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Online Poker Cheat
Beware of an Online Poker Cheats
An Online Poker Cheat differs in several key ways from those in casino poker cheating. There are four principal areas of concern:
Minor cheating -- with friends telling each other hole cards on the phone or IM, but who do not share a bankroll or play together
Idiot cheating -- now less common than in the past when more card rooms did not fold hands when players timed out
Inept collusion -- where stupid partners collude together in ways so obvious that they are discovered quickly
Expert collusion -- where competent people collude in an effective way, including "self-collusion" where one person plays in the same game on two different accounts
Like B&M casinos, the online card rooms hate cheating. Cheaters are trying to take money from them.
Fortunately, while minor cheating like talking on the phone with a friend is easier online, detection of more elaborate cheating is also far easier online. Besides the hand histories that all players have available to them, online poker card rooms have a wide variety of cheating and collusion detection techniques that range from the obvious to the very subtle.
The best tool the card rooms have when it comes to cheating detection is the eternal vigilance of honest players. Unlike B&M casinos where hard evidence is difficult to come up with, where eyewitness suspicions and distant cameras are normally about all there is to go on, with online card rooms honest players don't need to provide evidence. They only need to provide suspicion. In other words, online card rooms have at their disposal algorithmic red flags as well as honest player red flags.
On online poker cheating one incident may seldom tell a whole story, but one incident can serve as a red flag that uncovers a fairly sophisticated cheating web.
Idiot and inept cheaters tend to police themselves. Their behavior is so obvious they are detected very quickly. Expert cheating is more dangerous, profitable for the cheats, and harder to detect, but online card rooms have far more tools to detect such cheating than B&M casinos. Again, the minor cheating of friends sharing information about cards when one is not in a pot is nearly infinitely more prevalent online than in a casino, but fortunately this most common bit of cheating is also seldom crucially helpful.
In a way there is a trade off when comparing casino poker to online poker. Online poker cheating occurs in all forms of poker. It is part of the game, like spitballs in baseball. B&M casinos have more effective cheating that goes undetected.
Online card rooms have more minor cheating that provides only a small edge. In both cases though, the number 1 weapon required to keep your money out of the hands of the cheating scum is to speak up to casino and card room authorities. Don't be a nuisance by ranting about every questionable play you see, but dont keep your major suspicions to yourself. The more cheaters kicked into the loser dustbin where they belong, the more money there is for you, and the card rooms, and even the weaker players - which means, squashing cheaters is a poker skill.