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How to become a top poker room?

As the saying goes: ‘every good soldier wants to be a general’ we can see that it really applies to every aspect of our lives, too. At work we want to become the boss, in sports we want to be the champion while in poker players want to become the best at their stakes and move forward until the ultimate goal is reached – a WSOP Main Event bracelet which brings money as well as world fame.

Online poker rooms also have an ultimate goal to strive for – being the best. The main criteria to becoming a top poker room it is compare the amount of players players you have at your tables as well as what’s the flow size of the new players that join the online poker room every day, every week, etc. In other words, traffic helps us to see which rooms are improving and which are not. Of course, online poker spreading has suffered a real roller-coaster since it all started on 1 January, 1998.

A real Golden Age of online poker was the 2004 when tons of poker rooms were launched and the competition for the name of The Top Poker Room on the planet really kicked in. The 2006 UIGEA, 2011 Black Friday has obviously altered online poker development and traffic. Without U.S. players 60% of the market is taken by one online poker room and the 40% is shared among all the rest online poker rooms. Clearly, with differentiation such as this the traffic is not the only criteria determining which are the top poker rooms. So, what else allows us to separate the best online poker rooms from the rest?

There are lots of anticipated venues and awards that online poker rooms feel the honor to be nominated at or even win. Events like E-Gaming Review Awards (EGR) is one of the most prestigious award ceremonies where the best in gaming world are recognized – becoming the year’s best should be a goal of every Top Online Poker Room.

What does it take to become a top online poker room?

One thing is sure, being a Top Poker Room does require a sufficient player base, good Loyalty Rewards for both new and existing poker players as well as high quality customer support. A truly Top Online Poker Room should also provide players with great, easy-to-clear deposit bonuses, best value poker promotions such as Rake races or Raked hand that keep the players motivated to grind at the poker tables as much as possible. Preferable but not exactly obligatory are the satellites to the most important poker events in the world such as Aussie Millions, World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, World Poker Tour, etc.

Satellites like these are important simply because of the publicity the poker site gets. It is considered a matter of prestige to send many poker players to such big events like WSOP because in a case of winning the any event, especially the Main Event, the brand name of any poker room goes on top of every list there is in poker.

Often, a player that managed to claim a win that massive in many cases is instantly offered a sponsorship deal. Even making the final table is a huge honor so many of the top poker sites try to sign up these players. For example, 2003 WSOP Main Event winner, an amateur poker player Chris Moneymaker instantly signed a deal with the Top Poker Room he had played at – Pokerstars.

Is is hard to become a top online poker room?

Well, it is not easy, to begin with. But actually, as we see, in order to be among Top Online Poker Rooms you do not have to be the oldest one or the newest one, or the largest one, etc. It is a combination of features that truly matter. For example, PKR Poker is among Top Online Poker Rooms because they offer some spectacular tournaments like PKR Masters, fantastic bonus as well as unique features – 3D Poker with avatar personalization, chip tricks, daunting your opponents with laughs, insults, etc. Just like at a real poker table. Other Top Poker Rooms have different but just as unique features that players love. At 888 Poker it is their private games as well as WebCam Games, Pokerstars uniqueness is its mega tournaments including $1 million Sunday every week and live events like Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure, Pokerstars EPT, etc.

Uniqueness is definitely a key to becoming a Top Online Poker Room but there are a lot of other things that we usually do not even think about until we feel the lack lack of it. Like safety. As history shows us, online gambling is always a target of cybercriminals so security is of colossal importance. But the thing with Security (as any of the similar concepts) is that you only notice the lack of it. And it is already too late then. So Top Poker Rooms work hard in order to prevent the security-related scandals not cleaning the mess after.

All in all, in today’s poker there are still hundreds of top quality online poker rooms that offer free cash to play poker, largest poker bonuses, best bonus clearance rates, unique features, etc. So, there may be many different lists of Top Online Poker Rooms set on a variety of criteria but the most important to us are uniqueness, security, loyalty rewards, best poker bonuses in the business and the best poker promotions such as rake races, rake hands races, reload bonuses, etc.

