Poker Articles

Online Poker Tournaments – Are They Fixed?


From many years ago to present day, there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not poker tournaments held online are fixed. Even though people on both sides of this debate claim their theory is correct, the fact is that there is no solid evidence to support or refute either side.

In order to decide for yourself, you must take a look at the algorithms that are used by every poker website on the Internet. Why do they use algorithms? Once online poker gained popularity, scandals began popping up left and right regarding the usage of cheating methods in order to win games. Because of these dishonest players, Web-based poker rooms began using complex algorithms to stop cheaters in their tracks.

However, a few of the algorithms used in online poker rooms have made significant changes to winning percentages, players and game results. Internet poker is based on a non-random series of codes generated by a computer. Once certain codes are put into the poker software, the possible results of a game are changed, causing the game to be much more natural and a lot less random for those who are aware of the general idea behind poker algorithms.

For instance, let’s say you are sitting back and observing the final round of a poker tournament when the short-stack player has refrained from playing the last few hands and then all of a sudden, he puts it all in, prompting one or multiple opponents to call. Because the short-stack player does this when his opponents have a better hand than him, he can double or even triple his winnings.

With the above example in mind, the fair-percentage algorithm is also used by numerous online poker rooms. The point behind this algorithm is to ensure that no player can hold a huge advantage over his or her competitors, preventing the player from constantly winning pot after pot. In addition, this algorithm prevents a player from outright domination over the table by reducing the amount of wins the player can have.

Generally, if a particular poker website uses more algorithms than their competition, regardless of their reasoning behind doing so, they could be accused of “fixing” their online poker tournaments because they have chosen to intervene with the natural statistics of the game by throwing algorithms into the mix.

Now that you are aware that a wide array of the algorithms and patterns that are utilized by various poker sites in order to keep cheating at bay as well as control other aspects, you must become more familiar with the algorithms used by your website of choice in order to have a better chance of winning. Without this knowledge, you will simply be fighting a losing battle with computer-generated software designed to maximize your losses being your enemy.