One of the biggest dangers in poker, especially online poker, is cheating. Every online poker player needs to know how to spot cheating and to be on the lookout for it. This way you can improve your game and win those casino big jackpots.
The vast majority of poker players on and offline are honest and honorable individuals who don’t cheat. Unfortunately, poker attracts its share of sleazy customers who are willing to take illegal and unethical shortcuts to make a few bucks. These characters are just as likely to be operating on line as offline.
It is every player’s responsibility to be on the lookout for cheating. Online poker rooms take a lot of precautions against cheating but cheaters are creative people and they’ll always get in. Don’t just put your faith in the poker room’s safeguards, be on the look out for cheating. Keep in mind that the Ultimate Bet online poker cheating scandal in 2008 was detected by observant betters not the poker room.
So how do you spot a cheater when you’re playing poker online? The first sign of cheating is that somebody is simply winning too much. If another player suddenly starts winning a lot more, then they should get suspicious observation. That’s how the Ultimate Bet scandal was spotted, a number of players simply won too much.
Next, watch how other players behave in the game. For example, if somebody starts acting like they know what cards you’re holding all the time. If somebody always folds when you have a good hand but always calls bluffs, get suspicious. The cheaters at Ultimate Bet used software that enabled them to see other player’s whole cards.
Another kind of online cheating that’s hard to detect is team play. That is two or three players in the game working together. This is hard to spot online because you don’t see the players themselves so you don’t know if they’re sitting next to each other or using something like telephones or online messaging to coordinate their play.
You might be able to spot this if a player folds at a certain time or if players keep raising bets irrationally. A classic team play for players is to raise the betting as high as possible then split the pot after the game.
Pokerbots: this are special computer programs designed to play poker and they should also be kept in mind. These can be disguised as real players at online games. A pokerbot can be programmed to mirror a human player and simply play endlessly. This will make the pokerbots user lots of money because the odds are in its favor. So, if a player is always there or acts mindlessly, get suspicious.
If you do spot or suspect cheating at an online poker room, immediately report it to the poker room’s management. Tell them what you suspect and who you suspect, and if you’ve lost money, demand it back. It’s every poker player’s responsibility to keep the game honest.