Online roulette games are very convenient because they allow you to play for free for as much as you want. This is a perfect way to practice before playing for real money. Most players who practice free online roulette and win at it but then decide to move to real money games end up losing their money.
Admittedly, it is a bit suspicious how your fortunes can change once you start betting on roulette with your hard-earned cash.
With this being the case, the easiest go-to answer might be to say that the house rigs these games against you. But is online roulette rigged, or is there more to this?
The short answer is no. Roulette is not rigged. But, if you want to know for sure, the long answer includes many things you need to be aware of. This page will help you understand every aspect that makes up an online roulette game.
Is Online Roulette Rigged? – Expanding on the Theory
Most players believe that their struggles are due to the roulette wheel being fixed to offer specific outcomes every once in a while or sabotage the players on a winning streak.
Another popular belief among roulette players is that it’s always best to make different bets than the biggest bettor at the table. The logic behind this is that the casino will fix the result against the players betting the most. Thus, as the little fish, you can go by winning bets on different outcomes than those who the bigger bettors wagered on.
Of course, like the first misconception, this has no base in reality.
The truth is disappointingly simple and uncontroversial. Each roulette spin is entirely independent of any previous outcome. This is even truer for online roulette games, operated by the RNG (Random Number Generator) software.
RNGs are computer algorithms that generate results completely randomly. They produce millions of possible outcomes every second before giving you the final result. This process ensures that every outcome is as random as unpredictable as it can be.
So, if you notice a pattern of several spins, know that this ultimately boils down to timing and sheer coincidence, and not the game being rigged in any way. After all, while it is extremely uncommon that a ball will land on the same number on several spins, this can happen from time to time.
Still, what makes roulette so random and unpredictable is that you can never tell what the next result will be, even if you think you’ve noticed a pattern. Speaking of the latter, it’s best just to avoid focusing on any potential patterns or numbers, as this won’t get you anywhere.
You’ll be much more successful at the game if you focus your attention on the gameplay and roulette betting strategies instead of diverting your attention to trying to find a relation between outcomes in a game that doesn’t have this aspect.
Again, some players believe that, since these are computer algorithms, malicious people can program them to operate the way they want to. However, there are also strong safety mechanisms in place to prevent anyone tampering with the software and create online roulette rigged games.
To be fair, we have to highlight that none of this applies if you’re playing on an unlicensed online casino operating offshore. In these situations, you’re putting your money on the roulette game solely based on your faith, trusting that you made a good choice signing up with such a site.
There’s no guarantee that the outcomes would be fair or that the casino hasn’t tampered with the roulette game’s software. Is roulette rigged or not on such a site is an impossible question to answer, as these operators don’t have to report to any authority.
This is why we strongly recommend you only play with licensed sites, as there’s no possibility of any game-fixing or cheating when a site is licensed by a reputable authority such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority.
Is Roulette Fixed – Can the Casino Control The Game?
It’s critical to understand that the roulette software is not something that the casino can easily manipulate occasionally because it wants to rake in the extra profits.
If it was discovered that a licensed and regulated online casino was trying something like this, the site would automatically lose its licenses to provide gambling services and likely be charged with hefty legal fines.
With such a strong protection mechanism in place for online gamblers, it just doesn’t make sense for online casinos to risk long-term profits by fixing games like roulette. Moreover, online gambling software providers also have to adhere to strict regulations.
Big and reputable online casino software companies are regularly audited by independent auditors. This entails professional companies assessing the software provider’s software to ensure everything operates entirely fair and random.
Like with online casinos, any fault in the software provider’s roulette game would be flagged by the auditors, and the software company would have to fix it without any delay.
Strict Online Licensing – A Way to Combat Rigged Games
As we’ve mentioned before, when you’re playing at a licensed and trustworthy online casino, the chances of running into a fixed roulette wheel are non-existent. Although the online gambling scene was the Wild Wild West when it first came up in the 1990s, a lot has changed since then.
Today, the industry is extremely well-regulated, and online casino players are as well-protected as they can be.
Gambling regulators such as the above-mentioned UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority are very strict about who they let carry their licenses. Not only are their licenses expensive to obtain, but these authorities have a long list of criteria every potential online gambling operator has to meet to legally offer online casino games.
So, if you’ve been wondering is roulette rigged somehow, keep in mind that it would cost casinos much more to rig the games and get caught than what they stand to potentially earn cheating the players.
This is especially important when it comes to RNG games like roulette. When you can rely on independent authorities overseen by the government to regulate the industry, you can expect fair and random games. This is why strict licensing and legal regulation have made the online gambling industry very stable, especially in major gambling regions like the UK and Sweden.
