Biggest Online Poker Pot

Intro to Biggest Online Poker Pot

There have been some pretty insane pots won online over the years. Generally, they are going to be aces versus kings and post flop coolers as most professional’s are not stacking off in deep stack cash game with weak hands. Would you invest hundreds of thousands with medium strength hands?
Let’s look at the one biggest online poker pots and give commentary.

Tom Dwan (Durrr) vs Urindanger – Pot of $723,941

This game was played on Full Tilt. One of the major poker sites, trusted and endorsed by GamStop. This hand would be less likely to be found on CasinoGap. A resource website for finding more enjoyable poker games, not on GamStop.

In a 6 handed game (as most of these high stakes games are), Urindanger opened to $3,000 from the cuttoff with Ac Ad, elmariachimacho flat called and Tom Dwan 3bet to $16,300 from the small blind with Kc Kd.  Urindanger puts in a 4 bet to $45,000, elmariachimacho folds and Dwan calls.

Flop – 9h 5c 4h ($94,000)
Dwan checks, Urindanger bets $52,700 and Dwan check raises to $139,500. Urindanger moves all in for $314,971 and Dwan calls it off.

Turn brings 3d and river falls 6h leading to one of the biggest online poker pots at $723,941.

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Commentary

At face value this is just a cooler right? Aces against kings, no commentary required for the biggest online poker pot. I beg to differ; this is deep stacked cash games where an error can lead to you losing the value of a house. Let’s try and dissect it a little.

Before the Flop – Urindanger

This could have been the biggest online poker pot with it all going in before flop is dealt. However, they are playing over 350 big blinds effective here and neither player knows that the other is holding what they are. Keep in mind they are playing in games which are super aggressive. In urindangers spot he is trying to get as much in as he can without losing Dwan. He makes standard open, notices a squeeze from Dwan (which doesn’t need to be pocket kings) and makes the 4 bet on the smaller side. I like his sizing as he is in position and want to elicit a call from Dwan who will play the hand out of position. It also serves to increase the pot size and also gives Dwan more perceived fold equity and implied odds too. His sizing is less than 3 x the bet made by Dwan. It is also enough for elmariachimacho to get out the way.

Before the Flop – Tom Dwan

Tom is loving being able to squeeze here as it gives the element of doubt to his opponents. His sizing is ok as he is out of position and he has factored in the pre flop call from elmariachimacho. Once he has been 4 bet and action is on him, he has two options, flat call or get the 5 bet in and stack off. If he 5 bets, it is likely to $120 – $130K at which point he is committed to going all in. By flat calling, he keeps in potential bluffs from Urindanger and won’t lost him if he is 4 betting Jacks or Queens for some reason. I like his flat call a lot, particularly as he recognises that if he 5 bets and faces an all in, he knows he has to call and is likely up against pocket Aces.

Flop Play – Urindanger

Once this dry flop falls, Urindanger just has to try and get in one way or another. He knows Dwan has many overpairs in his range and doesn’t want a potential scare card on turn or river. The question is, how much can he bet to generate what he wants. His bet is fine, betting $52K, this could certainly be an AK that is trying hard to get a TT type hand to fold. In truth, I am not sure the sizing matters a great deal here other than if Dwan has a weak to medium hand like Ace high or pocket pair, a smaller bet allows Dwan the perception of fold equity and may increase his chances of a bluff. For this reason, I slightly prefer a smaller bet of around $38K-$40K.

Flop Play – Tom Dwan

I like Dwans check on the flop here. Betting won’t accomplish much as he may let his opponent off the hook if he was making a play. Checking is at least likely to get a c-bet out of his opponent. Once this flop comes, Dwan recognises he will be prepared to stack off. If Urindanger has pocket aces, good luck to him. After he checks and Urindanger bets, he has to decide whether to check raise and call all in, or slow play.  He opts to check raise, which is fine. My personal preference is to flat call here and check call it down. It keeps in any potential weak hands or overpairs that Urindanger may otherwise fold. As it happens, it’s irrelevant but when you are playing for the long term, you need to ask these questions and consider whether your line is the most profitable.


Final Table Poker Tips to Succeed

Final Table Poker Tips

Reaching the final table is no small feat. To do this, you will have had to best hundreds if not thousands of players. But making the final 9 is not the end. Everyone knows that once you reach the final table, you need to be planning for a top 3 or better finish. This is where the most lucrative pay-outs are. Whether you have made few or many final tables, this article will look at final table poker tips that will help your chances of getting heads up in the future.

