Is Online Poker Rigged?
One question keeps popping up all the time when it comes to
online poker: are online poker rooms rigged?
Some poker players (mostly those who lose a lot, of course) insist
that they are. I myself have noticed that especially after you win
for a while, you suddenly get hit by a string of quite unbelievable
bad luck. Your opponents make absolutely lunatic calls, yet they get
hit on the river time and time again. Out of all the strictly
positive EV calls that you make, you lose more than 50% of the time.
I’d say though, that this is internet poker.
The variance in Texas Holdem is such, that luck has a big word to
say when you get called by a bunch of noobs riding some extreme EV-.
It is called “schooling” and it is indeed one of the most
frustrating things in Texas Holdem, but it is part of the game.
Whether the room is rigged or not, has nothing to do with it.
If you look at things from a logical perspective, it doesn’t even
make sense for poker rooms to run rigged software. After all, they
couldn’t care less who wins and who loses, and the risk of running
rigged software far outweighs any advantages it could provide
(though – again – I don’t see any as far as the poker room is
So all you habitual losers out there: Texas Holdem is a very
difficult game to beat. The fact that you work your positive EV
hands to the max doesn’t mean that you’ll win. Chances are, you’ll
lose 10 times out of 10 on positive EV, especially if there are a
whole bunch of other players in the hand, besides you. I can
understand that it gets extremely frustrating after a while, but
that’s just it.
One other idea that people who believe online poker is rigged,
advocate, is that there are far less bad beats in live poker than
there are online.
In this respect, I have to admit they’re probably right. Real live
poker tends to behave in a more logical manner than online poker.
The reason is probably, that real poker games are usually played by
people who know a thing or two about the game. They won’t make
extreme longshot calls all the time, and thus the “schooling”
phenomenon will be much reduced, if not completely eradicated.
Online poker is very different in nature. All sorts of people play
it, and – especially at lower limits – everyone wants to see some
action on pretty much every single hand they get. This leads to
“schooling” on a monumental scale. When you get 4 guys chasing a
gutshot straight after the turn, against your trips, chances are,
you will get fried.
So if you feel like you get cheated out of your positive EV time and
again, be aware that it is probably due to schooling and variance,
and of course, the unforgiving luck factor. Bottom line is, online
Texas Holdem is much more of a game of luck than live poker is.
Poker rooms won’t do anything as adventurous as you may sometimes be
driven to think. They’re doing just fine as it is, so much so, as a
matter of fact, that a possible rigging of their software wouldn’t
yield significantly better results.
On top of all that, any kind of cheating would, sooner or later be
found out, and that is one risk no poker room can, or is willing to
With that said, cheating is obviously out of the question, however,
that doesn’t mean the online poker software some rooms use, is
I was playing in a real money STT at an online poker room, when I
noticed the person two positions to my right got dealt the very same
hand twice in a row. OK, I said, It happens…The following two hands,
the guy to my immediate right got A,9 in the pocket both times. The
next hand, I got J,J and I took down a pretty nice pot with it. Sure
enough, my following hand was a J,J too. I know it sometimes happens
that a player gets the same hand twice in a row, but when it happens
to three players, one after the other… it does give you something to