Common Myths About Online Casinos
For some reason, there are a lot of myths about online casinos. Some of them have an element of truth to them, but some of them are so untrue it's hard to understand why people believe them. Many people do believe them though, so we figured we ought to try to clear up some of the most common misconceptions.
We would never encourage anyone to join an online casino and start gambling their money unless they were positive it was what they wanted to do. But we also don't like the idea of people missing out on a great experience just because they don't know the truth. Unfortunately, many of the myths on this page actually prevent people from playing online. Understandably too, because if just some of these were true then we wouldn't want to play online either.
If you have your doubts about the legitimacy of online casinos, then this is an article you should definitely read. We separate the fact from the fiction, and will hopefully help to remove those doubts. You may still feel that playing online is not for you, which is fine, but at least you'll know the truth.
The Games Are All Fixed
This is probably the most often repeated myth relating to online casinos. It's frequently stated by people who are simply against online gambling as a matter of principle, and they don't exactly have a balanced view. It's also something that many players have said or thought at one time or another though, but usually just after they've experienced a run of bad luck and are annoyed. They tend to realize that it's not true after calming down and thinking about it rationally. After all, if they really believed it then why would they be playing online at all?
Online casinos already have the advantage of the house edge, which makes it certain that they'll always come out ahead anyway. There is simply no benefit in them cheating their players, as they can offer perfectly fair games and still make a profit. An honest casino is actually likely to make far more money in the long run than a dishonest one, as by gaining a reputation as a safe and fair place to play they'll attract a lot more customers.
Online casinos ensure that their games are fair by using a type of computer program that produces completely random numbers following no specific pattern. We've written an article about these random number generators and how they work.
An online casino would be incredibly unlikely to get away with fixing their games in any case. Any place worth playing at is licensed and regulated, and this means that their software has to be regularly tested and their payouts regularly audited. The testing and auditing is carried out by third parties, and they would notice if any cheating was going on. This would lead to the casino losing its license, and any reputation that they had built up would be ruined.
With all of that being said, it would not be accurate to say that no online casino has ever cheated its players. There have been some instances where this has happened, but such instances have typically involved rogue operations that players should have avoided in the first place. It's really not something you need to worry about if you play at reputable online casinos.
To be absolutely sure that you are playing fair games online, you need to play at casinos that you know can be trusted. We advise using only our recommended casinos, as these are all proven to be reputable and trustworthy. They perform very well in other key areas as well.
Winners Don't Get Paid
We've heard this many times. Some people genuinely believe that online casinos simply refuse to pay out when someone does win. Bizarrely, the people who believe this also often believe the above myth. This doesn't make any sense at all. Why would a casino bother to fix its games if it wasn't going to pay its winners anyway? And if it did fix its games then there wouldn't be any winners to not pay.
Again, it would not be accurate for us to say that no casino has ever refused to pay a winner. It's important to understand why they've done so though. There have been occasions when rogue casinos have refused to pay for no good reason, and that's unforgivable, but players are not always the innocent party.
Most of the times we've heard about a casino not paying out, the players involved have broken the terms and conditions in some way. Not necessarily deliberately, but that doesn't really matter. If someone isn't prepared to read the terms and conditions, and adhere to them, then it's hard to have any sympathy for them if they don't get paid out.
Regardless of that, the blanket statement that "winners don't get paid" is just flat out wrong. The vast majority of online casinos pay their winners out without hesitation. In the rare cases that they don't, there's a good reason. Remember the tip we gave you earlier – make sure you play at reputable and trustworthy casinos. If you do this, and stick to the rules, you're sure to be paid out when you win.
Playing Online Is More Addictive
Gambling addiction is a very serious subject, and not one that should be taken lightly. To be fair to most online casinos, they don't take it lightly at all. Most of them have strict policies in place for dealing with problem gamblers, or those that they suspect of having a problem, and they do what they can to help prevent people from becoming addicted.
Despite these measures, there is no doubt at all that some people get addicted when playing online. And it's possible that SOME of these people might not have got addicted had they never joined an online casino. Many of them would have found other ways to gamble anyway though, so it's simply not true to suggest that online gambling is the problem.
