Blaming the RNG is virtually always wrong. One of the only times the RNG really was to blame was when Synopsys determined that a weak RNG was used and developed an exploit. Common complaints are things like:
- “I’m really good at in-person poker, but I’m losing online”
- “I have been playing successfully online for a long time, but suddenly I am losing”
There are also various conspiracy theories like the “cash out curse.” We cannot cover all of these in a single article, but there is probably a better explanation for these occurrences than a failing in the RNG.
Many players discount the advantages of technology. Good online players are a different breed from good in-person players. Virtually all successful online players have improved their game through technology. They use technology to make themselves a better player, and they use technology to assist them while they play.
There are lots of really good programs out there that analyse hand histories, highlight hands that statistically you play poorly, and help you improve your game. I can’t remember anyone sending me a statistical analysis of their play showing me where they played a large number of hands well consistently, but were seeing statistically improbable results. Many players willing to wager $100 on a single hand or in a single online session of poker have not yet spent $100 to get the analysis program that would analyse their play for weaknesses.
There are also various “heads-up” dashboards that can analyse a situation and give real-time information on a hand. They can tell an online player the number of outs, the probabilities of various good outcomes, and so on. Some of these are against the terms of service for the poker site (but you might be playing against someone using it anyways). Plenty are acceptable and they definitely provide an advantage versus not using them at all. This means that the person making decisions on their hand is getting a boost from technology.
Humans are prone to all sorts of cognitive biases². Those biases make the losses stand out and the wins recede into the background. This is the other reason why hand histories and statistical analysis are vital. Humans are notoriously bad at “gut feeling” judgments (such as “this site is cheating me”). Numbers, however, are not subject to biases like confirmation bias. Anyone experiencing enough statistically improbable hands that simply cannot be explained by player actions should be able to acquire evidence easily.