Identify the “survivors”

Everyone wants to win the tournament but there are some that just want to eek their way up the money. They are the top that will fold down to short stack if needs be, if it means an extra few hundred. You find these players at most final tables. It’s understandable to some degree. You make a final table, you don’ want to bust 9th or 8th. However, their mentality is easy to abuse. They are the perfect players steal blinds from and 3 bet if they open in late position.

Trust your gut

If you’re making final tables, you doing something right. One of the main problems players have is that they do not continue what they were doing. Perhaps the money or sight of top 3 makes them freeze – but they lack conviction and don’t pull the trigger. If you make the final table, trust your gut and stick with your reads. It is better to try than wimp out as it those that are assertive that get the win.

Learn to do deals right

Most poker tournaments end up in deals. Its important to recognise how many chips you have, how valuable they are and what price value you should be getting. Doing deals is part of final table poker. An easy way to work it out is to add the remaining prizes together to get the total pool. Now divide your stack value by total chips in play. Once you have your % , you work out the same % of the pool to give you a feel.

Research your opponents

Not everyone at a final table is an experienced player, some will even be losers at poker or break even. There are websites that help you know more about the other players by sharing their results. This is useful as it gives you more of an idea of them, if it is someone who never final tabled before – he may be nitting it up and nervous. Something you can take advantage of.

Practice short-handed and heads up

Final table poker is great as it combines so many skills at poker. You cant just be a full ring specialist. One needs to know how to adjust to short handed. There is no better substitute than practice. Fire up some 4 or 6 max SNGs and some heads up. The jumps in pay are substantial so its critical you know what you are doing, what hands to open, 3 bet and defend blinds with. Otherwise, you will get eaten alive.

Final Thoughts on Final Table Poker

Unless you play loads, final tables won’t come natural to you so you need to get as much experience and knowledge ahead of it so you take advantage. By practising short handed, researching your opponents, sticking with your reads and being brave, you will have an improved chance next time. The best players fight for a top 3 and will risk an 8th place to get there because it’s worth it.

If you enjoyed this article, perhaps you’d be interested in a poker tournament strategy article or article about ITM rates?

Featured photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com

String Bet in Poker – How to Avoid it

String Bet

You’ve studied your opponent and calculated the bet you want to make in your head. You reach for your chips and put in a decent bet and hear the 2 most annoying words you can hear in a live poker game. “String bet” and the dealer makes you put the extra chips back making your bet look pitiful. Your opponent calls the meagre bet and you win a tiny pot instead of a potentially large one. A string bet is not just frustrating if you win or perhaps lose the pot, but also from a consequence perspective. Placing a string bet can affect you the hands after. This article will look at the meaning of a string bet and ways to avoid it happening to you in the future.

Beginner Texas Hold’em Question

What is a string bet?

A string bet is an illegal bet made at a live poker table. It is where the player has bet chips multiple times with the intention of making a single bet.

Main Types

Dropping ChipsThis is where a player will reach a stack of chips and drop them individually over the betting line. In this situation, the first chip that landed is the bet. Whilst you may think you’re cool dropping the chips in a dramatic fashion like in the movies, it’s illegal to do so in practically every casino.
Reaching BackThis is the most common way. It’s where you push your bet forward, over the invisible betting line. You then reach back for more chips to do this again.

Check out the video below for illustration

Why is a String Bet Illegal?

String betting is illegal because, theoretically, you could be feeding off your opponents’ reactions. By betting and then going to get more chips, it’s as if you are altering your bet and may use the reaction for information. Despite people wanting to devalue the importance of reading your opponent, it’s a part of the game you can’t ignore. By watching your opponent as you make a bet, you can elicit information from them. That being said, the truth is, most string bets are performed by new players unfamiliar with the rules of poker. There are experienced players though who may do this illegal bet on purpose. This is very unethical and something I advise against.

How to Avoid String Betting

The simplest and easiest way to avoid string betting is by announcing your bet verbally. By doing this, it’s irrelevant how you pick up your chips. Verbal declaration is binding so as long you are clear with your annunciation and are saying it loud enough, you will be fine. It’s important you stay consistent though, strong or weak, announce your raises and bets so that you are not easily exploited.

