What Is Ghosting? Multi-Accounting? Collusion? Online Poker Cheating Explained

On the earth of online poker, there are lots of several types of poker dishonest. On-line poker rooms have invested fantastic quantities of cash to forestall poker avid gamers from dishonest, whether or not that is in money video games or on-line poker tournaments.

Dishonest will also be outlined as gaining an unfair merit on the desk, and there are quite a lot of ways in which a poker participant would possibly glance to cheat. Right here we have a look at techniques avid gamers may cheat on poker websites, and give an explanation for one of the commonplace poker phrases that can be used.


One form of dishonest this is distinctive to on-line is ghosting. No, this is not the place your Tinder date does not reply to you.

Ghosting refers to when every other poker participant takes over enjoying in a match, normally when the match is all the way down to a last desk, or in a satellite tv for pc drawing near the bubble.

This participant is normally one this is higher or extra professional on the recreation. This type of dishonest too can consult with having every other participant trainer you via positive spots. Different avid gamers on the desk won’t know that you’re the usage of every other poker participant to help you in positive spots whilst enjoying in the similar match as you.

This kind of dishonest could also be now not limited to tournaments or satellites. Prime-stakes money video games may additionally see avid gamers “ghost” on other accounts whilst on the poker desk, in order that avid gamers would possibly assume it’s one particular person when every other participant is the only if truth be told enjoying and making the choices for them.

Dan Cates

In 2020, Invoice Perkins shared information of a poker scandal that finally implicated Dan “Jungleman” Cates. Cates used to be accused of ghosting whilst enjoying high-stakes money video games, and in the end apologized. Then again, he did state that it used to be his figuring out that the sport used to be “rampant” with execs who have been ghosting.

He went on: “I assumed since many at the web site have been the usage of execs to play for them […] on the time it felt appropriate for me to be enjoying.”

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Maximum on-line poker websites have it of their regulations and rules that avid gamers at the web site can most effective have one account. It will be unfair to different avid gamers, and a type of dishonest, for avid gamers to have a couple of accounts with the intention to input poker tournaments greater than they’re allowed to.

A number of poker avid gamers had been embroiled in multi-accounting scandals over the direction in their profession, with some even banned from websites altogether.

Justin Bonomo, who won $25 million in 2018 alone, has prior to now admitted multi-accounting in again in 2006. Former Large One for One Drop champion Dan Colman admitted in 2014 to multi-accounting whilst he used to be 17 or 18.

French participant Ivan Deyra used to be banned after using his father’s account to play online, whilst Brian Hastings referred to his earlier multi-accounting dishonest scandal as a “regretful lapse in judgment” when speaking to PokerNews in 2015.

Brian Hastings

Long ago in 2011, it used to be reported that José “Girah” Macedo gained $30,000 off of his personal buddies after assuring his buddies {that a} 3rd participant used to be “a fish”. The dishonest used to be most effective found out when his buddies realized that the respective Skypes of Macedo and the “fish” would incessantly log off and on on the identical time. Macedo ultimately confessed to the cheating, shedding a sponsorship deal within the procedure.

Top Stories of 2020, #4: High Profile Cheating Scandals


The commonest type of dishonest, each are living and on-line, is collusion. Collusion is a type of dishonest that may be accomplished in many various manners. Whether or not in a money recreation or a match, are living poker or on-line, avid gamers can at all times cooperate to make certain of positive results that receive advantages some on the expense of others.

Listed here are some examples of collusion:

  • Participant A texts Participant B what playing cards they folded throughout the hand
  • Sharing hand histories in opposition to a definite participant that each Participant A and Participant B incessantly play in opposition to
  • Participant A alerts to Participant B that they have got a robust hand and now not to go into the hand

Collusion is incessantly extra prevalent in excessive stakes poker, the place even the smallest edge may result in a big monetary receive advantages. Different varieties of collusion come with soft-play and chip dumping which we can give an explanation for now.


Cushy-Play is a kind of dishonest the place a participant intentionally performs a weaker poker technique in opposition to every other participant. This can be as a result of they’re your buddy, and by means of enjoying “in most cases” – i.e. elevating and having a bet the place you could possibly in most cases – it’s essential value your buddy chips.


