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Can Live Casino Games be Rigged?

It doesn’t matter if you are a regular gambler or not. The thought that the casino game that you are playing is rigged has probably crossed your mind at some point. Even if you dismissed that thought straight away and soon forgot about it, that thought still existed in your head momentarily.

This is something that happens to many casino players especially after a bad streak. This is why topics like “live roulette is rigged” or ” live blackjack is rigged” or general “casinos games are rigged” are popular in online forums and blogs but also in conversations between casino players.

are live casino games rigged

There are many stories that you can find in casino forums about players suspecting that the game they were playing was rigged and also about ways that a casino can rig a game.

However, we don’t have a confirmed case yet of a live casino game being rigged. So these stories can only be classed as rumours.

Some of these rumours for example say that roulette can be rigged if there is a tool (usually under the table) that controls the ball or the wheel. Another rumour says that live dealer blackjack or baccarat can be rigged with shuffling techniques that can make the game unfair to players.

But until today, there hasn’t been any confirmed cases of a rigged live roulette game or a rigged blackjack game and this is absolutely normal because there are many reasons that justify the fact that live casino games can’t be rigged!

Confirmed Casino Games Rigged Stories

The only confirmed stories about rigged casino games that made the news are linked with slot machine games back in the 80s in the USA ( where online slot games didn’t even exist) and with online poker a few years ago. Let’s have a quick look at these confirmed cheating cases.

American Coin Scandal (1980’s)

The first confirmed case of a rigged casino game is also known as American Coin Scandal. The company that was involved, American Coin, had altered the programming in their machines’ chips so as to not allow players to draw a top-paying royal flush or achieve a top Keno jackpot.

This was back in the ’80s and as you can imagine it is not possible to happen today because of very specific regulations for video gambling machines and local regulatory bodies that inspect and monitor not only the games and the casinos but also the software providers of the games.

Absolute Poker Scandal (2007)

This is the most recent confirmed case of cheating in a casino game and it is linked with online poker. This time the was no rigging of the software.

It was an inside job where the cheaters relied on a superuser account with the nickname “Auditmonster2,” that would observe tables and was able to see everyone player’s hole cards. This account could then inform the cheating players, about other players cards so they can play accordingly—bluff, call bluffs, fold, etc.

As you can see what both these stories have in common is that they are for RNG games and NOT live casino games.

Also, the first scandal took place a long time ago and since then a lot of things have changed and regulations are stricter in the gambling industry to make casino games more transparent and fair for players.

Why Live Casino Games are Not Rigged

Now let’s have a look at the many arguments that support the fact that Live Casinos Games are not rigged!

live casino games online

No Confirmed cases of Rigged Live Casino Games

Live casino games have been around for more than 15 years now and there have been no confirmed cases of a rigged live roulette or rigged live blackjack table.

Not only that but there have not even been any cases that have been investigated. If live casino games were rigged you would think that there would have been some noise around it and would have made the news at least, if not getting investigated by the gambling authorities.

Strict Regulations and Monitoring

Today, online casinos have to meet very strict restrictions in order to operate legally in most countries. If you play in a legitimate, regulated online casino there is no way that the live casino games can be rigged.

This is because an online casino needs to get a licence from an official regulatory body in order to operate. In addition, the software providers that provide the casino games need to be licenced as well. What this means is that all the online casinos and software providers are getting monitored and audited regularly.

For example, all UK live casinos need to have a licence from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and need to be tested by independent test houses that are approved by the UKGC.

Casinos have more to lose if they rig games

Online live casinos are making a lot of profit. We all know that all casino games have a house edge which means that the casino will make a profit against the players in the long term in most cases. Casinos would go out of business very quickly if games were rigged and players were only losing money.

In fact, it is in the casino’s interest for players to win a lot of money as this creates a better reputation for the casino and it is great PR for the casino.

Also, from a business point of view, a profitable business is not justified to cheat its players in order to make extra profit and risk getting caught which will mean massive fines and business closure. Look at what happened to Absolute Poker!

Live Casino Games are streamed live

This is one of the strongest arguments that support the fact that live casino’s games are not rigged. When you play live casino games you can see the live dealer giving out the cards from the shoe or spinning the roulette ball or the wheel.

Most live casino games have no software involved and in some games like Immersive Roulette for example there are even slow-motion replays.

In addition, if live casino games were rigged in many cases you would need the live dealer to be part of the cheat as well. This is impossible as today there are hundreds of games that are taking place online so you would need a lot of live dealers to be part of this cheating conspiracy.

Gambler’s fallacy

This argument involves a bit of psychology as well and is the main reason players believe that casino games are rigged. Many players that claim that live casinos games are rigged are basing this on the fact that they had a bad streak.

When this bad streak happens more than 2 or 3 times that’s when the players start having suspicions and thinking that the game is rigged. The idea is that it is not possible to lose so many times in a row and that there must be something suspicious going on in order for this to happen! However, there is a term that is called Gambler’s fallacy.

For example, a roulette player watches as 10 red numbers come up in a row, so he puts all of his money on black in the next round thinking that it can’t be a red again! This well-known psychological process is the mistaken belief that if an event happens repeatedly, a different event is imminent. Source: for Roney C (2016) Independence of events, and errors in understanding it. Palgrave Communications. 2:16050 doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2016.50

In reality, the odds of any particular event occurring are always the same. It is the same logic as when you flip a coin. Each coin flip is independent of the previous one and the chances every time are 50/50.

Final Thoughts

As we can see from the many arguments in this article, live casino games can’t be rigged and legitimate online casinos have no reason to rig their games. Of course, like everything in life “never say never” and there is always the chance of a casino going rogue but in today’s world with all the regulations in place, the chances of a legitimate, reliable casino going rogue are slim.

Most of the time casino players (included ourselves) fall into the Gambler’s fallacy and believe that if the game is not paying out after consecutive losses, there is something wrong with the casino game. In reality, what is wrong is our perception of the casino game. Instead of seeing the game as a form of entertainment, we see the game as a form of money-making and when this doesn’t happen then we start doubting the fairness of the game.