Best Poker Rooms in 2014

pokerstars logoIt sometimes makes your head spin when you think about how fast online poker is changing! Not all change is good but hopefully the worst is already in the past. It is time to put everything behind and move forward as there seems to be a very bright future that online poker has. Consider this, 20 years ago saying to your significant other that you play poker for a living not only would put a degenerate gambler’s image on you but even ruin your relationship. Now, judges agree that poker is a game of skill and is legal to play! Today poker players are celebrities!

Moreover, it is considered to be an honor to sign a sponsorship deal with one of the top poker rooms and represent them in the poker events worldwide. The face of poker have changed forever but there is lots of potential that the Golden age of online poker is still ahead. So, if you want to be at right place at the right time, better jump on the train right now or it might be too late. So, we give you the best poker rooms to play at in 2014.

But before we go on, we want to firstly say we will not give you a direct answer in the end. The final choice is always yours. And it is just too hard to give a straight answer as often the only criteria for the top poker room is the magnitude of the traffic and obviously after 2006 UIGEA as well as after the Black Friday the No.1 online poker room in traffic by a mile is Pokerstars. However, there is a lot of poker rooms online that have significant amount of traffic to keep even the biggest multitablers satisfied. And these great poker rooms do not need to generate a 100.000 in daily traffic to do so. But having adequate traffic is crucial. So, the most important criteria in determining Top Online Poker Rooms in 2014 are:

  • Poker770Traffic Generated
  • Loose tables
  • Biggest tournaments
  • Ability to learn and improve
  • Poker Bonus and the Welcome Package
  • Rake back possibilities
  • Monthly/Yearly Promotions
  • Loyalty Rewards Program
  • Customer Support Quality

Best Online Poker Tournaments

888pokerSince the Black Friday in 2011 online poker has changed but we still want to find the best places to play poker. And the key to finding the best poker rooms – places to play or in other words, tournaments. And when we speak about tournaments, Pokerstars is the top online poker room. They have all sorts of tournaments including the weekend tournaments such as 1$ Million Sunday, $500.000 Sunday Warm-up, etc.

Also, they have as huge poker series online like WCOOP with over $42 million prizepool. And as if that was not enough Pokerstars also offers a tournament series held live – Pokerstars European Poker Tour. Of course, you do not have to play at Pokerstars to play at EPT but not many top poker rooms have their own live series.

But the thing is that the bigger the online poker room, the bigger the competition. Often it may be the case that in the poker tournaments in other poker rooms it is much easier to finish in the money. So, make sure you consider other top poker rooms like 888 Poker and Party Poker with just as many mind-blowing tournaments such as $100k GTD and $200.000 Sunday with smaller pools of players that you have to compete against to win.

Best Online Poker Rewards

That is fundamental for any of the poker rooms to offer as generous rewards for their players as possible in order to keep them playing. There are all sorts, shapes and sizes of the rewards and whatever it is – it is got to be generous. To name a few of the benefits worth thinking about when joining a poker room:

  • Loyalty Rewards Program
  • Cash Back
  • Deposit Bonuses
  • Reload Bonuses
  • Birthday gifts
  • Depositors Freerolls

logoPokerstars is the room with one of the biggest cash back bonus you can get online. A Supernova Elite gets 74% of rake back to their account. Moreover, these kinds of rewards expire after a month or a year. So, if you are not yet a pro grinder able to multitable 15 tables at once, you should look where the rewards at the lower tiers are the best. For example, PKR Loyalty Rewards never expire (Once you reach Tier 2, you never go back to Tier 1, etc. ). This is great! Even though you go through Tiers slower it does not matter whether you are able to grind the same amount as the last month. You never lose your tiers once you reach it. And the additional benefits are amazing (reload bonuses, birthday Freerolls, Points Boosters, etc.)

Best Poker Bonuses

party-pokerWelcome bonuses are also most important. Mainly there are Deposit Match Bonus and a No Deposit Bonus. Both are important but they serve very different purposes. No Deposit bonus is an instant gift to a player who registers at a poker site. Some of the best poker rooms online that offer no deposit bonuses are Party Poker, Poker 770 and 888 Poker. The majority of players who seek for no Deposit bonuses are new players that haven’t built their bankroll at any site yet.

