Gambling is part of the human tradition. We’ve come a long way over the years, using various inventions and creative spirit to come up with new and entertaining ways to gamble. Each culture has added its personal touch, developing both games and a casino gaming culture. But what is the modern gambler to do when they speak only one, maybe two languages?
Well, you have a few options. Option one is you can learn 27 languages like my grandpa (true story), opening up all the mysteries of the foreign gaming experience — in fifteen years, when this learning pursuit is complete. Option two is to hire a translator. Option three is to visit online casinos in foreign countries that provide support for English-speaking users.
Here are six ways you can get in on international games, gambling like a polyglot, without the decade of foreign language learning.
Before you get started. . . .
There are a few things you’ll want to do before diving into the international gambling experience. Before anything else, you’ll want to look at the casino laws for the country where the online casino is based. Developing a big bankroll only to have it locked in place because you can’t legally withdraw it — well, that’s right up there with having to saw off your own arm.
If you want to be involved in sports betting abroad, please, for the love of badminton, make sure you understand the games you’re betting on, and don’t gripe about “wacky regulations.” Their game—their rules. No one observing lacrosse wants to hear how the game could be improved (much less from one of us “Yankees.”)
Next, take a look at the actual games you want to play. Part of the appeal of international gambling is the ability to bet on lesser-known games. From wagers on races or sports unique to the region, to games like “big six wheel” or “fan tan” that are impossible to find in the U.S., the possibilities in foreign countries will blow your mind.
The problem is, if you don’t understand the rules first, they’re also likely to blow right through your bank account. Once you’ve done your basic research, you’re ready to get started on gambling your brains out in casinos and sportsbooks abroad.
Sports Betting for Sports Fanatics
You might believe that you are truly a sports fanatic, but until you know the subtle differences in baseball regulations in every foreign nation, can you really claim to be an “expert” bettor? Sports betting can be fun, but aside from what some would call “wonky” games, there are also a lot of rules that are slightly altered from country to country.
Cricket, rugby, badminton, lacrosse, and soccer are all big games abroad. If you want to compete for big bucks, these are the sports that draw real players. In the UK and in Europe, games can end in a tie, which complicates betting for innocent travelers. Make sure you understand how that may impact your bets.
During the World Cup alone, there are 60 games to bet on for soccer, each including prop bets, fun, and locally-brewed beer if you are lucky enough to visit in person. Live betting, which is now becoming popular in the US, is big business for sports books abroad. Odds change throughout the game, with quarters, halves, and even individual plays becoming the source of large wagers. To get in on the action, a bettor must thoroughly understand the dynamics!
U.K. & Australian Casinos: The Easy Way Out
If you’re looking to “test the waters” of international gaming, UK casinos are great. They will give a fun cultural twist to the games you know, introduce you to a couple games that don’t come stateside, and give you an opportunity to cry out “bollocks!” or “blimey!” while you lose.
Some of the top-rated UK and Australian casinos available to U.S. visitors include:
- Australia’s Casino Classic, famed for its one hour of free gambling upon signup, and a $500 starting bonus, this site is one of the few online casinos that allows U.S. players.
- The UK’s Ladbrokes Casino brings the experience of this popular offline casino onto the web, offering the full range of possibilities (casino games, poker, bingo, etc.), not to mention “live gaming,” where an actual dealer will play out the cards.
- The UK’s Gala Casino is famed for its ever-popular Bingo (which is as much a hit among the British as it is among old people), not to mention solid graphics and excellent customer support.
- Australia’s SportsBet.au.com is a great site for online sports betting, which is quite popular with vegemite eaters. Make sure to visit the Australian Rules section before browsing each of the sports for betting available on this site.
Ready to stop being a scared little coward and move into some foreign casinos that are in a non-English culture? Good. Let’s move on.
Hungary’s Villento Casino
The people of Hungary are very clever; since normal gaming laws in the country wouldn’t allow U.S. visitors, this group set up their registration with the Canadian Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
There’s full English support (and support for just about any other language spoken in Europe short of Latin), but you’ll also find all the standard extras you’d expect from a casino (free startup money, free play signup bonuses, a loyalty club, a huge diversity of games, and secure software).
Expekt: Live Gaming from Sweden
The laws for online gambling in Sweden create a unique gaming experience. Primarily this is because the Swedish government doesn’t want to trust casino operators who are developing software, suspecting that foul play embedded in the code would simply be too hard to detect.
Their mandate, then, is to have “live gaming online,” such as webcam blackjack, live baccarat and roulette, and much more. Expekt is one of the strongest collections of live games around, and features a number of excellent promotions and a variety of games you’re less than likely to find in the U.S.
English support is available.
Another live casino, Unibet allows players to actually see the cards coming down, offering a greater sense of a casino’s actual excitement. This time, however, it’s being done across the world in the Baltic nation of Latvia. Players gather from all over the world, and you can expect to find interesting gambling opportunities — including wagers on crazy foreign sports, like ice hockey.
Based in the Netherlands, this online gaming group has a strong focus on quality games and professional service, including for its English-speaking users. This is an especially strong choice for those who want big startup bonuses (Pantasia offers a “lucky seven startup,” giving you up to $777 in matched deposit bonuses and $7 just for signing up), and those who enjoy playing slots.
Researching Your Own Casinos
Believe it or not, we didn’t go out and compile a list of every single foreign casino you can play at. To help you find casinos in countries not listed here, however, we can outline a basic process for you to follow.
- Use one of the accepted online lists of foreign casino sites, or do a search for “online casino [country name]” in a major search engine.
- Once you’ve uncovered a possible casino, check its language support, currency support, banking rules, legal regulations, what gaming regulation industry the group is registered with, and what awesome stuff they will give you for signing up.
- Register, play, and support the North American economy by bringing in foreign investments via your bankroll.
This process, especially due to all the legal red tape, can be somewhat tricky. However, playing in foreign casinos is very doable, and offers you a long list of incentives. From the greater diversity in games, to the opportunity to web-flirt with people who have a sexy foreign accent, to the unique approach to casinos on the whole, you’ll find an enticing set of opportunities.
There are few ways to feel like a world explorer with so little investment; as a virtual polyglot gambler. Best of all, you can even make money during your cultural experience.