Poker Table – to Buy or Not to Buy

Poker Table

Every poker player in the world would love their own poker table. They are one of the coolest accessories to a poker player. You can probably count on one hand the amount of home games you’ve been to where the host actually had their own poker table. Most poker nights are played on a dining room table with a poker table top. They’re absolutely fine! But they’re not the real deal. Let’s look at some questions you need to ask yourself when buying your first poker table.

Custom Made or Standard?

Tables come in all shapes and sizes. There are some niche sites that offer custom, handmade, bespoke poker tables. Whether you’re looking for a 6 seat round with folding legs or 9 seat ovals with softwood pedestals, you can get the table of your dreams. Conversely, if you just want a standard type, you can get them too and cheaper.

How Much Do Poker Tables Cost?

If you’ve never bought a table before, the first thing you should know is they are not the cheapest poker accessory. You probably know that right? The price will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. As with most products, the saying “you get what you pay for” comes to mind. There are lots of websites online with pictures. The price of a table ranges from £200 to thousands. The one’s that cost thousands are usually custom made for the high stakes players who want their own, luxurious and stylish table. You can buy a perfectly adequate poker table for much less.

Space at Home?

If you’re seriously considering buying a table, you will have already made sure you have some space in your home for it. You probably have had the tape measure out checking the dimensions and ensuring there is enough space for chairs and people moving etc. If you haven’t done this already, make it a priority. You may be surprised at the amount of space you need. The space required does vary depending on the type of table you are interested in. See below for rough guide:

  • 92 x 44 x 30 inches for 10-seater oval
  • 47 x 47 x 30 inches for 8-seater octagon

I am going on a limb and say don’t buy a round table. They may cost less, but they are smaller and barely fit 5 people in.

Final Thoughts

Buying a table is a big decision. In addition to whether you have considered the type, how many players, the cost and the space you need. You also need to weigh up how often you will use it. If it is only going to be used once a year, is it worth it? On the other hand, if you have the funds, space and play regularly, I can’t recommend it enough. There’s nothing quite like owning your own poker table. Make sure the players respect it though and don’t spill their drinks!

Check out some BBO poker tables below. They have tables suited for all poker enthusiasts.

Poker Table
poker table
poker table

Featured image table can also be purchased at BBO poker tables.

Poker is Dead? Not Quite…

Poker is Dead Argument

Before I set out the reasons why the statement “poker is dead” is false, I will briefly explain the case for. After Black Friday and legislation changed in USA to prohibit online gambling (in most states), many recognised that a lot of bad players left the market and would not be returning. The years that followed saw the rest of the world compete, for lesser prizes and with arguably tougher opposition. With further popularity of the internet came available resources to improve your game. More tools, software, forums, podcasts and challenging opposition means the game is not easy as it once was. This in no way means poker is dead though. Here’s three reasons why.

Poker is Dead

New Players are Always Joining

The poker world is not confined to the same people forever. Every year, there is a new wave of young men and women that are legally old enough to play poker. It’s no longer a taboo subject with many of their favourite sports icons representing major poker sites. This flood of players are not yet proficient enough to know the ins and outs of poker. They yet know what makes a winning player. They don’t know how to exercise the right skills that many of the old school players take for granted. This is not a bash at new players, it’s just a fact. Those with the least experience in an area are at a disadvantage to those who have greater experience. Texas Hold’em is the great equaliser and has no prejudices, a player can enter a cash game or tournament and play with an equal amount of chips as a professional. No handicap. This is an important thing to remember.

More Crossovers from Other Gambling

Online gambling in general continues to see year on year growth. People like to gamble and the stats show they will gamble on anything and everything. There used to be a bit of segregation between online casino and online poker, this seems to be less so today. The sites that perform in depth reviews are branching out to poker. Whether it’s live dealer casino reviews, slots reviews or blackjack reviews – there is more fluidity now between the different forms of gambling. There is also more synergy now from the poker sites, referring to and from the different games. PokerStars, 888 and Party Poker all offer casino games on their poker software. This was not the case when the poker boom was going on. What does this mean? There is greater potential for those who gamble on blackjack, slots and roulette to get introduced to another form of gambling, one with less chance and more skill. These players will be easy pickings for the seasoned regulars and another reason why poker is not dead.

