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Poker Cheating And How To Protect Yourself From An Online Poker Cheat

Shane C

Nov 11, 2022

Protect Yourself from Poker Cheats

People have been trying to cheat at poker as long as there have been poker games. The history of poker cheating is a long and storied one. It’s a history that’s filled with tales of ingenious cheaters finding new and creative ways to beat the system. While some methods are more elaborate than others, the goal is always the same: to win money in cash games by deception.

Online poker is no exception. The anonymous nature of the online games might even make poker a more attractive target for cheaters.

So how can you protect yourself from being cheated when you play online poker?

Types of Cheating in Online Poker Games

The first step is to be aware of the most common cheating methods in online poker rooms. By understanding how these methods work, you can be better prepared to spot them and avoid being cheated by unfair online poker players yourself.


Collusion is when two or more players team up to cheat at poker. It can be a very profitable strategy if done correctly. By sharing information about their hands, cheating online poker players can work together to take money from other players. They may do this by sharing information about their cards or making deals to split the pot. The more poker players that are taking part in the collusion, the easier it is to cheat.

Some examples of collusion include:

Chip Dumping Collusion

When one online poker player intentionally loses to another player to transfer chips to them.

Soft Play Collusion

When online poker players do not bet their strongest hands against each other or fold too easily when someone else bets.

Sharing Hole Cards Collusion

Playing online poker makes this easy to do by casino cheats sharing their cards and how they intend to play through mobile phone text messages or instant messenger programs.

Players who are suspected of collusion can be banned from online poker rooms. However, it is often difficult to prove collusion beyond a shadow of a doubt. Online poker rooms typically have anti-collusion measures in place.

Even so, it is still crucial for players to be aware of the possibility of collusion on online poker sites. These days, all the major poker sites use state-of-the-art software that looks for suspicious activity. Once they have enough evidence, they may investigate these collusion claims.

Superuser Accounts

A superuser account isn’t something exclusive to online poker cheating. A superuser is a user on a computer with access to all of the system’s privileges in online games - they are also known as root users.

Superusers can do everything on a computer, including changing poker site system files, adding and removing other users, and installing software. As they say, “with great power comes great responsibility”, so if the superuser decides to abuse their power, they can do a lot of damage.

In the context of poker and other cash games, a superuser account would give the user an unfair advantage because they would be able to see the poker game players’ hole cards. It’s pretty evident that if someone can see all the other player’s hole cards, they will be able to profit hugely from that information.

Superuser accounts are rare, but they have been known to exist. In one famous case, a group of cheaters used a superuser account on the Absolute Poker site to see other players’ hole cards and win millions of dollars. We will take a look at this example of such online poker cheating in more detail later on.

However, there have been no reports of superuser accounts cheating players on any major poker sites for well over a decade. The wild west days of online poker cheating are long gone, and the sites have gotten much better at security. That’s not to say it couldn’t happen, but it is very unlikely.

The best way to protect yourself from being cheated by a superuser is to play poker at well-established and reputable online poker sites. These sites have strict security measures in place. In addition, third-party auditors regularly check the code of these well-established sites to ensure that there are no vulnerabilities.

If you suspect that a superuser account is being used on a poker site, you should immediately report it to the site’s support team.


Multi accounting in online pokerMulti-accounting is the practice of opening and using multiple accounts in internet poker rooms. Online poker sites typically have strict rules against multi-accounting and measures in place, such as KYC or Know Your Customer checks to prevent it. However, some players still manage to get around these measures when they play online poker.

Poker players who use multiple accounts often do so not necessarily to cheat in the poker room but in order to exploit bonuses or promotions. For example, they may open multiple accounts to receive multiple welcome bonuses.

When it comes to cheating in cash games, multi-accounting comes to the fore in online poker tournaments. Some players will create multiple accounts to enter the same tournament multiple times. This gives them a much better chance of winning as they effectively have more shots at it.

While it is against most poker sites’ Terms of Service, you can still expect to be up against players using multiple accounts in some poker tournaments.


Ghosting at a poker table is when a player cheats by getting help from someone who can see their cards. They may share their hole cards with a friend who is more experienced at poker or a coach.

Some poker players don’t see anything wrong with ghosting, but it is technically cheating in online poker. Imagine how you would feel if you were an amateur poker player who managed to make it to the final table of a major tournament only to find out that the player who won was being helped by a professional poker player who could see their cards! The advantage that the ghosting player has is unfair, and it takes away from the enjoyment of the game.

