Which Poker Sites Offer Fair Games?

So you’re looking to find a poker site that won’t cheat you out of your money, huh? You’re tired of month-long downswings? Can’t stand the thought of another cold-decked table? Want to play at a fair-dealing site, where you’ll get your rightful share of good cards? We all want to be sure we aren’t getting cheated. But let’s ask ourselves — are there really rigged poker sites out there? Do some poker rooms intentionally deal out losing streaks to players? Or are all the ‘rigged’ claims out there just hysterical players making excuses? If we understand how poker works, and we understand how poker sites operate, then we’ll see that it’s quite rare to find a genuinely fixed poker room. We don’t have to go through the trouble of searching for a non rigged poker site to play on, because most sites actually do deal fair games. Below we provide information on things to look for when searching for a “non rigged poker room”. We’ve also listed some of the safest poker sites on this page where you can be assured that every hand dealt is 100% fair.

No More Bad Beats: Finding Non Rigged Poker Sites Online

Let’s examine the nature of variance in poker, and consider how poker sites make their money. We’ll soon see that really, most of the poker rooms out there fall under the ‘non rigged’ category.

How Poker Works

Nobody wins all the time in poker. Luck is huge factor in the short-term, to the extent that even the best player in the world will have seemingly endless losing streaks. Downswings are inevitable, and we can’t avoid them.

Imagine: you’re dealt KK on the button in a hand of Holdem. A player in middle position raises preflop, and everyone folds. Perfect! A big pot for a big hand. Everyone folds to you, and you reraise. Everyone folds to the player in middle position, who pushes all in. You snap-call. Your opponent shows QQ.

This is pretty close to a lock for you. Your opponent is completely dominated. 99% of the time, you should win this hand, right? There’s a pretty slim chance that you’ll lose… Right?

If we run the hand through an EV simulator, we find that you have 82% equity in the pot. Your opponent has about 18% equity. In terms of trials, you expect to win this hand 4 out of every 5 times you run it. So it’s actually far from a lock — 1 out of every 5 times, you expect your opponent to win.

That’s just the theory of it. In practise, you could run this hand 3 times back-to-back and lose every single time. That’s certainly an unlikely outcome. But unlikely does not mean impossible, and that’s what most players fail to grasp. There’s a low probability of your kings losing three times in a row; but that doesn’t mean your kings won’t lose three times in a row. In fact, the probability that you lose three of these all-ins in a row is 0.008% — certainly a possible outcome.

That’s variance: when the actual outcome of your decisions differs from the outcome you’d expect. And it’s a real pain in the butt. But variance happens — we go on extended cold streaks, and we lose more than we expect to. It’s totally normal. Just because we’re losing doesn’t mean that a site is rigged. It’s more likely that we’re playing at a non rigged poker site, and we’re simply experiencing the natural swings of the game.

How Online Poker Sites Work

The shuffle at an online poker site is powered by something called a Random Number Generator (RNG). The RNG is a snippet of code that — shocker! — constantly generates random numbers in the background of a poker site’s software client. Each poker site will have an algorithm in place that links certain numbers to certain cards. When the RNG spits out a number, it’s fed through this algorithm; and the result is another number that corresponds with the ace of spades, or the two of hearts, or the seven of clubs — and so on.

Sound pretty complicated? It is. But that’s how every non rigged poker site out there is built. The deal isn’t controlled by a guy sitting there watching you play — it’s completely automatic. And it’s not like poker sites have some built-in artificial intelligence that can figure out whether you’re winning or losing. It’s just a constant stream of random numbers. Nobody’s keeping track of your success but you.

How Could a Poker Site Be Rigged?

Some players claim that a poker site could code its software to deal specific players terrible cards. Is that possible? I’m sure it is. But is it realistic? Heck no. Imagine the complexity of a piece of software that would deal individual players cards based on whether or not they should lose or win. How would it even work? Texas Holdem is a community card-based game; so what if there are two players who are supposed to win at a single table? How would the software rig the deal to make sure that they both come out on top?

The ingenuity and time investment required to code a program that could do this would both be near infinite. Simply put, it’s not practical.

Always remember this: poker sites are in the business of raking hands; and all they need to do to rake hands is to keep players playing a fair game! What it comes down to is this: any poker site that likes making money is a non rigged poker site. It just doesn’t make sense to rig a game, from a financial standpoint. It’s much easier to just give players what they want — a non rigged game — and watch the dollars roll in.

How to Find Non Rigged Poker Sites

There are non rigged poker sites all around you. Just look for the ones with a good reputation, some decent software, and a dedicated base of players sitting in at the tables.

888 Poker has long been one of the most legitimate poker sites in online poker. They’ve been dealing fair games since 2002, and they’ve shown no signs of stopping any time soon. Any of the bigger names in the industry, really, are proven to be non rigged poker sites. Take your pick: Party Poker, BetOnline Poker, Bovada Poker — all of them are legit.