 More Formats, More Games, More Options…

I tip my hat off to the major sites that have introduced so many new ways of playing poker. Each format requires different skills and new strategies to become a winning player. You may realise you suck at normal SNGs but are great at the hyper SNGs, or perhaps you are better suited to bounty builder tournaments? Whatever your preference, there is a format for you. The formats being introduced means it’s harder to become a great player at all of them. I always say, pick your niche and dominate it because it’s better to be a long-term winner at something than an average Joe break even player at many. Having an abundance of options is a great thing and puts to rest the argument “poker is dead”.

Conclusions on Poker is Dead

Poker is far from dead, as long as new players are joining and the online poker sites are thinking of innovative ways to keep it fresh. The echoes of “poker is dead” is championed by those who were around when was poker was incredibly easy. Those player’s were never great and lacked the foresight, adaptability and intelligence to improve and continue winning. Poker has gone from a taboo subject to a respectable game played by millions all over the world. It’s heavily advertised on TV, internet and social media, proving it is very much alive. With some states now allowing online gambling, there is hope that the Americans will be allowed to gamble once again. Until then, there is still a lot of money to be won if you put in the hard work.

What to Look for in the Best Poker Sites?

Best Poker Sites

Picking the right poker site to play on is not a simple decision to make. There are so many things into what makes a great site and so many questions too. Is the site trustworthy? How much traffic does it have? Is it easy to cash out? What is the software like? What loyalty schemes are available? How many tables can I play? The list of questions is endless. This article will have a look at the key things to look for in the best poker sites. If you just want to see the best sites, try bestcasinosites.net.

Available Bonuses

Free money is the best isn’t it? Money won is twice as sweet as money earnt, so how sweet is bonuses? You didn’t even win them. Most sites offer some form of bonus as an incentive to register an account and deposit funds. The best poker sites will usually offer 100% match bonus up to a limit. There are terms and conditions of course but if you comply and wager the right amount, it’s free money on top of whatever you’ve won. If you’re not a long term winner yet, contact us to see if we can help.

Traffic Levels

If you are considering playing on a poker site and their banking features are limited – run away! All the best poker sites have all the main providers and should be able to cash out easily too. There are still a few shady sites around that make you jump through hoops. They may let you deposit easily but cashing out is a nightmare. Always check the banking options before you make a cash deposit with a poker site.

Deposit & Withdrawal Options

If you are considering playing on a poker site and their banking features are limited – run away! All the best poker sites have all the main providers and should be able to cash out easily too. There are still a few shady sites around that make you jump through hoops. They may let you deposit easily but cashing out is a nightmare. Always check the banking options before you make a cash deposit with a poker site.

best poker

Reputation

The internet was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Accessing information within seconds is something we take for granted. Don’t take Google for granted, search up a poker site to find out their reputation. It only takes a few minutes and it can save you time and money that can be better used. Any site that has had a scandal attached to it can be found very quickly. The best poker sites have fantastic reputations because they have been in the game for a long time and are trustworthy.

Reward Systems

Loyalty should be rewarded when it comes to poker. Let’s face it, the sites are making easy money off the cash games and tournament fees, so they can give a little back in loyalty rewards. All the major site offer some form of reward for frequently playing on their site. It may be in tickets, points or cash (my favourite). Some rewards are better than others so always check out a poker site’s reward page to find out what you can get for putting in the time. This point is most important for those of you who put in a lot of volume every month.

Conclusion

When you come to picking a poker site to play on. Make sure you go through the key points above to find out if it’s worth playing there. If they tick all the boxes, great, register an account, deposit cash and have a go. If they don’t tick all the boxes, they can’t be one of the best poker sites. All the major sites have the above factors in spades (pardon the pun). There are other considerations whether to stay with a site like competition, support and interface but the ones above are the most important when first picking a poker site.

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Online Poker Canada (2020)

Online Poker in Canada

If you’ve reached this page, you’re either Canadian looking to find out what online poker is available to you, or perhaps you’re passing by Canada and want to play online? Either way, we hope to share some useful information on Canadian poker to you including answering the most common questions asked when playing online poker.

Online Poker Canada
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Canadian Poker Sites

There are little to not restrictions on poker sites in Canada, with most of the biggest poker sites available. These include PokerStars, 888Poker, Party Poker, Bet365 and Bodog. All these sites are reputable, safe, and easy to deal with. When registering and playing on these sites, you will be competing with most of the rest of the world, barring some countries which have heavy restrictions.

