Poker Collusion occurs when two or
more partners decide to sit at one table and cheat the other unsuspecting
players at that table.
This is basically playing differently
against one or more players than you do against others at the table.
forms of collusion are soft play, that is, failing to bet or raise in a
situation that would normally merit it because of your opponent; whipsawing,
where partners at opposite ends of the table raise and re raise each other to
trap players in between; and dumping, or deliberately losing to your partner.
The two or more partners trading
information is probably the most serious example of such cheating, but all of
these are considered bad play and should not be tolerated at any poker game.
Traditionally, players sitting at a poker table had a better chance of catching
the people committing collusion or any other form of cheating. With the
popularity of online poker, the players have to rely on the online poker
providers to monitor and protect the fairness of online poker. An online player
has no idea about who the other players are in a Poker Room that he/she is
Collusion in online poker is relatively easy and
much more difficult to spot if executed well. The main reason is that the
cheaters can engage in instant messaging discussing their cards with no one
looking at them. Sometimes the same person can be using two or more computers
and playing under different aliases. This gives him an advantage that's
difficult to work against. However many poker rooms have imposed a maximum of
one account per household, though a determined cheater can still bypass this by
using multiple connections thus having different IP addresses. However, online
poker sites keep records of every hand played, and collusion can often be
detected by finding the appropriate pattern. Many sites also offer heads-up games, where collusion is not useful.
Is it possible that 2 or 3 of those players are
sitting in one room somewhere on 2 or 3 different computers literally stealing
from other players? The answer is yes, they might try to do that, but this is
where the Anti-Collusion policies of leading Online Poker Sites come in to play.
Party Poker has a three (3) step approach to deal with cheaters:
(i) identification & detection;
offending users; and
(iii) additional measures through enlarged customer
Identification and detection counter-measures are in-place now
and have been for some time. No doubt, these measures will improve in the future to
more precisely detect existing BOTS, but more importantly, to detect new BOTS
are they are created and released.
The use of certain programs and
their websites are blocked outright. These are: WinHoldem, PokerBot plus,
PokerEdge, Poker Prophecy, Poker Sherlock and PokerBot Pro. Party Poker expects to add more programs to this list
as they fall in to the forbidden category. if any of the currently listed programs are modified
and no longer fall within our proscribed
class, then the modified versions are unblocked.
Once identified, a player using
such programs is notified. In that notice, it is explained what this player is
doing and what steps
PartyPoker.com will take if he/she does not stop the usage
of banned programs immediately. In
the most extreme cases, if after a notice is send, the player continues,
PartyPoker.com might even suspend the player's account and confiscate the funds in that
account—but never without prior notice of our intention to do so and never
without first giving that player the opportunity to stop using the offending
Another popular Poker Site is PokerRoom.com. PokerRoom.com
player's cards exclusively to that particular player's computer. The cards can
not be viewed from anywhere else. All game activities are logged and saved in
PokerRoom.com's database as well. The Players are asked to do their part as
well. If they suspect that Collusion is occurring, they can simply send an email
to the support or fraud department of their respective Online Poker Site and
help to stop the practice of Collusion.
In friendly games it is common to be playing against
someone you know well. Perhaps your spouse may be playing at the game with the
rest of your friends. Suddenly your luck turns for the worse. Subconsciously,
you are less willing to take the money of the people you know or love. Perhaps
one fellow has been getting bad hands all evening, and you know he has car
payments to make, and this changes the game being played. The best advice is to
leave friendship outside the poker game. Especially in tournament poker,
soft-playing a friend is cheating all of the other players out of their chance
to see you bust your friend, getting them closer to the prize money.
For this reason, there are laws in some U.S. states saying that a
husband and wife cannot play poker at the same table. Perhaps the easiest way to
exploit such a situation is to agree to split the profits (after all, couples
often have shared bank accounts). Even without any explicit collusion during the
game, this reduces the variance of the team as a whole.
It should come as no surprise that two people sharing
information about their hands enjoy a great advantage over the other players. If
you do not believe this, deal out a few poker hands, but deal yourself two. The
idea is that these players signal one another and only play the better of the
two hands. Signals can take many forms, from the placement of the chips on the
cards to morse code tapping on
the table. The key ingredient in all signaling systems is the ability to be
repeated unobtrusively. In order for this advantage to make money it has to be
done many times without someone realizing it. In a game where people (hopefully)
are always watching each other, this can prove problematic. When a cheat is
signaling the value of his hand to his partner, he is also signaling the value
of his hand to everyone at the table. The result of a system of signals being
figured out is nothing short of financial disaster. Some games are more
susceptible to this kind of cheating than others: in Five-card stud and Lowball, for example,
signaling the rank of just one card can give another player sufficient
information to make many otherwise difficult decisions.