Is Online Blackjack Rigged or A Fair Game?
Last Updated: December 25, 2023
Blackjack is one of the most popular online casino games. As such, it’s accompanied by extensive strategies, theories, and myths.
Focusing on the latter, one of the most popular examples of “online casino folklore” among players is that gambling sites fix their blackjack games to earn more money.
So, do online casinos rig their blackjack games, and what methods can they use to do so? Or, is this just a popular misconception among blackjack players who can’t handle losing money?
I’ll dig deep into this controversial topic to discover if casinos manipulate their online blackjack games or if these games are entirely random and fair.
Is Online Blackjack Rigged?
No, online casinos do not rig their blackjack games. Online blackjack is a completely safe game to play, as gambling sites operate in line with heavy regulations.
After all, the online gambling industry is worth almost $100 billion and is a legitimate branch of the entertainment industry.
While online casinos have to deal with different challenges compared to their land-based counterparts, this doesn’t mean they’re any less legitimate.
If you trust the fairness of blackjack games in brick-and-mortar casinos, there’s no reason to doubt the validity of RNG blackjack and live dealer games available on online gambling sites.
The House Edge – Why Legitimate Casinos Don’t Rig Blackjack
It’s easy to fall for the myth of online blackjack games being rigged against you. But the boring truth is that the casino doesn’t have to do so. All blackjack games come with a built-in house edge that ensures the casino’s profitability in the long run.
Even in a game like blackjack, which involves a certain degree of skill, the casino always has a slight advantage. Unless you count cards to completely negate the house edge, the casino will always have a house edge between 0.5% and 2%.
This might not sound like much. Moreover, you might even win more than you lose in the short run. However, these small percentages add up significantly over time. Even if a handful of players win occasionally or consistently, the vast majority still loses in the long run.
This is why online casinos don’t need to rig blackjack games. They can make stable profits over time while strictly adhering to all of the regulations imposed on them. In this sense, the game is already legally rigged in the casino’s favor, as it always wins in the end.
RNG – The Algorithm That Ensures Fair Online Blackjack Games
All online blackjack games use Random Number Generator (RNG) software to produce random outcomes for every blackjack round. This algorithm creates countless random number sequences every second on a non-cyclic basis.
In other words, there’s no way to manipulate or predict the RNG's outcome. These combinations run in the background even while you’re not playing.
When you hit the button to start the round, the RNG provides the generated numbers by converting them into a string of events for that particular round.
With RNG software, it’s impossible for casinos or players to tamper with the outcome of a particular online blackjack hand. RNG software produces no patterns or discernible cycles that can enable players to predict future outcomes based on past results.
As this is a crucial feature for all blackjack games, software providers often contact independent testing agencies to access their game’s RNG and ensure fair gameplay and random results for each round.
Can Online Casinos Rig Live Casino Blackjack?
Classic online blackjack games are carefully designed and feature complex mechanisms such as RNG to ensure there is no tampering, neither from the player nor the casino. But what about live casino blackjack games that involve real dealers?
No, online live blackjack games are not rigged in any way, either. In fact, it would be much more challenging in practice to rig a live blackjack table than a standard online blackjack game.
The reason for this is that live casino games are streamed in high quality to a large group of players. Every player can see everything that goes on.
If a dealer attempts to fix the game in any way, the chances that this goes unnoticed are minimal. If there are experienced players on the stream, they’ll pinpoint any potential issues right away.
Of course, the same caveat that I mentioned above applies in this case. The fairness of the games is only certain if you play at licensed and regulated online casinos that feature live casino blackjack games from trusted and proven providers.
Rigged Games Are Often Quickly Uncovered
While such a casino scandal is undoubtedly unpleasant to read about, it’s important to keep in mind that this is something that can’t go on for long periods of time.
If an online casino is regularly rigging its blackjack games, it’s only a question of time when enough players will notice that something is not right.
If a casino gets involved in a cheating scandal, it will likely mean the end for its reputation. In today’s era of online gambling, news can spread quickly across gambling forums and review sites.
Due to this, online gambling sites have to be particularly careful when ensuring everything is up to par with their platforms.
Casinos must maintain a spotless reputation to survive in today’s competitive landscape. They know that players aren’t gullible and that every cheating attempt will get uncovered.
Casinos Don’t Actually Develop Their Blackjack Games
Casual online casino players often think that the blackjack games they play are made by the casino. However, the online gambling site you’re playing on is simply a platform that hosts games from other sites.
