Is online roulette rigged?
Most of the players ask the “is roulette rigged” question after losing multiple times. This is something even professional gamblers worry about. After doing comprehensive research, we answer every question about whether a game is "fixed" and explain how you can get a satisfying and fair roulette experience. Therefore after reading this article, you can find the answer to how to understand which roulette is "broken" and which is not.
What does rigged mean?
Before answering the question “ are roulette wheels rigged” let's start with the basics: what exactly does "roulette rigged" mean? These are essentially games played with altered RTP/house edge values, and we should start by briefly explaining both concepts.
RTP is short for "return to player" and indicates how much of your investment in a casino game you can recover in the long run. For example, let's say a game has an RTP of 80%: if you invest 100 units into this game, you will win 80 units back in the long run. In other words, your loss would be, at most, 20 units. The “long term” here refers to the result after an average of 1,000 rounds.
House edge, on the other hand, is the opposite of RTP: it shows how much profit a casino will make from your bets in the long run. In the example above, the game with an RTP of 80% has a house edge of 20%. This means that the casino makes a profit of 20 units for every 100 units invested by the players.
Here are the average roulette RTP and house edge values for non-rigged games: this list will also answer the “which roulette game has the highest RTP” question.
- American Roulette: 94.70% RTP – 5.39% House Edge
- European Roulette: 97.30% RTP – 2.70% House Edge
- French Roulette: 98.65% RTP – 1.35% House Edge
If the RTP of the game you are playing is less than these values and/or the house edge percentage is higher than these values (*), you are playing a "rigged roulette". In other words, you are making less than you should, and/or the casino makes more profit on your bets than it should. This also shows why it is important to play at licensed online casinos because licensed casinos use RNG software which proves that game results are not altered.
(*) Please note that in some variants (e.g., bonus bet – variants offering multiplier payouts), these values may vary slightly, and this is normal.
What is the role of RNG in online roulette?
“RNG” is used in all casino games and indicates that the results are not altered, i.e., the RTP/house edge ratios are not changed. It can do this because it determines game results based on randomly generated numbers: RNG stands for “random number generator”.
Let's explain by giving a simple example for online roulette:
- Each number on the wheel has a numerical value.
- For example, let's assume that this value for "red 7" is all numbers between 500-550.
- As soon as you hit the "Spin" button, RNG generates a random number.
- If this number is, for example, 543, the result is a red 7.
There is no way of knowing in advance what the generated figure will be: not even the person who programmed the RNG software can do that. Since it is not possible to change the results, it will not be possible to manipulate the RTP/house edge values too. Licensed and safe casinos offer RNG-certified games, meaning that the randomness of all game results is tested and verified by an independent auditor.
Is online roulette rigged: true or false?
If you want a clear answer to the question of can roulette be rigged, we can simply summarise what we have explained so far:
- Yes, the “online roulette rigged” situation is real, and you can be affected by it if you play at unlicensed (rogue, illegal) casino sites.
- But in most cases, thinking the game (roulette or any other game) is rigged is what's known as "gambler's remorse": you think the casino is cheating because you lost.
- Licensed, legal and RNG-certified casinos do not have a rigged roulette wheel. The fairness of the games is regularly audited by different authorities. If you've played and lost at such a casino, it just shows that you're unlucky: losing is also part of gambling and yes, it can happen in a row.
Ways of fixing a roulette game
We think you now have a general idea of the answer to the question “do casinos cheat at roulette”. If you choose the right casinos to play games, you do not need to worry about this issue. However, we have prepared this article to make your roulette experience more enjoyable and profitable, so we also need to talk about ways to fix a roulette game. We can say that there are basically three methods for this.
The Rigged Table
This is a method that is only possible in land-based casinos, and nowadays, it goes no further than an urban legend. There are indeed some reports of rigged equipment being used in casinos, but almost all of them date back to the 1940-1970 period (i.e., when gambling was mob controlled).
In this method, the equipment to physically manipulate the ball is hidden inside the table. This is mostly a magnet, but it can also be some attachments on the wheel that will change the position of the ball. In any case, the ball lands in the pocket the casino wants. Today, the "roulette rigged table" is just a rumour: casinos are now controlled by multinational corporations, and the industry is regulated much more strictly than before, meaning this scenario is no longer possible.
The “Skilful” Croupier
In this scenario, the same methods are used, i.e., the ball is physically manipulated, but this time it is the croupier doing that, not the casino. This is just a myth today. Gaming tables in casinos are supervised by dozens of cameras and pit bosses. If a table suddenly starts losing (or winning) more, it won't take long to notice. You don't need to worry about this scenario: it's just an urban legend.
