A question that comes up quite a lot is how fair are the games at an online Casino.
If you have ever played a game and not had a single win after losing your whole stack, them you’ve probably wondered this yourself.
It’s tempting to imagine that these online games are rigged. People think the same thing about the games in brick and mortar casinos. Also horse racing and all pretty much all sports.
Usually this is what as known as “confirmation bias”. Basically, you remember when you lose your bankroll but you don’t remember when you win. Or you discount the wins as “insignificant”.
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Are The Odds Fair?
The truth about gambling is that the odds are already in the favour of the Casino or Bookmakers. That’s the only way these businesses survive.
In most roulette games you get 35-1 on a single number coming in. But there are 37 numbers (including zero) so you should get 36-1 (36 times your bet and your bet back). So immediately the odds are in the favour of the Casino by 1/36.
When you consider that all the even/odds and column bets are all losers if a zero comes up then that pushes the Casino “edge” by another couple of percent.
So there is no need to use any fakery. They may have bad days here and there but in the long run the odds are weighted in their favour anyway.
In Poker the odds of getting 3 of a kind (even after swapping cards) is about 19-1. Casinos pay out about 3-1. So there is no need to rig the cards.
Slots are the same. With 5 reels and 20 symbols per reel (with 1 jackpot symbol per reel), the odds of getting the jackpot symbols to line up are about 3 million to 1. To get them in a more complex set of winlins is probably still about 500,000 -1.
But jackpots tend to pay out at a few thousand to one. Except the Progressive Jackpots which can get up to several millions.
So you see that the established odds that the Online Casinos pay out is already balanced in their favour.
If they weren’t then the risks of going out of business would be too high.
But it does mean that the Casino games themselves don’t need to be rigged.
What Would Happen if a Game Was Rigged?
Also you have to consider the repercussions of being caught rigging online games.
The Casinos themselves don’t develop the games. They simply act as hosts to various games platforms. So the Casinos don’t have the kind of access to rig the games.
And the games developers aren’t likely to risk their businesses by doing it. They make a good cut of the Casino take with no financial risk themselves.
Auditors like Price Waterhouse, regularly look into these things and one verified discovery about a rigged game could put the developer out of business.
Explaining Weird Results
But, I hear you say. What about the time I played roulette and black came up 15 times in a row?
Well I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on statistics. But even if the odds of black coming up 15 times in a row are tens of thousands to one, you have to remember that there are millions of spins every month.
So in all probability that run of 15 blacks will happen several times during that time period.
I saw a Derren Brown ptogramme once where he flipped a coin and it came up heads 10 times in a row. He was filmed and there was no edits to show it was real.
Then he revealed how he did it.
He just stood and tossed the coin about a thousand times while being filmed. Statistically it was likely it would come up heads 10 times in a row at some point. He cut out the hundreds of spins before he got the sequence of 10.
Still Think it’s Rigged?
Of course some people don’t believe these things aren’t rigged, and to them I would just suggest that maybe gambling isn’t for them.
For everyone else, rest easy. There are checks and balances in place to make sure the games are fair. And as the odds paid are already in the Casinos favour, there is little point in them trying to scam you.
So bet responsibly and Good Luck
Disclaimer – I am not, as mentioned a statistical expert, and the figures quoted are just to give a general overview. Nor can I vouch personally for the ethical nature of any third-parties. In other words, if you do come across a con man online don’t blame me.
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