Is Online Poker Rigged?
written by BeatTheFish.com
...Fishy says, "I love to swim
downstream and show up where you least expect me... the river!"
With online poker becoming so popular
over the past decade, it was inevitable that the conspiracy
theorists would come out of the woods eventually. I'm all for a
government cover-up of alien corpses being kept in stasis at Area 51
or the pyramids being landing pads for spaceships. Unfortunately,
online poker players often take the cake for the most outrageous
claims against the online poker sites. It often goes something like
this after someone's pocket Aces just got cracked by a runner-runner
flush 3 or 4 times in a row: "Online poker is rigged! (Insert
current host site for unjust events) lets the fish win with the
worst hand to keep them with money in their accounts! Bah!"
Is there any truth to these outlandish
claims? While there have been a few isolated cases of individual
player cheating it simply doesn't make economic sense for the actual
poker room to be designed to cheat their players. The
argument is deeply flawed for several reasons. Let's examine some of the fundamental reasons against
online poker being rigged:
1. Online poker sites simply make too
much money. Do you know how much money online poker sites make
every hour? Every day? Every year? If you thought that casinos were
rolling in cash, think about the fact that online poker sites have
no building to keep clean, dealers to employ, floors to polish, or
chips to stamp. Online poker sites are virtual cardrooms with little
overhead and an unlimited amount of tables to create at any time.
Add onto that simultaneous tournaments, heads-up tables, and other
online-only phenomena that keep them so unique (and financially
Why would an online poker site risk
their entire reputation, credibility, legal status, and their cash
flow to rig the results? Who would it help? The bad players? Why the
heck would they want to do that? When these sites (many of whom
answer to public stockholders and corporate executives) make so much
money, why would they do anything so corrupt to risk a virtually
Online poker rooms make much more money as
objective bystanders running the tables than they would by getting
involved behind the scenes and rigging the games. So, from a
strictly financial point of view (which, of course, motivates most
decisions of large companies) fixing the game doesn't make sense.
2. Online poker sites don't care if
bad players win. Why do people think that these sites would help
the fish win? How would it possibly help them? Truth be told,
if online poker sites could rig the outcome of hands and have their
way, they would keep everyone as close to even money as possible.
They're losing a good, revenue-producing, strategic player by
purposely cracking his pocket Aces and making him go broke. How does
that help their bottom line? Even if they take more rake from larger
pots, refer to reason 1 above.
Online poker sites would
rather keep around the solid semi-professional or professional
player rather than an impulsive fish that will go eventually go
broke much sooner than later. Online poker sites don't care who
wins, but if they really favored anyone it would be the guy willing
to go all-in with pocket Kings rather than the guy with 9-6 offsuit.
3. Online poker sites are regulated
by independent agencies and governments. The random number
generators (RNGs) used to assign values to the cards must be
verified by an outside independent organization. These
certifications are routinely updated and tested running millions of
hands. An online poker site can only operate after it has passed
these tests. Also, sites are regulated by their respective
governments (usually Canada, Gibraltar, or Antigua) to ensure fairness in
operations to their customers. You can find out information on any
poker site's RNG and testing through their homepage and/or support.
4. Bad beats happen everywhere and in
every aspect of life! Get used to it so you can recover easier.
Bad beats such as pocket deuces sucking out on pocket Queens aren't
restricted to the online poker table. Spend any time at a casino
cardroom or even watching the much-edited televised poker
tournaments and you'll see just as many extreme bad beats as you
will online. It may seem like it happens more often online because
you're seeing twice as many hands per hour as actual cardroom play.
That fact is compounded even further if you're playing multiple
tables. Sure, the odds might be slim of your fishy table-mate
hitting that flush on the river, but you'll see much more extreme
bad beats happen everywhere in the casino and in life.
blackjack dealer is going to draw that 5 to beat your 20 or the guy
at the craps table will roll snake eyes 4 times in a row. Odds are
just that: odds. They aren't guaranteeing you an outcome but give
you the long-term
chances of that particular outcome. Learn to live with the fact that
things don't always go as expected and maybe you can learn to keep
your emotions in check and recover faster next time.
The point of this article is to teach
you that it is self-defeating to blame online poker sites for bad
beats. They definitely sting and can be incredibly unlikely but they
will happen to you regardless if you play at the local cardroom or
online. I hope that I've shown you that it simply isn't logical for
poker sites to rig the results. It doesn't make sense for them
economically, they have no reason to favor bad players, they're
monitored by outside agencies, and things simply go against the odds
at times. So, feel comfortable at least in the fairness of playing
at your favorite online poker site - just don't throw away that book
Back to Poker
If you enjoyed this, you might also like:
Poker Rooms with Low Minimum Deposits
Playing High Card Flops in Texas Hold'em
Reviews of the Best Poker Software
Poker Sites Accepting US Credit Cards
This article or portions of this article
may not be used in any form without permission.