Canadian Only Poker Sites?

If you’re only interested in playing against Canadians, then look no further than Sports Interaction Poker or SIA. They have built an incredible reputation of trust, security and high-class service in the online gambling market. We can’t recommend these enough for Canadian poker enthusiasts. You can register an account with them from the link below.

Canada’s Most Famous Poker Player

Without question, Daniel Negreanu is the most famous of all Canadian poker players. Kid Poker has 6 WSOP bracelets, 2 WPT titles and has amassed over $42 million in prize money. This hall of famer is not only the most recognisable face in poker but also one of the most likeable. Known for his uncanny ability to put opponents on exact hands, he is arguably one of the best poker players on the planet.

Is Real Money Online Poker Legal in Canada?

Absolutely. Canada is one of the best places to play online poker for money. The law is very liberal when it comes to online poker and certainly a prime spot to live if you are a professional.

Is it Safe to Play Online Poker in Canada?

100% Yes. There are very few shady poker sites around anymore, the largest ones have built great reputations for good reason. You can trust them with your money and they are generally very fast to cash out.

What is The Legal Age to Gamble in Canada?

19 Years old for most provinces other than Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec where you can gamble online at 18 years of age.

Am I Taxed on Gambling Winnings in Canada?

Good news, you don’t have to pay any tax on gambling winnings in Canada. How great is that? Whatever you win you keep.

Poker No Deposit Bonus UK

What’s a No Deposit Bonus?

Online gambling sites offer unique opportunities for recreational gamblers to play on their site, for free. These incentives are known as no deposit bonuses. Everybody loves free money so what better way to test out a prospective site then by taking advantage of these schemes.

What do I Need to do?

All poker no deposit bonus sites require you to register an account. This only takes a few minutes to complete. Most sites will ask for the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Date of Birth
  • Create username

You usually need to create a password and confirm your account by email. Once you have confirmed, you will be free to play!

Poker No Deposit Bonus

Does Online Poker Offer No Deposit Bonus?

Unlike most online casinos, online poker sites generally don’t give away no deposit bonuses. Occasionally a poker site will offer a no deposit bonus on registration but these are few and far between. As of today, April 2020, I only found one site (888 Poker) offering a poker no deposit bonus.  Keep your eyes peeled for promotional offers as poker sites will offer no deposit bonuses from time to time.

888 Poker No Deposit Bonus

888 Poker is the only site I found offering free money to play on their site. If you want to try out online poker, then here is the best place to start. Feel free to check our 888 poker review. They are offering £20 for free, without deposit and without a card needed too. All you need to do is click our link below and follow the instructions we’ve provided.

  1. Download 888 poker software
  2. Register your account
  3. Open the email from 888 poker and verify your email address
  4. Login to 888 poker lobby with your username and pass
  5. Enjoy your free bonus!

Terms and conditions apply. The £20 is converted to $. You receive $1 immediately and $31 in tournament tickets.


Snap Poker – The Ultimate Guide

Snap Poker Introduction

Snap poker is the quickest poker format offered by 888 Poker. It reduces time between hands and you’re moved to a new table hand instantly after folding (if you choose not to watch). The flexibility of this game is remarkable, allowing you to play cash game or tournament and on your mobile phone too. The ability to fold and instantly move onto the next hand is extremely convenient to both recreational and serious players. As if online poker wasn’t fast enough, now it’s faster!

How Snap Poker Works

There is no table selection with Snap poker. You are in a pool of players who have agreed to enter the cash game or tournament. Once you fold, you are moved to a new table instantly and seated randomly within a few moments. Please note that even though you may be folding fast e.g. in middle position, the game flows normally and people won’t see you fold until action is on you.

Snap Poker
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Adjusting to Snap Poker

The game of poker does not change just because it’s faster, but there is an impact on strategy that cannot be ignored. Without any thought, one may play snap poker the same way they would play their usual cash game or tournament. This is a mistake. In order to gain an edge on your opponents, you need to identify how they will play snap poker differently and adopt a strategy that is superior. Let’s look at two reasonably concrete facts about some of those who play snap poker.

