Friday, January 18, 2008

Cheating on Electronic Poker Tables? / GSN High Stakes Poker Article posted!

What do you think, is it harder or easier to cheat on electronic poker tables than conventional tables in brick and mortar cardrooms? Is it safer for you as an honest player at an electronic table than it is on a conventional one? And how does electronic poker cheating rate versus online poker cheating?

I bet most of you guessed the correct answers. Conventional table cheating wins hands down, mainly because of collusion; online cheating places second, mainly because of collusion and bots, and electronic table cheating gets "show" cheating money and is the safest poker game anywhere when it comes to avoiding being cheated, unless, of course, the electronics are rigged! But assuming they're not, does any cheating happen on these electronic games?

The answer is yes. The most common type of electronic cheating? Well, it's still collusion, but cheaters peeking at opponents' hole cards is not far behind. Collusion play is more difficult on electronic than conventional tables because cheaters do not have the use of actual cards and chips to do their signalling. They have to rely on their own person, meaning parts of their anatomy, whether it be their hands, head, face or any other body part that moves or gestures (not trying to be funny). And this is not limited to visual signals. Cheaters can use their voice, make throat noises, cough, sniff, but hopefully not fart! You wouldn't want to smella pair of aces! (yes, trying to be funny). The point is that just like on conventional poker tables, professional collusion teams employ undetectable methods for signalling their cards, even if they had to work a bit harder to develop them. So to protect yourselves against them, be on the same guard you would at conventional tables.

Peeking at other players' hole cards? Well, it's easy enough to protect them when cupping the hands on the screen to view them, but more players than you would think are lackadaisical about it, especially when drunk. And professional peeking teams employ "spotters" who position themselves behind a table as if they're just watching the "new and fascinating" game, and catch a peek at careless players' hole cards, which they signal to their cohorts somewhere at the table.

But still, your safest poker game in town is in the casino or cardroom that has these electronic tables. Another advantage you have as an honest player playing electronically is that if you naturally give away tells at the conventional table,
these electronic tables will remove many of them because those that are picked up on when you handle chips and cards will be gone. However, Since you can still be seen by your opponent, you can still give off body language that can be evaluated as a tell, but many of your small mannerisms that are used to verify a physiological tell will be missing, even though you won't notice anything is gone.

MY FLUSH MAGAZINE article on the Game Show Network's High Stakes Poker TV show is now posted on the magazine page.