Complimentary opposite hands when multi-table

I wonder if someone who knows statistics and probability can explain this phenomenon. When playing two tables at the same time, often the hole cards at table A compliment the board on table B, and vice versa.

This doesn’t happen all the time, but it happens often enough that you notice it, and it raises an eyebrow. However, I’m not at all convinced that there’s something weird going on. There must be a frequency predicted by probability that this will happen, and when it does happen, the human mind is susceptible to notice it, and then remember it because it is such an unusual and seemingly-noteworthy event.

What I don’t know is how often to expect it to happen at fair tables.

Here’s some screen shots of what I’m talking about, in case it’s not clear:

  1. hole 54s on the left, board 236 for a straight on the right.
  2. pocket 88s on the right, board Q988 for quads on the left.
  3. hole T5s on the left, board 5T5 on the right for a full house; hole K6 on the right, board Q6Q for a weak two pair.

Both tables were running live, these weren’t pre-recorded and then played back to produce an artificial coincidence, and all hands occurred within just a few minutes of each other. It definitely felt like a cluster of something improbable, but yet probable enough to still happen on occasion.

Seriously? Another conspiracy theory like the “Curse “ ? …. Get a hobby dude.


I wonder if looking at four tables instead of merely two might confirm that there are only 13 ranks in four suits in our deck? Of course, that would mean we only had 52 cards to pick from…


Your comment is completely inappropriate.

I alleged nothing like what you are suggesting. I asked a question about maths. I’d like to understand what the probability of this happening is, simple as that.

Is this phenomenon akin to the “birthday problem” where the number of people you need to find two who have the same birthday is lower than most people’s intuition would guess?

I’d appreciate it if a person who has an actual degree in math from an accredited institution could respond.

No more from you.

You should reread your original post…

You should post responses where you are welcome. Begone.

We’re all laughing over here at yet another oddball thread on your conspiracies :rofl:

That’s entertainment ….:+1:t2:


I said in the original post that I do not think there’s anything unusual or unfair going on here. I then asked for someone to help me with figuring out how often this sort of thing would be expected to happen by chance.

You come along and immediately latch onto the opposite of what I said, and make false and unwarranted accusations, and offer nothing of value to the thread.

Go away.

Good, I’ve only asked you four times to be done with me.

There’s nothing in what I said that can be taken as an accusation. I also said, “I’m not at all convinced that there’s something weird going on. There must be a frequency predicted by probability that this will happen.”

For the reading comprehension impaired, what I’m saying is:

I saw this happen. I thought it was unusual. But it must happen sometimes. How often does it happen, assuming fair dealing?

See, I’m granting that these are fair hands. I’m explicitly calling them fair, and explicitly saying that I am not making any accusations. I have to do this because I know that people like you will try to make it out that I’m accusing the site of being crooked. I’m not.

I’ve never accused Replay of anything. That’s a distortion of what I have said in the past. In the past, I’ve said that I’ve held suspicions. It is reasonable to hold a suspicion and the natural thing to do when suspicious of something is to try to investigate and discover. I lack the evidence that would prove an accusation, and knowing this, I’ve never made any. People who are sick of defending Replay love to get bent out of shape whenever I post something, and then they like to make ridiculous strawman positions out of things I’ve said and try to ridicule me over them.

In this case, I’m asking for help with understanding the probability of a coincidence occurring between two disconnected decks of cards. I have some understanding of math but probability is an area where I often make errors, and I am not sure how to calculate something like this.

As it’s not a situation that has anything to do with poker strategy, it’s not easy to find any information about it. But I’m still curious about it because it’s something that naturally raises curiosity. All I’d like to do is get an idea of how often you can expect to see it happen. I’d like to expand my knowledge and understanding of math for its own sake.

I’d also like to use these forums without having to defend myself against constant harassment.

Please could we have a discussion on the original topic. Thank you.


This and your many, many other questions that all imply some degree of non-randomness or “unfairness” have a simple answer in that Replay have recently obtained a new certificate attesting to the quality of the PRNG and the shuffling algorithm. Therefore, in simple terms, whatever your question is regarding probability, it happens exactly as often, in the long run, as would be expected if the hands are properly randomised.

No calculations required. Nothing to worry about. You now have absolutely no need to ever think about probability. Everything is fair and above-board and independently certified to be so.

I understand that you will be disappointed with this answer since, if we eliminate your opportunity to question the fairness of this site, you will have nothing to write about.

Putting a number as an answer to any of your questions wouldn’t help you - if you don’t know how to do the calculations yourself, you would have no idea of the accuracy of my calculations and would be incapable of following the maths.

If you do want a number, let me suggest that 0 < p < 0.1 would be sufficient for you to work with. I have absolutely no idea how that will help you but it is a number that answers, very likely, every one of your questions.



TheAnal, forget that it happened on replay, ok? And forget that it happened to me. Forget that I’m the one asking the question.

Take out two decks of physical cards and deal out two tables side by side, with you playing a seat at each of them. There’s empty seats around all the rest of the tables so there’s no game, no action, no cheating, and no incentive for it.

Then go hire a math department chair from your favorite university and ask them to tell you what the odds are of the hand you’re dealt on Table A playing better with the board on Table B. I’d just like to know how often it should be expected to happen. Ask him how he came to his answer.

Come back when you’ve done all that and report what the university professor says.

That’s all I want to know.

