Was that a Bad Beat? Just bad luck? Or was I just screwed?

Bad Beats, Bad Luck or were you Screwed?

Have you ever screamed at your monitorGood Starters when some dimwit caught a magic river card?

Have you ever thought that you were cheated?

Have you ever thought it’s rigged to help the stupid people of the world?

Or how could that Donk get so F’n lucky?

Well, whether you play ring games or tournaments, everyone who plays poker online has had this feeling.

Everyone who plays online has been knocked out by some idiot who should never had even been involved in a hand.

Now the question to ask is Why? 

Is Online Poker rigged to favor the idiots?

Am I not lucky enough to continue trying to play online?

I can answer these questions quite simply……………..

No it is not rigged and No you are not as unlucky as you may think.

You more often than not, remember the bad (beats) losses and forget about the times where you catch a break (and you get your share).

Last Friday, I got into a long discussion (at work) with a poker playing buddy (his name is Tom) who was convinced it is not worth his time playing poker online.

He just happens to frequent a Local River Boat and play live poker every week end.

Tom says he rarely sees the shit he sees online while playing live, the bad beats are few and far between, the cards just do not fall as they do online.

As I explained to him why and I think he started to understand what I was saying.

The difference between playing live poker and internet poker is simply the speed of the game, the number of hands, the amount of cards you see every hour.

A fast live poker game may see 10 to 12 total hands a hour.  It takes the dealer a lot of time to collect all the cards, shuffle, deal, monitor the betting, read every ones hands, declare a winner and pay the pot to the winning hand and start the next hand.

A poker hand online can take as little as 30 seconds, everything is automatic through the miracle of computer processing.

Cards are dealt, bets made, winner decided and paid and the next hand is being dealt before you know it.

There is an average of about 100 or more hands a hour dealt online compared to 10 or 12 live, that is almost 10 times as many hands and cards seen.

Look at this ring game lobby from Americas Cardroom, note the H/HR (hands per hour):

ACR Ring Game Lobby

A average poker table online will see about 100 hands dealt (sometimes more) and played every hour.

What does this mean?

Considering there are the same 52 cards used for every hand, there are 4 of each rank and 13 of each suit you can be sure you will see many of the same things happen and many sick (and lucky?) draws every hour of online poker play.

100 hands a hour online is 1.5 hands a minute

1.5 hands a minute online is 15 hands in 10 minutes

Every 13th river card (every 13 hands) will be a Ace, so that means you will see a miracle Ace once every 10 minutes or 6 times a hour online. (These numbers also apply to a inside straight draw, there are 4 of any one card needed to fill that inside straight)

Live Poker will see a Ace on the river maybe once every 2 hours (once, maybe twice in about 20 hands)

Every 4th card will be any one particular suit, so for about every 4th hand online, some idiot will catch his flush. That’s every 4 minutes or about 15 times a hour.

A live poker game will see any particular suit on the river maybe twice a hour.

There are 8 cards to fill a open ended straight, so about every 7th hand will fill that straight. That’s about once every 6 minutes or 10 times a hour.

That open ended straight may hit once a hour at a live poker game.

So that means on average while playing poker online you may see that miracle Ace on the river 6 times, 15 flushes caught on the river and 10 straights hit on the river to beat you.

Playing live is another story, you might see a miracle card on the river every hour, but often it won’t happen for 1.5 or 2 hours.

These online numbers are averages, it won’t always hit a particular card for a individual player on any particular hand, but the cards will fall exactly as the probabilities dictate over the long haul.

That’s not all, sometimes when playing online these unbelievable river cards will hit hand after hand, seeming to have no end.

But it is not unbelievable, it is going to happen quite often with regularity, it is just the math, it is going to happen.

One thing you can always count on is the law of probabilities, it will happen as the math dictates, maybe not now, but over the long haul it will happen.

The good news is it happens for you too, it is not just for the bad players.

The Law of Probabilities are quite fair and will be nice to all players, every thing evens out in the long run.

(How long of run? Hours and hours of play–1000’s of poker hands).

Now I know this may not make everyone feel better, I think my friend Tom understands now. It is just a matter of the number of hands you see at online play compared to live play–You will see more than you can believe when playing that many hands and seeing that many cards.

Now this does not mean play any two cards online and hope for the best……..

Just remember, to play your strong starting hands with many outs and you will find yourself hitting that miracle card on the river more often than you can remember.

One more thing to think about, all Bad Beats aren’t Bad.

Bovada offers a Bad Beat Bonus of 100 times the big blind (limit of $1000)

Bovada 100% Poker Bonus


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