How to avoid Cheaters in Poker games


The beginners in a game of poker might expect their opponents to be playing with an honest approach. However, not all players play this game fairly. We cannot deny the fact that certain individuals are willing to cheat in the game just to gain some advantage. The cheating tactics used by the cheaters might differ in land-based poker and online poker. Below mentioned are some of the ways how the cheaters can be identified and avoided:

  • When a player purposely loses the chips to the opponent, it is a red flag. Over here, the player is trying to add a considerable amount of chips to the opponent’s stack which is then shared in the player’s winnings. This cheating technique is popularly referred to as chip dumping and this can be done only when players are on the same table. Hence, be cautious when the opponent shows this behaviour.


  • One of the most popular cheating techniques used in online poker is sharing the hole cards. In this, all the players get on the same table and start sharing their hole cards through text or skype. Doing this, they realize who is having the strongest hand and try to identify whether one or more cards they were required to complete the hand are still available or have been taken. Angle shooting in poker is also an area that mentions the usage of unethical or deceptive techniques in order to take advantage of the opponent.
  • When talking about hole cards, there are chances that the players might signal each other about the cards to find out the strength of each other. They do so to avoid playing against the players with the strongest hands. Hence, it is advised to look at the opponent player’s facial expressions and body movements.
  • Though Poker is an individual’s game that all the players play for themselves, but there are certain scenarios when two or more players at a table collaborate secretly. This technique is known as collusion which comprises several cheating practices such as soft playing, any sort of hand signals, chip dumping and sharing the hole cards. Whenever any of these practices occur on the table repeatedly, it’s time to be alert.
  • The next one is an old cheating practice but still widely used. Marking of the cards is done not only in the game of poker but in almost all card games. A set of specific cards is marked particularly that the player can easily identify them among the bunch of cards without seeing the value. Aces are the most often marked cards as they are the most valuable. Several techniques are used for this such as bending very small corners of the card or making a dent anywhere on the card. The marking is done so smoothly in a very tiny area that does not appear as a spot but is noticeable enough to the cheater. Also, technology is used here as well. Some players are so skilled that they mark the card with a spot of special invisible ink which can only be seen using special glasses or at times contacts to get around with the dealers. The dealers are very active in determining any such card imperfections. They circularly decorate the cards and report to the security if some major irregularity is observed. Identifying this is very difficult as it is quite hard to guess, but one needs to be active and alert to identify such cheating techniques.
  • Spooking is another famous cheating technique in poker where someone stands behind the dealer and see the face-down-value-card. They pass this data through signals to the player playing at the table. Now, identifying any such person doing this act is tough from a player’s angle as they need to be actively present in the game always.

You just need to be aware of all the techniques that the players used for cheating as when you know all these things, you can at least sniff off the collusion. The next thing to take care of is to look for the players that sit beside each other in all the games. There is no denying to the argument that the two players sitting in this manner can be best friends but it might also be a fact that they might be sitting like this with some strategies like for trading cards or looking at each other’s hole cards.

As said above, more attentiveness is required for spotting subtle cheaters. Also, it demands you to be extra alert while suspecting a foul play and be attentive to the game also.

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