While you’ll certainly run into bad streaks on any of these sites, the bad streaks won’t be because of rigged games. Running bad is just something we have to deal with, no matter where we play.

Is Online Poker Rigged?

Thousands of players are convinced each year that online poker is rigged. Sure there have been some sites that have intentionally committed fraud and stole from their players. A couple of poker rooms rigged their games to see the hole cards. This is the downfall for playing at a fly by night operation. Players that choose to play at these sites are putting their money and their game in the hands of some unknown company with no recourse of action should the site rip them off or rig the games.

If you’re going to play poker online, you have to choose a poker site that is reputable, has a solid history and fair games. Below you will find a list of poker sites that are licensed and regulated. These sites offer fair games, secure programming and have a zero tolerance policy on board for cheating and rigged poker games.

Sometimes in poker, we lose. Plain and simple. We miss our draws, our opponents suck out, and we can’t get any action with our aces. Sometimes these things over and over again, for days (or weeks!) at a time. Could it be that our losing streaks aren’t just a function of bad luck? Could it be that the poker sites actually want us to go broke? Are there rigged poker sites out there, designed to make sure we lose all the time? Let’s find out.

Why Do People Think Poker Sites are Rigged?

Players who think poker sites are rigged generally think this because they keep losing. And since none of us likes to admit we might be playing poorly — making bad bets, tilting, or both — we tend to look for some external cause to blame for our bad results. Hence we find all sorts of “OMG THIS SITE IS RIGGED” style posts all over the web. Players lose, go on monkey tilt, and begin a personal crusade against whatever poker site they play on. Thanks to anonymous internet forums, anyone can do this without any real repercussions.

Most of the players who scream about rigged poker sites are just bad players. Many are stuck on a downswing, which is completely normal. But bad players don’t recognize variance for what it is, and so they make stuff up about sites cheating them, players colluding, and so on.

Losses Happen Playing Poker Online

Here is the fact that bad players don’t want to face: losses happen. Poker is a swingy game. We need to expect that downswings will happen, because it’s a mathematical certainty that they will. Consider the following. When you’re dealt aces preflop, you figure to win about 85% of the time if you go all-in preflop against an opponent’s random hand. So out of every 20 aces you get preflop, you expect to win 17 all-ins against this range. The flip-side of this is that you also expect to lose 3 times.

This means that having your aces cracked isn’t so rare an event at all. It should happen quite often, actually. But bad players don’t see it that way. A bad player thinks: “aces are the best hand in the game; I should always win with aces; if I don’t win with aces, the site is RIGGED!”

It’s clear that most claims of poker sites being rigged are really misguided expressions of frustration from poor poker players. Once we realize this, all those angry forum posts actually become amusing. I love reading about the scenarios hysterical players invent regarding how poker sites rig games.

Just for fun, let’s run through two of the more popular arguments.

Rigging Method #1: Stacking the Deck

Some players claim that poker sites somehow rig the deal to make sure they never get good cards. The general line of thought is this:

-I never get good cards!
– …
– …
– Poker site X is rigged!

Obviously, this isn’t a very rigorous argument (pardon the pun). Sure, sometimes we run into streaks where we see more than our share of bad hands. That will happen anywhere we play poker — in a casino or online. But it doesn’t mean that a poker site is rigged. It’s just a part of the game.

If we think about this claim on a strictly logical basis, we find that it’s ridiculous. A poker site has no incentive to make sure that you’re dealt bad hands. If anything, a poker site would be better off dealing you tons of great hands. That way, you’ll stay in action longer; and the site would be able to collect more rake from the hands you play.

Rigging Method #2: The Boomswitch

Some players claim that poker sites have a built-in luck distribution tool. This tool, the claim goes, is like a lightswitch: flipping the ‘boomswitch’ makes a player ‘luckier’ than normal, and flipping the ‘doomswitch’ makes a player unluckier than normal.

I like this claim because it’s pretty creative. But it’s still completely bogus. Why would a poker site want to make any player luckier than any other player? How would a poker site decide which players get luckier than others? Would it be worth a poker site’s time and money to program a complex algorithm that dooms a player’s chances at winning?

The answer is no: there is no boomswitch. There are simply players who run bad and don’t want to face up to the facts. There is no incentive for a solid poker site to make sure certain players go busto quickly. That would be counterproductive.

An honest poker site wants you to stay in action, because whenever you’re playing, you’re generating rake. Rake is the only source of profit for a poker site. So why would a poker site want you to go bust? So it could stop taking your money?

Yeah right.

Are There Really Rigged Poker Sites?

It’s impossible to know for sure. But the big players like PokerStars.com, Party Poker, and 888 poker have all been proven to run fair games. The popular cardrooms all pay out on time, all deal cards randomly, and all have a vested interest in keeping you in action. It really doesn’t make sense to run a rigged poker game online.

There are certainly scams out there, but they are about as obvious as those e-mails you get from ‘Nigerian emperors.’ Use common sense, play where others have had good experiences, and you’ll be fine. Any of the poker rooms you see linked on this site are about as safe as they come.