How Beginners Play Snap Poker

Beginner players will make fewer pre flop mistakes. They are likely to play tighter in this format as the ability to fold fast and move on will encourage them to play stronger hands. The truth is, they play more hands in a regular game as they are keen to be involved in the action and are less patient.
Beginners are playing to hit hands, not win every pot that is there to be won. They will be playing more patiently because it’s convenient and they will not be making as many elaborate or desperate moves post flop. You can expect many beginner players to play fit or fold poker. This is contrary to how they sometimes play in regular games when they will stubbornly call down with ace king when they should be folding.

How to Beat Beginners at Snap Poker

As we’ve identified, beginners are likely to play much tighter before the flop. The best strategy to employ against these players is simple and two-fold – play for implied odds and play as many pots in position. Since we know our opponents are likely to play a tight range of hands, you can play post flop accordingly. If it comes high cards, it’s their range and you can get out the way. If it’s low you can take away pots, float or get value if you have better than an overpair and they are investing. The beauty is, beginner players get attached to their overpair or top pair hands, so you can stack them off easier. This format also means that a newbie who goes on tilt will be giving away a lot of money and quicker.

How Regs Play Snap Poker

Regulars are stealing more in late position. Any seasoned player knows that position is key and are opening wide in late position. This is even more true when it comes to snap poker. An experienced player knows people are instantly folding and can steal the blinds liberally, without contest. This is a perfectly fine strategy as they are probably waiting 3 seconds for action to get to them before stealing 1.5 big blinds or playing post flop in position. They are also likely to tighten up their stacking off range as they know players are less likely to move all in before the flop on a bluff.

How to Beat Regs at Snap Poker

We know the regs will be stealing the blinds as much as possible. An effective strategy to counter this is to 3 bet before the flop or defend the big blind wider and throw in check raises liberally. Regs do not have the ability to read opponents and get a feel for the table in this format, thus, they are more likely to play standard and give you credit. They don’t have history with you and without enough information, they will err on the side of caution and fold more in tough spots.  I recommend making your 3 bets quite large before the flop to deter them from calling. It’s better to do this with junky hands or ace rag than playable hands with value like pocket sevens or king ten suited.

Our poker training video membership includes some session of Snap Poker. See sample hand below, including a perfect hand read. Sign up below to watch more great material to help you improve your game and bankroll.

Variance & Bankroll Management

Brace yourself for some big swings with snap poker. The fact you are playing so many more hands per hour means you are getting in some serious volume. Some people multi table too, so just think about how many hands are being played.  It’s best to have a larger bankroll behind you. I recommend having at least 100 buy ins for the stakes you are planning to play.

Pros

  • More hands get played so you gain more experience and greater potential to earn more per hour.
  • No need to be concerned with table selection as you are playing against random players every hand. This means you are facing different types and calibre of opponents.
  • Opportunity to bluff more as less concern over table image. People won’t be picking up on your tendencies quite as much as if they were on a regular table.
  • Playing poker faster is definitely more fun, you’re whizzing through hands at fantastic speed. On some tables, you may find yourself a little bored, this won’t ever be the case with this format.

Cons

  • The dynamic nature of instantly folding and moving to the next hand makes reading opponents much more difficult. The best players get reads off their opponents based on the information gathered over time. This edge is lost somewhat with this format.
  • If you are prone to tilt, you are in for trouble. Without proper care and bankroll management, someone liable to tilt can lose a lot of buyins at snap poker. You need to be strong mentally to be successful at this format.
  • The high variance nature is a negative for those of us who like to win money with less risk. Enduring tough runs and 10 buyin down swings are painful but more common here due to the sheer volume of hands being played.

Conclusion

Snap poker is a great format and appeals to a wide pool of players. You get to play more hands, earn more money and see better hands than you would playing regularly. There are some drawbacks, as with all forms of poker, but if played correctly, there is a lot of money to be won. Please remember to play within your means and activate a stop loss if you are prone to tilt.

You can play Snap Poker at 888 Poker. Sign up below to take advantage of 100% match deposit bonus, up to £300.

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 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.  

Is online poker rigged?

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

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 whereas online 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.

Risk

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 is irrecoverable.

Whistle-Blowers

Any conspiracy theory must dodge the whistle-blower argument and the questions “is online poker rigged?” has the same contention. Where are the 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.

Conclusion

There are 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. There are 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 more 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 Poker Review.