This issue must be addressed, and you must understand how to avoid it. It is just a fact of life that people are going to take advantage of other people in an unfair manner when given the opportunity to get an edge.
Whether it’s stealing from your local job or taking millions from innocent people through accounting frauds, it’s wrong. I am going to tell you these common cheats not so you can go try them yourself, but to prepare you for what to look for. Cheating is for losers and I don’t expect anyone who is reading this to ever cheat. Cheating is common in poker and you have to know how to avoid it and what to look for.
Cheating at the Corporate Level
It has even happened at the corporate level when a top level executive was caught using a server exploit in which he used to see other players hole cards. Eventually stealing millions from customers in the mid-part of 2007 at Absolute Poker. He was finally busted and this lead to the biggest scandal in poker. If you want updated info on this you’ll have to Google it.
Cheat One “Instant Messaging”
The first thing to look for is slow tables. You want to avoid these at all costs. Most of the time the players aren’t just trying to be concise about their actions, they are cheating. Another reason to avoid slow tables is because the more hands you play per hour the higher your profit is going to be.
A common way that people take your money is by working in teams. They will sit down at a table with two or three other friends and suck every penny out of any poor soul that sits down. They do this through a technique called Aiming. They use AIM (automated instant messaging) to tell each other what they have. It may not seem like a big help to each other but it is. Knowing that six cards are out of the deck can improve your odds by almost 12%.
Let me give you an example of how it can help them even more than that. Say they were aiming and one player had 9 2, the other hand 4 7, and the third hand 2 j. All three of these players folded pre-flop. The flop comes 2 2 A. If you’re sitting with an ace and you have someone betting like he has a two I think the aimer just might know you don’t have a two.
A ring game consists of ten players. These are hot spots for the cheaters because they can play against more players and use more people in their team and still keep their profit level high. These advantages that the cheaters have will make it almost impossible for you to win unless you’re just getting the cards that night.
Cheat Two “Co-Op Raising”
Another thing to look out for at tables is players with large stacks. Many times players will go in with a partner and raise re-raise each other pushing other unsuspecting opponents out of a pot. The raising and re-raising is supposed to make you think there are two very strong hands at play. Even the average player understands that when you’ve been raised and then re-raised in a hand that it’s time to run unless you have the absolute nuts. If you see weird folds where no matter what the player had he should have called due to pot odds then you should be suspicious as well.
Most of the time they are doing this with junk hands but as a good player you know the right play is to fold. Now that you know what you are looking for you can use this cheat to your advantage. If you spot two players constantly raising and re-raising each other but are never showing their cards you can trap them. Just calling in this spot will pay you off enormously. Most of the time they will only go to the river card betting big. By this time it doesn’t matter because they just raised and re-raised you enough to double your stack.
Cheat 3 “Chip Dumping”
This is probably the most common and easily executed cheat online. The most common place for this cheat is in a 100 player or more $100 buy-in or above tournaments. I have heard of as many as 7 guys working together to pull of this cheat because it increases their odds of winning enormously.
The process involves chip dumping. These players work in teams and dump their chips to each other and finally to one end guy. A guy who started out with 1000 chips just got 12,000 or more handed to him. I don’t know about you but if I double up early in a tournament only twice I’m almost guaranteed to make it to the final table.
The only thing that gets in the way of these cheaters is that you don’t start at the same table as your team-mate. This is OK because as soon as the players end up at the same table they dump whatever chips they have to each other. It’s pretty much a guaranteed way to make it to the final table. In tournaments where first place walks with 50 or 60 thousand it is worth the effort to these cheaters.