 confirmation times on bitcoin deposits, which means the moment the blockchain instructs the casino that a payment is coming it credits it instantly.
This is different to other less reliable cryptocurrencies, where the casino would rather wait for the blockchain to deliver the coins before it credits the player.
Bitcoin gambling can also save you money. Wins can be converted to cash without the involvement of a bank, meaning no transaction fees and, again, no prying eyes.
Crypto casinos also almost always have bigger welcome bonuses than fiat casinos, with multiple BTC often available to players as opposed to limits that are placed on fiat casinos.
This is another example of the greater freedom crypto casinos are able to afford their users.
Drawbacks to Bitcoin Gambling
There really are only a couple of drawbacks when it comes to bitcoin gambling, and those are transaction speed and cost.
While some casinos do indeed offer 0 confirmation deposits, those that don’t offer this service won’t credit your account until the bitcoin arrives with them.
This can take up to 60 minutes depending on how congested the blockchain is, while transaction fees are high – typically double digits in terms of dollars, no matter what the value of your transaction.
Because of these considerations, we recommend sending larger amounts over fewer transactions rather than regularly topping up with smaller amounts as this will save you waiting time and, importantly, transaction fees, giving you more to play with at the other end.
There is a solution gaining traction called the Bitcoin Lightning Network, which some casinos and exchanges now support.
The Lightning Network reduces transaction times to seconds and costs to a few cents or lower to send bitcoin through, so look out for Bitcoin casinos that support this feature.
What are Bitcoin slots?
In many ways Bitcoin slots are like regular slots, except stakes and wins are made in bitcoin.
The games are the same, the playability is the same, and the odds are the same, with the only major differences being that Bitcoin games have higher limits than fiat games and players also have the ability to place microbets, sometimes as low as $0.01 or the equivalent.
Plus there is the benefit of knowing that players can, at any time, transfer their bitcoin back into their local currency and withdraw.
What are Bitcoin table games?
As with Bitcoin slots, there are many similarities between Bitcoin table games and regular casino table games.
All the favorites are there – poker, blackjack, baccarat – and with the benefits of betting with bitcoin, including pseudonymous play, bigger limits, and microtransactions, players will really feel part of the action.
The top Bitcoin casinos have top quality live action table games, with real croupiers keeping the gameplay coming.
Where can I buy Bitcoin
Buying bitcoin has never been easier.
There are a number of reputable online exchanges that allow you to buy bitcoin with a credit or debit card, and once it’s in your wallet you can send it to your Bitcoin casino of choice.
However, there are one or two things you need to be careful of before you go splurging on bitcoin.
We can’t advise one exchange over the other, but make sure you research what the best Bitcoin exchanges are before you buy, or at least research any you have heard about.
Make sure, too, that the exchange you’re buying from allows you to withdraw the bitcoin – some don’t, which is no good if you want to gamble with it.
Be aware, too, that fees will be taken off at source, and make sure you know what they are before you press the ‘buy’ button.
It’s often a fixed fee rather than a percentage, so bear that in mind.
Also, some Bitcoin casinos allow you to buy bitcoin from them, but the fees here are often higher, so make sure you do your due diligence.
Best Bitcoin Gambling wallets
Once you have your bitcoin you will want to store it in a wallet.
Leaving it on an exchange is not advisable for security reasons, and some exchanges do not facilitate the sending of bitcoin to online casinos.
There are plenty of Bitcoin wallets out there but not all of them are reputable, so, again, make sure you do your research before you choose one.
There are different types of wallet open to you, each with a different balance of convenience and security – generally speaking, higher security = less convenience.
This guide breaks down the different types of wallets and their benefits and drawbacks, but some good examples to check out are Exodus, Electrum, Trezor, and Mycelium.
The key thing to remember about Bitcoin is that you are the bank – there is no customer service to call if you send it to the wrong address or it gets stolen from your wallet.
For this reason you should take the storage of your bitcoin very seriously.
Bitcoin Gambling Conclusion
As we have explored, Bitcoin is a great currency for gambling, and has been for many years.
The infrastructure and the game quality has finally begun to match the potential that Bitcoin gambling brought when it launched in 2009, and with Bitcoin now being more widely accepted and respected than ever, the space is only going to grow and improve.
For those who like the full gambling experience with more privacy than is found in fiat-based online casinos, gambling with Bitcoin is certainly the best option out there.