Crypto gambling guide
New to Bitcoin?
Worry not – we shall make this experience as straightforward and easy to understand as possible.
In this bitcoin gambling guide section you will find absolutely all you need to start your bitcoin journey.
Head over to the introduction to bitcoin and gambling if you are not sure whether bitcoin is a good fit for online gambling. See the reasons why bitcoin makes online gambling better if you are still unconvinced – this will clear any doubt left in your mind. At this stage you are probably wondering whether gambling with bitcoin is legal – read the article and see what we think about this.
Trouble understanding how depositing and withdrawing bitcoins works? Don’t be alarmed – the technology can sound a bit intimidating but in reality all you need is a clear explanation of how depositing bitcoins and withdrawing bitcoins works. Another very exciting development in the bitcoin gambling scene is provably fair technology – we think you should definitely make yourself familiar with the basics of it. So check out our provably fair infographic that explains all the terms and the idea behind this technology.
How to gamble with Bitcoin?
In the early days of Bitcoin, about 50% of its transactions were wagering by gamblers and win payments by online casinos. To the majority of those who bet over the internet, the cryptocurrency was the best thing ever to happen to online gambling.
That is since InterCasino and GamingClub, the two forerunners in online betting, opened in the middle of the 1990s. Indeed, there are many reasons why Bitcoin and online gambling is the perfect match. And all of them point to the fact that the former was built for the internet and fiat currency was not.
It is true that fiat money for many years served the brick and mortar casinos well. When the blackjack, craps or roulette on the internet came along, it continued to provide the same service, but this time round it was through credit cards and other online payment methods such as PayPal and Skrill.
Limitations of fiat currency
However, a few things had to change and the following shortcomings arose as a result:
- Use of the new methods of payment required the players to share critical personal information with both the credit card company and the online casino. This left them vulnerable to authorities, rogue elements in the casinos and even third party scammers.
- On their side, the casinos had to deal with the infamous chargeback feature. Players using their cards to wage and then turning round to disown the transactions has remained as one of the most common forms of cheating in online gambling.
- Due to lack of anonymity, players from jurisdictions that do not approve of gambling could not move money for such purposes. For instance, while it is not illegal to bet online in the United States, the Wire Act of 1961 prohibits financial institutions from facilitating transmission of money as payments for such purposes.
- Credit cards and other fiat online payment methods make the cost of online gambling high. This is because the money has to go through a channel with numerous players, with each of them needing to make a cut. Moreover, these fiat online payment methods do not facilitate micropayments, a feature that works well with online gambling.
The Bitcoin technology, by its nature, takes care of each of these issues and gives the online casinos all the qualities of the brick and mortar casino. But, what is Bitcoin?
The Bitcoin Technology
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that a peer-to-peer network generates through a process known as mining. It is, therefore, not issued by a central bank, like the Dollar, Pound Sterling or Euro. The same P2P network is also responsible for facilitating all the transactions involving Bitcoin. These transactions are recorded on a public ledger known as the Blockchain, which is secured by cryptography.
In November 2008, a person or a group of people going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto published a whitepaper online outlining the basic concepts of Bitcoin. The paper explained how cryptography, Proof of Work and the Blockchain could create a currency that was perfect for the internet. Satoshi went ahead to release the first Bitcoin client in January 2009 and mined the first fifty bitcoins, which are referred to as the Genesis Block. Since the Bitcoin client software is open source, many other developers have joined the project ever since.
In 2011 Satoshi left the project. Even though the identity of this person remains a mystery, the technology s/he or they left behind has convinced almost everyone who has taken the time to study it that it is viable and secure. Indeed, what makes Bitcoin valuable is the cryptography that secures it and the hashing power required to mine new bitcoins.
The term Bitcoin, with capital B, is used to describe the system and bitcoin, with a small b the coin units.
However, you can also download and install a wallet app on your desktop or smartphone. For even better security, you could generate your own wallet, which does not rely on any centralized service provider, using sites like Bitaddress.org.
Your wallet contains your Bitcoin public addresses and the corresponding private keys. Think of the private keys as the password that you will use to authorize the movement of funds from your wallet.
How to deposit Bitcoin?
So, you have just learned all the Critical Ways Bitcoin Makes Gambling Online Better. You want to try it, but you do not know how to get started and, in particular, how to make a bitcoin deposit into the online gambling website that accepts the cryptocurrency such as BetChain.com, Bitcasino.io or BitStarz.com.
Fortunately, the process of depositing bitcoins for gambling is not complicated. Indeed, you should be assured that it is more straightforward than what you have to do with the traditional payment methods such as the credit card and bank wiring. However, before you make any deposits, of course, you need to have some bitcoins. Even further, before you have the bitcoins, you need to have a place to keep them. This is what is known as a Bitcoin wallet.
Choose a bitcoin wallet first
The wallet contains a public address that you can share to receive payments and private keys that you use to authorise payments from it. You have a few options available out there for you to choose from in terms of bitcoin wallets – here are the major ones:
- Cloud wallets such as Coinbase and Blockchain.info. As the name suggests, these are held in the cloud and accessed through but not stored on your desktop.
