For the last decade online poker has changed drastically. The amount of poker players on the internet has increased by an incredible amount, the number of online poker rooms has spiraled out of control and the prize pools for tournaments have blown world records to pieces. With this phenomenal growth comes a phenomenal profit – which always leads to one thing. Corruption. If there’s money out there mankind will cheat, beg or steal to get their hands on it. Online poker cheating conspiracies have been plentiful – but how many of these theories are credible?
Poker sites invest massive amounts of money into cheating prevention schemes and anti virus software packages. Any reputable poker site will have a customer support team wanting to know about any foul play at the poker tables. Texas Hold’em seems to be the most lucrative form of poker for these sites, especially at UK online casinos, so players shouldn’t ever experience these cheats – but if you do make sure you report them. Online poker should be an enjoyable experience, let’s keep it that way!
Hacking – hacking can come in various forms, but the most common types are:
• Trojans – a Trojan is a virus which is disguised as a harmless file, but when the file is executed the virus becomes live.
• Viruses – viruses can cause a whole host of symptoms. A virus is anything which changes software from its normal operating cycle.
• Keyloggers – a keylogger is a software package that monitors and records keystrokes, so player’s login details can be found out. Often disguised as a harmless file (Trojan).
Collusion – this is where there are multiple people on the same online poker table working together. It’s a form of cheating because the odds are manipulated, as there are 2 players against the other single opponents at the table.
Multi account – where collusion uses multiple people at the same table, ‘multi accounting’ is one person having multiple avatars at the same poker table.
Poker bots – Online poker cheating has never been easier than this. You can download software packages that will play the whole poker game for you. The reason this is such controversial form of cheating is that the software can make the perfect mathematical decisions based on available information – something that humans can’t do (within the decision making period at the poker table).
Inside Job – The infamous Absolute Poker scandal was an ‘inside job’, where a current or past employee of the firm adds in lines of code to the poker site’s software package to give an unfair advantage to a particular player. This form of online poker cheating doesn’t happen as often as the others, as a single person can be prosecuted so easily if caught.
This list isn’t exhaustive, there are countless ways to manipulate, cheat and swindle internet poker sites – but these are the most common techniques.