Is Online Poker Rigged? Poker — 13 October 2005

I was a tad surprised to find a post from poker professional and noted poker author Lou Krieger titled “Who is the dumber son of a bitch” this morning but it really is a funny read. It sums up the insanity of those who claim online poker is rigged.

Of course, Mr. Krieger puts it far better than I ever could:

I finally typed this in the chat box: “There are only two possibilities here: that this site is rigged or it’s not. If it’s on the up-and-up, each of us will obtain results that reflect our playing ability in the long run . If it is rigged, we won’t. Because I believe this is an honest site, I’m going to continue to play here. But if you believe it’s rigged why do you continue to play here?

He never responded. So I finally said, “I guess I’ll leave it up to the other players in the room and I’m asking for a show of hands: One of us plays every day in a game he believes is stacked against him and is a losing player. The other plays in an honest game and is a long-term winner. Who is the dumber son of a bitch?”

Ship It Holla Ballas!

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About Author

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.   Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.   "I like What Bill Rini said in his blog" - Doyle Brunson   "In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog." Daniel Negreanu   "Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry" - Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(16) Readers Comments

  1. THERE IS NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE,
    AS FOR ME I AM A LEARNER BUT IF YOU DON,T PLAY AS THE SOFTWARE SAYS YOU SHOULD THEN YOU LOSE, ITS THE SOFTWARE THAT IS PLAYING THE GAME AND NOT THE INDIVIDUAL, ALL YOU ARE DOING SI PUTTING THE MONEY IN THE SLOT.

  2. I think it is rigged. As soon as you get ahead a little bit , most times 3 times your buy in , the set up hand come along. My last one was ,J10 and the opponent had AK. the flop came QJ10. THis has happened to me at least 50 times. The only site that I think was the fair was Full Tilt. Unfortunatley you can not play there any more. That was the only site I cashed out on.

  3. Other than Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Daniel Negreanu, etc, etc, etc?

  4. Online poker is rigged without a doubt. I’ve practiced and studied poker for years and although I’m leaving the game in a positive profit margin, I’ve had far too many dominating hands lose to rags in the last year to believe it’s a fair game. I used my VIP points to play one last MTT, grinded through to an above average stack size near the bubble. I’m dealt AA and immediately think to myself “oh fvck they’re going to set me up” simply because it happens so damn much. There’s a few limpers, I raise the pot, someone reraises me, I push all in, idiot calls and shows J6o. Sure enough J-6 hits the flop and instead of ascending to near chip leader status I’m out of the game. Either one ridiculously lucky moron just busted me or the game is rigged. I choose the latter. And it’s probably why famous pro’s rarely, if ever, play online.

  5. It’s rigged I have a Utube Channel Demostrating how rigged and bet inducing this shit is. If your saying It’s NOT Rigged your obv. Rigged 2 win and just here to defend your “Skills”. It’s a program…

    ITS NOT IN THERE BEST INTEREST TO GIVE PPL A FAIR GAME.

    THESE SITES CONSISTENTLY REWARD BAD PLAY. IF YOUR GOOD OR HAVE ANY SKILL I’D STICK WITH LIVE UNLESS YOU WANT THE RIGGED NUMBER GENERATOR TO PROOF IT 2 YOU THE HARD WAY!

  6. Well I do believe that it is rigged, but I am not completely convinced because I do not know for sure (lack of published empirical evidence). The reason why I continue to play is because it is still profitable, just as not as profitable as it would be if they didn’t manipulate software components of the RNG to alter conditional variances to ‘even out the playing field’ so to speak (although this is still just speculation). And yes I am aware of the gaming commisions and the high-school level statistical tests that confirm that IT IS FAIR (right…) because the deviation for specific card frequencies and hands is infinitessimal with an adequate sample size (yet no one questions the validity of the tests themselves or considers the view of the long-term as a set of many adjacent short-terms that can easily be manipulated in and of themselves). Anyway, I paid my way through grad school playing poker, and although I have made respectable money from the game, I believe that I could have made considerably more if it were more legit. Oh and don’t bother calling me an idiot because my IQ is ridiculously high :P

  7. ap is rigged. if you look at their cash games youl see that there are between 30 and 50 players sitting idle in the high stakes heads up tables. Like one table thats actually playing while 20 other players are just sitting and waiting when they could be playing eachother instead. Who does that

  8. bobostonepony hit the nail on the head. anyone who claims that it is not rigged either doesn’t know much about poker and pot odds, or they are speaking on behalf of the sites. i’ve played real poker and i watch “poker at dark” on tv and the hands i see online are much more wild and have way too many good hands being tossed about. it’s too uncanny. and you ask why would a “legitimate” site risk losing their reputations by rigging games? well, that’s because they can. oviously, whatever regulating committee exists isn’t that stringent or is in on the the action, too. if it’s not government regulated, then there’s a good chance there’s shadiness involved. and do we really think that a gambling site of all sites will resist the temptation to screw over its customers? i know human nature and i know that many people will try to get away with as much as they can. the people who run poker sites aren’t known to be the touchstones of ethical behavior, so yah, i’d put my money on the sites being rigged. i’ve tried at least six sites and i feel the same way for all of them, including play money facebook poker (which is just straight pathetic that they rig play money, but not surprised).

