Cheating in poker is not a new thing. It has been happening right from the days of traditional casinos. But even now the risk is far greater with online pokers, since everybody is playing from their homes, and nobody really knows nobody, so it is hard to tell who’s cheating and who’s playing fairly. That said, it is important to exercise a basic level of vigilance when playing online because you never can tell who the player behind the opposite screen is and what tools are available to them.
To help you in this endeavor, here are some basic cheating mechanisms in poker and how to spot them.
Use of bots
One of the most common cheating mechanisms used in online poker is the use of botting software. A botting software is a piece of software that has been programmed to play poker without the help or need for any human interaction. Now when you play against a player who’s using a botting software, it can be very difficult for you to leave the table with anything other than your good image because most bots are coded to play the game even better than an average poker player. Not to mention that some bots are even as good as the so-called pro poker players out there.
Here is how you can spot a player who’s using a botting software.
- Consistently playing long sessions on multiple tables: nobody is that good. If you find someone playing for long hours on different poker tables, then it has got to be a bot.
- Consistent betting patterns: even the best poker player alive doesn’t have a constant strategy. Strategies change with time and situation. But if you find a player at the table whose tendencies and strategies don’t change with then, then such player has got to be playing with a bot.
- Unique and sometimes weird gameplay: regardless of the type of poker player you are, there is a category you fall into. You are either a newbie or a noob, a rock or a calling station, a nit or a donkey. When you find a player with a playing tendency that is different from the average population, then such a player has got to be playing with a bot.
This cheating mechanism is as simple as it sounds. Two or more players work together at the poker table to win the pot for themselves and then share the profit between themselves. Usually, the players use tools such as Skype, Whatsapp, and other Video messengers to collaborate at a poker table. Although it might be easy to fly below the radar at first, you can spot these types of players by looking out for any of these signs.
- Two or more players who’re always playing at the same table: It is rare to have two different players play at exactly the same table at all times. But when players are collaborating, they tend to enter and play at the same table.
- Two or more players who’re always entering the pot together: Ask yourself, why are these two guys always entering the pot together?
- Illogical play patterns: Pay close attention to the suspected players when they’re pitted against each other. Usually, when they go heads up against each other, they tend to play illogically.
Hole card cheaters
Although we don’t always find a hole card cheat sitting around every poker table, they are the worst poker cheats that are there. A hole card cheat is someone who can play perfectly well against other players because they have access to their hole cards.
Here is how you can spot a hole card cheat.
- They appear clairvoyant: they seem tight when you have the goods, but suddenly call big bets with J-high when we have T-high.
- Always eager to make friends: Out of the blue, an opponent becomes interested in sharing their screen with you.
- Suspicious files sent via email or instant messenger: Beware of people or players that send you poker-related tips in your email or chat you up on skype to feed you info.
Unfortunately, cheating in poker isn’t limited to the players alone. Sometimes the big bad wolf can be the poker site itself. This is why it can be a good idea to stick with big names in the industry, such as omiqq. There are historical examples of poker sites running off with players’ money and not processing withdrawals.