The Rigged Software
This is a problem that can prevail in online casinos. But don't confuse it with the question, “is electronic roulette rigged”: electronic roulette is a special variant offered at land-based casinos; we're talking about online roulette here. For the online version of roulette to be rigged, the casino must operate completely illegally and offer pirated games. This is because online roulette is a game developed by different studios and these studios have their own licences and RNG certificates. Casino sites that legally offer their games cannot change the basic RNG/RTP/House Edge values of the games.
However, sites that offer pirated games may do so. In these sites, the software itself is altered to make the player lose more. This is still a current danger, but luckily it is very easy to avoid: as long as you play in licensed and legal casinos, you can stay away from it.
Are Online Roulette Tables Rigged?
We answered the “are roulette tables rigged” question for land-based casinos, but what about online casinos? Since most of the online roulette games are based on software, you can think that there is no “human factor”, but remember that there are live dealer roulette games, too, so we cannot completely eliminate it.
Fortunately, the explanations we made for RNG roulette, i.e., software-based games, also apply to live dealer roulette games. In other words, if a casino is licensed and offers fairness-proven games, it means that live dealer games will not be rigged either. In this regard, not only the casinos but also the studios that develop these games are licensed and certified; that is, the fairness check is carried out on both sides. You can get more security and reliability if you prefer roulette games from such developers. Below we share some of the studios where you don't have to worry about fairness: we recommend choosing licensed casinos that offer games from these providers.
- Playtech (UKGC & MGA license)
- Pragmatic Play (multiple EGR rewards, licensed by MGA, UKGC, and Gibraltar)
- Evolution Gaming (eCOGRA fairness certificate, UKGC & MGA licence)
- Netent (MGA, UKGC, and Gibraltar licence, eCOGRA certificate)
How to determine that online roulette is not rigged?
We answered the “can roulette tables be rigged” question above, but how can you be sure about that? There are two simple methods you can use to make sure the game you're playing isn't rigged.
- Look for a certificate. Prefer casinos that have a fairness certificate from independent auditors such as eCOGRA and iTechLabs. The “seal of approval” of these auditors guarantees that the games are fair.
- Check & verify the licence. Look at the bottom of the main page and verify that the casino is licensed by a reputable agency. Click the logo of this agency to make sure that the license is still valid. Having an RNG certificate is a licensing requirement, and the licensor conducts its own inspections for RNG/fairness. For these reasons, the games of licensed casinos are not fixed.
- Check the software. Check out the software supplier the casino uses: this is different from the game provider and refers to the infrastructure the casino uses for all its services. This software must also be tested and approved by an agency such as TST, GLI, and BMM Test Labs.
- Read reviews. Reviews from professionals like us will give you an idea of how fair (and how lucrative) a casino is. Read multiple reviews and compare them.
- Trust your instincts. And of course, trust your gut: if you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong, you may be right.
Why do online casinos with licences have advantages?
Having a casino licensed means making sure you don't run into the "roulette rigged" issue. There are multiple reasons why a licence can be so effective. The first of these is that having fair games is a licence requirement. In other words, an online casino has to prove with an independent auditor's report that all its games, including roulette, are not "rigged" in order to obtain a licence. After that, the licensor continues to regularly audit that casino and its games. In this regard, some of the most respected licensing agencies include:
- The United Kingdom Gambling Commission
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
- Curacao eGaming
A licensed casino never risks offering rigged games because:
- This situation is exposed in a very short time, and it loses its licence.
- In addition, it will have to deal with many cases, including criminal cases.
- All of these are much higher costs compared to the additional profit it can get from rigged games.
Can live roulette be rigged?
Simply put, no. Just because “live casino does not lose” does not mean it is rigged. In many ways, it is much harder to rig a live dealer game compared to RNG games. This is because live dealer games are a huge operation. In this business, where hundreds of people work, there are multiple methods used for internal auditing, and the entire company must have been set up with a malicious purpose for fraud to occur. For example, if the dealer cheats, the pit boss, fairness officer, or accounting department will be able to detect it immediately. Nor will it be possible for a studio found to be cheating to sell their games to any casino. Live dealer games are just as good, and in some cases even better, than RNG games in terms of fairness, as everything happens in front of dozens of people.
The Verdict – Is Online Roulette Rigged?
To summarise, if you are asking if roulette is a fair game, the answer is yes, as long as you play it at legal and licensed casinos. Note that being fair does not mean that “you will win sooner or later”, though: all gambling games are based on luck, and you can lose in roulette, even multiple times in a row, like any other game. Playing at licensed casino sites is the main (and most important) way of avoiding rigged games, so always check the licence & legality of an online casino first.
If you find or suspect a rigged game, report it to the casino support first and use the email to do this so you have written proof. If the support team's response is not satisfactory, you can report the situation to the agency that licensed the casino and the studio that developed the game in question.