Is Online Poker Rigged? 7 Poker Myths Busted

Is Online Poker Rigged? 7 Poker Myths Busted

TIP: Full Tilt and Stars are both closed to US players. The best alternative for US players is Betonline Poker. Get your $2000 bonus on signup now!

You have probably read sayings like “Online Poker is Rigged” dozens of times when browsing poker forums and blogs. But usually, people complaining about the riggedness of online poker are just losing players who were previously riding on the sunny-side of variance in online poker.

It’s therefore time to discuss the top 7 poker myths and to prove that online poker is not rigged.

1. Online Poker is Rigged Because There are Too Many Quads / Straight Flushes / Full Houses

In particular newcomers in online poker who have already played offline poker in home games are surprised by the accumulation of high-quality hands the online poker. As they rarely get to see straight flushes and quads in their home games, and as even a full house is a very special hand, they can quickly come to the suspicion that the online poker room is manipulating the cards.

Those players forget the following: while playing in a full-ring game home game, they will usually only play 30 hands per hour. In online poker, they are playing twice as much, 60 hands per hour. In addition to this, even beginners often play more than one table simultaneously. An advanced player, multitlabling six tables, will play twelve times more hands per hour as a poker player in live poker. Accordingly, he will get to see 12 times more quads, straight flushes and full houses.

2. Online Poker is Rigged Because There are Too Many Set-Ups

A set-up is when a strong hand is beaten by an even stronger hand. Often a player with a strong hand pushes all his chips into the middle of the table and then gets very angry when he loses against an even better hand. Relatively common set-ups include set vs. set, full house vs. full house or flush against full house.

Here again, as mentioned above, the reason for this “riggedness” is the same: as a player plays a lot more hands online, such set-ups are just more common.

3. Online Poker is Rigged Because Poker Sites Intentionally Generate Action

This point is a consequence of the above point: Some players are of the opinion (especially if they are losing players) that poker rooms intentionally generate action by assigning players strong hands with which they will go broke.

Poker rooms use RNG (random number generators). It is technically almost impossible to hand out cards so that “action will be generated” without distributing certain card combinations statistically too often. The RNGs are verified by independent audit firms regularly. In addition, many players store and analyze their hand histories – either with the built-in statistical software of the poker room or with tools such as the Holdem Manager. Statistical differences – even very small ones – would massively decrease confidence in the poker room if discovered. And poker rooms rely on the confidence of the players into their software. No poker room could afford such a manipulation becoming public without severely damaging its reputation.

Moreover, in poker tournaments like Sit and Go’s or Double or Nothing, the poker room gets the fee (the rake) in advance. The provider thus has no advantage from generating additional action – except that if a player busts early he might play another Sit&Go or DON. But here the poker room would profit much more if it just would raise the blinds faster.

4. Online Poker is Rigged Because Always Lose After Cash-Outs

Many poker players complain about this. They won some money playing Texas Hold’em, and as soon as they withdraw their winnings, the downswing begins. Those players complain in forums that poker room XY is rigged and that this is simply a trick of the poker room in order to make them deposit their money again.

This statement is of course nonsense. It is impossible for the poker room to associate the information about your cash-out with the board cards. Many poker rooms such as Betsson Poker use the system of master accounts and poker accounts. To cash your money out, you have to transfer it from the poker to the master account. Because you can transfer the money from there also to the casino or bingo site, it is impossible to know whether you have withdrawn your money completely or not. Furthermore, poker rooms such as Betsson or Doyles Room are parts of large poker networks. There is no way that these poker skins can transmit data about cashing-out players to the central software distributing the cards.

In addition to this, a disadvantage to one player would indeed imply favoring another player – how should a poker room do this?

It’s just the nature of Texas Hold’em that the variance is enormous in this poker game. This has nothing to do with “riggedness”.

5. Online Poker is Rigged Because Bad Players Get Good Cards

Certainly, you are familiar with this situation: you finally figured out who is the whale (a very bad player) at the table. You hold Ace-King and the fish calls with ace-three (suited!), he rivers the flush or makes a pair of threes and wins the pot. While this is unpleasant, this happens often: AKo wins a preflop all-in against A3S only in two thirds of all cases. If you lose against a fish in such a case, this has nothing to do with “Poker is rigged” – it’s just a mathematical fact.

6.  Online Poker is Rigged Because I Always Lose with Pocket Aces

Many players at the tables follow the strategy of playing tight or even very tight. You might be one of these TAGs or Rocks at the tournament tables. When such a player finally gets a strong, playable hand he wants to collect more than just the blinds (which is the risk if he just makes a standard 3BB preflop raise). So he decides to limp his pocket aces in order to trap his opponents. This is obviously the wrong strategy. If our pocket aces limper plays against four other players (two players playing their top 20% hands, the small blind, who plays the top 50% of the hands plus the big blind who plays 100% of the hands), then American Airlines have only 55% equity. So our limper will lose almost every second time with his aces. As it is extremely difficult to fold pocket aces post-flop, there is an increased risk that he will lose all his chips because of his playing style. Online poker is not rigged, but players who do not follow the basic strategies will lose money.

7. Online Poker is Rigged Because Playing at a New Poker Room Always Stars with an Upswing

Switching the poker room won’t change the fact that variance in online poker is extremely high. Luck plays an important role, at least in the short term. Some players however think that switching to a new poker room will give them “better luck”. This is a myth and that cannot be explained objectively.

On the other hand, there are some advantages from signing-up at a new poker room:

  • The motivation to play poker can increase
  • The concentration and the willingness to play its A-Game is higher
  • All poker rooms offer new players a welcome bonus with their first deposit. This bonus often amounts to several hundred dollars donated by the poker room

Have a look at our exclusive poker bonus offerings and codes – increase your ROI with a VIP signup bonus!