No, Online Poker Isn’t Rigged
If you have ever played online poker, you have probably been on the receiving end of some major bad beats, and maybe you asked yourself if online poker was actually rigged.
After all, how many times can someone lose with aces or a set if the game isn’t rigged, right?
The actual answer to that question is quite simple, as poker is a highly volatile game and there’s no telling what can happen on the turn of the next card.
Live poker players can testify that some crazy situations happen in live poker as well, but with fewer hands played per hour, the swings simply don’t seem as bad.
If you are still wondering if online poker is rigged, the shortest possible answer I can give you is no, online poker is not rigged, and there are quite a few arguments to support my statement.
I’ll explain why and how online poker isn’t rigged and even some of the ways you can check if the game is rigged yourself.
7 Reasons That Prove Online Poker Isn’t Rigged
Before we get started, it’s important to note that I have nothing to gain by claiming online poker is not rigged.
In fact, if it was rigged, I would be the first to try and expose it.
However, after carefully examining all the data and playing the game for years, I can confidently say that online poker, when played at licensed and regulated sites, is absolutely not rigged.
1. Poker Sites Are Vetted
If you are playing on a major online poker platform such as PokerStars, GGPoker, or Partypoker, you need to understand that these sites don’t get to operate any way they want.
The terms of these licenses clearly state that the operator must provide a fair playing environment for all players, meaning the games can’t be rigged.
To ensure this is the case, the regulators will test all the software being used by the operator before they launch and during the licensing period.
Operators go out of their way to pay for extra audits from third parties and post their seals of approval on their websites, all designed to ensure that players are as comfortable playing as possible.
Check out our comparison reviews of the some of the major poker rooms:
- PokerStars vs GGPoker – Which Is Better?
- PokerStars vs PartyPoker – Which Is Better?
- PokerStars vs 888poker – Which Is Better?
2. Cards Are Produced by RNGs
Each major online poker room uses one of the big random number generators (RNGs) provided by just a few companies out there.
These platforms use the RNG software to produce cards, starting with the initial hole cards you receive and all the way to the last card that hits the river.
Even if it may sometimes seem like you “knew” a card was going to come, this is not really true, and you were just hoping that it would or wouldn’t come.
The real truth is that every card you see at PokerStars or any other major poker site is as close to random as possible, given the technology we have at our disposal.
What I mean by this is that RNGs are not truly random but rather shuffle through billions of numbers before stopping on one to produce a card.
3. Players Can Track Hands
If you still don’t believe me that online poker isn’t rigged, I would highly recommend checking for yourself.
Using poker tracking software such as Poker Tracker or Hold’em, Manager, you can save all your hands in a database and filter them in different ways.
After you have played a significant number of hands, things will start becoming clear.
Think you’re losing with aces? Check your database and you’ll see that you are, in fact, a big winner with aces.
Examining any player’s database will clearly show that their biggest winning hand is AA, their second biggest is KK, etc.
You can also check for things such as how frequently the flush hits, how often you lose with a set, etc.
If you check your stats after playing thousands of hands of poker, you’ll see that every stat matches the theoretically expected number.
Some people still try to find reasons why that’s not enough, but extensive hand analyses from experts have shown that there is nothing dodgy happening with any big online poker site.
4. Poker Sites Have Too Much To Lose
Poker sites are designed around getting people to come in and play as much poker as possible. If word got out their platform was rigged, they would lose it all.
Since the big sites are making millions in rake, they would hardly risk losing such a business just to rig poker hands to make their rake a little higher or give some players an edge.
If you compare what each poker site has to lose to what they have to gain by rigging games, you will quickly realize that it makes no sense for online poker games to be rigged.
5. Winning Players Are Living Proof
If you don’t trust your hand histories or don’t have enough hands to analyze, and you don’t trust the gaming regulators, then simply take a look at some of the big winners in online poker.
Hundreds of well-known poker players are consistently winning at online poker and have been doing so for many years.
If you take a look at their results and even some of their hand history databases, you’ll see that there is no question about the fairness of online poker games.
6. The Operators Charge Rake
Every online poker site charges rake from their players, which brings in millions of dollars every day.
Since rake is charged from every game and every tournament, they absolutely do not need to rig the games in any way.
The main argument is that online poker is rigged to produce action. This is actually unnecessary since there is enough action in poker as it is.
In fact, it is more beneficial for operators when games keep running and no one loses too much money as they would in a highly rigged game of poker.
7. It Doesn’t Matter Who Wins
For online poker operators, it’s not important who the big winners are or if there are any big winners at all.
The most important thing is that the money keeps circulating and that everyone comes back to play, which they wouldn’t achieve by making games unfair or rigged.
Since the operators don’t care who wins or loses, it’s hard to imagine how some players are consistent winners while others are consistent losers if the games were rigged.
The real truth is that the games aren’t rigged, and the best players always come out on top in the long run, while bad players end up spreading their money around.
If you think online poker is rigged because you see so many bad beats dealt out all the time, you should think about the number of hands you play online versus live poker.
Players tend to multi-table online poker and play hundreds of hands per hour. This is compared to only a few dozen hands played at a live poker table.
This means that it’s only logical for there to be as many as 10 times more big hands and bad beats in an hour of online play as you would see in an hour of live play.
If you think about it, most poker hands come down to 70/30 or 60/40 situations, and it’s not that hard to lose quite a few of those in a row.
What’s more, we tend to only remember the beats and forget about our wins quite fast, which makes the games look even more rigged.
It all comes down to how many hands you play and how fast you go through them, as this is the one factor that impacts how many bad beats you suffer and how many crazy hands you will see most.
So, Is Online Poker Rigged?
No! Online poker is definitely not rigged and there is no evidence to support otherwise.
Online poker is regulated and the software used to produce cards at major sites is 100% random. Hundreds of winning players are living proof of the games being fair and not rigged.
If you still think online poker is rigged, I recommend working on your game and improving how you play.
This will lead to better results and fewer beats in the future, guaranteed!