There is certainly an element of truth to claims by online poker players that they see an extraordinary number of bad beats.

I for one have had a patch where I made all the right decisions, but the poker site I was playing at seemed to always go against me. From losing on AceAce when all-in pre-flop, to creating a huge pot as the favourite throughout the hand only for my opponent to win on a near impossible river card.

Players of course, like myself, begin to wonder if the online poker site is rigged in order to support the weaker players, so they keep playing at the site. Or perhaps we might think that the poker site distributes very strong hands to two or more players in order to increase the pot, and hence the rake for the site.

The thing is though, so long as you are playing online poker at a reputable site, we can say with a very high confidence that it is very unlikely the site is rigged.

The number of bad beats

If you have had a string of bad beats, the reason for it, to put blankly, is just bad luck.

Bad beats are more frequent on online poker than they are when you are playing poker with others face-to-face. This is for two main reasons:

  1. You play more hands in online poker than you do in real-life poker.
  2. There is a high chance that you play online poker more often than real-life poker, due to the ease in playing from the comfort of your home.

As a result of the above two factors over time, you increase the chances that you will have a long run of bad luck!

Emotion of having bad beats

The emotion of having a bad beat also does not help with the situation. We all feel happy when we’re running good, but the painful nature of running bad and the feelings of injustice are far keener when we are not.

As there is stronger emotion attached them, bad beats are committed to memory more effectively. That’s why if you have a bad beat on one particular occasion, you might think then remember the last time you had a bad beat on that poker site. This then starts to reassure your thoughts and makes you ask the question: is online poker rigged?

Would rigging really be in the interest of online poker sites?

If you think about it carefully, there is absolutely no reason why online poker sites would be rigged. The best online poker rooms earn millions every day in rake, by offering a fair game. By trying to bring in an extra few million by being corrupt, they would risk the complete destruction of their income and their brand name. It wouldn’t be a risk worth taking.

Instead the top online poker sites pay quite significant sums of money to prove they are not rigged. They pay to get independent testing teams to test their random number generators which distribute the cards. In fact, if you wish, you could probably obtain the independent testing report and review it yourself. They are usually reference through the “security” section of poker sites.

Furthermore, random number generation is often a requirement for poker sites to obtain gaming licenses. In addition to this, the recent emergency of tracking software has enabled players to look at the distribution of cards themselves. The results of investigations have not shown any abnormalities that could not be explained by probability.

All the poker sites reviewed at are subject to testing over the random number generators used to distribute cards on their software. Take a look at our best online poker sites here.