Deposit bonus is gift that you have to wait for e.g. collect points for. Plus, you have to have enough money to make a deposit. But it is definitely worth it as some of the best online poker rooms may boost your deposit up by 250%! Some of the largest poker bonuses boost the first deposit to as high as $2500. But to get the bonus, you have to collect a number of points in a limited amount of time (30 days to 90 days) in order to clear the full bonus. Consider whether the bonus will be credited in increments or as a whole.

A beginner can not clear $2500 so the biggest deposit bonuses are designed for advanced players that play tens of thousands of hands in a month.

All in all, poker players worldwide agree that migrating from poker room to poker room is usually not the best idea because once you register it takes time until you get used to the software, to the tournament schedules, etc. This is the reason why picking a poker room is an important decision that needs a bit of time. So, take your time but we can assure you that Pokerstars, Party Poker, 888 Poker, Poker770 and PKR are the top poker rooms offering you only the best conditions to play the game you love!

StarGames Casino – a well known player in casino industry

stargames casinoThe StarGames Casino is one of the most popular online casinos in the world, with more than seven million players registered on its site. This should not be surprising given that the site offers support for multiple languages making it more accessible to players in non-English speaking countries. Among the languages offered on the site apart from English include Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Polish and Croatian. However, American players are prohibited from playing on the site due to legal restrictions against online gambling in the US. StarGames is registered in Malta and fully compliant with all pertinent EU regulations.

The games are powered using Novoline software, an industry-leading provider of gaming software, as well as proprietary software developed internally by the site. This helps ensure that you are getting as realistic a gaming experience as possible, with authentic sound effects and visuals. Casino players who are accustomed to playing at real-life casinos now no longer need to undergo the bother of going to one of them since you are getting a comparable experience in front of your computer.

Bonus Programs

In addition, the provides an incentive to new players to sign up in the form of a 50% match bonus when they make their first deposit, up to a hundred euros, which they can use to play casino games on the site and maybe hit it big by winning the jackpot. However, there is a playing requirement for the bonus that requires you to play the amount of the bonus twenty-five times before you can cash it out.

You can deposit money using a variety of methods including credit cards such as MasterCard and Visa, as well as payment solutions like Moneybookers and NETeller and the site accepts currencies such as euros and the UK pound. Withdrawals are remitted through wire transfer to the player’s bank account, or using payment solutions such as Moneybookers and NETteller.

However, the first withdrawal may take up to ten days since the site has to undertake an identity check on the player first; subsequent withdrawals will take much less time. Regular players can claim their winnings twice-monthly but those who have gained a high ranking in the StarGames Bonus Club can withdraw up to five times a month.

online casino

StarGames Bonus Club is the casino’s incentive program that lets players earn points for every real-money game they play, even during tournaments. More points entitle players to handsome monthly rewards based on the status level they have achieved. There are five levels you can achieve ranging from Bronze to Diamond, which give you privileges such as faster and more frequent withdrawals, as well as faster ways to earn points. Plus, if you refer a friend and they sign up for an account on the site and start playing, you get a ten-euro bonus.

The site charges a certain amount in fees to players playing on the site. The main charge is the ‘rake’, which is computed as a percentage of the total amount wagered by the player, with a sliding scale applied. In addition, there is a one-euro fee for every payout as well as penalties for inactive accounts, cancellation of already-completed payments and deletion of player accounts.

StarGames promotes responsible gaming by giving the player the option to set account limits and suspensions. For example, the player can set a monthly deposit limit, meaning that once they have put that amount into their casino account, they will no longer be able to put money into it. There are also casino limits that allow them to set a maximum stake or loss amount for a certain period, i.e. a day or a month, after which they will no longer be allowed to play, or play only for a particular amount of time. The player can also opt to suspend their accounts for a certain period or indefinitely.

