All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Poker Paranoia

What's scaring poker players today?

Poker Paranoia! What's scaring poker players today?

There’s quite a lot of poker paranoia among players who are playing online poker for the first time. Witness the opening question.
Q: How can I be sure that cards dealt to me are random and that an online site isn’t cheating me?
The important thing to keep in mind is that you are NOT playing against the site with online poker. The site takes a small fee known as the “rake” from each pot. This means there is absolutely no point in the site attempting to influence the cards. They  only benefit from the pot size, not by who wins it or how they win it. All the main sites have their random number generators inspected and audited by firms like Price-WaterHouse on a regular basis and are awarded certificates of integrity which you can inspect online. If you want to be absolutely sure just stick to

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Q: I read your article about poker robots on the web. How would I be able to tell if I were playing a robot?
A: The simple answer is probably you’d be winning. The robot thing has now been blown out of all proportion. For a start if you are playing No Limit Texas Hold’em it is almost impossible for a computer programme to be successful because of the random nature of human behaviour in such games. How can the programme know when you are going to bluff or not? Beyond that, all the major sites have methods of detecting when software is in use and are able to eject it once they have identified it. It’s really not a big deal. How many real life players do you know who play like “robots” anyway? We assume you’re happy to take their money?

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Monday December 19, 2005: 
Poker Paranoia