6 Tricks Used in Poker Cheating

Card game cheats in the past kept Aces hidden up their sleeves, skillfully sliding them on the table to secure their win. Eventually, cheating in poker evolved into dignified ways of approval with pros coming together to ensure the new players don’t get any legitimate shot to win. Moreover, today online poker has produced “superuser” accounts that can watch your cards, “bot” programs that work perfectly and other technological ways of cheating. Here are six ways of cheating at poker.

1. Marking the Cards

When done carefully and secretly, a player can subtly mark the backside of particular cards during the initial squeeze. In a Texas holdem game, Aces and face cards (Queens, Jacks and Kings) would be the key cards, while at a lowball game table, 2s, 3s and 4s would be the key cards to mark.

Once the key cards are marked, the cheater would keep hoping that none of their rivals or the dealer comes to know the defect. Their next job is to keep watching all cards carefully, as they are dealt out around the table and taken by their opponents.

While a simple scratch with the fingernail is sufficient for most poker cheats, most choose to take a more high-tech path while marking cards. Even players can buy a marked deck of cards.

marked deck of cards

2. Colluding or “Soft Playing”

Soft playing is one of the most commonly occurring forms of poker cheating.

It is a form of collusion wherein a player fails to bet or raise in a hand when the circumstance would deserve doing so, basically in order to avoid winning money or chips from a friend. By playing the hand in a different way i.e. in a “soft” way, the player may skip taking a friend’s chips, but at the cost of the game’s integrity for others.

In poker, the closest family members or best friends are expected to play a fair game all the time, which means no soft-playing or going easy with particular opponents that you’d like to see winning.

Whether soft-playing is strictly a form of cheating is debatable; however, as seen from Foxen and Bicknell, the strategy has its advantages and disadvantages, as although the duo used it and captured a major share of the prize pool, their reputation was highly damaged.

3. Dumping Chips

Along the lines of soft-playing or collusion cheating, several tournament players have been spotted “dumping” chips to help their partners to have a guaranteed win in the end.

These players might make a huge re-raise for most of their chips, simply to fold when their partners goes all-in or just thrust with a horrible hand and hope the better. In any case, dumping chips to your partner is a great method to rig the endgame of a tournament.

After getting free chips as a gift, the dumpee can use them as weapons to win the big cash, which is then divided between the dumpee and dumper when the tournament is over.

When done properly, chip dumping can be hard to detect. However, if suspicion arises, the most likely punishments are disqualification from the contest and a property ban.

4. Creating a “Bot”

From the time when in the late 90s poker became digital, the online poker field has been particularly prone to cheaters. This also gave rise to “bot” among other tricks. A bot is just a program created to make the best decisions on the basis of the available information. By creating a poker bot well, cheaters can just sit relaxed and allow the program to play day and night, continuously gathering cash due to its inborn edge over humans.

However, these days online poker sites have started taking extreme actions to recognize bot accounts and pay players who lose money to cheating bots.

5. Dealing from the Deck’s Bottom

Learning cheating as the dealer is an art that is dying today, due to casino card rooms using cameras overhead and professionals in the box.

6. Angle Shooting

Angle shooting means engaging in activities that may officially be within the scope of the game’s rules, but still are considered unfair or unethical as they take advantage of or exploit another player. For instance, an angle shooter may act as if he were folding his hand to tempt other players to fold theirs even though it’s not their turn.

A form of angle shooting that is exclusive to online poker is to misuse the disconnect protection rules that most sites have. DP is a rule exclusive to online poker according to which if a player is disconnected from the site in between the hand, his hand is played out just as if he were present in the game without the player needing to put any more money in the pot. Online poker rooms that provide DP normally have particular tables reserved for this so that all players at the table know that the particular DP rules will apply.

An angle shooter uses this in this way – if a player is in a hand of which he is uncertain, if he has the best cards but doesn’t wish to stake any more money, he can disconnect from the internet and wait for the hand to play itself out. A DP table will make the remaining cards in the hand to be dealt and the pot will be given to the player with the best cards. In case of multiple opponents in the hand, he would be given a side pot.

Knowing about these tricks can always be useful even though you don’t use them, as then you can be alert of any cheating opponent. All the best!