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How to Avoid the Most Common Forms of Cheating in Poker

ome people consider cheating as a part of poker. That shouldn’t be the case. As a player, you don’t have to struggle with cheating in the game every day. Most players won’t even feel comfortable with situations that will cheat them of their hard-earned money, poker inclusive.

Cheating in poker doesn’t happen as much as you might think, especially when gambling online. Casino comparison sites like Casimple help players find the top casinos online, all of which have all been tested and audited to ensure the games and casino bonuses are fair and safe to use.

This article provides a list of some of the cheating techniques in poker and how you can identify and avoid them.

1. Colluding

This occurs in tournaments. In colluding, some players may form a team to beat other players. It is a common issue in final tables and tournaments where everyone benefits from a player’s elimination.

To achieve their objective, colluding players use different cheating techniques, including refusing to call a short stack while having the cards and odds to call it. They may also concede a big pot to any of their partners in crime. Other players on the table are usually hurt by this dishonesty.

This cheating technique is usually very difficult to prove. You may find yourself helpless when playing against colluding partners.

When playing against colluding partners, prevent them from playing pots with each other. This helps you to break their connection. If possible, don’t allow anyone of them to squeeze you. Sometimes, you may be helpless if one of them is a big stack. If you find yourself in that situation, wait for the right opportunity to break their connection.

2. Card Marking

This is probably the oldest trick in the gaming world and some players still use it to gain an undue advantage over their competitors. If you are playing some games with strangers cum hosts, watch out for this trick. Some could have marked the cards before the game.

If you suspect a foul play, complain to the house and request to change your deck. Casinos are renowned for taking such statements seriously. Some countries take legal action against players who are guilty of this.

This may be a bit difficult and trickier if you are playing home games. While playing with unfamiliar opponents, pay attention to your environment. If you notice anything that doesn’t add up, you may take your leave. You may take up the case with the host. However, if you notice you are a lone ranger, take your leave. The host may be on it too. If you notice any suspicious movement you are not comfortable with, the bottom line is that walk away. You are better off not playing a game than play one where you are already at a disadvantage before the game starts.

3. Signaling Cards

Sometimes, colluding players may try to signal their exact cards or strength of their hand to their partners. This is a cheating technique because each individual is supposed to have no other information except their two hole cards. Players who have other pieces of information are always at an advantage over other players.

Experienced cheaters have devised different ways to convey such information to their partners. Chip signaling is one of their useful signals. If the players involved have practiced together beforehand or are experienced using this technique, the cheating may be difficult to notice. Even if you see the cheating and call the cheaters out, you may not get the house’s desired support. The cheaters may stop the trick once they realize you are aware of their antics.

4.  Bottom Deck Dealing

Bottom deck dealing is a cheating technique that is common in private games. One of the players and the dealer usually work together on this. Only experienced players can notice this problem because the dealer or card mechanic will do the dealing so fast that you may be unable to catch up with the trick with your untrained eye.

It is advisable to steer clear of private games. Avoid them if you can. Devote your time and attention to participating in official games only, especially with players you know while playing home games. That is an effective mechanism against cheating.

Cheating Techniques in Online Poker Games

While playing online poker games, you are protected against the cheating techniques mentioned above to a great extent. However, you must deal with some other dangers such as:

1. Card Sharing and Colluding

Players on a live table must devise strategies and plans for card information sharing as partners. This is a lot easier when playing online. Leveraging communication tools such as Viber or Skype, gamers may connect before a game to discuss a cheating technique that will enable them to take advantage of other players.

This is difficult to prove, although players in most poker rooms have had this experience at one time or the other. However, look out for these red flags: if the same set of players are fond of playing together always and winning beyond what is considered normal in the gambling world. If you see this, play with caution.

2. Ghosting

When playing for a massive prize, say $1 million or any huge prize, some players may hire a more competent player as a replacement to increase their odds of winning the prize. This is common in online casinos where players have no means of knowing what goes behind the scene.

This is cheating. Someone who hires others to impersonate them has the edge over others who are playing without any assistance. This may turn the game in favor of the impersonator at the expense of an innocent player.

3. Bot Rings

Imagine having to play against, not a human opponent, but a machine, a bot. That is the fate of many unsuspecting players. A poker bot is the future of online gambling and can play some games based on the bot’s advanced Artificial Intelligence algorithm. The machine has the edge over you. Apart from its advanced mechanism, it isn’t human and is prone to make fewer mistakes than you. The bot will never play a bad game out of exhaustion but you can. Hence, many players consider bot ring as another cheating technique players have to contend with.

If you suspect you are set up against a machine, you have the right to walk away.

Janice Graziano

Janice has joined Times of Casino team as a casino news writer. Along with writing, she is additionally a content manager. Janice has over five years of experience in inscribing. Her zealousness for casino and online gaming draw her to casino industry. In her spare time, she relishes playing online poker games.

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