When the internet began to invade our homes in the 1990s, a whole new world
opened up to us at our fingertips. Not only could we access information from
across the globe almost instantly, but the way we acted as consumers also
changed forever. The ability to make purchases online for goods and services
meant we no longer had to leave our homes to perform certain daily tasks.
The gambling industry was one that clearly benefitted from an online
presence. The emergence of online gambling sites
gave players a chance to bet on
their favorite teams or casino games without ever having to leave the comforts
of home. However, as with most online behavior in the 1990s, there came some
negativity and concern around the online casino world. How were players supposed
to trust sites that they knew nothing about and send these companies money via
their credit card or another method to play computer-generated card games and
Today, the industry has grown to be one of the biggest in the online world,
but there are still many people who don’t play at all or play with a sense of
uncertainty. These folks fall into the trap of believing some of the most common
myths about online casinos. We are here to help change the minds of those who
may still be on the fence about playing and those who play under the guise of a
conspiracy theory. These are the most common myths about online casinos.
Disclaimer: While we are debunking several myths about the safety of the
online casino world, there are still a few rogue operators that players should
steer clear of when looking to play. Check out our rogue casinos page for more
Myth #1: Online Casino Games Are Rigged
This is one of the most popular complaints about online casinos. Since
players are not sitting in front of a dealer or in a physical location at a slot
machine, many of them believe that the games are rigged in the house’s favor.
This could not be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is that players
are much more knowledgeable than ever before, and online games provide game
history which would allow those who wanted to the chance to run results through
an algorithm to see if there are any discrepancies from the general game odds.
Today, it wouldn’t be in the best interest of a casino to try to rig the
games in their favor. The way that information goes viral these days, any bad
press could ruin a business in a highly competitive space. As a result, sites go
out of their way to ensure players feel safe about the games they are playing.
Casino software suppliers spend thousands of dollars having their games audited
for accuracy and reliability, and the passing grades are often celebrated in
public so that everyone can see the results of the audit itself.
Online casino games are not rigged, but you are likely to play many more
hands in the same amount of time as a live session, so you may see your bankroll
dip faster as a result.
Myth #2: Online Gambling Produces More Underage Gamblers
One of the biggest concerns that many watchdog groups had when online casino
sites launched was how to control underage gambling. As opposed to having to
walk into a live casino and produce ID before playing a game, a minor could
theoretically sign up for an account and play for real money from their homes or
Again, this is a complete myth. First, all casinos require players to use
credit cards or other means to deposit into their accounts, and in many cases,
ID needs to be verified to make a deposit in the first place. Yes, it is true
that a minor could steal a parent’s credit card, create a fake account in their
name, and make a deposit, but those cases are very rare these days. The KYC
departments of many casinos can seem frustrating given the amount of
documentation they require from players, but in the long run, this is to protect
both the user and the operator from fraudulent behavior like this.
Obviously, a casino cannot stop a parent from letting their child use their
online casino account, but we are very hopeful this is not a common tactic, and
this goes much deeper than the casino’s fault in the matter.
Myth #3: You Can Card Count Playing Online Games
This one makes us giggle in the office. Card counting is a great way for
players to gain an advantage over the casino. However, casinos take measures to
prevent this from being done, and in the case of catching someone in the act,
the casino reserves the right to remove them from the property and ban them from
returning. Don’t you remember the movie 21?
Online casino operators do not have to worry about card counting – it is
virtually impossible. You see, most blackjack games use a shoe with 6 or 8 decks
in it. When you are playing in a land-based casino, that shoe is cut close to in
half, so even if you are counting the cards, you will never get to the end of
the shoe where you can take the most advantage of it. When you are playing
online, the cards are shuffled – all 8 decks – every hand, because the computer
can do that instantly. As a result, every hand you play is essentially the first
hand of the shoe.
Every. Single. Hand.
This applies to single-deck blackjack online as well – the cards are shuffled
after every hand. So, if someone you know says they have a system to count cards
online…they don’t. Whatever they are doing no doubt will come back to bite them
in the end.
Myth #4: You’ll Never Get Paid If You Are a Winner
Once you hear one story of a player who didn’t get paid by an online casino,
it is easy to be spooked. Now, this isn’t to say that there are some people who
are indeed taken by casinos for one reason or another – see our list of rogue
casino operators for gruesome details. However, with the millions of players who
play casino games online around the world, the number of those who are cheated
out of their cash is a very small percentage.
