You know the feeling. You get a roulette bonus, all seems to be going well, and you’re stacking up chips. Then, you start playing with your own money, and your fortunes change.
This scenario happens to everyone at least once or twice. It’s enough to make most players ask: “Is online roulette rigged?”
In this piece, I’m going to explain to you that online roulette is rigged, but not in the way you think it is. I’m also going to ease your mind and reassure you that there isn’t some evil casino genius interfering with the game algorithms, at least not at legit roulette casinos.
Is Roulette Rigged?
If you look at Reddit posts about roulette or at posts on other gambling forums, you’re going to find a lot of people who believe that online casinos are scams. Many posters are 100% convinced that online roulette is programmed to screw them. If you read enough of these opinions, they can be convincing.
I’m not going to tell you that every online roulette game is legit. There are scam casinos, some we have added to our casino blacklist, and they will rinse you for every cent they can.
What a lot of these forum posters are suffering from is called “gambler’s remorse.” They’ve lost, they can’t accept it, and they’re looking for someone to blame. Gamblers can be superstitious and paranoid. And when they lose money, especially at a new online casino they have never played at, they can start drawing irrational conclusions.
How can I be so sure? I’m going to explain to you how I know online roulette isn’t rigged most of the time.
Random Number Generators
There’s a great, in-depth post on Random Number Generators here. You can read that if you want to know the full details on how game outcomes are determined.
If you don’t have the time, I’ll briefly summarize it for you here. Random Number Generators (RNGs in industry parlance) are computer algorithms which spit out millions of numbers per second. Each number is associated with a game outcome. In roulette’s case, that game outcome is a number such as 10, 18, or 32. Each number has an equal chance of being chosen on each spin.
As soon as you click “spin,” the program selects one of the numbers which the random number generator has created. There are even Provably Fair games which you can use to check that no funny business has occurred. These use Bitcoin technology such as hashing, and let you check game outcomes for fairness.
You should also remember one important thing: The casinos do not control the Random Number Generators. Third-party software companies such as Microgaming program them. More often than not, they’re tested by an independent third-party organization like eCOGRA. They don’t work for the software firms and have no incentive to certify their games fair.
Online Betting Licenses
The second thing to consider is the online gambling licenses a casino has. It’s true that some of these aren’t worth much, but there are others which are. For example, if a casino has a gaming license from Malta or the UK, that’s a sure sign its games are legitimate.
These countries have a vested interest in keeping things fair. They generate a substantial portion of their tax revenue from online gambling. They can’t afford to license rogue casinos and lose that hard-won trust. The UKGC, for example, conducts its own random tests of casino games. If you believe that both the third-party testing companies and the national governments which issue licenses are in on rigged online roulette games, it may be best to lay off gambling for a while.
If you’re playing a Microgaming roulette game, or a game by any other reputable provider and the casino has a legit gambling license, you can be sure the games are not rigged. It’s much more likely that you’ve experienced a natural losing streak. All experienced gamblers will tell you that this can and does happen.
My Own Experience and Testing
I didn’t want this post based only on trusting big-name companies and organizations. While I know for a fact that they can be trusted since I work in this industry, I understand that some of you won’t have that same level of trust.
Therefore, I decided to put online roulette to the test. I played 500 spins on a game of European roulette to see if it was truly random. I placed random even-money bets worth $100 per spin.
The results are as you would expect them to be. There’s no probabilistic difference between the number of red/black or odd/even spins. There are tiny percentage differences between these, with the zero appearing 4.2% of the time.
For this test, I was using popular online software and was placing red or black bets. The only thing that immediately jumps out at me is that the number 20 came up 4% of the time, and both 16 and 30 came up more than 4% of the time. Some players would call these “hot numbers” and advise you to bet on them, but I believe it’s just an anomaly and, over enough spins, these numbers wouldn’t appear more than any other number.
Are Live Dealer Roulette Games Rigged?
We’ve ruled out the idea that most online roulette games are rigged, but what about live dealer games? Wouldn’t it be easier to run a crooked roulette wheel from a game studio?
The answer is the same. There are rigged live roulette games at scam casinos, but if you stick with the legit ones like Evolution Gaming, that’s not the case. These guys didn’t build multinational businesses which hold UKGC and Malta gaming licenses by behaving like criminals.
As a matter of fact, live dealer roulette games are even less likely to be rigged than electronic games. There are often dozens of players watching at any given time, you can see what the dealer is doing, and it’s just so much harder to fix a live game than it is to slip something shady into an invisible game algorithm.
Live dealers from reputable companies are not:
- Using a brake under the table to stop the wheel and make sure the majority of people lose.
- Spinning the wheels at different speeds/forces to make it more likely that certain numbers will land.
- Flicking the ball, dropping it from a certain height, or using weighted/magnetic balls to make sure a certain game outcome occurs.
I’ve seen these accusations online. It’s ridiculous to think that award-winning companies like NetEnt are doing this. I don’t know what else to say about it than that.
Here’s a list of legit live dealer roulette firms. I can guarantee you that their games are not rigged:
- Evolution Gaming
- Extreme Live Gaming
- Ezugi (owned by Evolution)
- Authentic Gaming
As for the others, I’m not saying they’re not legit. I’m just not going to put my reputation or the reputation of LegitGamblingSites.com on the line to recommend them yet.
Where can you play these live roulette games? At one of our top-rated casinos, of course.
The One Way Which Roulette Games Are Rigged
Remember how I said at the beginning of this article that roulette is rigged, but not in the way you think it is? I meant that. It’s not rigged in a way where the casino is cheating, fixing spins, and conning you. However, the casino does have a built-in mathematical advantage. It’s called the house edge.
The roulette house edge depends on the variant you’re playing. You always have slightly worse odds in American roulette because of the double zero. You can learn all about the different roulette variants here.
The main point to remember is this—roulette is fixed in the sense that the casino has a mathematical advantage which ensures it will make money over the long run. You didn’t honestly believe they were running these games for the good of their health, did you?
In that sense, online roulette is fixed. It’s unbeatable over a long period. However, in the sense of “these guys changed the rules when I started betting with real money,” it isn’t. The only way that’s possible is if you’re playing at a rogue casino. You won’t find any of those recommended on this site.
Hopefully, you can now see that the vast majority of online roulette games are not rigged. Third parties which have no incentive to scam you decide game outcomes and my own analysis proves that at least one major casino software company is running fair games. You’ll have to trust that the same game testers and regulators that keep these roulette games fair are doing their job with the rest.
Don’t believe the guys and gals who always bet too much then rant online. Bet within your means, play legit online roulette games and remember that the casino always has a slight advantage. With these practices, you’ll have an enjoyable and honest online gambling experience.