There are four main types of credit and debit cards used in the world today. These are Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. These four “Card Networks” issue more than 99% of all credit and debit cards used throughout the world today. The card networks work separately from the banks, so if you want to acquire a VISA card, you do not go to VISA directly, but one of the many financial institutions that issue their cards.
VISA and MasterCard are issued by a multitude of different companies which includes banks, credit unions, and other types of financial institutions which may or may not exist in your country.
Visa & Mastercard differ significantly from American Express and Discover, as these two companies not only operate their own networks but also issue the cards used on them as well. For this reason, this article centers mainly around Visa & Mastercard. We have a separate article which discusses Discover and American Express, which you should read if your own credit or debit card is issued by one of those companies.
A debit card is linked directly to your own funds, which means you can only spend money you actually have available in your account. In contrast, a credit card allows you to make purchases and spend funds that you are required to pay back later, usually (but not always) with interested added on top. Some countries have banned the use of credit cards for gambling transactions, but there are many loopholes which allow players to get around these rules if they wish to.
It should be understood, however, that gambling with money you do not have is generally a very bad idea; casino gambling is a form of entertainment with a negative expectation outcome. The very nature of casino gambling means that you will lose more often than you will win, so it is understandable that responsible authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority would prefer it if you did not gamble using money you do not have.