Live vs online poker card randomization

    • neonaone
      neonaone
      Basic
      Joined: 21.09.2015 Posts: 1
      I have been playing live poker for years and I can say that card shuffle on online poker is very very different. Especially pokerstars. I never seen bad beats like that before. And when you all-in with a shortstacker, although he has a trash hand, he wins most time. Do you belive that card randomization is fair?
  • 24 replies
    • adelaar
      adelaar
      Gold
      Joined: 25.10.2013 Posts: 189
      My experience is that in live poker less Aces come on the board.

      Sometimes it looks like in online poker there are more than 4 aces in the stock. Incorrect randomization.
      Because the frequency of Aces in online poker is much higher than in live poker.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Hi, neonaone,
      Welcome to PokerStrategy.com!

      After watching this guy:


      I'm rather inclined to put more trust in the on-line random number generators.

      That video was just one I picked from a wide selection following the search "card dealing tricks".
      There was also another large selection for "card shuffling tricks".
      I'm no pro, but even I know a trick for dealing 6 full houses and 1 straight flush from an brand-new deck.

      Deep in human intelligence is an ability to recognize patterns. It helps us survive. We see patterns in everything -- whether they exist or not. The classic is seeing images in clouds.

      Part of the problem is that we play far, far more hands online than we ever could live. I've tried 4-tabling live. It ended badly.
      Yes you see way more Aces on the board playing online. You see way more boards online.

      I'm not trying to change your mind -- just giving my perspective.

      Above all, on-line poker is an exercise in faith.
      :diamond:   You must trust that the card room is fair (all players have the same opportunity to win).
      :diamond:   You must trust that you will be able to withdraw your money in a timely manner.
      :diamond:   You must trust that no other player is cheating.
      :diamond:   You must trust that the other players are human (no bots).
      :diamond:   You must trust your internet connection not to drop when you're all-in on the final table. :coolface:

      In the past, all of the above have been breached, so a certain amount of caution is warranted.

      Of the three, the least likely cheater is the poker room, since they are under fairly close scrutiny. First by the players, then by various regulatory agencies.

      If you cannot bring yourself to trust poker on line, then it is foolish to play it.

      The "poker is rigged" reaction to a loss -- or string of losses -- is a mental-game leak. Another of humanities natural reactions is to find a cause for failure and correct it -- thus improving ourselves. If we are unable (or unwilling) to find the cause within ourselves, and if we are unable (or unwilling) to believe that "it was just luck", then we start looking for some one or some thing to blame.

      All the best,
      VS
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      When you are talking about probability and statistics there is no such a thing as online card randomization, any event that is programmed is not truly random, what we do have is pseudorandom number generation (PRNG). The thing is, even though it's not truly random it doesn't mean its not fair or that is rigged. As Vorpal said, you can have rigged games live or online, it depends on the reputation of the room. About the bad beats, it has a little to do with psychology also, you are way more inclined to remember the bad beats you had than the hands you were behind and then won, even if you ignore that, considering you play more hands per hour online than you do live the odds you get sucked out are higher.

      Originally posted by adelaar
      My experience is that in live poker less Aces come on the board.

      Sometimes it looks like in online poker there are more than 4 aces in the stock. Incorrect randomization.
      Because the frequency of Aces in online poker is much higher than in live poker.
      That has to do a little with what I said before, the odds of an ace flopping is around 23% if you are holding any non-ace hole cards, when you play more tables or hands per hour it will seem to you that it happens more frequently (and it can happen more frequently, if you have 4/52 chances of drawing an ace from a deck of cards it doesn't mean it can't happen 10 times in a row). Those statistics are only going to be true with millions and millions of hands.
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
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      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      Pokerstars has admitted in their posts that the RNG they use is not entirely random.
      As well as the logarithm a players input is also calculated in determining the next card. I took this to mean the players time to act, their position, and whether they called, raised, check-raised or re-raised.
      The only pattern I seem to be fixated on is that every time you get your money in and you are drawing dead, your best card seems to show up on the river.
      I have over 13 years of experience playing on-line to back up this observation.
      Do I think on-line is rigged. A resounding NO. They don't care who wins, only that the players are there to keep the games going.
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      Originally posted by TheMarxBros3
      Pokerstars has admitted in their posts that the RNG they use is not entirely random.
      As well as the logarithm a players input is also calculated in determining the next card. I took this to mean the players time to act, their position, and whether they called, raised, check-raised or re-raised.
      The only pattern I seem to be fixated on is that every time you get your money in and you are drawing dead, your best card seems to show up on the river.
      I have over 13 years of experience playing on-line to back up this observation.
      Do I think on-line is rigged. A resounding NO. They don't care who wins, only that the players are there to keep the games going.
      Please let me correct you and also correct myself, for what I said is not completely true. PokerStars do use TRNG, they use Quantis, wich is a hardware true random number generator, that plus the algorithm (logarithm is the mathematic operation that is the inverse to exponentiation) which uses user input (I don't really know how) makes it completely random.

