Whether you go to las vegas, your local gambling hall or frequent the online casino – the question of whether the games are fair or rigged comes up with almost all players. 

The short answer is that regulated gambling halls and websites that offer casino games do not rig their machines, but there have been instances where operators manipulated the payout mechanic of their slots and table games.

In this age, regulatory bodies oversee the activities of all registered businesses, ensuring the consumer’s safety is honoured, and that’s no different with online casinos or gambling halls.

Of course, there are black sheep who do rig their games to increase profit margins, but no legitimate online casino or brick-and-mortar establishment will do that because their business is profitable without fixed machines already.

Random Number Generator & Return-to-Player

To maintain an operating license and legally offer games of chance, you need to comply with a multitude of requirements and conditions.

One of which is that you need to track the return-to-player rate (RTP) of the casino games you are offering as a registered business, and send this data to gambling commissions who ensure that they are paying out according to the algorithm the game developer designed.

The RTP mechanic which is built into every casino game ensures the operator makes a profit and is synonymous with the house edge. A Random Number Generator (RNG) decides the outcome of each sequence, making you rely purely on luck.

Online casinos typically do not create their own games and instead lend them from software providers.

  • Software developers create games and design the theoretical RTP (the payout algorithm), which the gambling commissions then tests for accuracy.
  • Once the numbers seem right, software developers can lend their creations to online casinos for a fee.
  • Once the game is live at the online casino, they need to track each game’s turnover and win figures and send this data periodically to gambling commissions.
  • Gambling commissions then compare the actual RTP to the theoretical RTP to see whether these numbers do not diverge by more than the allowed thresholds.

In essence, gambling commissions set standards for gaming machines and gambling software and arrange periodical tests to see whether operators comply with these norms.

That is why you need to find a resource that only lists licensed online gambling operators if you want to play casino games online, like Gamblee.

Variance & Volatility

Now, the most common reason you might suspect you play rigged casino games is that you have long losing streaks. Unfortunately, variance can heavily affect outcomes, meaning you could be one of the unlucky players who loses more than you are supposed to. 

For example, if you flip a coin, you have a chance of 50% for it landing on head or tail. But if you flip the coin ten times, your chance of it flipping on head or tail an equal number of times is only 1 in 4.

If you flip a fair coin 10 times, you can get 0 heads about 0.1% of the time, 1 head about 1% of the time, 2 heads about 4% of the time, 3 heads about 12% of the time, 4 heads about 21% of the time, and 5 heads about 25% of the time. Thus, the chances of getting 5 heads is about 1 in 4Wondriumdaily

You’d need to flip the coin millions of times to ensure you are reaching numbers close to expectation. In the short term, variance heavily affects outcomes and creates outrageous results, results so bad that it makes you question whether you play fixed casino games.

However, your approach to playing casino games can also affect win frequencies. For example, if you bet on red in roulette you have a 47,4% chance of winning and doubling your stakes, but if you instead bet on a number you only have a 2.6% chance of winning, but you’d get 36x your stakes.

You basically increase the variance in this scenario, minimizing your chance to win but maximising potential payouts.

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Author bio

I am Max and have a special interest in everything related to online gambling, but especially online poker. I have been working in the field for over ten years and love writing about my experiences.