One of the most frequently asked questions by people who gamble is: are online casinos rigged? Do online casinos provide an unfair advantage to the house in order to cheat you out of your winnings?
Many people on gambling-related websites and blogs often ask these questions. Gambling, at its core, is all about taking risks. Sure, some games have worse odds than others, that’s a given.
But you certainly do not want the additional risk of an online casino fixing its system in such a way so as to take away your rewards by unfair means. Let us see what these online casinos are all about.
Online casino business
First and foremost, all online casino sites are businesses. At the end of the day, they need to make a certain amount of profit to survive. So they require the customers for their own survival.
They try to attract the customer such that you come back, again and again, investing more of your time and money into them. The more customers they have, the better it is for their business. But the catch is that they cannot let every person win every game.
If they do this, they would go out of business. The casinos need to have a certain edge in order to keep making a profit.
The initial goal of these online casinos is to earn the trust of the customer and make the customer feel safe. So now the question arises, how exactly do they achieve this?
Suppose you sign up on an online casino and begin playing. To make you feel safe, they will let you win a few games at first. When you attain these victories you begin trusting the casino and also become tempted to play more.
The more you play, the more effort and money you invest in it and that’s when the odds reverse in favour of the house. Now as you continue playing you start losing more and more money while the casino starts making a profit.
How does an online casino work?
Online casinos use a computer program that randomly selects a number or card to deal the cards in their games. This program is called Random Number Generator or more commonly as RNG.
If an online casino is rigged in any way this is exactly where it would be, at the RNG. The computer program can be fixed in such a way that it picks cards in favour of the house decreasing the chances of the customer winning.
How human psychology plays a role in online casinos
However, sometimes while playing online it feels as though you are being cheated but in reality that might not be the case. There are quite a few reasons why this could happen.
For example, there is a difference in the time factor between playing in a real casino and an online one. In a real brick and mortar casino, the dealer deals the cards, players place their bets and people take time deciding their next move.
On the other hand, when playing online you just push a button and the computer does it all for you.
So if you get unlucky once every hour in a real casino, you will be getting unlucky five times within an hour online because everything happens so much faster and you play more games at the same time. Hence it feels as though you are being cheated and you feel suspicious.
Similarly, another reason could be that when online you are playing alone. You are playing alone in the sense that you do not have any other human opponents. Your opponent is the computer itself.
In a real casino when you lose, you also see that someone else is winning. Seeing someone winning assures you that the casino is being honest. But when online, you only see your losses stacking up and the casino taking away all your money away.
This eventually leads you to believe that the casino is cheating you. This is a psychological reason but one that is very common amongst those who have played in online casinos.
Secure online casinos
Not all online casinos fix or rig their systems. Many reliable and trustworthy online casinos do exist but you need to search for them and use your judgment to find one.
When searching for such a casino, the first thing to look for is whether it has a licence or not. If the casino doesn’t have one, there is no guarantee of their legality and it is better not to engage in activity with them. Another very important thing to consider when searching for a casino is its reputation.
Reputation is a huge factor in the online casino business. Online casinos build up their reputation through player reviews and a by having a clean sheet with the government agencies. This ensures that they play fair and are not going to cheat you out of your money.
Nowadays online casinos are one of the most regulated businesses. Recently the authorities have blacklisted many online casinos that don’t have a valid licence, with the result that they can no longer legally operate.
Many casinos allow people to view the results of all their games for statistical analysis. This allows the user to determine whether someone has tampered with the RNG or not.
Moreover, the license includes a clause that says that the government will test RNG from time to time. The government has introduced many strict rules and laws and continues doing so to ensure that all the games are played fairly and honestly.
So coming back to our primary question – are online casinos rigged? We have seen that it is possible to fix the RNG to favour the house but do online casinos do it? Sadly, yes some casinos use those unfair means to make a profit but not all casinos do so.
With the implementation of new rules and strict laws, such unjust casinos are decreasing every day. One last word of advice would be that take gambling as a form of entertainment, as it ultimately is, and accept that you can lose money playing it.
So have fun gambling but do not gamble with money you cannot afford to lose.