As with any controversy, argument or debate, there are always two sides of the story. In this expose we will reveal both sides of the online poker rigged debate, and let you decide the truth.
Online Poker Is Rigged
Browsing forums, chatboards and even poker sites themselves, one can always find plenty of players claiming that online poker is rigged. Yet few of these posters are able to give real concrete proof that online poker is rigged. Responses such as ‘rigtards’ or ‘you play badly’ come from opponents of the argument, yet they also fail to provide proof.
The actual proof is not so much in the fact of whether the sites are fixed, the real proof is in the way in which poker sites deal and shuffle, thereby creating poker hands that appear to be outside of the statistical norm as opposed to live poker.
First let us examine the ways in which all poker rooms deal and shuffle their cards. Since it is a computerized game, and lacks real human intervention in the shuffling and dealing, they must use a software program to do the job of a poker dealer. That software is commonly referred to as a random number generator (RNG).
Now most people will accept the fact that a RNG is truly a fair and honestly random way to deal and shuffle a deck of cards,. However, the fact is that a RNG lacks the ability to truly be random. Randomness, by definition, is the absence of any such order, in other words, if I were to ask you to give me 20 different alphanumeric symbols for a password, you could easily create a RANDOM sequence (such as 45tsk3uyeasa9j2udt1), and that password would clearly and truly be a random number as there is obviously no ORDER in the way you selected it. (Your brain simply rattled off 20 random numbers and letters).
On the other hand, if I use a software program, such as a hardware random number generator entropy source (a popular way sites ‘deal and shuffle’ decks) to create the 20 character password, it WILL have some order to it as a computer program is restricted in its ability to truly choose a random sequence. Although poker sites will claim that their software is highly unpredictable and no person or program could truly crack poker, the truth remains the RNG is NOT and can NOT, by any scientific definition, be random.
Furthermore, in an effort to prevent anyone from cracking the RNG and gaining an unfair advantage, every poker site uses additional poker algorithms with the specific design of preventing a player from continuously winning poker hand after hand. This was accomplished in response to the Absolute Poker scandal wherein a player, using inside information, dominated a $1000 buy in tourney and won every single hand in the tourney except the first two.
The fact that internet poker uses a computerized mathematical function to create an appearance of randomness combined with additional poker algorithms to prevent players from winning consistently certainly lends credibility to the Online Poker is rigged debate.
Online Poker Is NOT Rigged
Those that claim online poker is not rigged will point to the fact that hand histories reflect the true statistical odds of the game and combined with the poor playing style of many players is what actually results in why too many suckouts occur in online poker.
In addition, these debaters will add that a poker site would not jeopardize their relationship with customers or their profits by rigging the games. Although online poker is a multi-billion dollar industry, the bottom line is their profit margin and keeping customers or creating new customers.
Most of the online poker is not rigged arguments come from those that have faith in the RNG and the integrity of the internet poker sites themselves. However, no concrete proof has ever been offered from anyone on the online poker is not rigged side as to the truth about whether the poker sites are rigged or not. In fact every major poker site, such as pokerstars or full tilt poker will simply state that they are certified by auditing concerns as to the integrity of the software.
Yet definitive proof that shows their poker algorithms and software for examination by outside sources is lacking. In addition, the poker rooms will not offer complete hand histories of all poker hands dealt on their site for analysis by outside sources. Therefore, the ‘Internet poker is not rigged’ side of the debate expects all players to just take their word for it, that the poker sites are being fair and honest.
You decide! Take their word for it that they are fair and honest or examine scientific proof that online poker is rigged.
Paul Westin is a professional poker player on several online poker sites and a former software engineer for a gaming company.
His latest research on poker code algorithms reveals the inner workings of the online poker sites and how the software programs used on the pokersites affect the outcome of your play.