Types of Games

stargamesThere are three categories of games available on the site: online slot games, video poker and popular traditional table games such as blackjack, baccarat, farkle (read farkle rules) and American and European roulette. You don’t need to download any software and you can start playing all the games online at once. There are also live-dealer games that you can participate in with an actual dealer on site, with communications conducted through live-chat.

If you would like to try out the games first without risking real money, there is a free play feature that lets you do so once you register for an account. You play using the site’s virtual currency, Stars, which are only usable as stakes on the site and are not convertible to cash. When you register on the site you are automatically awarded 500 Stars as well as being given Bronze status. You will continue to be awarded Stars if you log-in daily. Stars can also be bought using real money in the StarGames shop.

Some of the popular video poker games on the site include Deuces Wild, Joker’s Wild, Jacks or Better and Marilyn’s Poker II. There is an even bigger variety of online slot games, including the very popular Ramses II, which is a five-reel, ten-payline game with a great bonus feature that is triggered when three or more Book of Ra symbols appear and which gives not only ten bonus spins but a 2x multiplier that doubles all winnings. Progressive jackpot games are also available which give huge payouts since the size of the jackpot is accumulated from all of the virtual slots in a network, and continues growing as long as it is not hit.

Customer Support

The Star Games Casino has one of the better customer support systems in the online gaming industry and is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week through email. Phone support is available but is charged a certain amount per minute, and is available seven days a week from eight am to ten pm Central European Time but you are assured of talking to a knowledgeable and friendly customer service representative who is sure to address all your needs in a timely and courteous fashion.

Play Open Face Chinese Poker Online at TonyBet Poker

open face chineseThe latest poker hit, Open Face Chinese Poker has finally made itself through to the online poker community as Tonybet Poker launched the first global OFCP app last December. In just two months the game became a huge success. The site reports thousand of new player signups with hundreds lining up at the online tables during peak hours.

But before heading straight to the game, let’s just go trough some of the key points on what you need to know about Open Face Chinese Poker. If you’re not familiar with the game, learning is pretty easy, however, as is the case with all of the poker variations, mastering the game is a whole other story.

As OFC poker is a rather new phenomenon nobody has yet come up with the best strategy for the game with even the best players in the field claiming that’s not likely to happen in the near future. However, the one thing most players agree on is that Open Face Chinese is probably the most fun poker game they’ve come across.

In fact OFC is very similar to the regular Chinese poker with one, but very important distinction – it’s played with all players setting their hands face-up. There are three most common Open Face Chinese variations – OFC Pineapple, OFC Turbo and OFC Classic. There is also the OFC Regular variant with each player receiving all of their 13 cards at once, but it’s the least popular of the four.

The one variation enjoyed by most players is Open Face Chinese Pineapple – the game is played with the regular 52 card deck featuring two or three players. Each player receives five face-down cards to set up their starting hand. Once the five initial cards have been set, the opponents are shown the player’s hand.

Then every player is dealt three more cards in every subsequent dealing round. However, they can only use two for their Open Face Chinese Poker hand and burn one. The round ends when all players have set their hands and the points for each hand are distributed.

Every Open Face Chinese Poker hand consists of thirteen cards which need to be set in the following order: the strongest five-card hand at the bottom, the weaker five-card hand in the middle and the weakest three-card hand at the top. So actually every OFCP hand consists of three different poker hands. Should the player fail to follow the hand strength order, they foul and receive no points for their hand.

Sounds a bit complicated? Once you dig into it, it’s actually very easy and fun to play. Check out this short Open Face Chinese video lesson to get the grip.

Would like to give OFC a try? Go to Tonybet Poker and download the Open Face Chinese Poker

My experience playing online poker

Playing pokerI have been playing poker for a year, maybe a bit longer. I started at Party Poker while they were still giving away free $50 to start. However, my friend has been playing on 888 Poker and has told me they have improved a lot in the recent year. So, I decided to try it out myself.

