The integrity of Online Poker - Is It Rigged ?



Numerous posts on internet forums claim it is hard to win online poker because cards are not dealt randomly. Despite some new players feeling this way, it's in the interests of the poker site to maintain random sequences and fair games. Here are serious issues with integrity and fairness in online poker.

Proof that online poker is not rigged

To begin, you can download hand histories from almost all poker rooms when you play tournaments or cash games. Information contained in the history documents includes

The winner of the hand

and the loser

Sizes of stacks

The main time the hand was played

The exact actions taken during the hand

Amount of hole cards found

If you import hand histories into Holdem Manager 3 for example, you would see how often hands would be outdrawn. Statistical conclusions can only be drawn from tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of hands. In most cases, bad luck is responsible for Pocket Aces being cracked consecutively.

Even the most experienced poker players will experience bad luck on certain occasions. How about rigging the games for financial incentives? Many arguments for this are based on the idea that more action will create more rake, but this is flawed logic.

As soon as word spread that sites were manipulating their games to increase rake, people would realize the games aren't fair and the sites would lose a lot of traffic. It is possible that sites would risk their license and going out of business if they adopted this strategy, so the reward does not outweigh the risk for them.

Randomness of RNGs and the Shuffle

To solve the issue of rigging games, sites should employ the use of shuffle systems and random number generators. During the shuffle, the cards are randomly selected and the games are deemed fair.

Random Generated Numbers are software programs that generate random numbers to ensure the shuffle is indeed random and does not favor any one player over another.

It's no wonder that random number generators (RNGs) are regarded as the most important component in online poker. The Shuffles can't be controlled by the software. It just deals out cards and leaves the rest to players to decide what to do with them. Algorithms cannot predict winning hands in advance.

Third-party auditing companies such as Gaming Laboratories International, are those used by online poker rooms, to certify RNGs, which shows players that the games are run fairly and honestly.

Playing online poker can still bring potential dangers even though RNGs ensure that the shuffle will be random. Letís take a look at some of the dangers you can face while playing online poker.

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Various ways through which online poker can be rigged

Insider cheating with superusers

Players who have superuser accounts have access to all the hole cards at the table. A player with such an account would know exactly when to raise, bet, or fold, giving them a great chance of winning.

You are normally only shown your hole cards when you play poker, and you cannot see the cards of other players.

On the other hand, a superuser account requires access to the operator's poker server, which means the account holder must be an insider.


If there are three or more players in a poker game, collusion may occur. It involves two or more players using a sneaky, conspiratorial strategy to gain an advantage over their fellow players.

It's illegal to collude in poker, and sometimes it's hard to see if players are colluding at a table. A colluding player shares his or her hole cards with other players and tries to lure them or push them out of the pot when the colluders have a strong hand.

It is also possible to collude in poker tournaments by intentionally losing chips to certain players.


Every player at the table is playing on their own in a fair poker game. In a tournament or cash game, ghosting is when a player advises another player sitting at the same table.

Ghosting is possible with software like Skype and Teamviewer in online poker. If the player faces a difficult situation, they can then speak with their ghost about it.

In the late stages of tournaments when the prize pools are large, ghosting becomes a huge problem. Poker ghosting is viewed as one of the most common ways to cheat in online games.


A soft play occurs when a player fails to raise or bet on a situation that would warrant it. Another possibility would be taking a less aggressive stance towards a player or not trying to win off them.

Bottom Line

You have to look out for these systems to avoid being cheated on when playing online poker. Take note of the site you play so you can get the best out of your money. >

The Grand PooBah of Punters



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