Fluctuations will be a lot higher than in a brick and mortar poker room

Online poker players will see much higher profit and loss fluctuations than they would if they played in a brick and mortar poker room. Here are some reasons why:

  1. The average online poker player plays more aggressively than the average brick and mortar poker player, as discussed in the previous section.
  2. There are also more shorthanded games online than in brick and mortar poker rooms. Naturally, shorthanded games have a higher fluctuation than full table games because all the players are involved in more hands.
  3. More hands are dealt in the same time period online.

There are more hands played per hour online, so the results will look much more extreme.

For the purposes of evaluating fluctuations, you want to compare full table games between online and brick and mortar. The correct way to compare the results is to measure them in terms of the number of hands played. It does not make much sense to use an hourly rate because online players may get twice as many hands as brick and mortar players. That means you can fit roughly two hours of equivalent brick and mortar play into one hour of online play.

If you want to compare a shorthanded online game to a full table brick and mortar game, then you have to adjust for two new factors. The first is that shorthanded online games get dealt even more hands per hour than full online games. The second is that players naturally play more aggressively and loosely in shorthanded games. Both factors will increase the fluctuations of all players.

When the extreme fluctuations are on the upside, meaning that player are winning, no one complains. The sky is sunny, everyone is having a good time, life is as it should be. It is when the extreme fluctuations are on the downside that players start to complain, wondering why they have such bad luck, cursing the computer and then wondering if there is a conspiracy against them. They start to wonder maybe the other players are colluding, maybe someone has hacked into the software and the opponent can see all the cards or the future board, maybe the site is rigged to make the poor players win and the good players lose, maybe, maybe, maybe. In times like these, it is important to be strong and not give into the urge to put all the blame on everything and everyone else. It could be that you were playing poorly that day or you just had a string of bad luck, or a combination of the two. These fluctuations will happen in poker and they will happen with greater extremes in online poker. It is at this point that some players enter the internet poker forums claiming they were cheated at certain sites. The phrase to remember in your head for times like these is "If the suckers don't win once in a while, they would never come back." So go take a break from poker for a few minutes, hours or days, as long as you need. Get your head cleared, and come back when you are ready to play without anger or any negative emotions. Just because the computer is there does not mean you have to play every day.

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