Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Zynga Poker

Zynga Poker

Zynga games produce some of the most popular casual games available online. There can’t be too many of us who don’t know someone who’s a Mafia Wars addict or a Farmville fanatic, but for me Zynga poker has always been the game that I can’t seem to stop coming back to time and again. After almost a decade of playing it, and with over half a million hands of experience to draw upon, I’m here to answer a few of the biggest questions about Zynga poker that players are always asking. Is Zynga poker fair or is it rigged? Do any of the hacks and cheats that you see so often actually work? And most importantly of all, where can you find the type of game that you want to play? Step this way as we analyze the odds of any of these questions being true and get to the real truth behind Zynga poker.

Is Zynga poker fair?

Since 2014 Zynga Poker has been certified by Gaming Laboratories International as using a fair Random Number Generator (RNG) in their card dealing algorithm, and they have always insisted that the algorithm used does not favor any one player over another, and on that point I would have to agree. There’s no doubt that a careful player waiting for the best hands will win more chips over time than a loose player willing to take any chance that comes along, but there are other factors to consider here.

Zynga Poker
Zynga Poker is the most popular play-money poker app online, and played by millions of people every day

In 2012 a former Zynga engineer claimed on Reddit that Zynga poker hands were predetermined scenarios designed to build up excitement. The post gained considerable attention from many who agreed that the hands dealt in Zynga were highly unlikely to occur, but statistically, with millions of people playing the game every day, such unlikely events are virtually guaranteed to happen, after all people win the lottery every week at odds of millions to one. The infamous ‘Zynga Brogrammer’ eventually had his Reddit account suspended, although his comments have been preserved in numerous archives for anyone interested in what he had to say. In response, Zynga issued a forthright denial of their former engineers claims. They issued a statement that the employee in question had been fired, and was merely attempting to damage the business of his former employers, a claim that he was quick to deny.

Zynga Poker
Another ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ Royal Flush at Zynga Poker

With no real way to determine exactly what the truth is in the myriad of conflicting claims between Zynga and their former employee, I can only draw on my own personal experience of Zynga poker, and it does overwhelmingly suggest that the card dealing algorithm used by Zynga is not truly random in the strictest sense of the word, although the winner of any hand almost certainly is. The holy grail of poker is the royal flush, a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ hand that is so incredibly rare that many real-money players will play for decades without ever getting one. After over a decade of playing poker on real money sites with about 600,000 hands behind me I’ve never had a royal flush, although as they come along every 649,739 hands, I feel that I’m due one any day now. When it comes to Zynga poker they seem to be a far more regular event. I’ve now played just over 530,000 hands on Zynga poker in eight years, and I’ve had at least 25 royal flushes, although it could be more, at some point I literally lost count of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ events. Perhaps I’m just a lucky guy when it comes to Zynga poker, as I was on one memorable occasion when I had two royal flushes on consecutive hands, at odds of just over 422 billion to one.


So to summarize, along with many other poker players who play both real money sites and Zynga, I suspect that the cards dealt on the most popular online poker game are not entirely random, but I do believe that the game is still fair. Zynga is a poker game, which is not the same as a real money poker site, first and foremost it is a game designed for entertainment, and my suspicions that the hands are preselected to enhance the experience doesn’t in any way indicate that Zynga favors one player over another. So in a real sense Zynga, in my opinion, is fair, although if you want to define rigged as ‘contrived’, then I would have to agree with you.

Zynga Poker Hacks And Cheats – Do They Work?

Zynga Poker
Hacker Ashley Mitchell found that Zynga weren’t playing after he ‘stole’ 400 billion chips

Like many fans of Zynga poker, I’ve looked into whether the frequently advertised cheats and hacks for the game actually work, and on this question I can give a far more decisive answer – in a word, no. The most commonly promoted hacks will always require you to supply your log-in details, as well as your password, in order for your ill-gotten gains to be deposited into your account, and as you’ve probably already guessed, anyone who actually decides to increase their Zynga chip count this way will have a nasty surprise waiting for them when they log back in, if they actually manage to log back in. In 2011 a British hacker named Ashley Mitchell did manage to exploit some security holes in Zynga’s code to gain 400 billion worth of chips, and then proceeded to sell newly created accounts containing nine figure sums on eBay for discount prices. Ashley was probably fairly pleased with himself after selling about 40 billion chips and gaining $87,000 (£53,000), but Zynga were less happy and prosecuted the IT professional, who eventually received a two-year prison sentence in a British court under anti-hacking laws and was ordered to pay his illegal earnings back to the company.

