Online Poker Dealing is it Fair?

Online Poker Dealing is it Fair?

Many people have doubts about the fairness of online dealing. Online poker sites need to protect their image and go to tremendous lengths to ensure security and fair play. Let’s have a look at how the cards are shuffled before each deal.

The following is typical of how a top online poker site explains how they shuffle the cards:

“Each game, the deck is shuffled 10 times with each shuffle moving each card between one and fifty-one times throughout the deck. There is no bias to any card, any card patterns or seats at the table. No deck of cards in any brick and mortar cardroom is ever shuffled as well and as thoroughly as we shuffle our cards.”

How is the deck shuffled?

Poker sites use powerful Random Number Generators (RNGs)

RNGs make sure all players have the same chance of winning. A good RNG generates numbers that are:

  • Unpredictable and totally random.
  • Evenly distributed and not related to each other in any way.

The algorithms (a set of program instructions) used by the RNGs are tested and certified by independent test labs for gaming systems such as iTech labs.

Online poker sites use RNGs to shuffle the decks and generate the cards.

The end result is that ever poker player at an online site has the same chance of being dealt whatever combination of cards and winning.

Despite the lengths poker site go to, you will still find poker chat rooms and blogs with players complaining about the programs that do the shuffling. Usually these players accuse the program as being ‘bugged’ or ‘fixed’.

There were cases in the early days of online poker where the algorithms were being cracked in order for cheats to know where the cards lay in the deck and therefore tell where and when the would be dealt. This was sorted out very early on in the history of online poker. Today poker sites are aware of their public image and the need to keep their shuffles clean.

Poker sites know that there is more money to be made by running an honest and trusted site than the opposite.

So put your worries aside and enjoy online poker!

How Free Poker Bankrolls Work.

How Free Poker Bankrolls Work.

  • Understanding how poker sites make money.

Poker sites make their money from rakes which are basically small amounts of money deducted from the pot won at the end of each hand and is hardly noticeably to the players at the table. The rake may be only a cent per hand but this mounts up when millions hands are being played daily.

The rake is how the poker site makes money and is luckily why playing poker can be profitable to individual players. Unlike other casino games where you play the casino (the casino always wins in the long run), you are playing other poker players.

  • Understanding where the free $50 comes from.

Poker sites need players to play at their tables, and to grow and make more profits they need to attract more players. They can market their site and some of the larger sites have adverts on the television.

Another method is to pay affiliate sites to bring players to their poker site. Lets say to refer a player, who signs up, the affiliate site receives $100 (this figure can vary). This money is only released after the player has played a number of raked hands. However, as you can see the affiliate site has a budget of $100. By giving the player $50 to start off with the affiliate site will hopefully get back $100 and therefore make a $50 profit.

If a player doesn’t play the number of raked hands and doesn’t deposit any more money, the affiliate site will lose their investment on that player. To overcome this many affiliate sites will only fund players who take their free poker course and pass their test. By increasing the players level they reduce the numbers of players who don’t play enough raked hands for them to recuperate their investment and make a profit. This poker training is beneficial to the poker play too as they are more likely to make a profit on their free $50.

  • What’s to stop a player signing up and then taking the $50.

Firstly, I think it would be a little cheeky to do this and luckily for affiliate sites it’s not possible. As a player with a free bankroll of $50 you’ll need to play a required number of raked hands before you can withdraw that $50. However, if you make a profit and you increase your bankroll from $50 to $75 there is nothing stopping you from taking out $25.

  • What’s the catch.

Absolutely nothing.

You get great free poker training and $50 to start playing with.

The affiliate site takes the largest risk but on average makes a profit on players it invests in.

The poker site gets a new player who it gains money from with raked hands, as long as you win and continue playing with them.

We’ve teamed up with Poker and can offer you $50 dollars to play with for free! What’s even better you don’t need to give any credit card details. This is a great offer for new players who want to try poker but don’t want to spend any money until they’re sure.

The only catch is you have to follow Poker Stragey’s free course and pass their test. That’s not much to ask as they’ll be funding you!

Taking the free course and test will not only give you $50 dollars to start playing with for free, but will also train you to play poker well and get you off to a perfect start.

Poker and alcohol don’t mix! Use this to your advantage.

Poker and alcohol don’t mix! Use this to your advantage.

In brief a good time to play online poker is when you have an advantage over the other players at the table.

Playing winning poker is playing when you have an advantage!

One of my personal rules is not to drink and play poker. I enjoy poker but I play to win and make some extra money.

Would you go to work or drive your car after drinking a couple of pints of beer. I imagine your reply is no. So if you are serious about playing online poker to make money DON’T DRINK. I’m not a puritan I enjoy my beer and a good whisky but even a bottle of beer will have an effect on your game play.

I once did some trials into the effect of various quantities of beer and quality of play. As the amount of alcohol increased in my system I started to make poor decisions and miss seeing possible hands my opponents could have. Oh and frequent trips to the bathroom increasing the possibility to miss something big such as being dealt a pair of Aces.

However wouldn’t it be great to play against players who where merry, happy or even drunk?

So here’s my tip.

Let’s suppose you live in the UK. A Friday night at about 11:30 onwards there should be quite a few players logging on to play after a night in the pub/bar. So this is a good time to play on a poker site which is popular with British and not let’s forget Irish players. With a little bit of patience and time spent observing tables you’ll soon see where the drunk players are.

Poker is about using all the advantages you can get. This tip will not improve your poker play but it does give you advice on how to play poker with an advantage, which will help you to play winning poker.

