Collusion at poker sites is roundly frowned upon, but it hasn’t stopped some players from delving into the dark arts. In this guide, we will give you the full picture of how collusion in poker works in cash games, whether it be tournaments or Texas hold’em games.
WHAT IS COLLUSION POKER?
Collusion involves two or more players working together in a poker room to gain an unfair advantage over the casino. In its basic form, it is cheating, as poker is thought to be a solo game and such users who cheat can face a permanent ban from online card rooms.
HOW COMMON IS PLAYER COLLUSION IN POKER GAMES?
Collusion in online cardrooms is more common than you might think. It exists in many various forms and we have outlined some of the ones you are likely to come across in online poker:
- Dumping – One of the two colluding players will drop a hand regardless of how good the hand is, because he or she knows the other colluding player may have a better hand.
- Whipsawing – One other player will go all in as they seek to win more money from the pot. However, this is a very risky strategy that can often backfire.
- Soft play – A colluder may decide to fold or opt out of placing a bet on the same table, and instead, they will choose not to play aggressively against each other.
- Signaling – The two players colluding could use pre-determined signals to communicate with each other. A good example of this would be using gestures with their hands.
WHERE IS COLLUSION MOST COMMON? – ONLINE OR LAND CASINOS?
Collusion is found more at land casinos as there will be cameras fixed on players. The CCTV footage will be able to alert casinos if they suspect dodgy behaviour being carried out by two or more players when sitting around a table. Playing online, however, affords some users more protection as there is a greater degree of anonymity. Many players will play remotely, but they may also have set up several accounts with differing sites. Therefore, it can take some online sites longer than others to detect whether a person is cheating before any action takes place.
WHY DO PLAYERS TRY TO COLLUDE AT THE TABLE?
Cheating happens for several reasons. Some users, for example, may collude with other players with the intention of money laundering. Although it is an open secret that the government takes a dim view of money laundering and has strict regulations in place, in any given game, players will try to flout these rules. One of the ways players will attempt to gain an advantage at the table, is to chip dump to improve their chances of getting their hands on the pot.
You may also see players working together to defraud a site to collect more bonuses. Most bonuses will have wagering requirements attached that need to be fulfilled before money can be withdrawn. However, to get ahead in a game, players will come together to collude and lose to each other to meet requirements. When they have used their chips, some players will continue cheating by opening up new accounts and starting the process again.
HOW DO SITES TRY TO DETER COLLUSION?
Online sites have started to take serious steps to deter collusion. More sites have adopted sophisticated software over the past few years to thwart any potential scams. Players working together can slip up if they are using two separate internet connections and sometimes random spot checks will take place.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR COLLUSION?
The penalties for colluding can be quite severe. If two or more colluders are deemed to be cheating, then they could be fined. Or, the casino may decide to go one step further and ban a player permanently from their site.
WHY IS COLLUDING A BAD IDEA?
Colluding can ruin things for those who have played at the table. It brings the game into disrepute and morally speaking, it questions the integrity of players. Some will think they can get away with fooling a site into playing good hands, but instead, it spoils the fun for others.
Colluding, as we have seen, can be very dangerous, but casinos have wisened up to it and are taking serious efforts to curb this. Most players will comply with the rules. We therefore suggest you think about how your actions could affect the entire table before considering colluding.