Play Safe Pokies Online
The Internet is a big, scary, dangerous place. Tales of scams abound. If you live in Australia, you might want to try casino gambling online. But how do you find a legitimate casino? How do you know that the pokies you play are safe?
Are Online Pokies Rigged?
In a manner of speaking, all pokies, online are off, are rigged. These games use a random number generator to determine their results, and they’re always programmed to provide the house with a mathematical edge. This doesn’t mean you can’t win; it just means that the casino will always win in the long run.
Here’s how it works. Each symbol on the virtual reels is programmed to come up with a certain amount of regularity. If the designer of the game wants it to come up often, she might program the game to make it appear 20% of the time or more. On the other hand, if she wants it to appear rarely, she can program the game so that the symbol only shows up 0.5% of the time.
The game pays based on certain combinations of symbols. The chances of those combinations are calculated by multiplying the odds of hitting the symbol on one reel by the odds of hitting that symbol on multiple reels. For example, suppose you have a symbol that’s supposed to come up relatively often–once every five spins. What are the odds of hitting that symbol on three reels on any given payline?
1/5 X 1/5 X 1/5 = 1/125
So your odds of hitting that particular combination are 124 to 1. Now the designer sets up the payout for that combination. In this case, she might decide that this combination pays off at 100 to 1. Do you see why the house would have a edge in this case?
As the number of repetitions near infinity, the results will start to resemble the mathematical probability. So a player will lose 124 times and win once. That means he’ll lose 124 units and win 100 units in that example. Who makes a profit in that case?
This is how all casino games work. The payouts for all the wagers are lower than the actual odds of winning. Some people might claim that the game is rigged, but in the online gambling business, this is “just how it’s done”. And, of course, if a casino couldn’t make a profit, there would be no casinos at all. It is a business after all.
Most players, when they think of rigged pokies, don’t think about the long term mathematical odds of winning or losing. They wonder if the game is going to detect whether or not they’re up or down at any given time and then adjust their chances of winning accordingly. This type of rigging is unlikely in the extreme for one simple reason–it’s unnecessary. The casino gambling method outlined above is profitable as can be already. Casino managers don’t need the ability to turn the odds of winning up or down.
What Makes an Online Casino Less than Legitimate, Then?
A greater concern for a prospective online casino player is the possibility that a casino might not pay out a player’s winnings. This happens sometimes. In fact, it’s a known tactic of online casinos to make withdrawing money harder than depositing money, in the hopes that frustrated players will just gamble away their winnings before cashing it out.
This is why so many casinos have such a long processing time on payouts. You’ll notice that most Internet gambling sites make it possible to immediately take the funds from your requested cashout and move it back into your player’s account so that you can gamble with it. They’re hoping that you’ll lose it before they actually have to send you your payment.
Some Internet casinos find dozens of excuses for not sending out winnings in a timely manner. Read any online casino player’s forum for multiple examples. You’ll find some players who have waited for weeks to get their payouts. Some of them despair of ever getting their winnings.
How Do You Avoid Bad Casinos on the Internet?
One of the first things you can do to avoid bad casinos is to visit a reputable online gambling portal (like this site) and find a recommendation there. Of course, not all portals are legitimate, either, but many of them are. When you’re playing at a casino recommended by someone else, you have someone else to complain to besides the casino. The portal can and often will advocate on your behalf with the casino. And since the portal is presumably a major source of new players for the site, they’ll have an amount of leverage an individual player might lack.
Checking player forums to see what other players have said about a prospective casino is a good tactic, too. But keep in mind that people only go to forums to talk about companies when they’ve had a bad experience. It’s rare that someone would be so moved by competent and legitimate customer service that they’d write about it on a forum. But anger a customer, and he’ll start shouting about his experience from the rooftops. Anyone who has worked in customer service will understand that not all customer complaints are valid or fair.
I like to recommend Microgaming powered casinos to players. The company has high standards for who they’ll rent their software to, so the barrier to entry for a company is high enough to encourage certain minimum levels of customer service. Microgaming has been in operation since 1994. They claim to have launched the first true online casino that year. Your chances of finding a rogue or outlaw Internet casino powered by Microgaming software is much smaller than if you play at a casino powered by a more easily obtained software or one with proprietary software.
Another clue is where the casino is licensed. Some licensing authorities are tiny countries no one has ever heard of, while others are larger, well-know countries. Would you rather play at an Internet casino licensed by the tribal government of a Native American tribe in Canada, or at a casino licensed by the Isle of Man? The difference in cost of entry is another clue to the legitimacy of the online casino. Well-known jurisdictions charge higher fees for licenses.
Worrying about pokies games that are rigged isn’t necessary, but choosing a legitimate casino is. Internet gambling sites that don’t pay out winnings are more of a concern than sites which offer unfair games. That’s especially true of games like pokies, which carry a significant mathematical edge already. The best way to avoid rogue casinos and find legitimate casinos is to look for recommendations from a portal like ours. You have someone who can advocate for you if there is a dispute about getting your winnings that way. Making sure that the casino you’re considering uses a legitimate software and a legitimate licensing body is also smart.