      Also, once the cards are dealt they do not change order, so your affirmation is rather impossible to happen.
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      "Also, once the cards are dealt they do not change order, so your affirmation is rather impossible to happen."
      Not according to them it isn't.
      I will root around pokerstars and old e-mails they sent me to see if I can find the article when I get time.
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      "PokerStars deals the cards in a fair and honest manner. Once the deck is shuffled, it is set, and the order in which the cards are dealt cannot be changed."

      http://www.pokerstars.com/help/article/site/security-shuffle-basic/

      About the user input (mouse movements and stuff like that) and how it really works, I emailed PokerStars support asking about it, that was their answer.

      Hello Fernando,

      Thank you for your follow-up.

      I have included below a detailed and technical walk-through of our shuffle process, which explains how the cards are shuffled and dealt.

      The actual method we use to shuffle is described on our website:

      http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/room/features/security/

      Let's cover that and expand upon the detail, beginning from the "Shuffle Highlights" section:

      We use 249 random bits from the two entropy sources, user input and quantum entropy, to achieve an even and unpredictable statistical distribution.

      So, to shuffle a hand, we take 249 truly random bits from the quantum entropy source, and 249 truly random bits from the aggregate mouse movements... both of which are two truly random (NOT pseudo-random) sources.

      The quantum entropy source is obtained from a device called “Quantis” made by a Swiss company called ID Quantique. They have a website online which gives a general description and lists certifications, and you can view this here:

      http://www.idquantique.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9

      In addition, if you are interested in an explanation of the physics that underpin the quantum random number generator – and why it is completely random – this document describes it in more detail:

      http://www.idquantique.com/images/stories/PDF/quantis-random-generator/quantis-whitepaper.pdf

      In addition to the random numbers generated by this device, we also use a stream of random numbers using the pointer positions of the mouse as transmitted by all of our users throughout the world to indicate actions in the game client. These pixel positions are turned into “bits” for the purpose of random number generation by converting the screen coordinates (eg, 75,301) of each click into binary numbers (eg, 1001011, 100101101). It’s important to note that a player’s mouse movements have no direct control over the generation of a particular random stream or a particular deck of cards; it all goes into a long flow of numbers that might be used anywhere at any time, or perhaps not used individually at all.

      We use the SHA-1 cryptographic hash algorithm to mix the entropy gathered from both sources to provide an extra level of security.

      Thus, we use a mathematical formula to combine these two different 249 bit numbers into a single 498 bit number. Now we have a binary stream of units and noughts, something like this:

      010101111001011001110110100010001010111101010101011010101010101011...

      It's much longer than that in reality (498 bits), but this is just to demonstrate.

      The page then says:

      To convert random bit stream to random numbers within a required range without bias, we use a simple and reliable algorithm. For example, if we need a random number in the range 0-25:

      - we take 5 random bits and convert them to a random number 0-31
      - if this number is greater than 25 we just discard all 5 bits and repeat the process

      Finally, we use that method to do the actual shuffle:

      To perform an actual shuffle, we use another simple and reliable algorithm:

      - first we draw a random card from the original deck (1 of 52) and place it in a new deck - now original deck contains 51 cards and the new deck contains 1 card

      - then we draw another random card from the original deck (1 of 51) and place it on top of the new deck - now original deck contains 50 cards and the new deck contains 2 cards

      - we repeat the process until all cards have moved from the original deck to the new deck

      So, how does it work? First, we need a number from 0 to 51 to get one of 52 available cards. To get such a number, we need 6 bits. We take the first six bits of our much larger stream of random bits, and never use them again:

      010101111001011001110110100010001010111101010101011010101010101011...
      010101
      (use these)
      ----------111001011001110110100010001010111101010101011010101010101011...
      (these are what's left)

      If that number is from 52 to 63, we discard it as too large. If it is between 0 and 51, we use it to choose the card. In this case, 010101 is our six bit number, and it is "21", so we choose card 21 as the first card.

      We continue down the bitstream as needed. We now need 0 to 50 (51 cards left), and the next six bits are 111001, which is 57:

      ------111001011001110110100010001010111101010101011010101010101011...
      ------111001
      (use these)
      ----------------011001110110100010001010111101010101011010101010101011...
      (these are what's left)

      We discard that as too large and continue with the next six bits, 011001, or 25, and so on.

