22 December 2023
Poker might seem boring to the layman, but it is an exhilarating tactical battle for the keen eye. However, it might feel like the game is against us if we get a bunch of bad hands in a row. And when you play in a casino, it can seem like the casino itself is cheating you.
Naturally, the same feeling goes for online casinos, where it is easier to implement algorithms that rig the game and deliberately deal with bad cards. But is online poker really rigged, or are we just sometimes unfortunate?
In this article, we take a look at the facts and fiction of online poker rigging and give you an idea of how to avoid getting cheated.
No, online poker is not rigged. Casinos (the legal ones) operate by a rigid set of rules set by an independent body. This independent body ensures that the casinos uphold these rules by supervising them on a regular basis. Cheating and rigging games are against the law and can get the guilty business’s license revoked.
Generally, the same regulations apply to online casinos as well. If we are on a reputable site the only reason we can feel cheated by the house while playing poker is if we get a series of hard hands or we don’t get the right cards on the table. While this is frustrating, keep in mind that chance is an element of poker, and it is completely possible that you are just out of luck at the moment.
Rigging poker would also be illogical by the online casino. Firstly, casinos want to retain their customer base, and they achieve that by not altering their games to favor them, as most games have odds already stacked in their favor. Secondly, you do not play against the house in poker, so it wouldn’t make sense for the house to play against you.
While generally not(if we are on a trustworthy platform), online poker can definitely be rigged. At land-based poker tables, the house would have to employ clever tricks and sleight of hand to cheat. In online casinos, shady managements have a much easier time. They would just have to implement an algorithm that essentially decides whether or not you or your opponent get a winning hand. If you are on a site where you play against AI opponents, these algorithms can rig the game to keep the money in the system.
A much more common type of cheating is on other players’ part. Cheaters can employ a number of ways to rig the game in their favor, seemingly much more easily if it were to happen at an in-person table. Some of these methods are the following:
While it is hard to crack down on online cheaters, technological advancements make it possible for online casinos to enforce a fair playing environment. Still, keep in mind that while the house almost never, the players much more often cheat on online poker.
Playing poker online is safe. It is in the best interest of reputable online casinos to uphold the rules and abide by them for a number of reasons. Casinos’ revenue relies on returning patrons, so they need to retain a steady and reliable customer base. They achieve that by keeping the integrity of their games, including poker.
Casinos are also supervised directly by either the government or an independent body that, more often than not, operates under the government. These bodies determine whether a casino gets the necessary license to operate lawfully and enforce the regulations set.
If you are afraid about the money you uploaded, do not be. While a healthy dose of precaution is necessary, reputable online casinos hold cyber security in the utmost regard. A casino with a reputation that they are easily hacked would bleed customers, which is counterintuitive to any good business.
The easiest way to avoid playing rigged poker online is to opt for well-respected sites. Illegal and shady online casinos operate without a license and are, therefore, not regulated by independent bodies. This means they can rig every game however they like. A good way to know you are playing poker on reputable platforms is to read reviews and get second opinions from veterans.
Here are some of the best online casinos and websites where you can safely play poker:
As for vetting cheating players, the process is, unfortunately, much more unreliable. You can still be sure that the biggest platforms crack down on these players much more efficiently, so reviews can help here, too, but it’s impossible to make an online poker platform 100% cheater-free. If you have a reasonable belief that you got paired up with a cheater, block and report them so you won’t have to play with them again.
Online poker is generally not rigged. Poker sites and online casinos need to uphold a fair reputation to keep their customer base, generate revenue, and continually operate. While getting a lot of bad hands is unfair, it can be just unlucky rather than cheating. Disreputable platforms can still employ algorithms that rig the system, but a more common form of cheating is on the part of other players. These cheaters can use a number of methods, such as ghosting, colliding, using poker-playing AIs, and multi-accounting.
Playing poker online is safe, as an independent supervising body oversees and regulates the operations of all legal online casinos. These platforms also utilize high-level methods of cyber security. To avoid rigged online poker, sites read reports and only play on well-known, legal online casinos. If you suspect players of cheating, report and block them.
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