Adults would respect that I use the pseudonym “TheAnalyst” and sign off my posts “TA”. In referring to me, any self-respecting adult would choose one of those “names” to use. I would certainly not be surprised if a 10yo, almost certainly male, who was not taught manners and respect, would take note of a certain 4 letters in my pseudonym and be completely unable to resist emphasising them in some way.

I really must decline your offer to allow me to spend my hard earned money answering a question that only interests you. I would suggest that if --you-- want an answer, it would be far more appropriate that --you-- invest the time and coin required.

I have given you an answer that almost certainly serves whatever arcane purpose you have: 0 < p < 0.1

If you can make the question more interesting then I might consider going further.



Oh, come now. We’ve known each other a long time, surely we’re on short-name terms by now.

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Here’s my take on what’s going on with these hands:

  1. There’s two flops for two hands. For each hand, one of those flops is going to be better than the other. The odds that the flop at your table will be better for your hole cards than the flop at the other table are 50-50, if we do not factor card elimination.
  2. If we did factor in card elimination, the odds of the other table being better for your hole cards go slightly up, because we can draw pairs from the other table with cards that are already in our hand at our table.

You’ll notice for example that on the pocket 88s hand, one of the 88s at the other table’s board was the 8 of Clubs, and one of my hole cards on the opposite table was also the 8 of Clubs. So if I could have mix-matched my table, the “quad 8888s” is really not possible, since there’s a duplicate card. It creates an appearance of a monster hand that wouldn’t be legal if I could have showed it. Still, even if we eliminated that redundant 8c, making a set of 888s is still a pretty great hand. But if you don’t pay attention closely to suits, which is easy to do when you’re busy trying to actually play each table, it can create the false impression of a very strong hand “if only”.

  1. The wrong table’s board being “better” is a pretty good probability, but “better” boards for your hand is one thing, seeing an absolute monster nut hand like the flopped boat, straight, and quads, is something else, and should be rare. The odds of one or the other hand flopping (or running out with the whole board drawn) some monster hand at the wrong table are still not amazing. If you have a 1-in-113 chance of making a flush with a suited hand, which I hope I’m remembering rightly, now you’ve got a 2-in-113 hand if you’re looking over at the other table as well. Well, maybe slightly higher than 2-in-113, since the two suited cards in your hole at Table A are still “out there” at Table B. So doubling your chances of seeing some cards you have hit for trips, a straight, a flush, a boat, or quads – a hand that would definitely stand out in your memory – is not insignificant, but it’s still relatively small probability. And since they’re doubled for each hand you’re playing, it’s really a 4x increase that one of the two hands will end up making something pretty good at one of the tables, and slightly better than half of the time it’ll be at the wrong table for you to make a big score with.

That said, clusters of small probability events can and do happen, and are expected to happen through randomness. If you’re a human being, your mind is predisposed to pick up on clusters like this, and without properly understanding the nature of randomness, people are susceptible to ascribing “mystical” or “supernatural” explanations to these things, or accusations of something not being right with the way the cards are being dealt. If you happened to be going through a bit of a dry spell on both tables, unable to make pairs, but notice that you’re hitting “pairs” with a high frequency with the board cards from the other table, and then you see a wrong-table monster pop up, then the impression a human mind is prone to take from witnessing this is bound to be vexing, eg “How is all my luck on the wrong table!?” Well, the grass is greener, isn’t it.

I’m not sure how long I was playing both tables simultaneously in the session I picked for this example, I played a fairly long session at each table, but the overlap when I was playing multi-table was relatively short – perhaps a few dozen hands at most. Regrettably I don’t have an easy way to go through my history to count them. But let’s say it was 30 hands. If in that time I could find 3 such hands, that’s not a huge number, and could (and obviously, I’m not making accusations of anything, is) well within the realm of chance. That’s 1-in-10, which is pretty high for seeing monsters, but occasionally you get hot and see a cluster of 5-card hands made for you even when playing a single table.

Even if the three monstrous hands happened within a span of, say, 5 or 10 hands, or nearly back-to-back-to-back, that’s simply a random clustering of the data points in a sample, and their overall frequency of appearance over the entire sample is still reasonably in line with expected probability.

At least, that’s what I think. But I don’t really know what the expected probability is. And that makes me wonder. And I don’t like when I don’t know the answer to something and can’t figure it out. So that’s why I’m asking.

Your desire to get an equation for randomness is adorable.
I have noticed some very persistent anomalies in my hands
a) If I have two suited cards, the flop will be three suited cards from a different suit.
b) if the flop is missing two cards to complete a full house, a straight, flush or a set, those two card will show up as my hole cards in the next hand!
This has happened too many times to be a coincidence…

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It’s not an equation for randomness that I’m looking for. It’s a way to figure out what the probabilities are within random chance.

Hi Puggywug,

This is certain to happen. You are looking for patterns.

Does it matter the two tables are actually running at the same time? What about comparing a session from today to one from yesterday? Maybe exactly 10 minutes in you were dealt hole cards today which would have hit the flop at the same session time yesterday.

An important factor nobody has mentioned is that two tables in your study are not running exactly simultaneously (hand for hand). Each hand you see gets at least two other hands at another table to find a match.

It is just like noticing your lottery numbers from a previous draw come out from time to time in draws where you either did not bet, or had different numbers.



I know it is certain to happen. My original post acknowledges that it is supposed to happen. My question is how often does probability science predict that it should happen?

Nobody seems to be capable of understanding plain english on this website.

I’m not looking for patterns, I’m simply observing a pattern. I have a question about it, and nobody knows how to answer it here. Instead there’s this bizarre fixation on how I’m supposedly a paranoid conspiracy theorist.