A recent cheating scandal was exposed on a very famous online poker website, but it isn't anything new. For years now people have been getting ripped off by online poker cheaters. Does that mean that it is not safe to play poker online? Well, not really. Much of it is hype and blown out of proportion. However, if you do play online — or in person for that matter — there is always a risk that you may be cheated at the table by online poker cheaters. In this article, I'll show you what to look for and how to protect yourself.
When playing online, there is a certain opportunity that presents itself to unscrupulous people — both players and site operators alike. Let me give you an example. Let's say three people who are friends in real life are sitting at the same table in an online poker game. What they're doing is teaming up on the rest of the table. They are actually communicating with each other on telephone when playing online, and they are sharing their card information with each other. This is called player collusion and is a popular technique for online poker cheaters.
They now have an advantage over the rest of the table, because they know what their partners have in their hands. Together, they can conspire to run the table. How is a poker website going to prove that this is happening? Not very easily. In fact, they would rather have you not know about it at all so you don't feel compromised when playing poker online.
So how do you combat a situation such as player collusion on online poker sites? First, you have to be more aware of the possibility of online poker cheaters. If things seem to always be falling a certain way into somebody's favor, start paying attention. Also, start recording the history of the hands played as documented proof, just in case you feel there is foul play being committed. And in any situation where you feel player collusion is going on, leave the table immediately and join another game.
As a last resort, there are even devices these days that allow you to actually record each hand you play online. They can be as simple as screen capture devices so you can record what is going on on your computer. These can come in handy not only to spot cheaters, but to also study your own play.