It is true that a casino will do what they can to keep your money in the
account – long pending periods, documents that need to be scanned and sent in to
confirm identity, etc…but that is no different than someone offering you a free
drink or meal at a live table. Ultimately, if you want your money, you are going
to get it. However, we always suggest that you only leave a balance on your
account you are comfortable losing if something does happen to shut down the
casino. Poker players certainly understand that after the abrupt closing of Full
Tilt Poker only to find out the company had spent all the player funds.
Myth #5: The Games Freeze If You Are Winning Too Much
There are some players who go on a decent roll when playing online, which is
no different than someone in a land-based casino. However, we have read reports
from players that games have slowed down or frozen altogether during winning
sessions. We think this might be a bit unlikely as well. First of all, if you
are winning in an online casino, the casino wants you to play more hands, as the
odds dictate that over time, the house always wins. With that in mind, why would
they ever slow down the games? The more you bet, the more likely you are going
Also, we have obviously heard of casinos freezing in the middle of hands.
This is typically due to communication breaking down between the casino’s
servers and the player’s device. Most often, it can be chalked up to a bad
internet connection. There is nothing to worry about if you have a game stuck in
the middle of play – the casino server also knows when the game has stopped, and
when you restart the casino software, the hand will pick back up where it left
Myth #6: Online Gambling Is More Addictive Than Live Gambling
While the games are much easier to access when you are playing online, the
statement that online casinos are more addictive than live casinos is yet
another myth about the industry. Yes, you can find more casinos and games to
play online, and if you aren’t close to a live casino, you can access the games
easily. However, in a live casino, you do not have to give them information
about yourself, and therefore there is no way to track your play. Online casinos
track every move you make from the number of logins to the frequency of your
Armed with this information, an online casino can be more proactive when it
comes to controlling problem gambling. Self-limits can be suggested, as well as
temporary breaks from playing. We are hopeful that the land-based industry will
take a page from the online casinos and start forcing players to identify
themselves when entering a building.
Myth #7: Play-Money Games Let You Win More
Almost every online casino has a play-money area, where you can play the same
slots and table games (at least the majority of them) without having to spend
real money. This is a great way to learn and practice games, but there are a few
folks who believe that a casino sets those games up to allow you to win more
than the real-money versions.
This is, once again, a fallacy. First of all, the games are running on the
same game RNG as the real-money versions, as they are coming from the same
casino software supplier. There would be no reason to make the games feel like
players are able to win more without credibility being called into question.
The real reason that people feel this way is that when they play with play
money, they don’t have the same emotional connection. They aren’t risking their
hard-earned cash, so they bet with different tendencies. Larger bet sizes, more
aggressive strategy…all of this comes into play when someone is playing around
with free chips.
Myth #8: You’ll Never Earn a Bonus
All online casinos offer generous bonuses to depositing players, but we often
hear complaints about how hard it is to earn bonuses. This gets to the point
where some players think that you simply cannot earn bonuses the way they are
set up and that they are all a scam.
We can assure you that for the most part, these bonuses are not scams. The
only bonuses we think are too good to be true are the massive first-time deposit
bonuses offering thousands of bonus dollars. The one thing most players do not
do when looking at promotions is read the terms and conditions. There, you can
often find the real reason bonuses seem impossible to earn – they are typically
weighted to games that are better for the house like slots and keno. There isn’t
enough margin in games like blackjack to allow players to earn bonuses at the
same rate – the casino would lose too much in the long run.
To combat this, we suggest you look for sites that offer a match play bonus
instead of bonus dollars. These one-time bonuses give you a chance to load up on
your first bet, hoping to come away a winner. You will still need to meet a
wagering requirement before you can cash out a bonus, but at least you won’t
feel like you are getting scammed (which you are not).
As you can see, there are many concerns that players have, and some clearly
spook players more than others. While the early days of the online casino
industry came with some shady characters and business dealings, these are true
e-commerce businesses now, with the option of licensing, auditing, and other
means of making players feel more secure at the tables.
If there is something you are concerned about with online casinos that you
didn’t see covered here, we encourage you to send us a note, and we’ll help you
understand what may be bothering you. Otherwise, go log into your favorite
online casino and play with the peace of mind that the operators are not
conspiring to steal your money!
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