The online poker sites would have you believe that their software is fair for all players. In fact many of the online poker sites are required to submit their software for rigorous testing to prove it is a fair game for all players. However, is the software really fair? On the other hand, is there something going on in the background that many people never realize?
Many victims of bad beats will scream “this site is rigged” while others will counter that the suck outs and bad beats are all a part of poker and it happens even in live games. While that is true, it still begs the question as to whether there is more to the online poker game than meets the eye.
In a recent study conducted by a popular poker88 forum, the question, “Are Online Poker Sites Rigged?” was posed and the results were nearly split with 42% saying yes and 58% saying no. However, opinions by players really have no bearing on the truth as to whether there is something amiss in the software.
Attention to the fact that there are flaws in the software used to produce ‘random’ cards has always been the focal point of the argument. The fact that a computer program is determining the outcome using a RNG (Random Number Generator), does not imply the game is fair or random.
A RNG is merely a program that will “shuffle” the 52-card deck and appear to deal that deck in what may seem to be a random manner. However, because the RNG has limitations on capacity and ability to be truly random, additional software algorithms and processes are added into the online poker software to further insinuate a fair game.
It is these additional programs and algorithms that is the true culprit in creating an environment where bad beats and suck outs will occur more frequently. A popular poker site once claimed that the reason one may see so many bad beats online is that more hands are dealt. This limp explanation is neither credible nor even close to reality.
A typical live tourney will see an average of 38 hands dealt per hour, while an online tourney will have 52 hands dealt per hour. That in itself, is not a significant difference to warrant the overwhelming amount of bad beats that occur. The fact is, you could sit through thousands of live hands and not see the amount of remarkable bad beats that will occur online.
There is, of course, an explanation for this anomaly, and that explanation lies in the flaws of the computer generated program that determines the outcome of your online poker game. In fact, the poker site may be using additional poker algorithms to induce action and in effect give the player more of a chance to get a suck out (a river card that is out of position and unlikely to be used again) or to get a lot of action (player Hits, a player re-raises all-in, and the response by the opponent).
The fact that internet poker sites use algorithms to induce action and more action to your opponents is the basis of the new breed of psychology in poker that is currently forcing many internet players to improve their game by thinking more strategically and pressing the action more often. The idea is that by inducing action you will win more hands, and by getting action you will win more money.
Some may argue that the loss of edge in a live game is moreatility i.e. higher card flush sets and straights% more than in an online game of poker. The reasoning behind this is that the physical poker table is noisy and the players are often distracted by one another. In addition, the bid and raise tactics used in a live game can frequently be contained to the playing surface and can easily be picked up by an observant player with a pen and note pad. Whereas in an online game, poker algorithms and subroutines are running far more programs and variables at a higher speed with far more information.
The bottom line is that you should get into online poker for the same reason as you would a live game, to get action. If you are getting bad beats and losing tournaments when playing live, you can at least rest assured that your probably are not alone. Also, if you are having trouble winning, most likely the problem is not with you playing the game, but the online poker game that you are playing.