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How to spot online poker cheats

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How to spot online poker cheats

How to spot online poker cheats

Wed Aug 17 2022 01:15:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Poker's complexity is one of its most charming aspects. After all, who can resist a challenge? But some punters prefer playing and winning the easy way through hacks and cheats.


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If you want to learn more about poker cheats and how you can spot and avoid them, keep reading at Bitcasino.

Most common poker cheats

There are plenty of poker cheats online and distinguishing their differences can be challenging even for experts or high rollers. Find out all about them below: 

Poker collusion

Collusion is a situation in which two or more players conspire in private to assist another player in achieving victory through telephone, cell phone, Skype or other messenger programs.

When the stakes are larger, it is simpler to engage in collusion since even a marginal advantage might result in a big financial windfall. 

A kind of less serious cooperation is called implicit collusion. This involves a player with a short stack going all-in and players with a longer stack calling and checking the flop, turn and river thereafter. Therefore, they raise the possibility that at least one of them has a superior hand over the tiny stack.

Poker multi-accounting

To get an unfair advantage over their opponents in an online poker event, some people utilise several accounts in a cheating technique called ‘multi-accounting.’ 

As a result, online poker rooms have implemented safety protocols to protect themselves and their players from users with multiple accounts. For example, if a player wants to withdraw money, they are required to first provide a copy of their identification. In addition, it is not possible to register for the same tournament more than once using the same IP address. 

If a certain individual is caught using several accounts, all gains accumulated under those accounts will be lost. Even if they end up victorious in the competition, the money won will be taken away. 

Poker ghosting

The term ‘ghosting’ was coined in poker when experienced poker instructors were caught coaching their students in real-time games. Now, ghosting can be easily done in online poker games since participants remain hidden behind computer screens, making it impossible to see their behaviour or evaluate their actions. 

Through ghosting, excellent players can take over the accounts of less competent players as soon as they find themselves in a scenario with big stakes, such as at the final table of a tournament. Although it may be hard to track down if the real user is still using the account, when found guilty, one may face charges or even be banned from joining the game. 

Poker bots

Poker bots are a form of online poker cheating software used by players to give themselves an advantage over other players. 

These computer programmes run independently alongside the online poker applications players use. Most of these bots keep track of all dealt hands and conclude calculations of possible outcomes. 

In recent years, poker websites have refined their security to recognise and stop these bots as they play the game.

Therefore, always think twice before downloading third-party software since some poker sites can immediately detect and blacklist your account. 

Real-time assistance (RTA) poker software

With intricate real-time assistance (RTA) systems, you can use game theory optimal (GTO) tactics that are the closest to being mathematically perfect. You can then know the best course of action to take with your current hand since RTAs run a database of already-solved hands. It's this capability that makes it a banned software in online poker games.

For an RTA to be useful, each of the 1,755 possible kinds of flops must be solved, taking into account the various combinations of players at each table as well as the heights of their stacks. Utilising this could provide an edge over the other players. 

However, online poker sites have security and integrity teams that conduct individual investigations into the betting patterns and games of players suspected of cheating. 


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Cheating scandals that broke the poker world

Nothing shakes the poker world more than a player caught cheating, especially when they’re popular. Listed below are some of the top cheating scandals in recent years:

1. Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates was caught ghosting

On May 8, 2020, Dan Balzirien competed against Sina Taleb and later found out that it was Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates who was playing Taleb’s account. He then called out Cates which later on resulted in Daniel apologising not only to Balzirien but to the whole poker community. 

Although Cates apologised for his actions, this was not the first time he performed a poker ghosting. In 2011, he helped Jose ‘Girah’ Macedo win a sponsorship prize from Lock Poker.

2. Fedor Kruse used RTA

In September 2020, former roommates of German poker star Fedor Kruse outed him for utilising RTAs to increase the ante in cash games. A report claims that Kruse used a second computer to play poker while streaming Call of Duty.

Kruse did not deny the allegations, however, he did mention that his roommates, who also play poker, also use RTAs and insisted that he should not be the only one to blame but those who reported him as well. 

3. Absolute Poker’s software was hacked in 2007

When an employee of the online poker site Absolute Poker breached their superuser account in 2007, he saw every player's hole cards and cheated his way to winning. But throughout the tournament, players were already suspicious of this certain player. On behalf of them, the second placer requested a hand history from the site. 

But instead of giving only the history, Absolute Poker gave him access to all the players’ private information including their IP addresses and individual hand histories. This then led other players to investigate what happened during the tournament on their own.

They found out that the tournament champion didn’t fold pre-flop for 20 minutes until someone at the table had a pair of Kings, among other suspicious behaviour. Months later, Absolute Poker admitted that someone had hacked into their software and refunded players $1.6 million.

Since this incident, the employee was caught and there had never been a repeat of the incident.

How to avoid being cheated on poker online

Though there may be online poker cheaters, you can always lessen the risks by being aware of how you can avoid them. Check out the list below: 

1. Evaluate game statistics and observe other players’ behaviour

If you want to know how to spot someone cheating at online poker, the simplest way is to review your hands, evaluate previous game statistics and observe other players’ behaviour. If they appear too polished and perfect, continue observing them in the next game and gather enough evidence that makes them suspect of cheating. Afterwards, you can send an email to the poker website and expect immediate action. 

2. Pay attention to collusion

Since collusion happens often in online rooms with high stakes, you need to be vigilant when playing for a bigger pot and be on the lookout for evidence of it. Players that constantly shift their chips around and push another player to do so may be involved in unethical practices. You can then report any instances of suspected collusion at the online poker table. 

3. Know how players cheat

The best way to avoid being cheated on in online poker is to know the ins and outs of poker and the different hacks punters use to have an illegal advantage. Through this, you can be aware of whether a player is using unlawful ways to take home the pot and you can easily take action. 

4. Take note of sudden alterations in betting patterns

To avoid being ghosted, keep a close eye on any sudden alterations in a person's betting patterns. While you are playing, be on guard for indicators of ghosting, such as bad players suddenly outperforming everyone else and beginners taunting others after winning consistently. If you see any of these signals, you should consider notifying the website for further investigation.


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Online poker cheats FAQs

Can you cheat in online poker?

Yes. However, it is not recommended since it will have repercussions such as your opponents filing lawsuits against you or being blacklisted from joining major poker tournaments or creating an account again. 

Are online poker cheating and live poker cheating the same?

This is a case-to-case basis since most of the cheats applied in online poker are derived from live poker casino games done in brick-and-mortar casinos. Collusion, for example, originated from instructors helping their students and now evolved into technological mediums like someone instructing a player via messenger programs.

How to spot poker cheats?

One of the best ways to spot someone cheating in online poker is by observing the methods and ways of your opponents. If you know the different types of cheats, you’ll immediately notice if wrongful behaviour is going on. 

Do dealers in poker cheat? 

Many people think that since dealers facilitate the gameplay, they can cheat the system and prevent someone from winning. However, this is not the case since dealers signed a contract that would let them uphold integrity while managing the game. 

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Words by: Rasheed Custodio


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How to spot online poker cheats