Online Poker Cheating
Online poker cheating is a main reason why most people feel uncomfortable playing poker online for real money. We have all been involved in a hand while playing at an online poker room when we have felt that our opponent has ‘cheated’ in some form or another. This leaves us feeling angry, hot under the collar or like we have to vent our anger on anything and everything with arms reach, including the computer.
99.9% of the time, you have not been a victim of “online poker cheating” but rather bad poker players who get lucky. The fact of the matter is that a huge percentage of the time that we experience this sort of situation, it is in fact down to one of two reasons that the player has stayed in the hand – either they are committed into the hand as they feel that they have the better hand or they have made a poor play in a bid to scare you out of the hand.
Does Online Poker Cheating Happen?
Cheating within the online poker community is something that is very rarely seen although sometimes it does happen, with a number of online poker rooms having been closed or fined due to company insiders being involved with a scheme that has seen foul play been used for their financial gain.
There seems to have been an increase in websites that have spoken out to reveal that they have a software or ‘hack’ that will enable you to see the ‘hole cards’ of your opponents or that the software can show you the turn and the river before they are dealt.
Sites such as these have successfully deterred a number of players from playing their poker online due to the fear of ‘hackers’ and ‘bots’.
The fact of the matter is that these sites are only created in a bid to create sales of a software that in fact does nothing to the software that the poker room operates on, so you would be better off trying to squint your eyes to see through the virtual cards than you would be with a software of this type.
Collusion to Cheat Poker Rooms Online
Although online poker rooms are constantly looking to detect cheating with more in-depth security software, there are still players who look to try to cheat poker players by using a form of play that is called ‘player collusion’.
Player Collusion is a term that is given to a time that a number of players who are seated at the same table reveal their cards to each other in a bid to avoid playing off against each other and to gain an advantage by knowing more of the total cards in play.
This means that the players are forming an alliance against players who are already on the table and so creates an unfair advantage for the players who are acting together.
This form of play means that players are not only able to lay down their hand should there be a better hand held by a player that they are revealing cards with but also they are given the chance to eliminate cards from the deck to better improve their pot odd calculations.
Luckily for players like yourself, a number of the players who are trying to use this form of cheating fail to be able to utilise this method correctly and often give away tells that they are in fact cheating and using this method of play.
How Do Online Poker Sites Detect Cheating?
Online poker rooms always look to detect players who are logged into their software using a players IP address, something that tells the owner site where the player is connected from and so they stop multi connection from one IP address to deter this sort of play but many of the players who look to do this are often friends who are based at different locations, meaning that the IP address checking software will fail to pick up that the two or more players are in fact connected.
Such play means that players have to be clued up on what their limits would be before they are found out and their accounts banned with all financial gains frozen. So one of the main tells that a group of players are committing this form of cheating is that they rarely stay on the table that they are playing on for a prolonged amount of time.
Table hopping is given the term ‘Hit and Run’ within the online poker world due to the players looking to increase their finances while playing poker and then once they have reached a level that they feel comfortable at, the group of players involved look to move away from the table and head to another where their play will not raise any questions from the players playing at the new table.
Although this seems that you could face a number of players who do this, this creates a huge ‘red flag’ to the online poker site as they are continuously monitoring which players are playing at which table and with which players, so if a player is continuously winning and moving to another table with 1 or more other players, their accounts are brought to the attention of the online poker room staff who open logs and investigate into the users while placing a freeze on the accounts been investigated.
So what other tells are there for being able to spot a group of players who are using this form of play?
How To Tell If Someone Is Cheating Online
There are three main tells of players like this and they carry different levels of ease of being able to spot, remember that their needs to be a number of instances with the same players before you should look to conclude that the players could be working together.
- The suspected players are taking a long time to act pre flop on a regular basis, this could be the point where the players are feeding each other the information about what cards they are holding.
- The suspected players work together to increase the chip count within the central pot so that they have a bigger pot to win, this could include a number of dummy bets and raises so that players not within the group have to either fold or increase their stake within the hand.
- A group of players consistently make bets and re-raises before the flop so that players not within the group are having to increase their stake before they have even seen the flop.
Once again it should be mentioned that you should not start shouting ‘cheat’ at any player who you feel could fall into these categories. If you feel that you are sat at a table where this has been happening, immediately flag the table, players names and why you think that they are working together to the support staff of the site.
At this point leave the table and head to another table as there will always be action at other tables if you are playing poker at one of the biggest online poker rooms. In any system that involves significant sums of money, there will be people who try to cheat. The good news is that the people who try to cheat poker do not last long in the industry.
Poker Rooms Safe From Online Poker Cheating
When choosing an online poker room, it is important to make sure that it is safe and takes sufficient measures to stop poker cheating online. While some online poker rooms such as Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet (UB) have had highly publicized incidences of cheating at their online poker sites, many others have never had a documented case of online poker cheating, and I would consider them the safest poker sites. It is prudent to stay at online poker rooms that have a good history, have been around a long time, and have solid reputations in the online poker industry. My top three poker rooms that are safe from cheating poker players are:
- Bovada Poker - Run by a reputable gaming company with a long history in the business.
- PokerStars – Largest poker site has the highest level of security to detect cheating poker players.
- PartyPoker – Largest international poker room. Stays on top of new, sophisticated poker cheating software.
For more information on each cheating-free poker room, click on the links, or download Full Tilt Poker below.