Is Online Poker Rigged?

Complete Tests:


Is Online Poker Rigged?

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Buy Hand Histories

Bad Beat Tests - Pre-flop All-ins - Dataset

bad beat test - Dataset

For these tests we used over 1 million hands that were played at each of the online poker sites tested. This sample includes many hands that were not relevant to the test because they were not pre-flop all-in hands. However, due to the large sample size, enough relevant hands to carry out testing were included in each sample.

The hand histories were purchased from major online poker hand history providers such as: Poker Table Ratings and Hand HQ. The providers acquired these hand histories by data-mining them directly from the online poker sites and have made them available to players. Players usually use these hand histories to gain information and therefore an edge on their opponents, however we have used them to test the poker rooms themselves.

Texas Hold'em was the form of poker that we tested because it is the most popular game and the easiest to obtain hand histories of. A variety of table sizes and stakes were used, although all of the of the stakes were micro-stakes because the cost of hand histories is much lower at the micro-stakes than at higher stakes.

The hand samples should consist of the majority of hands played over the period of the sample although not every single hand, since there are always some hands missed in the data-mining process.

Upon import there were some errors with faulty hand histories that couldn't be used and some duplicate hand histories - the numbers of these errors and duplicates were very small compared with the sample size (at most a few thousand hands) and would have a negligible effect on results.

Hand Samples

Details of the hand samples used for each individual test are listed:

Site/Network No. of Hands Sampled Game Players Stakes Date Range Provider
PokerStars 1 million SNG 9 $3 + 0.40 5 Apr -1 May '11 PTR
Party Poker 1.26 million Cash 9 max 25c/50c 30 Dec - 16 May '11 Poker Hand Scout
Ongame 1.42 million Cash 5 max 15c/30c 6 - 23 Jun '11 Hand HQ
Merge 1 million Cash 2 25c/50c 4 May - 1 Jun '11 PTR
Entraction 1.02 million Cash 6 max 10c/20c 16 Jul - 7 Aug '11 Hand HQ
Bodog 1.1 million Cash 6 max 5c/10c 10 May - 10 Aug '11 PTR
i-Poker 18 million Cash various various various PTR

Note that due to an isolated bias being detected in some i-Poker hands extensive testing was carried out - for more information see the i-Poker page.

All-in Hands Selected

The data was filtered to remove all hands that were not 'heads up, pre-flop all-ins' - i.e. hands that were all-in pre-flop, with exactly 2 players involved in the all-in. There were a very small number of unusable hands due to errors - these were also removed. The number of all-ins varied considerably with the type of game and stakes and are listed below.

Site/Network Number of All-ins (Heads-up, pre-flop)
PokerStars 69,663
Party Poker 11,984
Ongame 12,306
Merge 3,822
Entraction 27,986
Bodog 7,775
i-Poker various

More information on these bad beat tests can be found on the Explanation, Dataset, Method, Results, Conclusions & Discussion pages.