The online casino pays a fee to the software provider that created the game. The software provider can license its games to as many sites as it wants. This is why you can find many of the same variations with different blackjack rules on casinos that aren’t connected in any way.
Knowing this, we can say that the casino isn’t the only one responsible for creating a safe and fair environment. The integrity of the software provider also plays a vital role. And, like the casino site, the provider has to adhere to strict regulations.
Naturally, just like online casinos that want to stay in business and maintain a trusted reputation, software providers can’t mess about when it comes to the fairness of their games.
If their software is proven to be rigged in any way, no respected online casino will want to license games from them.
Are Online Blackjack Games Rigged? – The DraftKings Scandal
Even though casinos adhere to strict rules and regulations, incidents can, unfortunately, happen. There have been examples of both live casino and classic online blackjack games being fixed at shady online casinos.
Moreover, the recent example of the DraftKings blackjack rigging scandal showed that this could even occur on widely popular platforms. In early 2023, Sebastian Echeverri, a dealer working for DraftKings, was caught using personal accounts to place bets. He cost the platform $47,000.
Echeverri used his personal accounts to bet on the decks he memorized or manipulated. In this example, a casino employee used his inside access not to harm the players but the casino itself.
However, it only shows that there is room for fixing the game, even in live dealer online blackjack games.
Fortunately, the casino officials and law enforcement reacted quickly to mitigate further damage. So, while there’s still a possibility that a bad apple could manipulate the game for a short while, it’s encouraging to see that it never lasts long.
With that in mind, it’s important to trust the regulators and industry experts who do their best to uncover such injustices as soon as possible.
How To Ensure Your Online Blackjack Game Is Fair and Random
If you play at online casinos recommended to you by industry experts and professional review sites, you never have to worry about running into a site that rigs its blackjack games.
That said, if you like researching sites on your own, there are a few telltale signs you can use to check whether the casino could be inclined to rig its blackjack games. Here’s how to ensure a safe and fair online blackjack environment:
Only Play At Licensed Online Casinos
The first thing to check on a new online casino you’re interested in is its license. A trusted and legitimate online casino will possess a valid gambling license. Ideally, it will be licensed by a respectable authority such as the UKGC or MGA.
The casino should feature a link at the footer of every page that you can click on to verify the validity of its license.
A casino that’s licensed has to conduct in a certain manner, as it will be sanctioned if it does anything that’s against regulation. On the other hand, if an online casino doesn’t have any licenses, it can conduct business as it pleases, without any repercussions.
For this reason, I recommend playing blackjack only at licensed online casinos. These casinos would ruin their reputation and would endure severe sanctions if they were to get caught cheating.
This is a good deterrent for them not to do anything shady and something that can give you peace of mind when playing blackjack on their platforms.
Know The Site’s History and Popularity
The casino’s license is a crucial aspect you shouldn’t compromise on. But, even if the site is licensed, you can take a few extra steps to ensure it's worth playing at.
Firstly, check the casino’s history. Has the site had any incidents? If so, how severe were they, and did they include any game-fixing or similar issues?
Additionally, how solid is the casino’s reputation among the general player public? Read reviews and browse forums to see whether any blackjack players had issues with the site.
If the site has bad reviews or isn’t transparent, it might be wise to pick another site to play blackjack on.
Stick With Reputable Software Providers
Besides playing blackjack only at trusted casinos, you should also make sure you’re playing games from reputable providers. Companies like Evolution, Playtech, Ezugi, and a few others are trusted brands that offer fair online casinos and live blackjack games.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should avoid blackjack games from all other software providers. That said, if you play blackjack from lesser-known software providers, make sure to do more research and be certain that the game is fair and random.
Is Online Blackjack Rigged – Key Things To Remember
To sum up everything I’ve shared above, you don’t have to worry about online blackjack being rigged. Sure, there’s always a possibility that this can happen.
But, most online casinos, especially those that are licensed and reviewed, operate completely legitimate businesses and offer fair blackjack games.
For online casinos, it definitely doesn’t pay to cheat. The risks are too high, and the rewards are too low. Even if they manage to rig blackjack games for a while, they would always get caught sooner than later.
Plus, with the natural house edge built into every blackjack game, casinos don’t have to rig their games to ensure steady profits.
Still, if you suspect that you might be playing on a shady casino platform, you can use the tips I covered above to make sure whether you should continue playing blackjack or switch to a different online casino.