K-man's pogo.com Informational Pages
I have heard from pogo.com regarding the fairness of their games! Bill Lipa, VP of engineering at pogo writes:
"I would like to confirm your theory that pogo odds are fair. We use industry standard random number generators and do not tweak the results to, for example, favor or 'rip off' a particular player, or let the house get more blackjacks."(Thank you, Mr. Lipa, for providing us with this information!)
The information I present on my pogo.com games pages are based on odds, mathematics, and real-life results (statistics). In the long run, I believe that the best affirmation of a fairness theory is how closely real-life resembles what you've predicted.
My observations and statistics-gathering to date lead me to believe that pogo's games are fair. In other words, I feel that they follow the mathematical models of the game. This theory is easiest to test in a game like keno or roulette.
In keno, for example, you could keep track of every number that has come up over the course of a month or so, count the frequency, and you should find that all 80 numbers come up with approximately equal frequency. If this were NOT the case, that is, if your results showed you that the numbers did not come up with equal frequency but in fact some of the numbers were "hotter" that others, that would be a great impetus for you to bet on those numbers that you felt were "hot" and thus earn more keno tickets than everyone else.
In roulette the same principle applies: if you believe that certain numbers come up more frequently than others, then you would most certainly want to bet on those numbers and hence win more tokens than other players who do not bet those same numbers.
However, real life results bring us back to reality here. The reason we win keno tickets in pogo's keno game is because we don't have to "spend" a ticket to play the game (if we did have to use a ticket to play the game, the payoff tables would still favor the player slightly, but to a much lesser degree). In roulette, the only reason we can win tokens in the long run is because of the existence of the "big shot" bonus numbers.
Similarly, in pogo's video poker, the payback tables favor the player much more so than a video poker machine in a casino. In Buckaroo Blackjack, the existence of bonus cards allows us to win tokens whereas we would be overall losers playing the game against the house with no bonus cards.
I use odds and mathematics to predict gaming outcomes on pogo, however not every patron of pogo shares my belief that the games are fair. I have had heated discussions on pogo with some players who do not agree with me at all, and in fairness I wanted to present a couple of these differing viewpoints:
(Note: I have actually kept track for short periods of each card dealt in the blackjack game. I'm certain pogo simply uses a single deck of cards with some cards occasionally being replaced by bonus cards, that the deck is re-shuffled when it is exhausted, and that the programming does not alter the dealer downcard based on the player's actions. In short, all information seems to point to the fact that it is a fair game. If you want to convince yourself that BBJ is dealt from a single deck, you can do so very easily: first watch very carefully for when a "New Deck" is announced; it should be every 7 to 9 hands or so. Second, you can keep track of each card--you won't see a duplicate card appear until a new deck is dealt. Third, if multiple decks were used, we would expect occasionally to see two cards of the same rank and suit--for example, two Jack of Hearts--in the SAME hand, but this NEVER happens!)
I have written some cgi programs that will keep track of
which cards have been dealt (and also the "count" of the current deck). Click here to get started.
(Note: while I have no long-term statistics on which roulette numbers have hit, I have every reason to believe that there are no "hot" numbers, that combining bets among several people does not influence the wheel, and that the only reason it is a winning game is the existence of the "big shot" spaces on the wheel.)
I have written some cgi programs that will keep track of the numbers that have come up for keno and roulette. Follow these links to get started:
You're welcome to decide whether or not you're more inclined to believe odds and statistics in these matters, or to believe intuition, or what "seems" to happen, or a combination of all!
I have seen no evidence in the games on pogo.com that they are in any way fixed, or that results occur in any way that is not random. If anyone has any concrete evidence (something other than intuition) to the contrary, I'd love to see the information. Please email me.