The House Edge – Casino’s Built-in Advantage
We’ve stressed several times throughout the page that casinos don’t really fix roulette games in any way. That said, they do make sure that they have the built-in advantage in the long run.
This doesn’t include any spin fixing, or underhanded techniques players speculate about online. The built-in mathematical advantage in all roulette games is called the house edge. It is a normal occurrence in all casino games, not just online roulette.
The house edge ensures the casino’s profit no matter what. In other words, the house takes a certain cut of all of the bets, regardless if you win or lose. This is perfectly understandable as casinos are just businesses that are in it to make money.
The house edge isn’t something you can affect if you play online roulette a different way. That’s why there’s a popular saying that “the house always wins.”
When it comes to roulette, the exact house edge will depend on the specific type of roulette game you’re playing. If you play American roulette, you can expect a house edge of around 5.3%. However, European roulette is by far the more favorable option, as it has a house edge of 2.7%.
Overall, while some players think online roulette is rigged because of the house edge, this is something you need to accept if you want to play roulette and any other casino game.
Are Roulette Tables Rigged? – The Question of Live Roulette
So, while online roulette games are operated exclusively by RNG software and can’t be controlled in any way, are live roulette tables different?
The simple answer is no, as long as you are equally as careful as you would be when playing regular online roulette. If you play roulette in a trusted land-based casino or enjoy a live dealer roulette online casino game at a verified and licensed site, you don’t have to ask whether roulette is fixed.
Of course, there are ways how live dealer games can be fixed, as they involve a human factor in the form of the dealer. It is challenging, as there are always at least a couple of players observing the action and can notice any suspicious behavior from the dealer.
For example, the dealer could learn to flick a ball in a specific way, from a specific height to make the ball land on a target area. Moreover, there’s also the popular topic of casinos using magnetic fields or weighted balls to ensure that the ball falls in a specific pocket.
Some shady casinos even install brakes underneath the table to directly control the wheel. These are all things that are possible in a less-reputable casino.
There are undoubtedly numerous ways the casino can cheat you out of your roulette win. However, none of these are possible in a trusted online casino. If you’re with a licensed site that features roulette games from well-known providers such as NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, or Microgaming, the games are undoubtedly fair, random, and not in any way rigged against you.
The Importance of Objective Perception
With all of the above in mind, it’s impossible to escape the fact that every online roulette player observes the roulette wheel from their own perspective. This is especially critical to remember in online live dealer roulette games.
What do we mean by this? In simple terms, your perception of the roulette wheel is most often not the reality of the situation.
So, even if you spend six hours playing online live dealer roulette, you’re only playing the game for a fraction of the time that the particular roulette will be spinning for. Keep in mind that online casinos work 24/7 and never close their virtual doors.
In other words, your perceived volatility of the game in a few hundred spins doesn’t represent the actual long-term roulette volatility, measured through tens of thousands of hours and even more spins.
Just because the odds of landing an odd/even or red/black are close to fifty-fifty, it doesn’t actually mean that each of these outcomes will happen in close to fifty percent of the time in your particular session. A single session, no matter how long it is, is just too short of a sample to determine if online roulette is rigged or not.
Short-term, there’s no telling what the winning odds will be, so much so that even the online casino is prepared to take a loss. But, in the objective long-term sense, these percentages will even out, making the casino a stable profit in the long run.
So, tying into all of the topics of potential roulette fixing, licenses, and regulators we’ve discussed on this page, gambling authorities can only determine is roulette rigged or not after observing the outcomes for tens of thousands of spins or more. If patterns start showing up, then, and only then, we can say that a roulette game is fixed.
Is Online Roulette Rigged? – Key Things to Remember
As you might have taken away from all of the examples we’ve discussed in great detail on this page, the chances of online roulette being rigged (or any other online casino game for that matter) are minimal.
This is true if you stick with reputable, licensed, and trustworthy casinos that have been in business long enough to prove their validity, which you should always do. If you sign up with an unlicensed online casino, the chances of running into a rigged online roulette game are significantly higher.
Ultimately, it’s always best to remember the simple truth about roulette. This game is purely luck-based. And, for players who experience prolonged droughts of unlucky sessions, it’s easy to blame the casino for fixing the wheel instead of taking responsibility.
Just like winning several bets in roulette only means you’re lucky and not skilled, losing several bets means you’re just unlucky and not that the house is out to get you. The online casino doesn’t need to do this. It will always have the advantage over you in the form of the house edge anyway.
So, online roulette isn’t rigged – at least not in a way people believe it to be. But it’s true that the house will always win against any roulette player in the long run, and there is no way around it. You can either embrace it or move on to a more skill-oriented casino game like blackjack.