Spot the cheater

Spot the cheater in live poker

History is full of tales about people cheating at cards, and poker is naturally no exception. Every part of society where large sums of money is changing hands you will find people willing to break the rules to steal a piece of the pie. Modern card rooms employ a long row of measurements that makes cheating at poker considerably more difficult than in the days of Billy the Kid and Doc Holiday, but it can still be a good idea for the honest poker player to be vigilant. Learning about poker cheats can increase your chances of spotting a cheater at your table and cut his shoddy career short. This is especially true when playing live poker in more informal settings outside the safety of modern casino security.

Examples of poker cheats

  • Splashing the pot
    A player that’s splashing the pot is tossing his chips into the pot in a disorderly manner to get away with betting fewer chips than he claims to bet betting. A vigilant dealer will not allow this type of behavior at the poker table.
  • Splashing the pot, variant II
    Another variant of splashing the pot is where the player throws in her chips in a disorderly fashion and then immediately say “oops, a put in too much” and starts taking them back. In the process, she nicks chips placed in the pot by other players. Just as on the example above, a good dealer will prevent this type of cheat by not allowing players to act this way with their chips.
  • Marking the cards
    This is a classic cheat that’s been portrayed in many films and teveseries. Unlike the players of games like blackjack and baccarat, poker players are actually allowed to touch their cards and this makes it easier to mark cards. This is one of the reasons why poker rooms frequently change the decks. The next time you get irritated by the break caused by a change of decks, remember that it is for your own protection.
  • Sneak a peak
    This is another classic cheat that most of use have carried out as kids playing “Go Fish” or “Happy Family”. You sneak a peak at your opponent’s cards to obtain an information advantage. In poker rooms, the chairs are spaced out to make peaking difficult. However, it’s almost impossible to prevent this type of cheat when drunk players are waving their cards around or bored players engage in conversation and forget about hiding their hole cards.It’s important to remember that even if Person A only sees the cards of Person B and not your cards, Person A will still have an advantage over you since Person A will have more information and poker is game of asymmetric information. Therefore, you should always alert the dealer if anyone at your table fails to keep their cards hidden.