Why do I keep losing at Texas Hold 'em?

I’m playing poker online at a place called poker stars dot net.

I understand the basic poker rules, and have a ‘list’ of the hands and order to help me out. I’ve been trying to get the hang of the game and am doing okay (part card luck and skill, part playing people).

But I dont’ understand why sometimes I lose a hand, if someone and I have the exact hand.

Most recent example: Player in spot 3 was the dealer, I was the player in spot six. We were the only two left.

The community pot had nothing but a pair of fours, player 3 had a queen and a king in her hole cards, I had an ace and a king. Yet, I was shown to have a pair of fours, and she was shown to have a pair of fours ace kicker.

Is there some obscure rule I’m just missing? I mean, part of the reason I play online is so that I don’t have to keep track of the numbers, I just click a button and move a slider to calculate what to put in.

I should add, I’ve had this happen both for and against me, I’m trying to notice where the ‘button’ is in relation to that happenign - maybe it has to do with the bet cycle as well? I’ve asked my poker friends and they say it sounds “wrong” and I need to provide more data … which I’m working on.


Using Windows? Use the PrintScreen button to take a snapshot of the screen showing the apparant error, then open MS-Paint (or other graphics program), paste the image in, save it as a jpeg, send it to the people who run the website.

It certainly sounds wrong but it’s very easy to misread hands on online poker, especially in a turbo game.

Are you sure the fours with Ace kicker didn’t refer to your own hand while your opponent had, say, a flush or a straight?

Also, it can be difficult to consider all possible options, especially when inexperienced (and I’m no expert). For example, you can have the best cards and see the river creating a straight in community cards that sees the whole pot split.

If you are certain it’s getting the hands wrong, I would simply recommend trying another game.

yeah. My friends just showed me how to find the text log (I have all reporting on now) so … I’ll turn off mucking for a bit and see if we can pull it from the log.

I just tried this with a nice player (we were the only two in the room) and it didn’t “fail” like that on either hand (one time I had the button the other time she did). The community pair or pairs were counted, and the person with the higher kicker won.

I’ve been playing at partypoker dot net recently, and haven’t had any trouble with mis-called hands as far as I can tell. But, things do go really quick, and sometimes you do miss who had what. The site where I’m playing does have a default log where you can see all the hands in history (as long as the cards were shown).

Pokerstars is a well known brand and has thousands of players, anything weird like that happening would always be flagged by someone. I think the most likely explanation has to be that you misread the hand.

On re-read, the site referred to (pokerstars.net) does not appear to be the same as pokerstars.com which is a very reputable site (and has supplied the last two World Champions).

Well strictly speaking you can’t have the **exact ** same hand (the suits differ).
However it’s certainly possible to have a tied hand. Using lowercase to represent the suits (s/h/d/c):

Suppose you have As Kh and your only opponent has Ad Kc.
The board shows Qs 9h 4d 4c 2s.
Both of you have AKQ44 (= a pair with an AKQ kicker - and there are no flushes) as your best hand, so it’s a tie.

But if the board showed Qd 9d 4d 4c 2d, your pair of 4’s loses to a diamond flush.

It can also be confusing when several pairs crop up.
Suppose you have As 9h and your only opponent has Ad 8c
The board before the river shows Ah 9s 8d Jc.
At the moment you lead with two pairs (Aces + nines) over your opponent’s two pairs (Aces + eights). Now the Jh turns up. Suddenly it’s a tie, because you both have Aces + Jacks, with a nine kicker.

This is not correct. You don’t give all the cards, but you are currently leading with ‘a pair of fours, ace kicker’ over ‘a pair of fours, king kicker’.

They’re run by the same company…

Pokerstars.net is play money, pokerstars.com’s for real money. There are different software downloads for each

I play at the former, and have occasionally wondered about some hands. I was in a big pot, that was split with someone going all in. I ended up with a full house and for the split pot, a player with just 3 of a kind won, and I still don’t understand it.

By and large, however, pokerstars.net seems pretty reputable. You write to them, explain your problem, they respond.

Were you in the split pot?
If not, then your hand doesn’t count for the ‘excess’.
You should still have won the rest of the money.
You can only win money where your bets ‘match’ everyone elses.

I was the player who was pushing the betting. Made a big bet, the guy in question goes all in. With the rest of the players we continue the hand to its conclusio. I felt the $3K that the all-inner got was mine. But it wasn’t. Ah well, it was play money.

Play 5-10 No Limit at Pokerstars.net, and you’ll gnash your teeth at the slowness of it all. And it isn’t just the big bets that cause players to move at a glacial pace. They sit and ponder interminably over a lousy $10 bet. It’s friggin’ play money and they’re trying to be the Phil Helmuths of the online scene.

I’ve got a $90K+ account there - IN PLAY MONEY - but I hardly play anymore.

Did his 3 of a kind use the cards in the 2 of a kind of your full house? In other words, if your full house was AAABB, did he have BBB?

I play slowly, but because I’m learning. I never knew about pokerstars.com - of course, I never looked.

Part of the explaination above makes sense - I’m trying to recreate the problem now that I know how to extract the log file.

I really don’t recall the details.

If I remember right, he had 3 aces, but without another pair in the community cards. In fact in the ‘chat’ area, the “dealer” declared him to have just 3 of a kind. I even scrolled up after the hand was over to try to figure out what happened. I had the filly, he had a set and nothing more, this was reflected in the text messaging (if that’s a proper term), but we still split the pot.

But was your full house with three aces, two aces, no aces?

I got some info when it seemed to happen again:

**It just happened again for a 1500 chip pot game number 1950645778 -
two of us had kings and sevens, a king in our hands.

I had a 10, he had a 9. He took the pot. Why? I’ve had this happen in
and out of my favor many times and I don’t get it.

I’ve consulted many of my poker playing friends and they say there is
no obscure rule that I’m missing, so what is this stinking bug?**

I still don’t quite get it, but shrug that’s why I play with free money - I can refresh three times an hour.

The explanation given doesn’t apply, since the hands have to be compared on the basis of five cards. If you both had two pair, kings and sevens, then your fifth cards was a 10, and his was a 9–there’s no room for the sort of explanation that they give, where he would have had a KK77T to tie you, with an 9 kicker.

Sounds like pokerstars programmers have work to do, regardless.

Are you sure you don’t remember how many aces you had?

I just had that one ace and her hand showed the king and queen.

I dunno. I don’t remember that far back, now.

I played yesterday a bit and sent the info, that was the explaination I got.

Then I logged in last night to Sit and Go with Ramit and ended up finishing our torney in 43rd place (out of 45) but popped in and out of hands and mini SnGs to a profitable tune of 23,000 chips.

I’ll see if I see more examples of this happening (and keep my hand near the PRINT SCREEN button) and see if I can provide you and them with more detail.

I have no idea why I wrote that. What I meant was, I dont’ remember any more than what I orginally described.