Cheating in poker is any behavior outside the rules that is intended to give an unfair advantage to one or more players br Cheating can be done many ways including collusion sleight of hand such as bottom dealing or stacking the deck or the use of physical objects such as marked cards or holdout devices br Cheating occurs in both friendly games and casinos Cheats may operate alone but also may operate in teams or small groups br Following is a list of terms used to categorize specific card cheats br card mechanic A card cheat who specializes in sleight of hand manipulation of cards a card sharp br base dealer Also called a bottom dealer or a second dealer this relies on two related methods that manipulate the dealing of cards br paper player A card cheat that exploits the use of marked cards br hand mucker A card cheat that specializes in switching cards br machine player A card cheat that uses mechanical holdouts br Minimal skill methods br The easiest and most common types of cheating require no ability of manipulation but rather merely the nerve Such methods include shorting the pot avoiding house fees and peeking at other players cards However it is very difficult to prove because when confronted at least the first time the cheat often calls the cheating an honest mistake br One minimal skill method that occurs in non casino games happens when a player who has folded appoints himself the tender of the pot stacking chips counting them and delivering them to the winning player Check chopping is when such a helpful player palms a chip Odorless adhesive can be used for this purpose br Another minimal skill method is going south also known as ratholing where a player covertly removes a portion of his chips from play while remaining in the game normally in order to preserve the winnings as profit or prevent a major loss in big bet games br Skilled methods br A cheat may hand muck that is switch their hand with one they have secretly hidden This may also be done with a confederate br A skilled cheat can deal the second card the bottom card the second from bottom card and the middle card The idea is to cull or to find the cards one needs place them at the bottom top or any other place the cheat wants then false deal them to oneself or one s confederate br One sign of false dealing could be when a dealer grips the deck with the index finger in front of it This is referred to as the mechanic s grip It not only allows better control of the cards but provides cover as showing the back of the top card and without moving the hand holding the deck br Even if a cheat deals himself a powerful hand he may not win much money if every other player has nothing so often the cheat will stack two hands with one player getting a strong hand and the cheater getting an even stronger one This is called a double duke br One method of cheating that involves both great risk and great potential pay off is the cold decko called because it has not been warmed up by play and thus randomised Such decks are usually pre stacked and are introduced either at the deal after the real deck has been shuffled or before the deal where a card sharp will make a false shuffle using sleight of hand The latter method may require collusion or a pass if the style of play or house rules call for a cut The skill lies both in convincing other players that the shuffle is legitimate and in ensuring that other players receive hands that are good enough to entice them into play but not too good to arouse suspicion br Marked cards br Main article Card marking br Marked cards are printed or altered so that the cheater can know the value of specific cards while only looking at the back Ways of marking are too numerous to mention but there are certain broad types A common way of marking cards involves marks on a round design on the card so as to be read like a clock an ace is marked at one o clock and so on until the king which is not marked Shading a card by putting it in the sun or scratching the surface with a razor are ways to mark an already printed deck br Juice and daub are two kinds of substances that can be used to mark cards in a subtle way so as to avoid detection when done properly While a juice deck is premarked and introduced into play by the cheater daub is applied during play to any deck Once trained cheaters can read the cards from across the table br Decks can be marked while playing using fingernails or by bending or crimping the cards in a position that the cheat can read from across the table The practice of burning the top card or cards is to prevent a cheat from knowing that top card and dealing seconds to either give a confederate a card that helps his hand or an opponent a card that hurts his br Collusion br Collusion is two or more players acting with a secret common strategy Some common forms of collusion are soft play that is failing to bet or raise in a situation that would normally merit it because you don t want to cost your partner money whipsawing where partners raise and reraise each other to trap players in between dumping where a cheater will deliberately lose to a partner and signalling or trading information between partners via signals of some sort like arranging their chips in a certain manner br Simple collusion in online poker is relatively easy and much more difficult to immediately spot if executed well Cheaters can engage in telephone calls or instant messaging discussing their cards since nobody can see them Sometimes one person may be using two or more computers to play multiple hands at the same table under different aliases since many broadband plans offer customers multiple IP addresses this can conveniently and cheaply be done without the likelihood of immediate detection Such tactics can give cheaters an advantage that is difficult to work against However online poker cardrooms keep records of every hand played and collusion can often be detected by finding any of several detectable patterns such as folding good hands to a small bet as it is known that another player has a better hand Users who frequently sit at the same tables will be flagged by poker rooms and their play will be closely monitored Often such users will be warned they have been flagged in an effort to deter collusion br In a poker tournament when one player is all in and two other players are active in the pot it is common for the two players with chips left to check it down or check on each round of betting through the end of the hand Unless they explicitly communicate an agreement about checking it down this is not collusion br Online specific br Other than collusion the methods detailed above are impossible in online poker since they entail the use and manipulation of physical cards chips and objects however some concerns are specific to online poker One is the use of bots These are programs that play instead of a real human Though their accuracy and their ability to win are in dispute their use normally violates the rules of online cardrooms so using them is by definition cheating br A second concern is datamining This is the systematic collection of hand histories enough of which can be used to profile opponents using specially designed software Two or more players may agree to share their individual hand histories amongst themselves alternatively some websites offer large quantites of previously played hands even millions for a fee Using software to analyze one s own histories is generally accepted however acquiring histories of hands in which a player did not participate violates the rules of most cardrooms br Another online method of cheating multiaccounting where a player will register several accounts to his name or perhaps more commonly to non poker playing friends and family members This could be done in order to facilitate chip dumping and other methods of equity maximization in tournaments or simply to enable a well known player to play incognito Notable online player ZeeJustin was banned temporarily by Pokerstars for multiaccounting br In Fall 2007 a major employee cheating scandal occurred at Absolute Poker br The user agreement of the two online poker sites owned by Tokwiro Enterprises Absolute Poker and UltimateBet state they reserve the right to cancel an account if a player plays in a professional sense and not for personal entertainment only However this is not a standard prohibition For example it is not in the end user agreements of the three largest online cardrooms PokerStars PartyPoker and Full Tilt Poker br When two players are found to be swapping chips illegally both players are kicked from the game and their chips are forfeited br Angle shooting br Angle shooting is engaging in actions that may technically be within the scope of the rules of the game but that are considered unethical or unfair to exploit or take advantage of another player For example an angle shooter might motion as if he were folding his hand to induce other players to fold theirs out of turn br One form of angle shooting which is exclusive to online poker is to abuse the disconnect protection DP rules most sites have in place DP is a rule exclusive to online poker whereby if a player is disconnected from the site in the middle of the hand his hand is played out as if he were all in without the player actually having to put any more money in the pot The online poker rooms that offer DP usually have specific tables set aside for this so that all players at the table are aware that the special DP rules will apply br How this is used by angle shooters is if a player is in a hand that he is unsure if he has the best cards and doesn t want to invest any more money to find out He can unplug his internet connection and then wait for the hand to play itself out On a DP table the remaining cards in the hand would be dealt and the pot would be awarded to the player with the best cards If there were multiple opponents in the hand then he would be 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