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Cheating in Online Poker

How to cheat in online poker?

First of all, any of those $34.99 cheat at online poker software programs are going to be rip-offs at the very least.

If you don't believe me, read this first hand account of a reporter buying one. You shouldn't even be thinking about cheating, anyway. The most common forms of cheating in online poker are collusion and botting.


Collusion is when two or more players share information about their hands and/or work together to abuse other players. This could be one person with multiple accounts who "colludes with himself." Colluding is hard to pull off well, because to do it well you need to be good at poker. And if you are good at poker, why not just play for real and not risk your account funds?

To learn how to detect collusion at a poker table, you should be looking for instances where a player looks like they are sweetening the pot for the benefit of another.

Example: All players have 100 blind stacks. Players Tom and Andy are colluding against Tina. On the flop the pot size is 30, and Tina is first to act and bets 25. Tom flat calls the bet, and Andy raises the minimum to 50. Tina, getting excellent odds comes along for 25 more. Tom now backraises and goes all in for 50 more.

Andy folds, despite getting 4.6:1 odds, likely even better than that, because Tina will be pot committed. Tina now knows that she is almost definitely beat, but might be pot committed depending on her hand and the board texture.

If you see something like that, where a player is clearly pushing a lot of chips around with complete air and this always seems to benefit the same player, definitely write a note to the support team. They have access to hole card records and if the colluders aren't very swift it will be easy to detect.


Botting is the use of software programs that automatically make decisions.

This is more prevalent in less complicated forms of poker, such as shortstack poker, limit poker and shallow stacked SNG's. One would think that the poker site would be adept at detecting this because they have a large pool of data of how a real player plays and then could use that to create flags to identify potential bots.

Unfortunately, it has often the players themselves doing their own detective work in the past, but nowadays the main poker rooms such as William Hill Online Poker are very good at spotting such bots.

Detecting bots will be mostly done through the use of compiled statistics, as these bots do not behave like human beings. For instance they can play much longer sessions than people could, or put a much higher number of hours per week.

If the bot is profitable, his owner will try to make as much money as possible by running the bot for long periods of time. This can easily be detectable, as well as other abnormal patterns.

In reality bots are getting rarer and usually they are not good. That means as a new player I would just carry on and not be paranoid of bots. Even if you do happen to play against them, they are frequently not very strong players.


There is a third form of cheating in online poker that is much rarer. There has been a major scandal where employees and owners of two poker sites used a "backdoor" in the poker client to view other players' holecardsand cheat against them.

I will spare you the long and complicated story of these superusers, but the gist of it is that Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet (now closed by the US Department of Justice) had software with this "backdoor" and many people high up in the company used it to steal tens of millions of dollars from high stakes players before being discovered through statistical analysis.

Most, but not all, of the money was ultimately refunded. Despite that, the reputation of online poker was severely damaged. The story garnered mainstream media attention in the USA, but no one has been convicted of any crimes in relation to the case.

In recent years it seems that online poker cheating has decreased as both the rooms and the players are more aware and vigilant of these situations. So if you decide to play at one of the leading online poker rooms such as William Hill Poker, be assured that the risk of getting cheated is almost zero.

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