Card runs, good and bad: are they down to me or down to the software?

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venturer49

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I've been playing online for a bit under a year now, and I've had my share of card runs, good and bad. I've noticed that when I am having a bad run (and I've had at least two very long ones - over three weeks each) the cards are bad no matter what table or site I play on - hopeless hole cards hand after hand or, worse, great hole cards and hideous flops or nightmare rivers. I am sure you all know what I'm talking about...

A similar thing happens with good runs, but in reverse: no matter what site I play, I get good hole cards, friendly flops and rivers. (The only thing is, the good runs never seem to be as long as the bad ones :(!)

Assuming that the randomisers behind the software all produce near-as-dammit random deals, my experience leads me to conclude that the good and bad runs have more to do with me than with the software, otherwise I could do better by switching sites (or even tables). But, as I said switching never seems to change things at all (obviously, I'm not much tempted to switch during a good run!).

Does anyone else have this experience of card runs, or do you find you can improve by switching tables or sites?
 
t1riel

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It happens to everyone. There are times where "it's not your night." Maybe you should take a break from it for a short time and then when you start again see what happens.
 
JeeDub84

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I have had similar experiences, but not on multiple sites at a time. t1riel is right on how you should take a break for a little while. Honestly I use the same strategy when I am on a bad streak. For me I usually take 2-4 days off of playing and start to study again. When I am back to playing I feel much better and I do much better.
 
S

Styrofoam

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it seems worse than it is sometimes too, because its works hard on your discipline. You know to play only the strong hands, but when you don't get many of them - you're tempted, and sometimes strongly, to play the trash hands. that's where most people go wrong. Playing the trashhands.
 
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chicubs1616

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Almost every site uses a "random" number generator to deal its hands.

Its the same as if you were shuffling a deck of cards at a home game.

It doesn't matter how you get bad hands, there is never an "even" distribution of hands in any game of poker, whether it be live or online.
 
joosebuck

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but there's no such thing as a random number generator
 
Kj Sexton

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Well this is up to your perception of the game, some will tell you there is no luck in poker once you reach a certain level. Others will tell you it's mostly luck....

The arguements presented on both sides make sense.
No luck = all skill , bluffing , reading your opponett, sensing weakness , etc.
Mostly Luck = (I.E KK vs JJ & a J hits...)

However, I think if you are counting on getting the best cards to win. You are rarely going to win. Granted on online poker it is a lot harder to use bluffing & trapping tactics, especially depending on your level of play ($1.00 - $20.00) tables. If you become so tight of a player that you'll only call with AA , KK , & AK suited. You are eliminating a lot of possible wins, Most will tell you to be tight and not see as many flops to save blinds. I will tell you to see whatever blinds the odds look good for you to win from a pot odd perspective. This is something you may not get right away, but there is no time like the present to start learning.
And remember if you aren't having a good night, don't let the game put you on tilt! Wether you believe in luck or skill, maintain composure even if your KK's get beat by JJ's... The name of the game is gambling...

Though in truth I am a semi-superstitious player, I will almost always call with my favorite hand & I will call when I get a hunch, regardless of cards. Though this is a nack not everyone has, and I've lost & won big pots both ways with it. It's a double edge'd sword, b/c you may have luck....

It just might not be the good kind.
 
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venturer49

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I suppose my question was less about how to handle the bad runs (walk away), but about where the good and bad streaks "come from". If a good or bad streak continues regardless of which site you go to (and assuming the sites you play on are running independent randomiser engines!) it implies that the run is more "linked" to you than it is simply a function of randomness, since you would expect, by moving from one random series to another, to eventually "hit" a different run and thereby change your luck. (Assuming that the cards you get don't change your style of play, of course, which I know is a big assumption!) Is my luck a function of me or the machine - that's really my question. If it's me, then there ought to be something I could do about it, if it's the machine, I ought to be able to keep changing until I find a better machine.
 
Osmann

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Good and bad streaks have nothing to do with the machine that deals the hands... The rule of probability tells us that everything that is random will have good and bad runs, but mostly you will be somewhere in between. Ofcourse you don't notice when you are on a "normal" streak, because that's what you will have most of the time.
 
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Styrofoam

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there's no where that "luck comes from" because all that luck is, is one side of the probability coming up over the other side.

Lets pretend we have a bag with 500 marbles: You have 100 green ones, and 400 red ones... lets also assume there are 100 different bags with the same ammount of marbles, distributed exactly the same. If you pick a green marble, we'll give you 25 cents, but if you pick a red marble you give us 5cents. When you pick a marble, you put it back into the bag to keep the odds the same.

Now...you have a1/5 chance at picking the green marble in the bag at my table, whereas you'll have a 1/5 chance at picking the green marble at Osmann's table, and a 1/5 Chance at KJ's table so on and so forth. There is nothing you can do to increase your chances at picking a green marble. Neither you, nor the bag will change in this regard. However, there will be times that defy the odds...which say that you should get a sequence like this most of the time: Green, red, red, red, red, red red red red green, but every now and then you'll get green green green, red, red, green, red, red, red, red, and you'll get 10 reds in a row sometimes too.

My point is - there is no way to "change your luck" because it has nothing to do with you, or the table/site you play on. The cards are dealt in a semi-random fashion (most mathmaticians know there is no such thing as a random computer), and the probability that you get AA will be the same when you play 100 hands of poker no matter where you're playing them.
 
Tammy

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Venturer, yes, this happens to me...a lot. And like you said, when you're having a good run, you are hardly going to go anywhere, but during a bad run of cards, I have tried switching tables/sites and sometimes it works. Sometimes, the bad cards come with me no matter where I go. One of those things I guess. :)
 
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