      Each time the number of cards is reduced, the number of bits we need can drop, too. Here's a table showing how many bits of data we need to choose from N remaining cards:

      52 = 6 bits needed 35 = 6 bits needed 18 = 5 bits needed
      51 = 6 bits needed 34 = 6 bits needed 17 = 5 bits needed
      50 = 6 bits needed 33 = 6 bits needed 16 = 4 bits needed
      49 = 6 bits needed 32 = 5 bits needed 15 = 4 bits needed
      48 = 6 bits needed 31 = 5 bits needed 14 = 4 bits needed
      47 = 6 bits needed 30 = 5 bits needed 13 = 4 bits needed
      46 = 6 bits needed 29 = 5 bits needed 12 = 4 bits needed
      45 = 6 bits needed 28 = 5 bits needed 11 = 4 bits needed
      44 = 6 bits needed 27 = 5 bits needed 10 = 4 bits needed
      43 = 6 bits needed 26 = 5 bits needed 9 = 4 bits needed
      42 = 6 bits needed 25 = 5 bits needed 8 = 3 bits needed
      41 = 6 bits needed 24 = 5 bits needed 7 = 3 bits needed
      40 = 6 bits needed 23 = 5 bits needed 6 = 3 bits needed
      39 = 6 bits needed 22 = 5 bits needed 5 = 3 bits needed
      38 = 6 bits needed 21 = 5 bits needed 4 = 2 bits needed
      37 = 6 bits needed 20 = 5 bits needed 3 = 2 bits needed
      36 = 6 bits needed 19 = 5 bits needed 2 = 1 bit needed
      1 = 0 bits needed

      If you add up all the bits you get 249, which is the number of bits we take from each of our truly random entropy sources.

      Since we start with double the number of truly random bits needed (249 each from quantum entropy and user inputs), this is enough to ensure that even if we have to discard every other group of bits as "bigger than the maximum number we need", we have enough truly random bits to complete the shuffle.

      In comparison, pseudo-RNGs contain patterns of numbers in a mathematical progression. If you know the first number (the "seed"), and know the mathematical formula, you can get the Nth number in a pseudo-RNG progression by running that formula on the seed, and then the result, and then that result, N times.

      That doesn't happen at all with our method. At PokerStars, NOTHING is ever pseudo-anything, and no patterns can be found. The next number doesn't depend on the prior one and there's no mathematical formula one can use to figure out the next number. Every time we choose the "next card to go into the randomly shuffled deck", the choice is truly random and not the result of a pseudo-random number generator.

      I hope I have been able to answer your questions, if you have any further concerns please do not hesitate to email us.

      Regards,

      Danielius J
      PokerStars Support Team
      Cheers, mate.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Thanks so much for digging up that link, tieppofer.
      That link, plus the explanation in the email will help in the future any time the subject comes up.

      If I understand the email, the two random sources are both obtained before the shuffle.
      Once shuffled, the deck is fixed.

      All the best,
      VS
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      Yes, that is exactly how it works... Also your mouse and keyboard input is not necessarily used as a source of entropy for your table, they just gater the data and randomly select it. On the email there are a few links explaining how TRNG works.

      Cheers,
      FT
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      Thank you for the clarification.
      I stand corrected.
      Greatly appreciated and when I am wrong I am the first to admit it.
      I did read what I wrote somewhere and now I am going to have to find it as my imagination is not good enough to make that up.
      Thanks again
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      We use 249 random bits from the two entropy sources, user input and quantum entropy, to achieve an even and unpredictable statistical distribution.
      This may be where I read about the user input and got confused as to what it exactly meant.

      ***Reaching for straws to save face***
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      It is kind of confusing, that's also why I emailed them.... And well, we all learned a new thing today :f_tongue: :f_tongue:
    • metza
      metza
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      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      How to boost Quantum EV?
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Originally posted by metza
      How to boost Quantum EV?
      Perhaps you could hire a Quantum Mechanic and have him adjust it? :coolface:
    • TheMarxBros3
      TheMarxBros3
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      Originally posted by metza
      How to boost Quantum EV?
      Perhaps you could hire a Quantum Mechanic and have him adjust it? :coolface:
      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    • MajesticOdds
      MajesticOdds
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.03.2015 Posts: 29
      As anyone watched zoom tables? I don't know if they only show you the monster hands and coolers but almost every table they make you watch its like a chip dumping opperation. 2 pairs over 2 pairs set over set, straight over set, quads over boats. Thats what really made me doubt them a lot, also the reviews on pokerscout are not helping

      http://www.pokerscout.com/AllReviews.aspx?id=1

      and some of them do have some good arguments. I'm kinda in between where I think its ridiculous for them to rig the games but at the same time I remember the full tilt scandal and I can't decide. Actually I want to believe they're ok and safe but I just can't bring myself to...
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
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      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      observed zoom hands are obviously replays of big pots. now well i've played about a million zoom hands, i guess i believe it's fair
    • MajesticOdds
      MajesticOdds
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.03.2015 Posts: 29
      I didn't know, how is it obvious?
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,858
      as you said, it's (almost) ALWAYS a big pot. they add a recent big pot to the replay queue (and big pots tend to be coolers) and it keeps going... if you watch high stakes (where there are less players and so less hands), you may actually get to watch some folds.

      [edit: i may add that i mean "obvious" as in light of the evidence, not "everyone watching knows it's not live because it's clearly stated". it's somewhat underhanded of them to present replays as live hands but i don't find it to be a big deal]
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