  9. Actually there are gaming commissions in online gaming. Check your facts.

  10. The problem with on line casinos versus a face to face local poker room game is that there is actually a GAMING COMMISSION that regulated the play. These on line poker room in the carribean have ZERO accountablility. To use a poker term, no one keeps them in “check.” Theoretically, they could do what ever they want to gain an advantage. Not so in a regular face to face poker room. Occasionally, you might have a dealer that has a friend who plays that they are “in cahoots” with, but that is really an isolated incident. I believe that on line poker is not legitimate if you play with MORE than 2 people at a table. 1) because the poker room has an incentive to deal better hands to make more rake. 2) The more players at a table, the more chances they have to collude/chip dump. I just play “heads up” poker. I’m really not even sure that is legit….but i’ll take my chances over that then a full table. LOL

  11. The problem with on line casinos versus a face to face local poker room game is that there is actually a GAMING COMMISSION that regulated the play. These on line poker room in the carribean have ZERO accountablility. To use a poker term, no one keeps them in “check.” Theoretically, they could do what ever they want to gain an advantage. Not so in a regular face to face poker room. Occasionally, you might have a dealer that has a friend who plays that they are “in cahoots” with, but that is really an isolated incident. I believe that on line poker is not legitimate if you play with MORE than 2 people at a table. 1) because the poker room has an incentive to deal better hands to make more rake. 2) The more players at a table, the more chances they have to collude/chip dump. I just play “heads up” poker. I’m really not even sure that is legit….but i’ll take my chances over that then a full table. LOL

  12. It is rigged. People continue to play because they are addicted and have hopes of getting lucky. The odds are stacked against you at every game in a casino and still people continue to lose their shirts. Why? Because they’re addicted. I tend to believe that winning players and players who are so convinced that online poker is not rigged are playing at levels higher than $1/$2. I have played at all the low levels and on up to $10/$20. One thing that I’ve noticed is that all the rigged bullshit doesn’t happen above $1/$2. My theory is that they don’t use the same code in those rooms because more experienced and solid players would see immediately what is happening.

    You might argue that the players are worse in the lower limit rooms and therefore the suckouts and bad calls are more frequent. However, the rigged activity I am talking about consists of action flops where both players (or multiple players) have very solid hands before and after the flop. The action flop entices both players to bet big or go all in. Usually the person with the shorter stack goes broke and has to rebuy.

    Also, if you withdraw only a portion of your money the remainder of your bankroll seems be lost within a few hands , again enticing you to rebuy.

  13. Same Lou Krieger that lends his name to the worst rigged online poker system there is, Prima Poker? No, its not rigged at all. Thats why the hit the flop ratio there is 100%, no matter how many are in the hand.

  14. I do not think that the online game is rigged so that any particular person gains advantage. I do think however that it is possible and in many of these onlne casino’s best intrests to make all of the hands on average slightly better than random. I do seem to see an abnormal number of really good hands in online play. I saw pocket aces go up against each other 3 times in the course of an hour once. If an online casino were to give better hands on average it would cause people to put in more money to the average pot, hence more rake money for the casino. The better hands that i think i see however could merely be the result of chance or the fact that more hands are played in a smaller period of time online.

  15. I am still on the fence about whether or not online poker is rigged, but consider the following hands from a $6 Sit-&-Go NL Holdem game I just played: In the space of about five or six hands, I got pocket 10’s three times. Three times! Later on in the game, when I was getting a little low on the totem pole, I got 73o in the big blind. The flop comes 7, 3, something, giving me 2pr. Then while small blind in the following hand I get A5o. Go around the table once, and then I get J8o in the big blind. The flop comes J, 8, something, giving me 2pr again. Then while small blind in the following hand I get A6o. Then I lose the game the following hand with pocket K’s on the button to pocket 9’s when he hit his trip. This is weird, to say the least. I’ve also seen 3 royal flushes in the past two weeks. How unlikely is that? I play maybe 2 games a day. A lot of hands seem to end with “exciting” finishes, where you catch your trip on the river, or the flush comes and blows away pocket A’s. How often, in online play, does a high-card win the pot? Not that often. And it seems too often that it’s a flush, a straight, or three of a kind.

    Regardless, the games have stopped being fun, so I cashed out and am not going to play anymore.

  16. i dont think the sites are rigged but i do believe cheating goes on. many collude with other players and tell there hands via ims or on the phone to get an advantage. others will use multiple accounts and play on the same table. this happens alot online so real poker is much more legitimate.