I’m not too crazy about the software. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I don’t like it. It tilts me. Maybe it’s the sounds? But I have to admit, the ability to throw a tomato or a snowball at your opponent, or award him for a well-played hand is pretty hilarious. Moreover, they are brilliant in terms of tournaments and cash games as well as the amount of loose players at the tables. Also, being relatively new to poker I often log-in to frequent 888Poker freerolls. It’s often a great bankroll booster because of prizepools often reaching $10,000 and even $30,000.

My start at 888Poker

So, I started at 888Poker by depositing $200 to play NL10. This also will make me $200 via a bonus in addition to everything I gain though 888Poker rewards. At the start, I did lose a few buy-ins but I did expect that because I don’t know who my opponents are, I don’t have  anhy notes on them. However, in a little over than a month at 888Poker I have played around 30,000 hands and I’m up $130. Currently, I’m happy with my winrate but I also got around $30 in bonus.

About the freerolls. 888Poker is one of the most popular online poker sites with tons of players that are new to poker or players that simply don’t care enough to spend time learning how to play poker properly. Therefore, their frequent $10,000 and $20,000 freerolls always reach the cap of 8000 or 8500 players. Due to the size of the player pool alone 888Poker has to make sure that the game doesn’t run too long. Therefore, these freerolls are always turbo and you often get as little as 1,000 or 1,500 chips to start. Even with that said, I love 888Poker’s free tournaments. People are doing crazy things even in later stages so if you are lucky enough to double up at the beginning, you should be fine playing simple ABC strategy, steal the blinds. Keep an eye on the blinds, though. They go up pretty fast.

888poker888Poker WSOP satellites

888Poker is also famous for their WSOP, WSOP Europe and WSOP Asia-Pacific qualifiers every year. However, if you haven’t heard yet, WSOP has altered their schedule. WSOP in Las Vegas will run annually like it used to, while international annual WSOPE and WSOP Asia-Pacific will take turns to be held each year.

Honestly, I don’t know why they needed such change. Yes, poker players get plenty of tournament to travel around the world but they are not forced to. Whoever feels that they want to travel and play, they can. Whoever doesn’t, they do not need to. And for what it’s worth, the world needs more top-quality poker events, not less.

Why am I talking about that? Let’s just say that recently I started experimenting with different satellite structures. What 888Poker has are luxury packages to Morocco, their own brick and mortar series in several countries as well as satellites to world-class events like WSOP that I already mentioned. I’m not saying this is my major goal but I think it would be pretty sick to win an all-inclusive package to a real money live event. Currently, I am looking into the satellites to their own Super Stack events throughout Canada, Australia, Estonia, Ireland, England, Spain and Malta. Once 888Poker releases their schedule of WSOP qualifiers, I will try them out, too and let you guys know about the results.

That’s that, guys. I still have 1,000 hands to play today so I must return to my grinding. I’ll soon update my bankroll progress, maybe include some graphs, hands and statistics. Good luck at the tables!

The State of Online Poker in the United States of America and Around the World

poker worldIn the United States of America, the 1961 Federal Law had been revised to make the famous online poker game a legal one. Today, it is now the turn of the different states to decide whether they would allow it or not. While most states are amenable to allowing online poker because of the taxes it can generate, these states, however, must protect its citizenry against protectionists and pure greed.

How Poker Works Around the World

Different countries have their own laws about gaming so it is difficult to keep track. In the United States of America, there are 2 types of online poker sites: the state run and the non-state run. State run poker sites have only began this 2013. A state-run poker site means that it has a state license to operate within the said state. Nevada is considered the licensing epicenter for intrastate sites. However, these sites can only allow a player to play against somebody within his state. Because of this, some players find it unchallenging because they only play with a limited number of players and within the vicinity.

On the other hand, non-state run poker sites can allow a player to play against anybody from anywhere around the world. Currently, only a Panama-based poker site accepts US players from the 50 states. Different global poker sites are having difficulty accepting US players because the USA has strict regulations on online gambling deposits. The country’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has a lot of restrictions on banking. It doesn’t restrict US citizens from playing online poker. It just made it difficult for these Americans to deposit money to global poker sites. Currently, global poker sites can only signup 15% of Americans due to banking and credit card problems.

