austintx
Joined: Oct 6, 2010
• Posts: 23
October 19th, 2010 at 11:34:18 AM permalink
There is always a probability of coincidence, but I always had a feeling that certain online blackjack sites are rigged. So I did an experiment, with a lesser known and lesser reputation online site gold VIP casino. What I postulated based on anecdotal evidence of previous play is that the larger a bet is (closer to the table max), the less likelihood of a player win.

So I did an experiment: I played 500 hands total (that is a LOT of hands and a good number to reduce the possibility of a chance event). I played the \$5 -- \$200 online table. 200 hands were played at the minimum (\$5), 200 hands at a medium bet level (\$25), and 100 hands at a high bet level (\$100 -- 200). I started out with a good bankroll and played for real money (with a plan to charge back if I proved my point and lost -- another story for another forum). I played 100 hands to start at just \$5, then I jumped around in groupings of 10 hands each at the three different levels. I played with "perfect" basic strategy for the table rules. Here are the results: and I counted splits and doubles as a second individual "hand" played in adding up to 500 total hands:

Win percentage at \$5: 55%

Win percentage at \$25: 46%

Win percentage at \$100-200: 39%

When I looked at it in more detail, I found that I played the first 100 hands at the minimum level at a percentage of 48%, but after playing at the high levels and then dropping my bet back down to the minimum level to play the final 100 hands, my win percentage was 60%. Of course could be a coincidence, but it confirmed what I thought before:

The win percentage certainly decreased as I increased my bet. My win percentage of the lower bet level magically increased after betting big, in an effort to try to get me to bet big again and then lose.

Coincidence? Possibly. But that is a pretty big sample size, and the probability of manipulation might just be more than the probability of chance.

P.S. I lost money in this experiment, but don't plan to pay...
ElectricDreams
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
• Posts: 194
October 19th, 2010 at 11:48:44 AM permalink
Quote: austintx

So I did an experiment: I played 500 hands total (that is a LOT of hands and a good number to reduce the possibility of a chance event).

I think members on this board might disagree with you on that point.

Quote: austintx

P.S. I lost money in this experiment, but don't plan to pay...

With a chargeback, huh? I hear that's a good way to get blacklisted from nearly every online casino, forever.
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
• Posts: 24206
October 19th, 2010 at 11:51:26 AM permalink
If you should do any more experiments, I would track units won/lost, as opposed to hands won. You should also provide exact hand counts, as well as the table rules.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
NightStalker
Joined: Jul 25, 2010
• Posts: 29
October 19th, 2010 at 11:59:36 AM permalink
Your sample is small to prove the point. It should be atleast 100k hands, and why anyone would waste money on that?

Try logging results more discretely:
Money win/lost by betting 5\$ hand
Money win/lost by betting 25\$ hand
Money win/lost by betting 100\$ hand
austintx
Joined: Oct 6, 2010
• Posts: 23
October 19th, 2010 at 12:12:39 PM permalink
Units lost, you mean this:

Low bet level:
112.5 wins -- 91 losses (with higher percent win over time)

Medium bet level:
92 wins -- 108 losses

High bet level:
81.5 wins -- 122 losses

Blackjack was considered a 1.5 win, I didn't include that before I appologize.

Most of the rules were standard, dealer stays on soft 17, can double on any hand, blackjack pays 3:2, split only once. I did not surrender ever, I guess that is a deviation from basic strategy. I never took insurance or even money.

Yes, total losses were over \$7000 of a \$10,000 deposit. And yes, charged back. And to me, blacklisting is a bit of a myth -- especially with hundreds of available sites, and the fact that I have a very common name and many different credit cards, not quite sure how I can get blacklisted so that I can't play elsewhere. Someone wants my business, or at least someone I trust. Ethically, I wouldn't charge back if I think something is fair. This is leaning towards not being fair.
austintx
Joined: Oct 6, 2010
• Posts: 23
October 19th, 2010 at 12:29:31 PM permalink
I agree, a small sample size. It would be impossible to "prove" that there is manipulation, as even wildly skewed results in a small sample size could still be chance. An no one is going to be able to get enough sample size to "prove" something.

The question is, how would an online site manipulate in this way? There are obviously programs that legitimately randomize card deals from however many decks, the wizard has one on his site. However, can algorithms be built into the system that track betting patterns, win percentages, bankrolls, etc., and then can manipulate cards dealt based on this? Everyone assumes that casinos do not need to cheat because they have a house edge. That is true -- for large online or land based casinos over the long haul. But for smaller sites, cheating can significantly increase their profits in the short and long run and is very difficult to detect online. Is it possible? I don't know, it just seemed to me that I stumbled on some sort of algorithm that was triggered based on variable bet size on this particular online site. You be the judge...
Croupier
Joined: Nov 15, 2009
• Posts: 1258
October 19th, 2010 at 12:40:30 PM permalink
Just one question for the OP.

If you had won, would you have declined to cash out your winnings, and just played until you gave it back to the casino?

You know that cansino games are always rigged. That is what the house edge is. Whilst I accept that with less oversight and control Online Casinos can be less than reputable. But I do not think setting out to intentionally defraud them is the answer.

I would reccomend always playing at reputable sites such as Bodog, to be sure of as fair a game as you can expect.
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mkl654321
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
• Posts: 3412
October 19th, 2010 at 7:54:05 PM permalink
Two observations:

1. The number of hands you played was FAR too small to prove anything one way or the other, and your results weren't unusual enough to warrant any suspicion.

2. No matter how you dress it up, you committed fraud by doing the chargeback. A chargeback carries with it the assertion that you did not receive the goods or services paid for by the original charge. This was not the case here--you got what you paid for: \$10,000 deposited into your casino account. Since your bank/credit card company is, in effect, eating your loss at the casino (THEY are now on the hook for that seven grand), I wouldn't expect them to take this lying down, and they are a good bet to come after you in a civil suit. At the very least, they will trash your credit.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
JerryLogan
Joined: Jun 28, 2010
• Posts: 1344
October 19th, 2010 at 10:15:37 PM permalink
1. Other than betting sporting events, I've never played at an on-line casino and I never will. Why take the chance when all you have is "their word" that they are fair? To me, anyone who bets on software that can easily be manipulated to any house advantage desired has a gambling problem, because they just cannot wait until they get to wager at a real casino.

2. I feel that 500 hands is too small an event for any certainty, but hopefully it was enough to wake you up.

3. More power to you if you can get away with the \$7000 "chargeback". If the credit card company is stupid & blind enough to run such a large \$10k authorization through to one of those places, then they are taking a chance themselves. Feed 'em some of the same medicine you had to swallow. They'll never bother you with a lawsuit and there's no guarantee your credit will take a hit either. You do a dispute, and there's no way the casino can prove it was YOU who played and lost your money, IF they can prove you and only you ran the charge in the first place. Banks stick it to us; go stick it to them.
RonC
Joined: Jan 18, 2010