Learn About Online Poker Tells

Learn About Online Poker Tells

We have all heard of poker tells in real life and there are many examples in popular culture. In “Casino Royale”, James Bond spotted Le Chiffre’s tell, only for this poker tell to be used against him later on! So be careful of tells, sometimes they are false!

Physical tells are seen in the body language of players. Obviously with online poker it is impossible to read your opponents body language and will remain to be so, until poker players and online poker sites start using web cams.

However, poker tells are not only to do with body language and can also be seen in the way a player plays or acts. As this site is dedicated mainly to online poker we are going to look at online poker tells.

Online Poker Tells

It is important to understand tells for three reasons.

1. To understand your opponents and gain extra information.

2. NOT to give away information by having tells.

3. Using false tells to confuse your opponents.

The reasons 1 and 2 are vital, with the second highlighted with the very old poker saying:

“If after sitting down at a poker table you can’t spot the sucker within half an hour, then the sucker is probably you.”

I would change the saying only slightly for online poker due to its faster nature than real life poker to:

“If after sitting down at a poker table you can’t spot the sucker within ten minutes, then the sucker is probably you.”

Reason 3 can be used to improve your game play and trick unsuspecting opponents.


Online poker tells can be read by several factor, taken on their own or in combination. These factors are:

Time (The time that a player takes to make a decision)

Quantity (The amount of money a player bets or buys in with)

Patterns (Playing style and sudden changes)

Chat and Showing Off (How players chat to the rest of the table and show their cards)

1. Online Poker Tells – Take Your Time

All online poker site place a time limit within which all players must act. Most sites will give players between 20-30 seconds to decide and act, with a reminder when there are about 10 seconds left. If a player doesn’t act within the time limit, they will be timed out and their hand automatically folded. However, many players do not realize that the speed with which they act can be an online tell.

Once a player has some experience they react to their hole cards in similar ways, so they’ll fold, call, bet or raise very quickly. An example of this is when a player has a pair of Aces, they’ll bet or raise very quickly, if they have something they’re not sure about they’ll take time. This gives you an idea of what they might have. Good poker players will play with self-control and take almost the same time to act regardless of what the strength of their hand is.

The time you take is up to you and should incorporate thinking time. You should choose between 5 and 10 seconds and then stick to it. Remember even if you are going to fold you should wait. This patience will pay off in the long run as other players will never be able to read what you are holding.

When observing other players you need to develop a feel for whether a player is hiding his strength or has a difficult decision to make. Some players purposefully take their time when they have a strong hand to make it look like their hand is weak, so be careful. However, just remember that most poor players (fish) have no idea of this kind of thing in the first place.

2. Online Poker Tells- Quantity

In our online course we have discussed buying into a game in our money bankroll section. The size of someone’s pile of chips can be an online tell.

If someone has a small pile of chips this can mean two things. One they have either taken a serious beating and maybe off balance (on tilt), or they have bought into the game with a smaller amount than is usual.

In the case of a beating, the player maybe tilted and eager to recuperate their chips. Usually, good players are accustomed to taking a beat, even a bad beat, and remain controlled as they know this is part of the game. Winning in the long term is the goal!

When a player buys in with the smaller amount than usual, this can suggest timidity and weakness. These players may be easy to bluff.

After gaining some experience and observing the above two case you will start to be able to take an advantage when the opportunity arises.

3. Online Poker Tells – Patterns

Always observe how other player are playing and spot when they change their pattern of play. A tight player (a player who only plays good hands) sits back and rarely plays their hands and when they do you can almost be sure they have something big. So if you don’t have a great hand don’t continue and fold.

We have a whole section on player types and styles so we recommend you study these.

One of the biggest pattern tells to take advantage of is the player who Can’t Fold, Won’t Fold. Look out for players who rarely fold and call no matter how poor their cards are. These players are inevitably, loose players, or just don’t know how to play the game.

Another type of player to lookout for is a player who is playing at more than one table. The easiest way is to look in the lobby at the players playing at other tables and see if any names match the table you are at.

Playing at two tables or more is an error. Any player who does this is telling their opponents that they find it difficult to play a game with patients the way the game needs to be played. Due to restlessness of this type of player they can play hands they shouldn’t and lookout for when they go on tilt from being beat on another table. Here is where good player step in and take full advantage of the situation. These players are also not observing other players with too much depth or taking player note as they simply don’t have time. This is a disadvantage to them and an advantage to you.

4. Online Poker Tells – Chat and Showing Off

As a player you should not use the chat if possible, I myself only use it to say goodbye to the table and to say thank you when someone comments on a good play. I do this only because a part of me believes in courtesy.

Chatting away in the chat box means two things.

  1. The players chatting are not concentrating a 100% on the game.
  2. You can learn information about players and add this to your notes about them. Sometimes you can find out information that you can use straight away to your advantage.

Two examples of chat I have seen and used to my advantage are when a player says they’ve been drinking or they say what mental state they are in for example “pi**** off”. Both these facts are great examples of how people give away information about there state and allows you can take advantage.

Quite often player who make comments often about how poor other players are playing and try to give out advice think they are good, but in reality aren’t. They may have experience but are so keen to demonstrate they are great they have stopped trying to improve. There is always a great feeling when you out wit these guys. And their defense is “bad beat”.

Another way a player can show off is literally showing there hole cards after a bluff. This can be a useful tool but I would recommend newer players not to show there hole cards whenever possible. More advanced players can show cards for “advertising” purposes. This is basically you telling the table, “hey guys I bluff”. Do this with moderation otherwise someone will call you out and soundly thrash you. So keep your eye out for players who step over the line and give you too much information about their play.

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