Online Blackjack Rigged
A common question amongst both new and experienced players is whether or not online casinos are 'rigged' or fixed in some way. This is also a question that gets asked about once every other day on Yahoo answers. So we thought it was high time to answer it.
Before we start, we should point out that by their very nature all casinos games have a payout that is lower than the theoretical 'full odds' of the game (resulting in the 'house edge'). This fact is no secret and one that is not hidden by the casinos - it is also how casinos, both online and brick and mortar, stay in business. This topic has already been covered in the previous article, which you can read here.
With this in mind, when we talk about a casino being 'rigged' we mean one which operates outside of the laws of probability - ie: the outcomes of a game, rather than the payouts, are not as we would expect. For example, if you were to roll a dice 100 times and each time the dice rolled a '6', there is a strong chance that the dice is fixed in some way.
So what about online casinos? Most people that complain about the legitimacy of an online casino do so after a string of losses - either a large number of spins on a slot machine without a significant win, or a run of loses at the blackjack or roulette table. But do these loses related to some kind of manipulation of the game?
For roulette, many players scream 'fraud' when faced with a run of 10 reds in a row whilst they're betting on black - but does this point to a fixed game, a statistical anomaly or a relatively common occurrence? The odds of losing 10 bets on black in a row, which includes both spins that are 'red' as well as spinning the green zero, can be calculated as follows:
The probability of losing one spin is 19/37 - there are 37 numbers on a single zero roulette wheel and 19 of them would result in you losing your 'black' bet (18 reds + 1 green zero).
The probability of losing two spins in a row can be calculated by taking the odds of losing one spin and multiplying it against itself:
19/37 x 19/37 = 1 in 3.79 (or P = 0.26)
Similarly the probability of losing 10 spins in a row can be calculated by taking the odds of losing one spin and multiplying it by itself 9 times, which is written as:
19/37 ^ 10 = 1 in 784 (or P = 0.0013)
To put this in perspective, this means that if you were to spin the roulette wheel ten times in a row and then repeated this set of 10 spins another 783 times (for a total of 784), you would expect one of those spin sets to be all losses.
A one in 784 occurance isn't really that rare at all, in fact you have much better odds of facing a run of 10 consecutive losses at the roulette wheel than you do of correctly picking 4 numbers on the lottery (1 in 1, 032).
Arnold Snyder is a professional gambler and gambling author. He was elected by professional blackjack players as one of the seven original inductees into the Blackjack Hall of Fame for his record as a blackjack player and his innovations in professional gambling techniques. He was the first blackjack authority to publish the importance of deck...
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