As a frequent gamer, better, and tournament player I often chuckle (to myself of course) at how quick gamblers are to claim fraud when they loose their money, regardless of game. Somehow people forget that all gambling, no matter what the game, is always slightly in favor of the house. And what's worse is that by reacting emotionally and/or irrationally to larger losses, gamblers frequently get themselves into deeper and deeper holes, only to claim "fraud" with more and more anger. However after hearing an unusual amount of complaints regarding Bovada's online Blackjack gaming (from individuals that at least I respect as sensical gamblers) I decided to investigate it myself. I've read all the posts about lack of 3rd party random-draw certifications, etc etc and while many of the complaints might be valid, none truly implicate fraud. I decided to ignore hype and emotions and objectively look at it myself. If you're not math inclined, here is a general truth: you can rarely prove a game is fraudulent , but rather show certain outcomes are so close to impossible that honest dealings are next to impossible. My example is this - technically if you flip a "fair" coin 100 times and it comes out heads every single time- this "may actually be possible", however the more likely scenario by billions of factors over is that the coin is the same on both sides. That being said:
I bought $600 in casino chips (between my and 2 friend's bovada accounts, $200 per account) and planned on playing by-the-book blackjack with the same small bets: I played $1 a hand in my account, $3 a hand in "paul's" account, and $5 a hand in "greg's account. I planned on playing for 20 minute intervals in each account, never changing prior mentioned bet amounts, for 10 separate stints of 20min in each account. My findings were shocking:
By recording every single hand played across each account ($5 account only made it to the 6th stint of 20min before running out of money) and comparing "my cards" and "dealer's cards" to what statistics would normally predict over the course of all play - you quickly see not only how rigged the game it, but how badly rigged it is. Between ALL stints, the chances of the cards coming out that actually came out if the deck was normal ranged between (1 in 3) to (1 in 11), always in favor of the dealer. That may not seem very telling, but again, for anyone not statistically inclined: the chances of all my recorded events occurring in a row as they did (IF the decks are normal and truly random) are 1 in 16,000,000 (yes, 1 in sixteen million). My method may not be perfect and there isn't a perfect way to measure: however by analyzing the findings in 4 different methods still never yielded a result that was less than 1 in 7,650,000.
Make what you will of it, it doesn't bother me either way. But in reality, even if you don't like the concept of odds and think they're misleading (sometimes true!), the fact that 26 out of 26 stints all came up highly irregular in favor of the dealer should say enough. Remember, statistically you're not supposed to make money in the long run, but by gauging just how egregious true outcomes unfold- you can tell a lot.