Ghosting is challenging to detect and even harder to prove. This is why it’s such a problem in the world of poker, especially in online tournaments. Since you can’t see the players’ faces, there is no way to know if they are talking to someone and, therefore, ghosting.

Poker Bots

One thing that may have never crossed your mind when playing poker online is whether I am playing against a human or artificial intelligence?

A poker bot is a computer program designed to play the game of poker autonomously.

They are designed to make decisions based on the cards they are dealt with and other players’ actions at a poker table. While a poker bot can be used for legitimate purposes, such as practising or testing new strategies, it can also be used to cheat. In online poker games, poker bots can place bets and make decisions without any human input. This gives them a significant advantage over human players.

A poker bot also doesn’t suffer from fatigue, emotion, or tilt like human players do. This means it can play for long periods without making mistakes.

Though it doesn’t affect the bottom line of a poker site, whether it’s bots or humans that are playing, since they will still receive a rake, most understand that it is ethical only to allow humans to play against each other. After all, if people were to find out that there were poker bots in the games, it would destroy the integrity of the game and the poker site.

For this reason, good poker sites will have measures in place to detect and block poker bots. However, as technology advances, they are working even harder to stay one step ahead of the bots.

At Natural8, bots are strictly prohibited, and we have software measures set up to prevent and detect any bots that attempt to join our games. A permanent ban is placed on any user we catch using bots, and their funds are confiscated.

Real-Time Assistance

Real Time Assistance (RTA) in pokerReal-Time Assistance, or RTA, is poker software that provides game theory optimal (GTO) guidance in real-time. Its software gives its users an enormous edge when playing poker online, which has earned it a ban from all major online poker sites.

Solvers are nothing new. Top players have used them for years to study the game and develop optimal strategies. Many of these solvers take time to find the best solution to a particular hand, so they aren't designed to be used during actual play.

This is where RTA comes in. It uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to give its users real-time advice on how to play their hands. This means it can provide an optimal decision for any situation at lightning-fast speeds.

The use of RTA software is cheating; plain and simple, it is incredibly powerful and can easily be abused.

So, where does Natural8 stand on RTA poker software?

We have a zero-tolerance policy on using any kind of third-party software that provides a dishonest advantage to our players. If you are caught using RTA poker software, you will be banned from our site and have your funds confiscated.

We also have measures in place to detect and block the use of RTA poker software. So if you're thinking about using it, don't bother if you wish to keep playing with us and keep hold of your funds!

Rigged Poker Sites

In the early days of internet poker, there were a number of rigged poker sites. These sites were often run by less-than-reputable operators, and they used shady practices to give themselves an unfair advantage. However, as the industry has become more regulated and individuals more tech-savvy, these types of sites are now few and far between, and the ones that do exist are usually quickly shut down.

Poker Software

Poker tracking software and heads-up displays (HUDs) have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they provide players with a wealth of information about their opponents.

However, some poker enthusiasts decry the use of poker tracking software and HUDs as cheating. HUDs are typically used to display statistics such as the percentage of hands a player has won, their average bet size, and so on. This information can be very useful in making strategic decisions during a poker game.

Poker tracking software can also display information about an opponent's tendencies, such as how often they raise preflop or how often they bluff. This information can give players a significant advantage over their opponents.

Whether or not poker tracking software and HUDs constitute cheating is a matter of opinion. Some players argue that they are simply another tool that can be used to improve one’s game, but others argue that they give players too much advantage.

Whether or not you think poker tracking software and HUDs are cheating, just unfair, or level the playing field, there's no denying that they give players a distinct edge, which can't be refuted. If you're playing poker online, it's essential to be aware of the tools your opponents may be using.

So are poker tracking software and HUDs allowed at poker sites? The answer is yes and no! Some poker rooms allow them, while others don't. And even if a poker room does allow them, there may be restrictions on how they can be used. So it's always best to check with the poker room terms of service or customer support before using any third-party software.

At Natural8 Poker, we have our own Smart HUD that allows you to size up your opponents, but they can also view your stats. This means that players who use our HUD can get an idea of what kind of player they are up against and make more informed decisions.

Additionally, we have banned all outside 3rd party trackers, HUDs, and VPNs and provided all players on our site with our in-house PokerCraft tracker and Smart HUD.

If you're looking for a level playing field, Natural8 Casino is the best place to play poker. Try our Smart HUD today!


When it comes to online poker, there are a lot of different opinions on what is and isn't considered cheating. One grey area is the use of VPNs or virtual private networks. While there's no definitive answer on whether or not using a VPN to access a poker site is considered cheating, keep in mind most poker sites have terms of service that explicitly prohibit the use of VPNs. So if you're caught using one, you could be banned from the site. This is because VPNs can be used to mask a player's real location. This is especially true if a player is located in a country where online gambling is not legal. Using a VPN can make it appear as if they are located in a country where it is legal and play on the site.

