OKBET Poker Guide How Do Online Poker Deal Cards Work

To fairly shuffle and deal cards to online poker players, online poker sites employ random number generator algorithms. Discover how it works!

How Do Online Poker Players Deal Cards?

Without a physical deck of cards that the players at the table can see being shuffled, online poker sites must devise a fair way to shuffle and deal virtual cards. But how does it work, and how do we know it’s as fair, if not more so, than a standard poker card shuffle?

How to Shuffle the Cards in Online Poker

To shuffle and distribute cards fairly, legitimate online casino rooms use computerized algorithms.

Each suited card in the deck has its own identifier (e.g., a number between 1 and 208)

The deck is ‘created’ before each hand by using a random number generator and randomly ordering these numbers.

After the deck has been constructed, the hand is dealt in the same manner as in a live game, with each player receiving two cards, beginning with the small blind.

Technically, an online poker site can generate the numbers to order their deck in one of two ways: by using a PRNG or a TRNG.


PRNG stands for pseudo-random Number Generator and is so named because the randomness is simulated rather than generated naturally. The numbers generated by a PRNG are never truly random because they are determined by an initial value known as a’seed.’

PRNGs are frequently extremely complicated algorithms that are nearly impossible to reverse engineer without extensive knowledge of how the specific algorithm works. This, combined with the advantage of speed when generating numbers, makes them extremely useful for online poker.

However, not all PRNGs are created equal, and some perform significantly better than others. If you play on a site that uses a PRNG, you should check their credentials to ensure that their PRNG has been verified.

For example, Party Poker employs a PRNG and employs an external lab to audit the fairness of the PRNG on a monthly basis, publishing the results on their website.


TRNG is an abbreviation for true random number generator, and the numbers it generates are completely random. The numbers are generated without the use of an algorithm; instead, they are determined by naturally random methods.

Pokerstars is the most well-known online poker site that employs a TRNG, and their random numbers are generated using a combination of two methods. The first method they use to generate random numbers is to fire a light ray at a piece of translucent glass; if the light is reflected, it is a 1, otherwise it is a 0.

Second, they track each player’s mouse movements and clicks to generate a second stream of 1s and 0s. All of this is then connected and encrypted to produce a completely random stream of 1s and 0s from which the numbers 1 to 52 are extracted to produce a completely random deck.

Poker’s randomness is comparable to that of slot machines.

Security of Online Poker Software

The only way to ensure that a site’s PRNG is truly random, or that a site that uses a TRNG isn’t ‘rigging the system,’ is to have them audited by a third party. We as players do not have enough information to independently verify the legitimacy of online poker sites, so we rely on poker site operators and gaming regulators to do so.

Many reputable poker sites will do this on their own initiative because they understand that being open and transparent with their players about the legitimacy of their operations is a good way to keep them coming back. For example, as previously stated, Party Poker has an independent company audit their PRNG once a month, and PokerStars sends detailed data on their RNG to Cigital on a regular basis to ensure that their game is truly random.

Use a Reliable Online Poker Software

What should you do if you want to play on a new site but aren’t sure whether it’s completely legal? My advice is to look for the following things; if they check all of them, they’re probably a legitimate site.


The fact that their random number generator has been certified by a reputable third-party cybersecurity firm is a strong indicator that their website is legitimate. It demonstrates that they have nothing to hide in the way they run the most important part of the site, and you will be assured of a fair game.

Active Customer Service

An active customer support demonstrates that they care about their customers and are willing to assist you in resolving any issues you may encounter while playing on their website. If a company does not provide this, it indicates that it either does not care about its customers or is attempting to conceal something from them.

Positive Feedback

Knowing what other players think about a site is a great way to figure out if it’s worth playing on. If other players have had positive experiences and are willing to share them, you will most likely have one as well. However, if a large number of players have negative experiences on the site, it is likely that you will as well.


In order to operate and offer real money games, an online poker site must have a license in the majority of countries around the world. If a site is licensed, it means it must follow the rules of the jurisdiction’s gambling regulators and will face penalties if it does not. If a site is not licensed, it is not subject to these rules, and there is no penalty for operating a dishonest game.

Despite what some people at your local home game may believe, online poker sites use random number generators to shuffle and deal cards.

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