Monday, November 15, 2004

How many times have you made a tough fold and seen your gutshot card come on the river? Or you fold KK with two raisers and a board of Axxx only to see K come on the river? Or you fold the Hammer and the board flops 772.? And you scrrrrream about the cards on the board, because you ASSUME those exact cards would have come up anyway

Not so fast, my friend.

Maybe it wouldn’t have come up if you had stayed in the game… It depends on one big question: What algorithm do the online sites use for random deals?

Think about it, there are three major possibilities:

1. The online server generates an entire random deck (or at least the first 28 cards, a full Texas Hold’Em deal) based on a random number generator for each deal, which means that each card is pre-ordained to come out in a specific order.

2. The online server generates random cards based on a random number generator for every single card that is dealt. Depending on what they use for their random number generator (back in the old days, I used one that was seeded by the online clock which registered time in milliseconds or picoseconds), the next card MIGHT be partially dependent on when you fold.

3. A combination of the above, possibly where the online server generates enough random cards for the deal, then generates random cards for the flop, turn, and river either before or after any betting action, which MIGHT remove any clock dependence.

Seems like a silly question, but it has a profound impact on our ATTITUDES at the table. Yeah, I know, we’re not supposed to tilt at the tables, and we’re supposed to focus on the next hand, blah blah blah. But dammit, that fold affects the way we play future hands in similar situations, whether we admit it or not. An optimist might call next time, figuring that the cards are falling right. A pessimist would fold quicker, figuring that the hand hit big once, law of averages say it won’t hit again. A realist would make his decision based upon the current situation, but still have the knowledge that it would’ve hit before and that will color any new decisions.

Does anyone out there know how and when the cards/deals are generated? Is it site dependent? Enquiring minds want to know!


At 7:28 AM, Blogger doubleas said...

I can't answer your question, but I do know that the cards that come out in our home game change based on what I do. If I fold pocket 3s to a raise and reraise, then the board will come out with at least one 3, probably 2. If I call in that spot, no threes. Go figure. I think the poker Gods have full control over the B&M decks and just screw with your head.

At 7:38 AM, Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

DA - It is interesting to hear of "weird" cards in a B&M or Home game. You usually just hear people bitch about Online games. Go Figure!

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Donkeypuncher said...

I don't think winning players adjust their play according to what happened when they last received the same cards. They adjust their play based on what happened when they had those cards against the same opponent, and/or how they're reading opponents.

At 6:15 AM, Blogger BadBlood said...

Computationally speaking (is that a word?) I think it's more efficient to generate a random shuffle for a deck than to generate a random card each opportunity.

I've looked online at various resources and I believe that's how it's done. I'd link some references but I don't have them handy.


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