I was considering playing at one of the online poker sites, but curious, how can you trust them? How can you actually trust the game when there's no actual cards being dealt, just a computer program supposedly "randomly" assigning cards to players?
you're right to sceptical, bookies aren't the most philianthropical people. But, it is in their interest to be legit. According to the Global Beeting and Gaming Consultancy Report (term 2, 2004), they are making astronomical profits.
At the minute it is going the other way. E.G. I'm a researcher at the International Gaming Research Unit, and we have recently had a spurt of online poker sites coming to us looking for their sites to be made more safe and offer more fair play to their customers. You guys (including me - I gamble huge amounts) are valuable commodities to them.
Also it doesn't really make sense to fix deals, unless they have a rigid behavioural profile for every customer (i.e. speculating what antecedents increase your gambling participation). But think how hard that would be to assess, not mention the standard error in judgement calls. The natural behavioural contingencies are very reinforcing even without manipulation.
Just use a popular site, one with contact details and preferable verified by GA, or some other consumer safety watchdog. I use ladbrokes and virgin here in the UK. BTW virgin poker is far and away the easiest game on the net! I'm sure the guys here can tell you where the safest sites in the US are.
There have been a few posts on this subject. Most people seem to think the major sites are trustworthy. Obiwan has some interesting theories on new accounts being luckier, I have actually tried it out a few times and can't see my starting hands improve. I always seem to win more on a new account but I think it is coincidence so far.
Hadn't heard of Virgin poker before. Will give that a try later as Ladbrokes is starting to piss me off.
easiest but also one of the worst places you get badbeats. You'll quickly see they call every flush draw they'll get.
Also its hard to get games because there is only about 200 members or so. So you have to be patient unless you like playing low stakes NL. But they are awful.
Thank you for the information!
I trust the major online poker sites since in five years nothing like this has happened with thousands of times the traffic at poker sites now: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.php/616221
Also, software programs have been designed to accumulate all cards dealt. Many people have compiled lists to try and determine if the sites are dealing effectively randomyl, such as this one: http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.gambling.poker/msg/3c3f29d3340e65d7?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
So far, no one has statiscally proven any funny stuff in the major sites' shufflers.