Many people are hesitant to play poker just because they’re scared to get cheated — so here are the most common poker cheats, and how you can avoid them, whether you’re new to cards or a seasoned pro.

Poker’s history is muddy. There is no question about that. Some historians claim its roots derive from the Persian As Nas, while others believe it is a descendant of a 10th-century Chinese domino game. Whatever its lineage is, undoubtedly, over the past one hundred years, it has grown to become one of the most popular gambling options around and a source of endless social fun.

However, due to its competition format, where everyone is trying to outwit and outplay other players at their table, online poker for real money has also become famous for individuals attempting, both successfully and ineffectively, to use trickery to better their winning odds. The game has a long list of cheats who have utilised different methods of chicanery to attain the most chips in a poker room or when doing some online gaming.

What follows below is a breakdown concerning the most common forms of cheating people implement when competing at the world’s most popular card game.

The word combo — how do I spot a cheat at the poker table, has a massive search volume on Google, so this is definitely a topic that will interest most readers.

Here are 5 common poker cheats and how to avoid them:

1) Marking Cards

Card marking is the illegal action of altering cards. That is the textbook definition of this practice. What does a marked deck of cards look like? Well, that depends on the marking method a cheat incorporates. Some may bend the corners of high cards, while others nick them during a cash game.

How do you use a marked deck in poker games? Essentially, there is nothing to it. Mark cards provide insight into what other gamblers hold, allowing you to use this information to make more educated decisions. Should you fold or keep playing. That is all.

Thankfully, you do not have to look for online guides titled – how do I spot a cheat at the poker table marking cards. That’s the dealer’s job. If you are playing at a high-end casino or a legal card room, these venues employ well-trained dealers that know all about the nuances of cheating in poker and can instantly spot cards that have gotten tampered with, altered in some way.

2) Switching Cards

Switching cards is one of the oldest underhanded poker tactics ever, featured in many western movies. On the big screen, audiences have seen many card sharks carry aces up their sleeves, ones they would switch with the cards they got dealt in a hand. It is a super-effective move that requires that the gambler pulling it off has mastered sleight-of-hand and card manipulation.

Such players usually get nicknamed card mechanics due to their expertise in handling thinly cut rectangular paper stock.

Switching cards necessitates that cheaters research the type of deck the dealer will use and have loads of patience and skill, waiting for the right moment to come along when they can make their switch. Moreover, they must walk away from their table after winning because there is a high probability that the dealer will collect their switched cards and quickly discover that the symbol/suit ratios are off in his deck. That can also get noticed by other players in subsequent rounds.

While this is a technique favoured by many, it has multiple drawbacks which render it worthless in long games.

3) Stealing Chips

Cheating in poker does not have to involve fancy manoeuvre or collusion. It can be as simple as taking other players’ chips when they are not looking or subtly enhancing your stack with ones you have not traded in for money.

Though, the latter is very dangerous in private games. It requires that the cheater walks away in time before the organiser realises that the money pot does not correspond with the value of the chips played.

Again, sleight-of-hand and diversion gambits are handy when it comes to taking something away from someone in front of them. At commercial gambling venues, eye in the sky technology makes this super risky. Still, it is worth noting that many operators do not look over poker tables, as they attain their profits from these from the associated rake for the pot. Other than it, they have no stake in the game. So, they divert their monitoring resources to player vs. dealer games, where their profit margin can get deeply affected by nefarious actions.

4) Colluding in Competitions

Gamblers most often work with others when competing in tournaments. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, poker is not a team sport, so players intentionally helping others out is not something that gets taken lightly. It occurs when individuals signal the strength of their cards to partners via card/chip handling, clever hand positions, and other moves. That allows them to fold despite having a winning hand, to aid, keep their partner alive in the game longer. The duo can later split their profits.

The main issue with these swindles is they are hard to prove. Even if checking the cards reveals that someone folded on a monster hand, there is no rule in the book that dictates mandatory calls player should make in given situations. Therefore, tournament directors are helpless in stopping or punishing colluding players, particularly in events that feature smaller buy-ins.

That is unless things get out of hand, and the conspiracy is so clear that no one can deny it. Looking for articles on the topic – how do you cheat at Texas Holdem with a partner, should yield many results for those interested in getting better familiarised with ways players can communicate with one another at a table.

5) Working With the Dealer

Without question, the dealer is the person that can most manipulate poker games. He can rig the deck, deal from the bottom, purposefully miss-shuffle the cards, and so on. There are several ways a dealer can affect which cards hit the green cloth in front of every player.

To pull this off, the person distributing the deck’s content must be an experienced card mechanic himself, a higher-level one whose actions cannot get spotted by even veteran poker pros. Such people are hard to find. In any case, dealer collusion should be a far more profitable endeavor than partnering with other poker players.

Knowing how to notice bottom deck dealing is a vital aspect of being able to discern if someone is hand in glove with a dealer or not. Know that this rarely happens in land-based locales that offer card action, as these venue’s dealers undergo strict control and have very little room to operate independently. As a rule of thumb, colluding with dealers is far more likely to happen in underground games.

Learn more about your favourite poker games, or read more about the best sites in Australia to play poker online.

Matthew Vanzetti

Pokies and Casino Expert

Matthew has a passion for pokies, from classic one-armed bandits to the latest and greatest hot drop jackpots. Hailing from Melbourne, Matthew followed in his father’s footsteps working at one of the top casinos in Melbourne after he left college. Matthew brought that knowledge to Gamble Online Australia and is our go-to guy for everything pokies-related.
When he’s not spinning the reels, you can find Matthew supporting his hero Daniel Ricciardo every weekend in Formula 1 or cheering his Dees on to victory.

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