Friday, June 21, 2024

Do online casinos cheat? And other key questions

Anyone who has played at an online casino for long enough has experienced that sinking feeling when you lose repeatedly. Not just “more often than usual”, but so many consecutive losses that it feels personal. And for many people, this is where trust runs out. They are convinced that the casino is doing this deliberately to cheat them out of their money. For anyone looking at casinos on, this question may seem like a legitimate one. However, this is a topic that should be treated with caution. Assuming that something is amiss just because you are losing isn’t a wise way to go.

Understanding why casinos work a certain way is essential if you’re going to spend any time playing at them. And this means that you can’t simply throw around accusations of a casino being crooked or otherwise unfair – so let’s look at the assumptions some people have about online casinos and why they lose at them. This will help us all better understand how casinos work.

“Casinos use rigged software to make sure they win”

This may seem like a persuasive argument, especially when you’re at the roulette wheel and it’s landed on red ten times in a row when you’d bet on black. Some people believe that the casino runs software that will do the opposite of what a customer bets on. This is incorrect. Casinos don’t need to run cheating software to ensure a profit – every game on their site is already massively biased in their favour. That’s why winning is so exciting. Most of the time, it doesn’t happen – so when it does, it’s a pleasant surprise. And if the roulette wheel seems to land on one colour more often than it really should, just bear in mind that someone else is playing at the same time, wondering the same in reverse. Over time, it balances.

“Casinos won’t pay out again when they’ve just done it once”

Some people have the impression that – because a game will pay out on average once in so many turns – that there is no point playing on if there has just been a winning spin. On the flip side of that, they believe that if you’ve spun (for example) ten times without winning, you should be due a win on the next turn. This is not how these things work. Averages and probability aren’t conscious beings.

Your chances of winning on any spin are 1/x. If you win on Spin One, the chances of winning on Spin 2 are still 1/x. A win does not make a following loss more likely, nor vice versa. Some people even delete the casino software from their computer or phone and then reload it to “reset the memory”. Don’t do this – algorithms don’t have a memory, they just happen.

“You win less often if you auto-spin”

It’s hard to say what’s behind this belief, but casinos do not work against you if you set the slots to spin automatically. Best guess is that it’s some superstitious belief that the casino is rewarding people who bother to press the Spin button 20 times instead of the Auto-Spin once. Some people have then seen a run of automated spins fail to pay out, and confirmation bias does the rest. Again: Casino software generates results randomly – whether you press the button once, twenty times, or while crossing your fingers and averting your eyes, it will generate the result it’s going to generate anyway.

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