Is Online Roulette Rigged or a Fair Game?
Last Updated: January 10, 2024
Roulette is an unpredictable game. At one moment, you’re winning spin after spin. But, all of a sudden, you can’t catch a break, and everything seems to be going against you.
To make the matter worse, a string of such losses can happen when you’re on top of the world, taking a massive toll on your bankroll.
If you’ve been playing roulette long enough, you’ve probably gone through this scenario several times. In these situations, it’s easy to think the game is rigged against you. But, is this really the case, or is it merely the result of poor luck?
Do online casinos really rig their roulette games? If so, how can you know you’ve been cheated out of your winnings? Learn if there’s any truth behind this popular belief or whether it’s just another myth you shouldn’t believe in.
Are Roulette Tables Rigged?
To answer the question of “Is online roulette rigged” right off the bat: no, online casinos don’t rig their roulette games in any way. At least, reputable online casinos that care about their business long-term do not fix their roulette games.
Online casinos operating in line with their licenses need to meet certain standards. Fixing any games could cause irreparable damage to their reputation and lead to huge fines.
Casinos that operate above board are often heavily scrutinized and kept under the watchful eye of both regulators and players. They can’t afford any slip-ups.
The minor profit they could gain from rigging their roulette games would be quickly negated by the fines and potential lawsuits.
Understanding The House Edge – The Casino’s Constant Advantage
While the casino doesn’t cheat you in any way when playing roulette, it doesn’t mean you’re competing against it on equal ground. It has a slight advantage that ensures it stays profitable in the long run.
This advantage is called the house edge. It’s a completely legal feature included in every casino game you play, not just online roulette. That said, the size of the house advantage will vary depending on the specific roulette variation you play.
For example, European roulette comes with a reasonable 2.7% house edge. In comparison, the house edge in American roulette is nearly double in size, at 5.3%.
In simpler words, if you want to make the most out of your roulette bankroll, you should always pick the roulette variation with the lower house edge.
But, even with the more favorable variation, the casino is set to take $2.7 of every $100 you bet. Even if you have a great night and end up winning a sizable amount, most other players will lose their $2.7 or often much more. This makes it easy to understand how online casinos can make so much money.
Thanks to this built-in advantage, the casino doesn’t have to rig its roulette games to take your money. The house always wins. If you play roulette long enough, the house edge will do its part and you will most likely lose more than you win.
RNG – Ensuring Randomness in Online Roulette
As an entirely computer-generated game, online roulette could be easily fixed. To make sure this doesn’t happen, it uses RNG (Random Number Generator) algorithms. RNG software ensures that every outcome is random and entirely independent of any previous result.
RNG constantly produces millions of numbers every second, going through all of the possible outcomes. Once you press the spin button on your online roulette game, the RNG produces the winning number for that spin.
Of course, to deliver full realism, the roulette wheel spins for some time before landing on the number that the RNG determined.
Contrary to popular belief, RNG software doesn’t produce any discernible patterns. Just because a number hasn’t landed in a while, it doesn’t mean that it’s more likely to land any time soon. Conversely, nothing is stopping a number from landing five or ten times in a row.
It’s all coincidental and every number has a probability of 1 in 37 (or 1 in 38 in American roulette) to land in each spin. There’s no way for the online casino or the player to predict or fix the outcome generated by RNG software.
Why Do Some Players Think Online Roulette Is Rigged?
Understanding how roulette works and why casinos don’t need to rig these games, it’s also important to answer one more question. Why is there such a strong sentiment on online gambling forums that casinos fix their games?
There are countless roulette players who are absolutely certain that casino sites are cheating them out of their winnings. Unfortunately, the reason for these strong beliefs doesn’t lie in anything spectacular, such as casinos rigging roulette games.
Instead, the players who are adamant about pushing this myth are those suffering from so-called “gambler’s remorse”. They’ve lost money on an online roulette table, and can’t accept it. They want to blame someone or something, but not themselves.
And, when it occurs on a new casino site or if it happens that they have several close spins that land against them, it only feeds their superstition. The more often they lose, the more paranoid they get. They can’t accept that every result is purely random.
Moreover, players who believe that their casino is rigging roulette games often disregard the importance of the house edge in this game. Believing that the casino is rigging the game is an easy, but very detrimental mindset to have.
If you’re a player who focuses on a proper roulette strategy and efficient bankroll management, you will be much more successful than players who play waiting for the casino to cheat them somehow.
Can Online Casinos Rig Live Casino Games?
Live roulette games are much closer to the real thing than online games. This is why many online casino players differentiate these two when discussing how casinos rig games.
However, this makes no sense, as it again comes down to the casino and the provider, and not the game itself.
If an online casino wants to rig the live roulette game, it can certainly do so. It doesn’t matter that the dealer is involved and that the game is not entirely computerized. The casino can rig the game in numerous ways without even knowing it.
Still, this isn’t something you should worry about when playing at a legitimate and licensed website. There are many trusted live dealer casino providers, such as NetEnt, Evolution, Ezugi, and many others. These software providers offer safe and fair games, so any casino that features their content can be trusted.
How to Make Sure Your Online Roulette Game Isn’t Rigged
Online casinos can rig games without much effort, and some gambling sites will certainly do so. However, it's on you to pick a trusted casino that will provide a safe gambling environment.
Luckily, this is fairly easy and straightforward to do when you know the crucial aspects you need to pay attention to. Here’s how to make sure that your online casino isn’t rigging its roulette games:
Check the Casino’s License
The first thing to look for when verifying an online casino’s credibility is its license. If the online casino is unlicensed, it means that it doesn’t answer to any regulatory authority.
In other words, it can do what it wants with its platform. If this includes fixing its roulette to scam players, there’s nothing stopping it from doing so.
On the other hand, if a casino is licensed, especially by a trusted authority like the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority, it will maintain strict practices to ensure it stays in line with all of the requirements.
These licenses are expensive to obtain and doing anything to lose the license can significantly hamper the casino’s reputation to operate in the future.
Evaluate the Featured Software Providers
A trusted and reputable online casino will only feature roulette games from reliable software providers. Roulette games from these providers will most often be verified by third-party authorities to confirm their randomness.
If a casino features a stamp of approval from a reputable testing organization like eCogra or iTech Labs, you can rest assured that its online roulette games are safe and fair.
Research the Casino’s Reputation
Apart from verifying the two aspects above directly on the casino’s site, you can do some extra research on the Internet to see whether you can trust the casino to offer fair and random roulette games.
For example, you can look if the online casino has been involved in any incidents in the past or if it has done anything shady. Reading player forums and review sites can also help you create a more detailed picture of the casino’s overall reputation.
Is Roulette Rigged? – Summing It Up
There will always be rumors of online casinos rigging their roulette games. While there are certainly some rigged roulette games on online gambling sites, you will only encounter these if you play at shady and unlicensed casinos.
By and large, roulette is a very safe and fair game. As a player, you need to ensure that the platform you’re playing at is trustworthy.
Keep in mind the tips on how to pick trustworthy casinos and safe roulette games, and you won’t have any issues playing this wheel-based game online.
Moreover, it’s essential to remember that roulette is a luck-based game with a built-in house edge. This means that you’ll see both wins and losses, but the latter will generally prevail in the long run.
So, remember to play online roulette responsibly and embrace the game's randomness without blaming the casino during losing sessions.