The TopRatedCasinos.co.uk casino reviews process is rigorous and well-considered, and we take great care to ensure our review scores are fair reflections of how strong we’ve found each gambling site to be.
As we go through our reviews, we assign a score to each section before combining those figures for the overall total.
Here are each of the elements we score against, along with the points available:
- Design and Usability – 15
- Games Selection – 10
- Software Providers – 10
- Bonuses and Promotions – 15
- Mobile – 10
- Payment Options – 15
- Customer Support – 10
- Our Experience – 15
We then combine the scores for each element and divide the total by 10 to get our overall score for the casino review.
Scoring System Breakdown
Here’s a detailed breakdown of each of the factors that go into our scoring system.
Licensing – no bearing on overall score
Licensing is the first port of call for an online casino review. If the site doesn’t have a valid licence from the UKGC, our review stops there. We never promote unlicensed sites at TopRatedCasinos.co.uk as they simply can’t be trusted to treat their users fairly, and we would never recommend that you try one out for any reason. Licensing is not factored into our scores, as it’s a given that one will be held if we’ve carried out the review and published it on-site.
Design and Usability – /15
The way a casino site looks, and how easy it is to use, have a massive impact on the package’s overall quality. If a site is rough on the eyes, is slow and unresponsive, and doesn’t make it easy to find the games you’re looking for, you’re already faced with a lot of unnecessary barriers to enjoyment.
Of course, everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to colour schemes, mascots and the like, so we try to assess the visual elements against how clear the information is, how inventive the design is against industry norms, how consistent the branding is, and whether we think the initial impressions lasted positively over the course of our testing process.
In terms of usability, there are a few key areas we assess. For one, games must be easy to find. A search function is an absolute minimum, but we also like to see filtering options so you can see a selection from a particular developer, or perhaps a selection of games with RTP rates and volatilities that suit your playstyle and budget. Essential information, such as terms and conditions, must be easy to find and even easier to understand. The more work that goes into these elements, the better a site tends to be.
Finally, this score also factors-in performance. It’s rare to come across an online casino that runs slowly, takes its time loading games, or has issues with streaming without stuttering. Our central London internet speeds are rarely at fault if any of these problems rear their heads, so we can be confident in highlighting them if they consistently occur during testing.
Games Selection – /10
While you’d ideally have every game under the sun available at your online casino, each site is limited to showing games from software developers with whom they’re partnered. What we like to see is a tonne of variety and quality, but we don’t penalise slots-specialist casinos if they’re lacking for table games or live dealer options. After all, if a slots site is killing it when it comes to its slots selection, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do and you can’t say fairer that.
If a site opts to offer options across the casino spectrum, or even a sportsbook, we hope for similar levels of depth and quality across the board. There’s no end of slots out there, so we don’t expect there to be an equivalent amount of table games in those instances, but we still expect the table games selection to be well-stocked, full of variety, and catering to as many tastes as possible.
Software Providers – /10
This ties into the games selection, of course, but in this area of the scoring process we take a closer look at the names behind the games. As a standard we expect Evolution Gaming to be behind at least some of a casino’s live dealer games, as well as the likes of Microgaming, NetEnt, and Yggdrasil behind the slots – but extra points are awarded for niche picks, too. Nolimit City, Blueprint, and Lightning Box are just a few examples of these lesser-known, high-quality brands that can bring some much-appreciated diversity to an online casino’s catalogue.
Bonuses and Promotions – /15
They’re the first thing you’ll see when you land on an online casino, and there’s absolutely no shortage of them, but there’s no getting around the fact that most bonuses are pretty poor. On the face of it, a 100% up to £100 deposit might look pretty inviting, but once you take a look at the fine print you’ll usually find that the devil really is in the details.
We take a fine comb to the T&Cs of each bonus and promotion offered by an online casino to work out whether they’re player-friendly and offer genuine value. If the wagering requirements are so steep that the average player has no chance of converting the bonus into withdrawable cash, we’ll be sure to surface it in the review and dock points accordingly. If the time limits are so tight that you won’t get a chance to stretch your legs, the free spins have the same wagering requirements as the matched deposit, or you have to jump through hoops to even understand what’s being offered, we’ll make sure you know.
Conversely, no wagering bonuses, small wagering requirements, and incentives like cashback all get the props they’re due in our reviews and casino scores.
Mobile – /10
We won’t teach you how to suck eggs; everyone knows why any website needs good mobile functionality. Our review takes not just the accessibility of a mobile site into account, but also its performance, how well the site adapts to smaller screens, whether there are any limiting factors that make the mobile experience weaker than the desktop one, and whether playing on mobile devices will net players any exclusive bonuses. It’s not a complete necessity, but a mobile app is always nice to see. We don’t assume a mobile app is automatically great, either, and take the time to check it out on both Android and iOS before confirming whether it’s good or bad.
Payment Options – /15
We put a lot of weight behind payment options in our review scores for good reason: our users love fast withdrawals at online casinos. Our review process assesses both which payment methods are supported — with the expectation being that e-wallets, prepaid cards, debit cards, and Trustly will be covered — and test out the withdrawal speeds, too. The sooner we get our payouts, the happier we are, and the more highly we score the casino’s payments section.
Customer Support – /10
Everyone’s familiar with the frustration of needing to get in touch with support and finding that it’s a total headache. The UKGC’s licensing requirements ensure that online casinos make themselves available to their users during work hours, but we pay special attention to which contact methods are presented and when they’re open. Live chat and 24/7 support are the gold standard, but failing that we’ll cope with a responsive email address, short waits on the phone, or direct messages with a casino’s social media accounts.
Our Experience – /15
The final assessment in our reviews is where it all comes together. How good do we think the online casino is when all things are said and done? We often find that the best online casinos are more than the sum of their parts, and similarly you’ll get the occasional gambling site that ticks all the boxes but somehow manages to leave a sour taste. In short, we assess the overall experience of the casino in question, how well it lives up to its promises, how effectively it caters to its specialisms, and what could be improved to bring the site closer to a perfect 10/10 score. The happier we are, the more highly we score this area of the review.
Overall Score – /10
Once everything is assessed, we combine each section’s score and divide the total by 10 to give us our final score. We decided to keep things simple, limit the amount of space dedicated to scores in various units across the site and therefore prevent things from looking cluttered, while making it easy for you to compare our score with the average user score for each site.
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