Today we have a reader’s question from Graham in Ireland. He’s got some questions about online roulette, and specifically wants to know “is online roulette rigged?”
Graham, we’re happy to answer your question. It turns out that the answer is sort of. Let us explain. But first, here’s Graham’s email…
I’ve been playing a lot of online roulette this year, and despite trying every roulette strategy in the book, I’m down about 5%. I’ve had some big wins and some great nights, and some absolute wipeouts where I lost my entire bankroll within 10 minutes. Those extremes aside, when I tally it all up I am down 5% or so. What gives? Are online roulette games rigged?
So Is Online Roulette Rigged?
The first thing you want to make sure of is that you’re playing at a safe, trusted online casino. There are definitely rogue casinos out there that run fixed roulette games. A good first line of investigation would be to eliminate that possibility. If you’re playing at a known and respected brand, you’re safe.
After you’ve eliminated that possibility, you need to understand roulette house edge. This is why you’re ultimately down 5% despite finding yourself in the green at times. No matter how big you win on the night, if you keep playing roulette over a period of months and years, you’ll end up losing. The house edge is what gives the casino a built-in advantage. It guarantees the casino a profit even if you use the best roulette strategies.
Roulette House Edge Explained
There are many different variants of roulette these days, but they are all played on either a European or an American roulette wheel. Therefore, you only need to know and remember the house edge for both of these wheels.
- American roulette has two zeros. The house edge is 5.26%.
- European roulette has one zero. The house edge is 2.7%.
Once you know this, it becomes immediately obvious that you should choose to play European roulette variants unless there’s a special reason not to. For example, you might play on an American roulette wheel if the terms of a roulette bonus make it necessary.
Despite the differences between the two roulette wheels, the casino has a long-term mathematical advantage either way.
That’s why you’re down 5% or so over a year, Graham. You just can’t win in the long game, so there’s no point in trying.
Is Roulette Rigged? Conclusion
We hope this helps you understand that while it’s unlikely that an online roulette game is rigged specifically to cheat you, they are all rigged in favour of the house. That applies to digital, real-world, and live dealer roulette games.
Does this mean you shouldn’t play roulette? Not at all. It’s still an extremely exciting and fun casino game. Take your wins when they come, spend and enjoy them, and accept it when you lose.