The Problems of Online Poker

According to poker articles, Betonline.ag accepts US players from the 50 states. It is safe and easy to transact with LockPoker.eu, on the other hand, it has the best safety measures and progressive software. However, it does not accept players from states of Utah and Kentucky. Lastly, bovada.lv is a global poker site strictly for Americans. However, it does not accept players from Maryland, Washington, New York, and Utah. State-run poker sites have commenced operations only this year. It is unlikely that Missouri, Louisiana, Utah, New York, Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington will adopt state-run poker sites because these states are very much against online gambling. US citizens who live in populous states can try state-run poker sites because it is their only choice.

Expectations on Online Poker Sites

If state-run poker sites are unsuccessful, the Federal government can create interstate poker sites. However, this may not happen in the next 10 years because the Federal government had already given the various states authority to decide the fate of online poker gaming. It isn’t surprising, though, to have a poker site run by the Federal government with its own poker software. Presently, state-run poker sites tie up with various poker sites in the United Kingdom.

What the Survey Says

According to Wall Street Journal, the full legalization of online gambling by 2020 will result to revenues amounting to $9.3 billion, an amount which is the combined revenue from Atlantic City and Las Vegas. At the state level, online gambling is currently being made legal. However, the United States Congress has a lot of pending bills regarding nationwide legalization of online gambling. In a survey made by Reason-Rupe, 65% of US residents want online gambling legalized. On the other hand, 37% of the respondents believe that the government should not allow online poker games.

In that same survey, the majority wants to allow Americans access to different online poker sites. About 75% of the Republican-leaning independents favor online gaming while 58% of Democrats were found not in favor of online poker sites. 66% of regular Republicans, 65% of independent-leaning Democrats, and 68% independents want online poker to be legalized. 41% of Americans who belong to the lower-income group, along with those people who have a high school diploma or less, want to ban online gambling while 56% are in favor of legalizing online gambling. 21% of Americans who had post-graduate diplomas, together with 31% of US residents with high income, prefer to ban online gambling. On the other hand, about73% of Americans with post-graduate degrees and 66% of Americans who belong to the high-income group prefer to legalize the online gambling.

70% of Americans below 55 years of age and 56% of Americans above 55 years of age want online gambling legalized. In this nationwide survey through telephone, a total of 1,011 respondents were interviewed between December 4 and 8, 2013. The survey used both landline and mobile phones with a margin of error of “plus or minus” 3.7%. The nationwide survey was done by Princeton Survey Research Associates international for Reason-Rupe.

online pokerWhat Is Online Poker?

Online poker requires internet connection to play the game of poker. It has been credited to the surge of poker players on a global scale. According to poker articles of Christiansen Capital Advisors, the revenues from online poker have resulted between $82.7 million and $2.4 billion, from 2001 to 2005. Global Betting and Gaming Consultants, together with DrKW, conducted a survey in 2004 and found out that online poker revenues amounted to $1.4 billion in 2004. Grant Eve, testified in a US Senate hearing on Internet Gaming. He said that about 25% of all US dollars spent on gambling came from online gambling.

Unlike the traditional poker game, online poker can be intimidating to the beginner and is found on disparate locations. Traditional casinos do not encourage online poker because they find it difficult to earn from this kind of game. The opportunity costs of establishing an online poker room is higher than the traditional poker room. Slot machines are now preferred by traditional casinos because they make more money from them. According to estimates, poker revenues only account for 1% of the total revenues of a traditional casino.

Cheating in Poker

Poker-Cheats Poker is a gambling game above anything else. You can expect people to attempt cheating since it involves money. Back in the day when it started in Mississippi riverboats, the game was actually called “the cheating game.” Throughout history, while other players try to be more skilled, cheaters have developed their methods in order to win.

Many methods for cheating need a confederate, an accomplice that aids the cheating plan. Mostly, the dealer is aboard. Given the surveillance installed in modern casinos, crooked dealers are quite rare in such places. On the other hand, they are more common in less formal games. In cases of dealer rotation setups, the cheaters only have to wait for one of them to become the dealer.

