Is Online Poker Rigged?

is online poker rigged?

Is Online Poker Rigged?

One of the most prominent questions asked by people new to online poker. It’s amusing how the human psychology works. It isn’t a question at first, lose a little and it creeps in as question, fast forward some more bad beats and another deposit online and it’s becomes a statement “online poker is rigged”.  

Live Poker Players Anti-Online?

When I first started playing live poker (15 years ago), I realised quite quickly that many people playing in casinos had no intention of playing online. The anti-online poker sentiment was strong in local casinos. So much so, that if you came to play in a casino from online, you’d be labelled an “online poker player” and have their prejudice already. The dislike was made all the stronger when they see online poker player winning. This feeling stemmed from online poker being the unknown.

Many live players were sceptical of the integrity of the online poker systems, believing them to be rigged. I firmly believe the origin of the question “is online poker rigged?” comes from the older live poker players.  

The Facts

Let’s start with the hardcore, basic facts. Every reputable online poker room is using an automated, scientific method to deal cards, not people. This is called the Random Number Generator or “RNG”. This software basically ensures the cards are dealt randomly. You can ask any online poker site to present their certificate showing the statistical randomness that comes from their RNG. This software is always tested by an independent scientific company with official accreditation.  

The Logic

Beyond the facts that can be proven, there are also logical reasons that help us know online poker is not rigged. This relates to the volume, risk and whistleblowers.

Volume matters

Play enough hands and you will see everything. Online poker moves so much faster than live poker and with this comes the ability to see more unlikely events (bad beats, royal flushes, 4 of a kinds etc). In a live poker game, you may play 25 hands an hour. Online poker can see 50 hands an hour. Play 4 tables and you’re playing 200 and almost 10x more in the same time span as live poker. The logic behind this is irrefutable and cannot be ignored. An online poker player with 1 year or full-time activity will play and see more hands than a grizzled veteran who has played all his adult life in the best online casino.

The Risk is not worth it

Online poker sites make plenty of money in rake. Every cash game pot and tournament played incurs the house fee which goes directly to the poker site. I don’t know the intricacy of how their operating systems work but I imagine it is heavily automated. This means they are making a lot of money for little work, other than support and maintenance. The risk of rigging the games is just too high. How much more can they expect to make by creating more action?

Any business even considering the cheat route would weigh up the pros and cons then perform a cost benefit analysis to see if it is worthwhile. If they did this, I am certain, they would determine it not worth it. The reputational damage would be impossible to recover from.

Where are the Whistle-Blowers?

Any conspiracy theory must dodge the whistle-blower argument and the questions “is online poker rigged?” has the same contention. Why are there no whistle-blowers? Where are those employees privy to the knowledge? Where the people who helped create software to rig the games? There are none as there is no conspiracy to hide. In over two decades of online poker, there are no whistle-blowers screaming “rigged” to the poker community. The silence here is a powerful argument against those who believe online poker is rigged.

The Conclusion on “Is Online Poker Rigged?”

I see no credible arguments, facts or evidence to suggest online poker is rigged. There are facts and logic for the other side though and any individual with a reasoning mind will appreciate that. Some people who are sceptical about everything, you know the types, that still believe the world is flat. All the evidence in the world won’t convince these people. For the rest of you, I hope this article helps alleviates your concern about the integrity of the cards being shuffled online.

Rather than asking yourself whether online poker is rigged, it would be prudent to ask which sites are safe, secure and most appropriate for you. Please ensure you check the site’s before you deposit and read reviews like our 888 review or Unibet review.

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