07- 6-04, LearnTexasHoldem:
Ultimate Bet Algorithm
Question:First, I want to thank you for your site. It's very imformative and from an old-time poker player, it's taught an old dog a few new tricks. I've been playing poker on and off for about 35 years. Never in hi limit pots and for many years, I didn't shuffle a deck of cards. Recently, I've started playing texas holdem online, generally in the freerolls at Ultimatebet.com. Most of the freerolls have 800 or more players and I've come in in the top 10 many times and won a couple. I think I'm ready to move on to the $ tables although, I've never really had a trusting feeling playing against computer generated cards. Here's an observation I've made while playing at UB. I've recently been tracking this and it's scary to think I may have found something out about their algorithm. If I have an open end straight on the flop the turn is either one card AWAY from completing my straight OR it pairs a card of the flop. Example, I have 9/10 and the flop is 8/J/3 the turn will be 6, K or pair the 8, J or 3. When tracking these open ends straights, this happened 81 of 100 hands!! The river sometimes follows this trend if the turn paired a flopped card and will be one from completing my straight. I've talked to a mathematician who plays at UB and he is now watching for the same thing. This is quite a strange phenomenon and I'd like your input on the subject. Can one feel safe playing at the online poker sites? I know there are several blacklists of online casinos available but as of yet, haven't read much on them.
Again, thanks for your site and your time.
Answer: To bet honest I haven't played at Ultimate Bet that much so it wouldn't be right for me to comment on their fairness. My general advice for this is that if you don't feel comfortable playing at a site because things seem off, then don't play there. Take your money out and go some where else where you feel like you can trust the operation. There are crooks in all businesses so it wouldn't surprise me if some online poker sites had something weird going on. That doesn't mean they are all bad though. Try a few before you settle down.