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The Poker Legislation Forum, Brought to You by the PPA Discussions of various poker-related laws and steps players can take to push for better laws.

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Old 03-04-2013, 02:04 PM   #1
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Online Poker "Deck Odds"

I'm fulfilling my scholarly writing requirement in law school by writing about poker (sometimes, life is just great). A major part of my paper is comparing the skill in b&m games to online games. I don't play online, but have heard from numerous people that the "deck odds" online are very, very, very close to that of a physical 52 card deck, but it is not exactly the same (and the algorithm could possibly be cracked, etc). The terms and conditions for FT and PS are long, and link to numerous other terms and conditions. Instead of wading through all of that like a good student should, I figured I would turn to the community to see if anyone had a link handy that would give me what I need. Looking for legal language from major poker sites along the lines of "(insert site here) represents that its game play is virtually the same as that of an in-person poker game. (insert site here)'s algorithm is based on 52 randomized cards with an error rate of 0.0000000013%" or something like that. Basically I want the magic language that shows that the online games operate on an algorithm instead of real life (even if they are virtually the same- I'm actually arguing that they are in the paper, I just need this language). Thanks all
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

all you need is a random seed for your rng man...
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

The language "very, very close to that of a physical 52 card deck, but it is not exactly the same" is strange. Do you mean a hand-shuffled 52 card deck? If so, the online shuffles will be much more random by any metric of randomness.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:25 PM   #4
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

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Originally Posted by marino1010 View Post
(insert site here)'s algorithm is based on 52 randomized cards with an error rate of 0.0000000013%" or something like that.
Google RNG. What exactly would an "error" look like?

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Originally Posted by marino1010 View Post
Basically I want the magic language that shows that the online games operate on an algorithm instead of real life
How could it be otherwise? Do you think poker sites pay people to shuffle and deal cards in some back room all day?
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:32 PM   #5
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

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If so, the online shuffles will be much more random by any metric of randomness.
Define random so that this is true. Things are radom or they are not. There is no "more random".
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

gonna guess that you're gonna make an awful lawyer
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

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Define random
Unpredictable.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

Not to jump on OP...

But error would imply that the online "shuffler" spit out to Ace of spades in the same hand or something similar. And oh by the way... that has happened in casinos before.

The randomness or lack of it is not really the concern. It is the ability of someone to predict the next card. From all of the cheating ever exposed with online poker... I dont think any of it was from reverse engineering an algorithm to figure out opponents cards in real time. It has been inside jobs with modified clients that show all cards. Or team viewer sessions where someone trusts someone else too much, etc

Bottom line is that an inferior RNG isnt going to make the average player win more or less. His win rate is going to be based on his skill vs those at the table with him.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

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Originally Posted by Didace View Post
Define random so that this is true. Things are radom or they are not. There is no "more random".
LOL, you are definitely not a mathematician. Look up information entropy, and clue yourself in before making sweeping statements that have no basis in fact.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

Quote:
Originally Posted by marino1010 View Post
I'm fulfilling my scholarly writing requirement in law school by writing about poker (sometimes, life is just great). A major part of my paper is comparing the skill in b&m games to online games. I don't play online, but have heard from numerous people that the "deck odds" online are very, very, very close to that of a physical 52 card deck, but it is not exactly the same (and the algorithm could possibly be cracked, etc). The terms and conditions for FT and PS are long, and link to numerous other terms and conditions. Instead of wading through all of that like a good student should, I figured I would turn to the community to see if anyone had a link handy that would give me what I need. Looking for legal language from major poker sites along the lines of "(insert site here) represents that its game play is virtually the same as that of an in-person poker game. (insert site here)'s algorithm is based on 52 randomized cards with an error rate of 0.0000000013%" or something like that. Basically I want the magic language that shows that the online games operate on an algorithm instead of real life (even if they are virtually the same- I'm actually arguing that they are in the paper, I just need this language). Thanks all
Is this really something you feel the need to acknowledge or argue in a school paper? Seems pretty tangential and irrelevant to the degrees of skill in the game IMO. I'd just rest assured that all modern RNG algorithms are both sufficiently random and much more random than hand shuffling.

Anyway, this might be the closest thing to what you're looking for:
http://www.pokerstars.com/poker/rng/
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:30 PM   #11
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

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Originally Posted by JohnFR View Post
LOL, you are definitely not a mathematician. Look up information entropy, and clue yourself in before making sweeping statements that have no basis in fact.
It's been a long time since I studied it so I may not be quite up to speed. But could you tell me how information entropy has any bearing on a discussion where the context is a deck of cards?
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

Unless there is incompetence or fraud, rng's should always be more random than a real deck shuffled(hand or machine), if for no other reason than marked(intentional or not) cards.

Then there is weak hand shuffling, dealer stacking the deck, or even rain man seeing where every card goes.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

The problem is that there is nothing like what OP is asking for. Different sites use different random number generators and it's very difficult to prove something is truly random.

If a site is using a sufficient random number generator there is very little chance someone will "break" the algorithm. I seem to recall one of the sites uses background radiation measurements as a seed for their random number generator. There would either need to be a flaw in the algorithm that makes some result occur more often than others or someone would have to be able to predict the seed being used. The first would likely have been caught in testing and the second would probably require hacking the site anyway.

In the end it's likely irrelevant to a study about skill involved in playing online vs live. So, I'm not sure why you're interested in it anyway. As far as playing poker is concerned, attempting to predict the cards being dealt is sufficiently difficult both live and online. If you're looking for evidence to support that statement then I'm curious what evidence you've found that casinos sufficiently shuffle a deck of cards to provide a random deal.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #14
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Re: Online Poker "Deck Odds"

Sorry if I am incorrect, but I think you are trying to say that online poker decks are pseudo-random?
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