Addressing some of the main concerns when playing online poker
All over the internet and in magazines I see people questioning whether online poker is safe to play. Some people worry that other players can see their hole cards, others fear that the poker sites will just cease to exist and take all the money and even more fear that the hands are ‘set ups’ created to generate bigger pots, so the sites can make more cash.
The aim of this article is to look at these issues and give you a better understanding of each, so you can make an informed decision about the safety of online poker.
Can people see my hole cards?
First up we will look at the idea that other players can see our cards. I am going to go ahead and say that for the most part people cannot see our cards. Yes, there have been some cases where player’s hole cards have been exposed.
More often than not though this is because the player in question has had their computer or router tampered with. This is why we must always secure our computers with the correct software and not let anyone else have access to them without us being present.
There have been one or two cases of sites accessing hole cards, well a few specific employees. This was a number of years ago and the sites are no longer in business. If you choose a reputable online poker room with good security and take necessary precautions with your own computer then you have nothing to worry about.
Will sites steal my money?
A few years ago Full Tilt Poker was closed down and players worried for their balances. Later it emerged that player funds had been spent by company directors, many feared they would never see their money again. It has took a long time to get sorted but the majority of players have now been paid back in full and there are firm plans in place for the rest of the players to be paid back in the very near future.
This was easily the biggest story in terms of player funds being unsafe and it has been resolved, it took some time, longer than anticipated, but players have their money and that is the important thing. I will reiterate what I said in the first section, choose a good online poker room, with solid history and you and your money are completely safe when playing online poker.
Do sites ‘rig’ hands in order to make more money
One of the main ways that a poker site generates income is through rake. Rake is a percentage of the pot that a site will take for providing the service of a poker game. There is rake in a casino game too, in fact it is higher in a casino due to the fact they have larger overheads.
Some people fear that for this reason the poker sites will ‘rig’ a big pot, so that they can rake more for themselves. This is simply false. First off, the rake in most poker rooms is capped, so once a certain point is reached the rake would be the same regardless of the size of the pot.
Another thing, sites are much more interested in raking more games by generating more traffic than raking larger amounts per pot. All of their efforts are concentrated on generating more games, not bigger games.
Some online poker rooms like Party Poker are public limited companies, so there are figures available for the public to see regarding revenues and profits. Online poker is big business, they are making astronomical sums of money, so there is no need to risk rigging big hands to generate a relatively small increase in rake.
All the sites use what is called an RNG, which stands for random number generator. It is the RNG that determines all the cards from the pre flop starting hands through the flop, turn and river. Once the RNG is in place the sites have no input in the outcome of the hand.
Online poker is safe
I can confidently say that playing poker online is safe. You will find good and bad in all walks of life, individuals and businesses alike. If you make smart choices about where you play poker you will be fine. There is lots of information out there on securing your computer, you should do this whether you play poker or not. In modern times a lot of business is done online and we send a lot of personal information over the internet. This leads to a lot of people trying to take advantage and gain access to that information. We will never stop them trying, but we can prevent them from succeeding.
I advise you to do some research, there are lots of online poker rooms available, find one that you are comfortable with and enjoy the experience of online poker.