I occasionally play microstake NLHE on PokerStars, and there I've recently witnessed (what feels like) a suspicious number of "unlikely" deals.

The most recent was in a 6-ring game, in which 1 seat was unoccupied and 1 player was sitting out—so only 4 players dealt. Of those, one folded and the other three went all-in pre-flop. Over their hole cards flip, and all three have KJs! What are the odds of that?

But I've also been seeing KK come up against QQ or AA quite a lot recently (again in 6-ring games): more than I used to see, and more than my gut says should be happening. Again, players go all-in pre-flop.

A cynic might wonder whether the deal is being manipulated to encourage betting (and thereby increase the excitement and/or rake).

How can one measure whether this is within the bounds of normality, or whether something is awry? Does anyone independent actually do this, and what action is taken if something is not right?


2 Answers 2


Pokerstars (Amaya) is a multi- billion dollar company. They have licenses in different countries to operate in them. They will soon have over 200 billion! hands played on their site. It's all about variance. If you think that they arent honest, dont play there. But there is no chance to prove that they manipulate things. GL at the tables:)


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You can measure the improbability of a sequence of events all you want, but you can never 100% be sure that these events are a consequence of tampering with the random number generator.

As big as PokerStars is, they have a lot of incentive to run their games straight up. Imagine if it leaked that they are creating these big cooler situations to generate more rake: people would stop playing and they would actually lose rake.

It's okay to be skeptical but my experience is that the people who have this doubt are usually just looking for excuses why they are losing money.

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