- Mobile wallets for Android, iOS and iPhone such as the Mycelium, Coinbase and Blockchain.info. As you can note, these are app versions of cloud wallets that you can download and use on your mobile devices.
- Desktop wallets – The choice is between lightweight wallets as Electrum and MultiBit or full Bitcoin Core (which downloads the entire Bitcoin blockchain onto your desktop, 30 GB). If you don’t know which one to choose – pick a lightweight one.
- Hardware wallets – Special devices for keeping bitcoins, such as Trezor or Ledger.
- Paper wallets – You can also generate and print your wallet on a piece of paper, often referred to as a paper wallet.
Among all the above wallets, the most convenient for online gambling are cloud wallets and those that you downloaded from app stores, such as Google Play and Apple store, onto your smartphone. They are easy to carry around as well as use.
Their downside, unfortunately, is mainly security. This is because they are connected to the internet throughout. This characteristic exposes them to hacks and thus they are known as ‘hot wallets’. While they are not appropriate for huge amounts of bitcoins, using them to hold small amount to gamble with is perfectly in order. With the wallet ready, you now have to load it bitcoins. This may seem a daunting task to someone doing it for the first time.
Where to get bitcoins?
The following are some of the ways through which you can acquire bitcoins
Gifts from friends and relatives
This is often the first way most people come into contact with bitcoin. However, this can only be your source if the people in your circles are bitcoins enthusiasts. It is not a reliable way to get bitcoins with which to gamble online.
Purchase from people around you
If people around you cannot give you bitcoins for free then you have to buy from them. Localbitcoins.com is a very effective website in connecting buyers of bitcoins with willing sellers in their neighbourhood.
Acquire resources and mine
This used to be the easiest option in the early days of bitcoin.
Since 2009, the difficulty of mining has increased exponentially and thus it is no longer a source someone new can rely on to earn bitcoins.
Exchange your fiat at a Bitcoin ATM
This is only possible if there is a Bitcoin ATM within your neighbourhood. The process entails inserting bills into a slot on the machine and displaying the QR code representing your wallet public address on a scanner. For an updated list of Bitcoin ATMs, visit Coinbase Bitcoin ATM Map.
Now deposit bitcoins for gambling
With bitcoins in your wallet, it is now time to deposit into an online gambling website and start playing. The process starts when you create an account with the online Bitcoin gambling casino.
Most online casinos automatically create a temporary bitcoin holding wallet for you the moment you sign up. It is to this wallet you deposit what you use to place bets. It is also the same wallet into which the casino deposits your winnings.
Just like the Coinbase or Blockchain.info wallet on your smartphone, this wallet on the gambling website has a public address as well as corresponding private keys. Nevertheless, the latter is often not exposed to the user and the account password serves the purpose. To initiate the deposit process, go to your account on the gambling website and click on the ‘Deposit’ icon. A Bitcoin wallet address will be displayed in two formats; the QR code and the long text line.
If the device with your bitcoin wallet has a camera, go to send in the wallet and to input the address of the gambling website, scan the QR code. Indicate the amount you want to send from the device and hit ‘send’. You can also copy the public address in the text form and paste it onto the wallet that has the money you want to deposit into the virtual casino’s wallet. This is especially in the case where your wallet device does not have a camera to scan the QR code.
It is appropriate that the amount you are sending or depositing include the miners fee. This is what goes to the people who maintain the peer to peer network that supports, verifies and confirms Bitcoin transactions. The fee is however always a negligible amount. After hitting the send button on your wallet, it will take anywhere below 10 minutes for the money to reflect in your online gambling web site account. When that happens, you are ready to start placing bets on it.
On how to withdraw your winnings and bonuses from the online website, please read How to Withdraw Bitcoins from Online Casinos on this .
How to withdraw bitcoins from online casinos?
When you set out to gamble, you expect to make wins. It is the essence of it all. It then follows that you need to not only think of how to withdraw the money but also how the online casino you choose to play on facilitates the process.
These considerations apply nowhere else more than to gaming websites that accepts bets and make payouts in bitcoins such as BetChain.com, Bitcasino.io, and BitStarz.com.
We assume that you have already read our the page titled How to deposit bitcoins to an Online Gambling Site, where we explain the steps you need to take to deposit bitcoins into an online casino. If you have not, now is the time to do it.
Any fair gambling website should ideally provide easy and straightforward cash in and out processes. In withdrawals, this is both in making the funds available to you and having a friendly user interface. Indeed, as an online gambler who uses Bitcoin, you should know that picking a casino based on user experience and reputation is a key to seamless withdrawals.
It is not unlikely for you to place a bet and win fairly only to fail to cash out either because the house opts not to facilitate the process or simply disregards your win. And house dishonesty does not happen only with online casinos that do not use the Provably Fair (a technology that empowers the player to proof that the house does or does not manipulate a game). In particular, new and little-known gambling sites are likely to refuse to approve a payout even where the win is indisputable.
Do you really need to withdraw bitcoins?
When it comes to withdrawing bitcoins from an online casino, you also have to make critical decisions on whether you will withdraw, how you will do it and how long it will take (should you wait?)