We understand that some players may feel like they have no other choice if they want to play poker online. Just be aware that if you use a VPN, you could be risking your account being banned.

Protecting Yourself From Poker Cheats

Protect Yourself from Poker CheatsNow that you know a little bit more about the different types of poker cheating methods, you’re probably wondering how you can protect yourself from being cheated. While there’s no foolproof way, you can do a few things to reduce your risk.

Licensed Poker Sites

The most obvious way to protect yourself is to play at a trusted poker site. But how do you determine they are legitimate? The first step is to check that they are licensed and regulated by a reputable gaming commission. 

Usually, this information will appear in the footer of the poker room’s website. If you check the footer of the Natural8 website, you will see we are licensed and authorised by the Government of Curacao.

Random Number Generator (RNG)

Another way to ensure the site is above board is to check if its RNG (random number generator) has been tested and certified by a third-party organisation. On Natural8, our RNG is tested and certified by BMM Testlabs.

Another way to protect yourself is to be aware of the signs of cheating taking place. For example, if you see a player constantly making strange or suspicious moves, that's a cause for concern. Also, be wary of players who seem to be winning an unusually high percentage of hands. If you're ever in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution and either stop playing or report the player to customer support.

A surprising fact is that despite the many stops put in place and high-tech software used to prevent cheating at poker sites, in many cases, it is the players themselves that uncover the cheaters. So don't be afraid to speak up if you think something fishy is going on.

The Natural8 support team is available 24/7 and will be happy to investigate any concerns you may have and take appropriate action if necessary.

Famous Poker Cheating Scandals

When the stakes are high, the temptation to cheat can be too much for some players to resist. Here are just some of the most famous poker scandals in history.

Absolute Poker Hack

In 2007, the online poker community was rocked by a scandal. One of the leading poker sites, Absolute Poker, was accused of cheating its players. The allegations arose after an employee of the site was caught using a program that gave him an unfair advantage. This Superuser hack allowed the employee to see other players' cards, giving him a huge advantage in poker games. The news quickly spread through poker forums and other online channels.

The scandal became a major talking point in the online poker community. Players pushed for an answer from the site's owners. Eventually, it was revealed that a user named Potripper had been behind the Super User hack. The revelations dealt a major blow to Absolute Poker's reputation. The site eventually closed down, and its owner pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the scandal.

The Postlegate Poker Scandal

In 2019, Mike Postle became embroiled in a big poker scandal. Postle was a regular on the live-streamed cash games at the Stones Gambling Hall in California. Over the course of several months, Postle began winning an unprecedented amount of money. His winnings led many people to suspect that he was cheating.

An investigation was launched, and it was alleged that Postle had been using a hidden device to see his opponents' hole cards.

Postle still claimed his innocence against his accusers, of which there were plenty, and filed a defamation lawsuit against many of them. The defamation lawsuits were later retracted, which cost Postle even more credibility and cash, followed by bankruptcy. In the end, Postle was never charged with any crime, and he still maintains his innocence to this day. You'll find plenty of videos on YouTube that highlight some of the hands that Postle won during his time on the Stones Gambling Hall cash game streams. You can make up your own mind as to whether or not he was cheating.

In Summary

The ever-changing technological landscape has given rise to new ways for poker players to cheat, like ghosting, colluding, and many others. It has also made it easier for poker sites to catch cheaters and prevent them from cheating in the first place. It’s a constant battle between the cheats and the poker sites.

Though there is no guaranteed way to completely protect yourself from being cheated in a poker room, there are ways to mitigate the risk. One is by only playing at trusted poker sites that have checks in place to catch the cheats. The other is by trusting your instincts. If you think something questionable is happening, stop playing and reach out to customer support. Any poker site worth playing at will take your suspicions seriously.

On a final note, we'd also like to point out that falling victim to cheating is very rare, so don't let the fear of it stop you from playing the game you love. And with that, we wish you all the best in your future poker endeavours.


Is online poker rigged?

This is a question that gets asked a lot, and the answer is usually no. While there have been some isolated cases of cheating, poker sites are generally very fair and safe to play on.

What should I do if I think I am being cheated?

If you suspect that you are being cheated in a poker game, you should immediately report it to the site's support team.

What are the most common types of cheating at poker?

The most common types are multi-accounting, collusion, ghosting, and the use of RTA's and poker bots.