What is a “Bad beat”? In Poker it refers to a win by a weaker hand over a stronger, more dominant hand. How the heck could this happen, you wonder? Believe it or not, and as much as Poker Players wish it never would, it does happen, even to the best of us.
Many newcomers don’t realize the value of a bad beat. They don’t understand the odds of a bad beat hand like pushing all in with AdJc and beating AsKs by spiking a Jack on the river. Likewise experienced Players are often amazed that they could lose to a newcomer or less experienced Player with such an underdog hand. They don’t grasp that they lose to the hand because they have the more dominating hand. The important thing to always be mindful of when playing Poker is that bad beats will happen at some point.
But the real question here is, do they happen more online than in land-based casinos because of fraud? Many Players argue that online Poker rooms are rigged; that they create large action hands for the Players in order to increase the pot size. This is in no way true. If it were, then one could easily argue that a bad beat would tend to happen more frequently in an online poker room than in a land-based casino because of fraud. However, online poker rooms, just like online casinos, undergo rigorous testing and verification to ensure complete randomness of hands and randomness of games at all times.
The fact of the matter is that more hands are played in online poker rooms more so than in land-based casinos. Whereas in a real live Poker game, perhaps 40 hands may be dealt in an hour, the number is almost double in an online game. The action in an online game is faster, perhaps about a 40:60 ratio in favour of the online poker room where more hands are dealt per hour. Additionally, one Player can play at two or more separate Poker tables when playing online; thus also increasing hand play. This is not possible in a land-based casino.
Also, in an online game, Players are more willing to “Call” their hands, despite what their bankroll is and despite the fact that calling the hand may not even be necessary at that moment. In the case of a real live Poker game, Players are sometimes hesitant to go “All-In” especially when playing with a large bankroll. Think about it – in which situation is it easier to part with your cash: in an online game where the dollar value is displayed on a screen or in real life where all the chips are laid out in front of your very eyes?
So, taking into account the fact that more hands are played in an online poker game than in a real one at any time AND considering the fact that Players tend to bet safer in a real live poker game, the chance of experiencing a bad beat hand online is greater than in a land-based casino. However, it isn’t greater because the game in the online Poker room are fixed.
Again, it is important to remember that bad beats will happen to you as long as you play Poker over a period of time. Don’t get caught up in the frustration of it, though; just dust yourself off and get back in the action once you have a clear head. Sometimes, a bad beat can be a good thing (if you’re not on the receiving end that is) because you need Players who will make bad calls. After all, they help maintain your bankroll and keep you in the action and playing the game you love the most.