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All About Cheating At Online Casinos

Casinos aren’t just famous for their exciting games and massive jackpots. They also employ some of the world's most exhaustive security measures. The next time you find yourself in Las Vegas just look up and count the thousands of cameras. While this large-scale surveillance system will certainly help foil an Oceans Eleven style heist, its prime objective is to catch and deter cheaters.

Online casino operators don’t have to worry about old school player tricks. Sleight of hand, marking cards, card counting, and bribing dealers are impossible on the internet. Still, gambling sites do face challenges when it comes to cheating. At the same time, players deserve assurances that they aren’t being scammed themselves. There's more to trust than being ignorant or simply hoping for the best. That's true no matter which side of the table you're on.

Can Players Cheat At Online Casinos?

Aside from hacking into the system, which is virtually impossible, the only real opportunity to cheat is in multiplayer games like poker. Many unscrupulous players are tempted to collude with their buddies when seated at the same poker table. It's possible to reveal your hands to each other over the phone while you effectively bully other players. Unfortunately for prospective cheaters, today's internet gambling sites use advanced software that's been developed and tweaked over the course of two decades. It's easy for sites to track player behavior and patterns to spot these sorts of scams in their tracks.

Like any other business, online casinos need to protect their investment. They always need to be one step ahead of potential crooks. The industry is no longer in its infancy and most of the loopholes that once worked are now closed. A few years ago, many players would outsource their poker playing to robots who could grind all day and night at dozens of tables in unison. Although this isn’t technically cheating and doesn’t affect a site's bottom line, these bots are now banned. Sites aim to be honorable and want to players to have confidence in all aspects of their games.

Should You Cheat?

If you've come up with some wacky foolproof way to cheat, it's probably less original and certain than you think. Just like in the rest of life, most cheaters do eventually get caught. Keep in mind that unlike in Las Vegas, claiming your winnings on the internet isn’t instant. Even if you are a legitimate player, cash outs take anywhere between a few hours and days. That gives the casino time to scrutinize any unusual wins or patterns.

Preventing Casinos From Cheating You

We've all been there. You've been playing for an hour and you can’t catch a break. It seems like every time you bet on black, the roulette ball lands on red. It's easy to accuse the casino of cheating, especially since you are effectively playing a video game. That roulette wheel is just a graphical representation of what might happen at a casino. What's stopping the casino from producing whatever outcome pads its bottom line? Although there are no guarantees, it's useful to look at how internet gambling actually operates.

Unless you are participating in live games broadcast by webcam, every spin, shuffle, and roll of the dice is the result of a RNG or random number generator. The algorithms behind these RNGs are thoroughly tested and certified to ensure they mirror what would happen in reality.

Getting Caught Red Handed

While it is technically possible for casinos to cheat, it isn’t in their best interest. News travels fast on the internet, especially bad news. Sites that cheat or defraud players are scathed in real time all over social media. With hundreds of competitors, an internet gambling site's reputation is its most valuable asset. You don’t need the letters MBA after your name to understand that even a small scandal can cost exponentially more than a reputable site stands to gain by cheating.

You might not realize it, but fair games are inherently profitable for the casino. Whether you are playing blackjack, keno, craps, roulette, or any other game, the house always has a mathematical edge. That means over time, the casino will come out ahead even when offering honest games. This shouldn’t deter you from playing. It's still possible to win and have fun in the process, but the odds are always against you statistically speaking. That's good news if you're looking for honest games, yet it could put a damper on that fool proof winning system of yours.

Understanding Variance

Whether you play in Atlantic City, Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, or online, you should acknowledge variance even if you don’t follow the math. All you need to know is that whether you are dealing with longshots or sure things, the odds are only true over time. That time begins before you take your seat and long after you depart. While the odds of hitting 13 on the roulette wheel are 1 in 38, don’t assume the casino is cheating if your number doesn’t come up after 38 or even 100 consecutive spins. Yet it's totally possible to hit your number twice in a row during a fair game.

Watch Where You Play

If you don’t want to run the risk of getting cheated, you’ll need to play at a trusted site. The best internet casinos are licensed and regulated by government agencies. Any gambling website that deserves your attention goes above and beyond by subjecting their software to third party audits. Always check a sites credentials before registering, read the reviews, and never be afraid to ask questions.

Additional Resources

Learn everything you need to know about variance and casino math courtesy of the UNLV Center For Gaming Research: http://gaming.unlv.edu/casinomath.html