Do Online Casinos Cheat?

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In this article, we will investigate the possibility of cheating online casinos and in what ways they could cheat.

But let’s back up a little first.

Gambling is one of the most popular pastimes throughout the world. From young men throwing dice against a wall in poor US neighborhoods, to a lively game of baccarat in a fancy casino in Macau, almost all of us love a good game of chance.

Gambling has been present in human society as far back as the ancient Greeks and Romans, if not earlier. (We’re pretty sure that there was some serious wagering happening during those gladiator fights.)

These days, though, there is no need to head out to a physical casino to place a bet. Thanks to the pervasiveness of the internet, we can play Texas Hold ‘Em or roll the dice in craps from the comfort of our own homes.

But as grandma used to say, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.”

This is because the World Wide Web is a wild, wonderful, and largely unregulated place.

All sorts of things – both good and bad – can happen when we play for money online. The important thing is to know the warning signs of nefarious activity and what safety precautions we can take.

The Differences Between Physical and Online Casinos

In general, physical casinos are subject to stricter oversight than online ones. There are myriad state and federal laws in the US that require adherence to regulations, report submissions, and employee actions. This makes it much harder for physical establishments to cheat their customers.

In theory, online casinos based within the US are also subject to such oversight. They can be harder to police, though. And any online gambling establishment based outside of the US and Western Europe or Australia is a wild card. Regulations or whatever particular laws should apply to that country are often loosely enforced.

Another difference between the two types of casinos is how they offer buy-ins. “Buy-in” has a slightly different definition, depending on which type of game we are playing. The general idea, though, is that it is the amount of money that we make available upfront in order to be allowed to gamble.

In physical casinos, buy-ins are often straightforward. If we want to play slots, we simply load our payment card and select the amount we wish to wager. If we want to join a high-stakes poker game, we provide the required amount of cash or chips and assume our seat at the table.

Buy-ins for online gaming are often more complicated. These sites have pages of fine print that detail all the “ifs, ands, or buts” and how those exceptions can exempt them from paying us for our wins.

Different Ways Online Casinos Can Cheat

Anyone can buy a domain name and start a casino website. And if that person decides to rig the games or not pay out when someone wins, it can be hard to do anything about it.

Here are some examples of how online casinos can cheat:

  • Rigging the odds of winning to be unfairly low

  • Installing malware on your computer that can reveal your hand to the casino or other players

  • Circumventing the random number generator to create pre-determined results

  • False advertising/making it difficult to claim bonuses or incentives

Ways to Protect Ourselves

Read the Reviews

As we’ve stated before, gambling is hugely popular worldwide. This popularity ensures that whichever online casino we choose to use will have thousands, if not millions, of other players visiting its site. Plus, this is the internet we are talking about; the land of complaints, criticisms, and angry reviews.

In other words, if people feel like online gambling websites are cheating them, you will be able to find evidence of this. Be sure to keep in mind, though, that there are also a lot of sore losers out there. Know the differences between “this casino is engaging in unlawful activity” and “It’s not fair that I didn’t win when I thought I had a solid hand!”

A good tip if you want to find a safe online casino is to use a trusted review website, where real users can share their experiences.

Read the Fine Print

We know it’s boring, but it’s important. And it’s one of the trade-offs for enjoying the comfort and ease of online gaming – we have to put in some extra effort upfront in order to protect ourselves down the line.

If we don’t read the rules for playing at each online casino we patronize, then we can’t know what we are entitled to or not entitled to. 


While this may sound excessive to some, it is worth considering if you are a frequent or high-stakes online gambler. There are many screen recording devices on the market today that we can use to record our games. Or, to keep it low-budget, set up a phone to record the screen.

Documenting the game that you are contesting as unfair will go a long way toward making your case. If you have no evidence, it is doubtful that anyone will take your complaint of cheating seriously.

Use Safe Websites

Not all websites are created equal. In fact, many are poorly designed (whether intentionally or unintentionally) and thus leave customers open to theft and hacking.

The best way to avoid this is to only gamble on sites that use encryption technology to protect our information.

We can identify such safe sites by the presence of a small padlock icon in the URL toolbar. This icon is an international indicator that lets us know that this casino uses modern digital encryption technologies to protect our information from outside parties.

The Verdict

There are many advantages to enjoying online casino gambling. Aside from never having to leave our houses, we can jump quickly between different games when we want something new.

Plus, for those of us playing on websites located in different countries, there are usually options to pay in multiple currencies. This eliminates the obnoxious conversion fees that most physical casinos charge if we attempt to gamble with foreign currency.

But with great power comes great responsibility, and sometimes great risk.

Just because we can access a wide variety of online gambling opportunities, it does not mean that we should dive headfirst into every game.

There are honest online casinos and dishonest ones. And, unfortunately, it can be extra challenging to understand all the rules that online casinos create to keep us from getting our money. Plus, some casinos really do cheat their customers.

The bottom line is that we have an obligation to inform ourselves and take adequate precautions when we gamble online.


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