Whether you need to withdraw the funds at all
depends hugely on your personal preferences.
If you are an avid gambler, you may need always to have funds ready for wagering.
Thus in the case whereby your wins are not substantial, and you want to make higher bets in your next gambling, it would be your choice that you do not to withdraw at all. Indeed, by keeping the bitcoin winnings and bonuses in your casino wallet, you will cut down the cost of gambling (even though they are low with bitcoins).
This is because you will not be re-depositing the same bitcoins you withdrew to continue playing.
However, you shouldn’t rush into withdrawing your bitcoins immediately, especially if you’re planning to convert or exchange them for a fiat currency.
Make sure you have all the information, as it may be worth waiting a little bit – Bitcoin functions just like any other product on the market, so its price may increase and decrease regularly, depending on many variable and the overall situation; the differences in the value can be truly significant and, very often, they can occur in the short periods of time.
So unless you are in a really tight spot, it’s probably better to wait.
The length of the process of withdrawal will also depend on your chosen method. For example, some converters can take days to convert your bitcoins into the desired fiat currency. What’s more, many of them will charge a fee, so before you decide to do anything, make sure you know all the necessary details.
Moreover, leaving your winnings and bonuses lying in your casino account for a future wagering makes convenience sense. Nevertheless, at the end, even when you follow the above strategy, you will have to withdraw your bitcoins winnings. That is unless you lose the whole amount to the house.
To initiate the process of getting some or all the bitcoins that are under your name in the casino, you will go to your account and find a section known as the ‘Cashier’. It is the sections that keeps all the records of your deposits and win balances. Enter the amount you need, or all that you can get, and click on the Withdraw button.
At this juncture, you will need to be ready with the wallet to which you want the bitcoins to go. The wallet could be a cloud Coinbase or Blockchain.info or their app versions. Indeed, you are free to use any bitcoin wallet of your liking. They all perform the same tasks even when their functionalities and level of security differ.
The ‘Cashier’ of the gambling site will prompt you to enter the public address of your wallet either as an alphanumeric character string or scan its QR code. The latter you will do using a device camera. The former is done through the manual cut and paste. After confirming that you want to proceed with the transaction and hitting withdraw, the bitcoins will appear in your wallet in a matter of minutes. Just like with depositing, the cost of withdrawal is negligible. Only a small miners’ fee is deductible.
Spend wins as bitcoins or convert them into your currency
The process is complete and you don’t have to do anything else if you are planning to spend the money as Bitcoin – they simply come back to your wallet, usually within minutes. However, if you want exchange your bitcoins and get your money in Dollar, Euro, Sterling Pound or any other fiat currency, then you need to do more. And you may need to turn your strategic thinking skills on.
Just like you needed to buy bitcoins before you even started playing, you can now sell them in exactly the same way, or rather withdraw and then convert into your chosen fiat currency (the process and possibilities will depend on your chosen Bitcoin casino or convertor, so never neglect reading about the services you choose to use).
But it may be more beneficial to withdraw bitcoins and then exchange them through a cryptocurrency exchange website. As we have already mentioned before, make sure you know the current value of Bitcoin, because it may turn out that you can earn more by simply waiting a little bit.
All you need to do is simply go to a converter or cryptocurrency exchange website (e.g., https://www.xe.com/ or https://cex.io/), set up an account, and start exchanging. Make sure to read all the details concerning the fees and other costs of money transfers.
In most cases, these websites work just like any other currency exchange bureau, only online, so you need to send the bitcoins you want to exchange and provide all the details needed for a successful transfer. Depending on the website, you may have several options to exchange or trade your bitcoins, so be sure to get familiar with all the possibilities in order to choose the best one.
However, converting bitcoins to fiat currency is becoming less necessary each day with more merchants choosing to accept bitcoins.
Online stores such as Overstock and Rakuten are always more than ready to accept your bitcoins for goods they ship. Even Microsoft will let you pay for their digital products with bitcoins. Not to talk of buying an air ticket and booking a hotel room through travel agencies such as Expedia.
Within your neighbourhood, you will have to check sites such as Bitcoin Map to find businesses that accept the cryptocurrency. And if you live in a major town and city, the likelihood that there is a restaurant, bar or grocery store accepting Bitcoin, and other digital currencies are very high now than ever before.
Better still…convert through a bitcoin exchange
However, if your location and other conditions will not allow you to spend the Bitcoins you have, you still do not have to worry. There are several ways you can convert them into the type of money that is acceptable in the places you shop.
For example, you could sell them to friends and relatives who need them. However, if this does not give, you have Localbitcoins.com, where you find willing buyers within your town or city. In the event that you do not find acceptable deals there too, sign up to a Bitcoin exchange such as Coinbase or Bitstamp. They buy and sell bitcoins and reigning daily rates.
Using a Bitcoin exchange might take a day or two to complete the conversion (depending on the exchange and your banker). Nevertheless, in the end the money will show up in your bank account in the fiat currency of your choice. While the above description of withdrawal is for bitcoins, it also applies to any other cryptocurrency that is used for gambling online, commonly referred to as altcoins (alternative cryptocoins).