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How to Spot a Cheater!

     It's not 1849 and this isn't the Gold Rush, but dishonest poker players still exist and it's important to recognize cheaters when you're around them. There are multiple methods of cheating at poker and even though I've found it to be a rare occurrence, I have run into cheaters on occasion. I'll mention a couple of methods that I'm aware of, but my cheating knowledge is limited. I've never tried to hone any skills like that. Unfortunately there are some people who will study these devious methods with the belief that they will make lots of money. In a live game, cheaters will look to mark cards. They will nick the corner of the aces with their finger nails. So if you find yourself in a game full of strangers, it's smart to look at the corners of the aces throughout the session when you get one. If you can find a mark, you may have a cheater at the table.

      Another common tactic is to splash the pot with only a portion of the bet. The player will toss a pile of chips into the pot, making it impossible to count the amount he threw in. If an opponent splashes a pot you should warn them that if they splash again the pot will be counted, and that splashing is not tolerated at this game. Once the cheater knows you're watching they will most likely stop. Don't be shy about saying something to them; they're trying to steal your money. Some players will deliberately call the wrong hand at showdown hoping no one will notice they don't have the hand they say they do. I always watch a showdown so I know how that player plays. If you do this it will eliminate the possibility of an opponent getting away with lying.

     All of those tactics will not work online. A cheater can't be involved physically online, so the only form of cheating available to them is the most common form of cheating there is: Collusion. Collusion is when two or more players play together at a table with the intent to control the betting and dominate the remaining players at the table. Players are able to tell each other what they are holding over the phone or by MSN and act accordingly. One player bets and his partner raises. His partner has nothing in his hand but the raise forces players out of the hand. The way to catch these collusion losers is to recognize the betting patterns. I can recognize collusion within three or four hands. A telltale sign is two players in the same hand together a lot, and one of them folds the river after he raised twice earlier in the hand. That's the thing about cheating; cheaters aren't very good at cheating. Most cheaters are cheaters because they are too lazy to pay their dues and learn properly. This goes for poker too. Most of them are not very good at cheating and they get caught easily, and so will you, if you take this information and try and use it for evil. Online cheaters get kicked out of the casino they're playing on and they forfeit any bankroll they had with the casino. Live game cheaters can suffer a far worse fate and they're lucky if they just get kicked out of the game. I guarantee it's easier to become a winning player by studying and paying your dues than it is to study cheat tactics and face the consequences of getting caught.

Have pride in yourself and your abilities, cheaters are doomed for failure. 

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