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Is Ongame Rigged or fair? Results

Online Poker Watchdog analysed Ongame Network cash tables to see if they were rigged for good players to receive more 'bad beats' than they should. The Ongame Network is used by many major poker sites such as Betfair and BWin - for the full list of Ongame skins click here.

We started by downloading a sample of 1.42 million Ongame hands from HandHQ*, view prices below:

We then selected the pre-flop all-ins from these.

For the player that called the all-in we compared the expected number of hands won (in an ideal world) with the actual number of hands that won.

If there was no rigging at Ongame the expected and actual numbers should be very close:

Total No. Hands Expected No. Hands Won Actual No. Hands Won  Deviation
12306 6457 6454.5 -2.5

So, from just over 12,000 hands the actual number of hands won differs from expected by only 2 hands and one split pot. This is obviously "very close" but we calculated the standard deviation for the sample to be sure. If the actual deviation is within 2 standard deviations these numbers can be considered "very close".

Please note that this explanation of standard deviations is simplified. For a more complete explanation of how to compare actual deviation with standard deviation read this article about normal distributions.

Standard Deviation Deviation
50 -2.5

The results show that the actual deviation is well within a single standard deviation and therefore the sample can be considered unbiased.

Next, we separated the pre-flop all-ins into hands that were ahead pre-flop and hands that were behind pre-flop and repeated the comparison.

If Ongame was rigged against good players then the 'ahead' hands should win less than expected and 'behind' hands should win more than expected. However, if there was no bias the expected and actual results should be very close.

Group of Hands Total No. Hands Expected No. Hands Won Actual No. Hands Won Deviation Standard Deviation
Ahead 6636 4557 4562 +5 37
Behind 5660 1895 1887.5 -7.5 34

The results show that in both cases the actual deviation is well within 1 standard deviation and therefore the sample can be considered unbiased.

Conclusion & Limitations

We can conclude that the Ongame Network was fair with respect to 'bad beats' at the time of testing - there is no evidence of Ongame being rigged.

This test was performed on a specific game type (15c/30c, short handed, cash tables) during a specific period (6th June to 23rd June 2011) at a specific poker network (Ongame) and the results can be considered true for these conditions only. Although these results are relevant to online poker in general other circumstances were not tested. Other poker sites may use different methods for the distribution of cards and other game types (e.g. multi-table tournament hold'em) or levels (e.g. $2/$4) at Ongame could also use different programs for the deal. It is also true that the method of dealing at a given site could change in the future as the site updates.

Please note that the explanation of the analysis described on this page is simplified so that it can be viewed easily and at a glance. If you want more detail and a full explanation of the methods you should view the full report.

Online Poker Watchdog intends to continue to perform this test on other poker sites for a variety of games and levels.