Poker is an interesting game to play, and the online version of the game comes with several advantages, such as offering players convenience and flexibility. With online poker, you can play against people from any part of the world without leaving the comfort of your home.
Before you get carried away with the fun of playing online, you should know that there are potential dangers, like online poker cheating, that you need to identify to avoid being cheated. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through five different ways you can be cheated while playing internet poker.
Collusion has always been a problem in poker - both the physical or online version. And with more poker apps and sites being developed, it has become quite a big issue. That is why top sites such as comeoncasino.com frown against collusion and implement measures to help avoid online poker cheating.
Collusion refers to two or more players teaming up covertly to increase one player's chances of winning. Colluding at a poker table can be time-consuming and challenging, so players who use this form of cheating usually do so at a poker table with higher limits.
An online player can deliberately share his hole cards and the way he wants to play his current hand with another player via Skype, telephone or other means. There is also implicit collusion, which is a milder form of collusion where players in a tournament can team up to force another player with a small stack to be eliminated if he goes all-in.
Ghosting is another issue in physical and online poker. It's when a player gives advice to another player while a poker tournament or game is ongoing. In live tournaments, ghosting is strictly prohibited. But in online tournaments, it can be a bit difficult to avoid this from happening.
Ghosting can happen in a poker game when two friends sit beside each other at the table. Online, ghosting often happens with the help of free tools such as Teamviewer and Skype. A player that is being coached has the advantage that he can talk with his "ghost" if he is in a difficult situation before making any decisions.
In online tournaments, ghosting is usually used in the late stages with high prize pools. Besides the second opinion that a player gets from his "ghost", there is really no further advantage that he has over other players. Ghosting is believed to be the most common form of cheating when you're playing online.
3. Poker Bots
Poker bots refer to computer programs that play poker. Since poker is a skill game where you make mathematical-based decisions, these bots are able to make perfect decisions all the time. Thus, they are not the best opponent to play at a poker table because it reduces your winning chances drastically.
It's quite difficult to know if a player is using a poker bot, and this makes it a big problem for most poker sites. These tools can be very advanced and simulate human actions. However, there are a few ways you can tell if a bot is in your game.
If you notice that a particular player is playing for an unreasonably long duration without any breaks, there is a high chance that it is a bot. Aside from that, if a player plays at too many tables at the same time or plays a perfect hand almost every time, then it may likely be a bot.
Another common way that some players cheat online is to create multiple real-money accounts at a single poker site. This gives them an unfair advantage, since they can pose as different players in a poker game to help increase their chances of winning.
Multiple-accounting is not just a problem for honest poker players who want to enjoy a fair game, but it is also a problem for poker sites. This is because a player that has multiple accounts will receive bonuses on all the accounts, which is referred to as bonus fraud.
For this reason, most poker sites forbid a player from having multiple accounts. Many of them require players to verify their identity by uploading documents such as a government-issued ID card. If a player is caught having multiple accounts, all his accounts and bankroll will be frozen by the poker site.
5. Viewing Hole Cards (Super-user Accounts)
In a poker game, if a player should see the hole cards of his opponents, they can avoid losing any hand. Such players will know exactly when to fold, raise or go all in, and this will surely give them an increased chance of winning.
When you play online at a poker site, the operator shows you only your hole cards while those of other players are on the poker server that you usually cannot access. This makes the game fair, and all players have an equal chance of winning.
However, there was a scandal in 2007, where an employee who had a super-user account in his possession was able to access the poker server of a gambling site and see the hole cards of all players. Although he was later caught, it is evident that players can be cheated in poker using this method.
How to Avoid Getting Cheated When Playing Poker Online
We've explained the different methods that can be used to cheat players in an online game. Although there is little or nothing you can do to avoid falling victim to some of these methods, you can still enjoy a safe and fair gaming experience at a trusted poker site.
Play on the Best Online Poker Sites Reviewed by Our Experts
Before you choose a poker site where you can enjoy your favorite poker variants, you should ensure that it is licensed by a reputable and strict gambling authority such as Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), Gibraltar, or Curaçao. You should also check how trustworthy the poker site is by reading honest reviews about it online.
Here at PokerListings we offer expert reviews of best real money online poker sites where player security and fairness is on top level. Here are few good sites where poker cheating is on minimal level:
This article has talked about five different methods that some players can use to cheat you when you play poker online. These methods are multiple-accounting, collusion, ghosting, poker bots and super-user accounts. So, is online poker rigged? No, with legally binding contracts and regulations, rigging a poker game online is quite hard and getting caught results in hefty penalties. Player collusion and ghosting is another thing. Always ensure that you play at a reputable poker site to avoid falling victim to these cheating methods.
Poker Cheat FAQ
Can I be cheated when playing poker online?Yes, you can. Some players use methods such as collusion, poker bot and ghosting to cheat in a poker game.
How can I avoid being cheated when playing poker online?There is no way to avoid getting cheated, but you can play at a top poker site that provides players with a fair gaming environment.
What should I check for when choosing a poker site?Always make sure that you play poker online at a licensed poker site with a good reputation. Trusted online poker sites are tested for their fairness.
What should I do if I am being cheated at a poker site?If you think you are being cheated by another player at a poker site, you can report the player.
What is the most common poker cheat?The most common poker cheat is collusion, where two or more players or people around the poker table are in it together and gain an unfair advantage. Collusion can also happen on online poker sites. Another common poker cheat is called "ghosting".
Is online poker rigged?No. You can be cheated by other players but the poker games played on trusted and licenced poker sites are not rigged by the providers.