Are online casinos fair?

In most cases, if you are choosing to play with a well regulated gambling operator, they will have made a commitment to run games in a fair, honest, and transparent manner, and breaches of these codes of conduct are grounds for investigation and possible action by the relevant gambling commission or gaming control board.

However, all forms of gambling, whether online or land-based, involve what is known as a “house edge,” which is the advantage the casino has over the player and enables them to make money in the long term. In slot or poker machines, and in many online casino games, the RTP or “return to player” percentage is set by the programmer and is usually in the region of 90%. This means that, if you placed one hundred $1 bets, you could reasonably expect to win $90 back; of course, it’s the chance of scooping the jackpot that keeps most players betting. The difference between the player’s spend and the RTP percentage is the house edge—10% in this example—that the casino can rely on making over time, and this is what ensures that gambling operators keep making a profit.

In table games such as blackjack or roulette, the house edge is a little more pronounced, because the chances of a player winning are not as simple as random number generation. Blackjack, for example, involves strategy and skill, so players’ techniques as well as the casino’s own odds, will affect house edge and the likelihood of winning.

To make sure that players fully understand how gambling works and to help manage expectations, most gaming commissions and control boards require that casinos publish details of their house edge and individual odds, which is usually available in leaflet form at land-based casinos, or published on the websites of online operators. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with all of this information before you start to bet.

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