Are Online Casinos Rigged? The Truth About House Edge – Anyone playing online casino games has probably asked themselves whether online casinos are rigged or not. The short answer to this question is “No”, but things are a bit more complicated. That’s especially because there is a thing called “house edge” that you can interpret that way. So, let’s dive a bit more into casino games, house advantage, and how all this works.
What Does “Fair” Mean?
One of the first things to know about online casinos is that they are required by law to be fair. In this context, in turn, fair might not mean what you think.
In the case of casino games, “fair” means that they give you a 50% chance to win something with every spin. This “something” may be anything between the game’s jackpot worth hundreds or thousands of coins… but it can be its minimum payout, usually smaller than your stake per spin.
Also, “fair” also refers to the fact that all games are completely random. Gambling sites, no matter if they are the top online casino South Africa has to offer or some obscure crypto outlet from Asia, use random number generators to decide the outcome of every round. The fairness comes from the fact that neither the player nor the operator can do anything to influence this outcome.
What Is the House Edge, and How Does It Work?
House edge, or house advantage, basically refers to the casino’s earnings for every game. Basically, their profit margin. Casinos are not charities – they are companies offering a service that expects to make money off of it. If they don’t, like any company, they go bankrupt.
The house edge is expressed through the games’ return to player (RTP). This metric expresses how much you are expected to lose in the long run, over thousands, maybe tens of thousands of rounds.
Different games have different house edges – and so do different bets within some games. For example, certain bets in craps have a house edge of over 11%, while a game of blackjack played with a single deck of cards has a house edge of around 1.5%.
Slot machines have a house edge of around 5% (an RTP of around 95%). Of course, this is flexible – some games have an RTP of 90%, while others have 98%. No casino game has a return to the player of 100% or above.
Make no mistake, this doesn’t mean that you can’t actually walk away with money in your pocket. This only means that, over a large number of rounds, the casino will always end up with a profit.
So, Are Online Casinos Rigged?
No, they are not – at least not in the classic, criminal sense of the word. Online casinos have to prove to the authorities that their games are totally random. There is no room for fraud or tricked games.
But, as the old saying goes, “The house always wins”. All casino games have a house edge built into them that ensures that the casino will always produce a profit. Even if some players win jackpots. This bias doesn’t mean that the games are “rigged” – they are simply built this way.