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Online Poker Cheating Could Cost You
by Kathy Hildabrand

All over the world, poker seems to have taken the internet by storm. It's all over the television, in movies, and it seems to be a good portion of the SPAM I receive each and every day! With such popularity, people are of course flocking to play for themselves, but not everyone has a bunch of friends willing & able to get together for a Friday night game. But this is the internet age, and if it's worth doing in person, it's twice as worth doing alone in a room with your keyboard.

Enter the Online Poker Room.

Many people would rather play in the privacy of their home, against people they never see in person. There are many reasons for this, as well as many advantages to the poker player. Fewer distractions, no concerns of your bad poker face, no worries that someone is going to peek over your shoulder and see your cards... or can they? Rumour has it online that it actually is possible to cheat, even at these so-called "safe" online poker rooms.

Cheat the Casino? Doesn't the House Always Win?

While it may be extremely challenging to directly cheat the online poker rooms themselves, it's less challenging to cheat the other players individually. And not everything is actually "cheating" either. Many of the techniques that can be learned that are specific to online poker, have more to do with good strategy as well as leveraging the inherent advantages playing online poker has, than they have to do with cheating per se. But there are a few tricks that aren't talked about much, but that are downright... well, "unethical" at least.

So Why DO Cheaters Always Win Anyway?

It's a natural attraction. Poker players that have chronically lost money to the game, want a chance to even the score, so they decide to turn to cheating. It's easy to think that "nobody gets hurt" when it's just you and the computer - it doesn't feel like there are real people on the other side of the poker table. The fact is however that there are real people, and you are going to have to deceive them if you want to cheat them out of their money. Numerous techniques have leaked onto the internet recently, and many of them involve cracking the random number generators that the poker sites use, or analyzing thousands of hands of play in order to predict card patterns, etc. These techniques, while they may give the online poker player an edge, really are not terribly effective in my opinion, although they never fail to sell informational books on the subject.

Seeing Hole Cards - The Holy Grail!

But one technique in particular has been getting a lot of attention recently, and that is the claim that it is possible to actually directly see your opponent's hole cards. In particular there is a video circulating in YouTube that shows this technique being used, and it is pretty scary. I've spoken with numerous diehard poker players and many of them have confirmed that this sort of technique is definitely possible. There is debate about how practical it is, but then as the saying goes, "nothing worth doing is easy." If at the end of the day it made you a guaranteed winner, I think a little difficulty is worth overcoming.

Player Beware - Know Thine Enemy!

Ultimately if you play online poker, you need to stay aware of what's going on around you. Don't get sucked into visiting websites that other players direct you to, for it could be a trick to steal your credit card or other sensitive information. Practice basic internet security and smart surfing, and you should remain safe. Of course you're still more likely to lose your money playing online poker legitimately than to have someone take your money by cheating at online poker, and for that you can blame only yourself. Or maybe the online poker room.

Kathy Hildebrand is a professional writer who is easily bored with her "day job" assignments. So, she researches anything and everything of interest and starts writing. Writing about an extremely wide variety of subjects keeps her skills sharp, and gives her food for thought on future paid writing assignments. More of her research and articles can be found at her web site and other sites around the internet.


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