Online Poker News » May 2005 » May 25, 2005.

Internet Poker vs. Land-Based Poker. Is Online Poker Rigged?

"..When I play internet poker some of the strangest things happen, people holding cards that nobody would play in Vegas WIN! I've lost holding hands that would win in a live casino. At the free tables I win a lot, but at the money tables it seems like everyone gets a pat hand and every one bets. Three-of-a-kind doesn't mean much on the internet. Can you tell me what the difference is? I think internet poker is rigged. So more people get better hands so they'll bet more so the site can get more rakes per hand.. Is Online Poker Rigged?"

This is a question that gets asked all the time, sometimes out of frustration, and often out of a sincere belief that these big, faceless sites located somewhere in cyberspace just have it in for the average poker player.

Lou Krieger, the author of seven poker books and 400 columns in Card Player, Bluff and Fifth Street Magazines, and the host of Royal Vegas Poker (online poker room), responded to the question:

"For whatever reason, players are more aggressive online, and you'll find more players per hand than you will in Las Vegas. That means hand values can differ from what you find in traditional, conservative, casino games, and you might want to consider making a few adjustments to the hands you play. Play pocket pairs in hopes of flopping a set or getting out (and from late position you can play any pocket pair as long as you can see the flop for one bet), play A-x suited for one bet only in late position, and avoid getting involved with the majority of hands you're dealt from early position because it can be difficult to determine where you're at relative to opponents who act after you. If that's not bad enough, you'll be out of position the entire hand."

"If you're playing in five-and six-handed games online, the guidelines change even more dramatically, because in these games any ace can be playable and you'll have to gamble more. With the blinds coming around much more rapidly in short handed games, there are a number of other adjustments you'll need to make too. But online poker is not rigged, believe me; it's just a different game and a lot more like poker in California than poker in Las Vegas. The leading sites, Party Poker, PokerStars, the Prima Network (including Royal Vegas Poker, where I'm the host), are all making money and it's in their interests to maintain the most scrupulously honest game they can."

"You are dealt so many more hands per hour online than you are in a traditional casino, and you can double or triple the number of hands you see per hour if you're playing multiple games. You'll see more of everything: the good, the bad, the boring, and the ugly. But it's the unusual or extremes that stick in the memory, and that's one of the reasons players think online poker must be rigged. It isn't. The seven or eight leading sites are all growing so fast that their challenge is creating software robust enough to accommodate all their players, not figuring how to tweak games to retain them on a one-player-at-a-time basis."

Source: Lou Krieger's Blog

Recommended Poker Reading:
"Before The River" - Texas Hold'em Poker Lesson 1.
"Backdoor Draw" - Texas Hold'em Poker Lesson 2.

Tags: Online Poker, Rigged, Poker Hands.

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