You don't just have to take our word for it either.
Harvard Medical School's Division on Addiction conducted research into this very matter, and one of their main findings was that only a very small minority of online players exhibited "intense gambling behavior that far exceeded the rest of the sample."
One of their conclusions based on their research was that "instances of gambling addiction have remained constant for the last thirty-five years, despite the increased accessibility online casinos offer."
So, yes, online gambling can be addictive. But no more than other forms of gambling that have been around for a lot longer.
It's Easier to Count Cards Online
This could be considered a dangerous myth, as it might encourage people to gamble online in the mistaken belief that they can gain an advantage over the house. They can't, or at least it's no easier to do so than it is in any land-based casino. It's probably harder in fact.
Counting cards at blackjack is a bona fide strategy for making money in the casino, but it's a difficult skill to master. It's even more difficult to evade casino security who don't like card counters one bit, and who will eject anyone they suspect of being one. Some people think that online blackjack offers the perfect way to count cards without getting caught. This is not true.
In fact, it's not even possible to count cards at traditional online blackjack. Each card dealt is determined by a random number generator rather than being drawn from a pack of cards, so the effect is as if the deck is shuffled after every single card. This rendered card counting techniques useless.
Card counting is technically possible when playing live dealer blackjack, but most casinos use low deck penetration which makes it harder than the average land based casino. And because every single one of your bets is recorded in their back-end software, they'd soon notice if someone was counting cards.
So learn how to count cards at blackjack by all means, and you can even give it a shot online if you want. But don't expect it to be an easy route to guaranteed profits.
Only Lonely People Play Online
Going to a land based casino with a group of friends is obviously more sociable than playing online. Even going on your own is reasonably sociable too, seeing as you'll still get to talk to other people. However, the idea that only lonely people play online is utter nonsense. It's a bit like saying that only lonely people use the internet.
There might very well be plenty of lonely people who do play online, but it doesn't necessarily follow that you have to be lonely. Most people that play online do so simply because it's a form of entertainment that they enjoy spending time and money on. It's convenient and an easy way to have a lot of fun, and of course it also offers the opportunity to win some money.
Online Casino Bonuses Are A Scam
The bonuses and rewards offered by online casinos are one of the biggest advantages of gambling on the internet. Yet some people refuse to accept that a casino would simply give money away. They therefore assume that these bonuses must be some kind of a scam.
Nothing could be further from the truth. There are reasons why online casinos choose to offer bonuses and rewards, and those reasons don't include trying to trick their customers or rip them off. Quite the opposite in fact. They do it to attract new customers and keep their existing ones happy. It's a competitive marketplace, so they have to do everything they can to get people playing with them.
You Lose Quicker Playing With A Bonus
This is really just an extension of the previous myth. If you lost more quickly when playing with a bonus then that would make them some form of scam, and we've already established that they aren't. We also established earlier on in the article that online casinos don't fix their games, and they'd need to do exactly that if they were going to make you lose quicker after giving you a bonus.
There is absolutely no basis in fact to this myth at all. It probably originated from players who had a few runs of bad luck when playing with bonuses, and then put two and two together to make five. We know plenty of people who have won money using bonus funds, and indeed we've done it ourselves. So we have no hesitation in dispelling this myth completely.
Many, many people really enjoy playing at online casinos. The majority of them have very positive experiences, win or lose, and play with complete confidence that they are not being cheated, that they will get paid if they win, and that they are not destined to get addicted.
Equally, many people have no interest in playing at online casinos, and probably never will. That's fine of course, it's not for everyone. There are also some people, though, who like the idea of playing online but are put off because they have heard some of the myths we've listed on this page. If that's you, we've hopefully put the record straight for you.
There are plenty of legitimate reasons for not playing at online casinos, and you shouldn't put your money at risk unless you're sure it's something you want to do. But please don't choose not to play for the wrong reasons. Use the right casinos and you really don't have to worry about playing unfair games, or not getting your winnings. You can simply have a bit of fun and the chance to win some money.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: December 2015
Related Casino Articles