Here are some cheating methods that are used in poker. Most of them can also be used in most card games.

Second Dealing/Bottom Dealing

To effectively pull these methods off, a lot of practice is needed. Between the two, second dealing is far more common perhaps because it is more useful, but bottom dealing is more known. Both methods involve dealing another card instead of normally handing out the top card.

Second dealing is done by the dealer pretending to deal cards normally. However, what is actually happening is the dealer holds on to the top card while he or she slides another card beneath it. He or she would only deal the top card to his or her partner, who will use it to win the round. Bottom dealing is done by dealing the bottom card instead of the top. The objective is the same. The top card can be marked or slipped on top by the dealer using a variety of methods, like false shuffle.

Marking Cards

There are different ways of marking a card, but the practice has only one objective. That is for the cheaters to know what the card is even without seeing the face. One common marking method is making an indentation on the corner of a card, may be via a fingernail or a small piece of metal. Another method is making a smudge at the back of the card, usually with a pencil lead or a piece of charcoal. Others are more complex, like subtle modifications on the pattern at the back of a card or tiny trims along the side. The dealer only needs to feel the card to find the cards they need.

Shiners

Shiner is a term used to refer to anything reflective which a player utilizes to see the face of a card, usually during a deal. Some shiners might be in jewelry, fingernails, cigarettes, or on an object situated on the table.

poker player cheatHoldouts

A holdout is any tool used by a cheater to bring in a card to his or her hand from outside the game. To ensure the card matches the deck used for the game, the cheater would take it out from the actual deck before the game starts. The cheater would hide this card where it won’t be easily seen but easy to bring out when needed. The most common is the sleeve, thus the expressions “you got something up your sleeve.” Other places are under the table, the player’s chair, or other parts of the player’s clothing. Some cheaters go to lengths as to use a complex mechanical device that is utilized with sleight of hand.

False Shuffle/Cuts

These methods make the dealer appear to be randomizing the deck, but he or she is actually arranging the deck to fit his or her needs. Sometimes

Cold Deck

The method of cold decking is done by replacing the real deck secretly with a pre-arranged deck. The objective is the same as in false cuts and shuffles.

Collusion

This cheating method would require at least two partners who have their own set of signals. These signals are exchanged between the partners to let each other know their hole cards. They then use this information to attempt to manipulate the other player’s bets.

Taking the Cheats Off Their Game

Now that you know the cheating methods in poker, it is good to know how to prevent the cheaters from succeeding with them.

Cut it

Cutting is probably the simplest but surest way to combat cheating. Do not even join a game that doesn’t allow cutting. Even if you don’t suspect cheating, make it a habit to cut the deck before every round. The recommended deck cutting is to separate the deck into three piles, take the cards previously at the bottom and stack them on top. Then, make another cut.

deckFresh Deck

In casinos, they mostly have a policy that a new pack of cards would be used for every new poker game. The dealer opens the pack straight from the plastic wrapper in front of all players. If this is not the case, you can also ask for a new deck. Remember though, that many manipulated or marked decks are manufactured at gambling supply houses and resealed in the plastic wrappers. Thus, there is no guarantee that it would help.

Leave the Table

If you feel the cheating is just too unrestrained, it’s time to leave the game. If the place you play in earns from the games, mostly through a table fee or a percentage of the pot, tell the manager your reason for leaving. A house that tolerates cheating will lose customers, the source of their revenue. So, if they don’t want that to happen, they will snuff out cheating.

Speak to the Manager

In major casinos, cheating is a big deal. The chance of getting away after committing an act of cheating is close to zero. The punishment is equally serious – it can land you in jail for a long time. If you have a suspicion of cheating, speak to the proper authorities, most likely the floor manager. Surveillance tapes can be reviewed to confirm if cheating actually happened. The casinos have it in their best interests to ensure poker, along with other games, is clean. Speaking to the manager is your best choice in the matter, unless the whole staff is involved in the cheating. That is an unlikely scenario if you’re playing in a reputable casino.