Originally Posted by Lonsdaleite
Full Tilt uses a continuous shuffle. Some card rooms don't. I believe PS uses a complicated system and they have an independent company certify it is secure.
It's true that PS uses a set deck while most, if not all, others use a continuous shuffle. But being set vs. continuous has nothing to do with security -- random is random, you never knew what was coming anyway, so there's no reason to care whether the rest of the deck is still shuffling or not. If anything, I suppose one could argue that the constant shuffle is MORE secure than a set deck, simply because the deck is undergoing constant chaos. And non-computer people may not realize it, but when we say the deck is being constantly reshuffled and can be affected by delays in player action, we don't mean by just a second or two. It's import to understand that the reshuffle happens multiple times per second, perhaps hundreds or thousands of times per second,
so even a millisecond delay will likely cause hundreds or thousands of cards to change position. Just to give you an idea how fast computers can generate random numbers, I just wrote a quick little C program using the built in standard C library RNG on my little netbook with its 1.6Ghz CPU. It generated 1 million random numbers in about 0.06 seconds.
The backend servers that drive the RNG on any of these sites are orders of magnitude more powerful than my netbook.
They're all pretty "complicated" and AFAIK all the major sites' RNGs are independently audited and certified by outside experts. Which is one more reason why I laugh at the conspiracy theorists and technically-ignorant folks who nevertheless insist that these state-of-the-art RNGs are rigged and/or exploitable and/or predictable. As a software developer for many years who has worked with RNGs, and knowing/inferring some things about the sophisticated methods poker sites
use to ensure proper entropy, I am unequivocally confident in the randomness and security of the respectable sites, particularly Stars and FT. Some of the smaller, fly-by-night sites, who knows, but you can be certain the bigger players invest huge amounts of dollars and energy into security, otherwise they stand to implode in the face of an exploit scandal, as almost happened to UB/AP (which by the way had nothing to do with their RNG).