There are plenty of third-party sites offering Zynga chips at discount prices. This ‘Black-Market’ in Zynga poker chips is technically illegal and just by buying them you could theoretically be liable for prosecution by Zynga, although this has never happened to date. What does frequently happen however is that Zynga will detect illegal chip transactions, something that is relatively simple for them to do, and the resulting punishment is usually the closure of your account, and the subsequent loss of all of your chips. The vast majority of people this has happened to usually find that they have been IP banned by Zynga too, which in my case at least would lead to severe bouts of withdrawal. Others have attempted to buy chips online and found themselves the victims of a scam, which as they were attempting to buy chips illegally, usually means that there is very little they can do to get their money back without incriminating themselves.

How to Pick the Right Poker Table For you

Zynga poker has one huge advantage over every other free, or play money poker game online, and that’s the excellent flash-player based interface that it uses. The speed and professional layout of the Zynga poker app is second to none, and for that reason alone I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the thrill of poker but doesn’t want to put any real money on the table. The other advantage Zynga poker has is the wide range of tables on offer and the variety of different play-styles that they accommodate. No matter how you like to play poker, there’s a game that will suit your style in there somewhere.

Hold’Em (Cash Games)

Zynga Poker
Zynga poker has a number of game types to suit any style of play

Texas Hold’Em is probably the most popular choice for Zynga poker players, table stakes range from 25/50 blinds where you can only play with a maximum of 10,000 chips, all the way up to 250million/500million blinds where you can put 100 billion on the table. No matter what size table you are playing you have to have at least 20 big blinds to sit down there, which ensures players have a level of commitment, and there are slow tables available for players who have a slower internet connection. Perhaps the feature that affects gameplay the most is the size of table chosen, pick a table with a maximum of nine players and you’re far more likely to encounter big raises before the flop, but of course the pots are usually bigger too. The other option is a table with up to five players, and it’s here that more serious players tend to play, as pre-flop raising is less common and players are far more careful, although your winnings are likely to be smaller too.

Shootout Tournaments

Zynga also provide a multi-table shootout tournament that’s accessible for just 2,000 chips in initial entry fee. The top three placings on each table win a prize and first place gets an entry into the next round. If you manage to win the third and final round you’ll be rewarded with 500,000 chips, a hefty return on your investment, and if you can manage to make it through the first round, which is often quite chaotic, then you’ll find rounds 2 and 3 to be a far more serious game where you can enjoy playing with some skilled players. Overall the shootout is a great option for newer players without a large amount of chips, it’s cheap to enter and if you can make it to the final table, you’ll find yourself playing against the most careful of opponents.

Sit ‘N’ Go Tournaments

Sit ‘N’ Go Tournaments are a single table tournament where you’ll find yourself matched against eight other opponents all vying for a top three place, which is where the winnings start. Table sizes range from just 10,000 all the way up to 100 million, and game-play varies greatly depending how much is at stake. The smallest tables, those under 1 million buy-in, usually tend to have a number of players who will risk everything within the first few hands, but the big advantage of Sit ‘N’ Go over Texas Hold’Em games is that once they’re out, they’re gone for good. This is an excellent way for more careful players to experience a serious game with determined opponents without big risk-takers constantly coming back to try their luck again and again. As one of the more careful players on Zynga, I find a Sit ‘N’ Go tournament with a 10, 50 or 100 million buy-in to be the best poker experience on the site overall, and I often find that the players I’m pitted against are comparable to those I find on real money poker sites.

Zynga also offer a number of other bonuses, chip gifts and challenges that will reward you for achieving certain goals and playing regularly. You can receive a chip gift every four hours so if you do find yourself as addicted to Zynga poker as I am, you’ll never find yourself having to go too long before you can get back on the tables. Currently Zynga are also running a league system that rewards bigger players with larger chip gifts so even if you do end up with nothing, it’s not usually too much work to get back to the tables that you prefer to play on. Additionally if you are a brand new player and you’re looking for tips and strategies to improve your play, Zynga often stream live poker games on both Youtube and Facebook where they go over a few basic strategies suitable for beginners to get you started. There are a wealth of other poker materials online that aim to improve your game, although be aware that most real-money players don’t have a particularly high opinion of Zynga, it’s players or any other play-money sites. But don’t let that put you off, poker players with real-money experience tend to have a negative view of beginners in general.

I hope I’ve shown that Zynga poker can be a fun and enjoyable experience for all fans of poker no matter how you play, when you play or what your skill level is. Whether you’re playing the Zynga poker app or playing on your PC via Facebook, Zynga poker is in my opinion the best and most enjoyable free poker game available anywhere online, so if you’re feeling lucky and want to play the odds without any real financial risk, go ahead and give it a go – you literally have nothing to lose.

 


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Steve Dawson
Steve Dawson has been writing online for two years. He has an interest in anything that interests other people and a thirst for knowledge about all subjects. He lives with a grumpy cat called Bubbles and an addiction to chocolate.

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