Cheaters would possibly deliberately “sell off” or lose poker chips to an opponent with the intention to spice up their opponent’s stack. Dishonest on this means will also be very evident now and then, however in positive poker video games it may be tricky to spot on the desk.

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Actual Time Help

PokerNews has prior to now written an in-depth information on Real Time Assistance (RTA), and the way dishonest this fashion is policed by means of on-line poker rooms comparable to GGPoker and PokerStars.

In on-line poker, particularly throughout high-stakes video games, enjoying optimally – referred to as Game Theory Optimal or GTO – is changing into more and more important with the intention to achieve an edge over different avid gamers in the similar recreation as you.

Some avid gamers are the usage of tool with the intention to play poker in as absolute best means as imaginable. This tool is referred to as Actual Time Help or RTA.

The rest that assists a web based poker participant of their choice making whilst on the desk is thought of as to be offering Actual-Time Help. Usually, there are two varieties of RTA:

  • Automatic: a program will scrape the playing cards, chip counts and wager sizings from the poker shopper and run the simulation robotically.
  • Handbook enter: avid gamers should enter the above data themselves into this system.

In October 2020, German poker professional Fedor Kruse used to be accused of cheating in high stakes games the usage of RTA.

Fedor Kruse
Fedor Kruse

Tremendous Person/God Mode

A ‘Tremendous Person’ is a poker time period used for a participant who has get entry to to hollow playing cards or different data now not to be had to others enjoying within the recreation. Sometimes called God Mode, probably the most memorable incident of this got here in the late 2000s, when contributors of Absolute Poker accused positive accounts of having the ability to see different avid gamers’ hollow playing cards.

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In overall, six participant accounts have been recognized as being concerned within the scheme, spearheaded by means of 1994 Global Sequence of Poker Major Tournament champ Russ Hamilton, the place the opening playing cards of different avid gamers on the tables have been transferred to the Tremendous Person accounts throughout are living play.

In the end, the Division of Justice approved payments totaling nearly $33.5 million to roughly 7,400 Absolute Poker avid gamers.

The usage of a VPN

Whilst now not as evident as different examples on this article, the usage of a VPN to get entry to poker websites is in opposition to the phrases of carrier of many on-line poker rooms, and subsequently will have to be thought to be a type of dishonest.

The usage of a VPN — a digital personal community — to wreck the principles and achieve get entry to to websites from the U.S. the place it is each unlawful and in opposition to the Phrases of Carrier (TOS) to take action, is obviously in opposition to the principles and the legislation.

An instance of that is former WSOP Major Tournament runner-up Gordon Vayo had SCOOP prize cash withheld by means of PokerStars after his win in 2017 when the web poker web site believed him to have performed illegally from america. Vayo mentioned that he used to be in Canada for all of the match and filed a lawsuit against PokerStars, which used to be in the end unsuccessful.

Daniel Negreanu himself has prior to now prior to now spoken out on the topic, pronouncing that the usage of a VPN should not be thought to be dishonest. Then again, on-line poker websites would possibly assume another way.

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu hasn’t ever shied clear of sharing his ideas on VPNs.

Hand Historical past Sharing

Some other instance of on-line poker dishonest that has had a high-profile previous is the sharing of hand histories, particularly in opposition to a unmarried participant. Through sharing this knowledge, avid gamers can achieve a greater figuring out of the way a definite particular person and, consequently, get a hold of techniques to fight their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Viktor “Isildur1” Blom used to be a mysterious presence when he burst onto the nosebleed on-line poker video games, together with his true id a intently guarded secret. According to reports, he as soon as misplaced $4.2 million in simply 5 hours to Brian Hastings.

Read more about Hastings and ‘Isildur1’ in this article from 2016!

“The closing consultation the place Hastings gained all of the cash, it simply felt like one thing used to be incorrect,” Blom told PokerNews in 2009. “The entirety that would cross incorrect for me did. Each and every time I attempted to tug off a bluff of a few type, it felt as though it used to be being picked off.”

It later transpired that Hastings had compiled a database of fifty,000 arms Blom performed with the assistance of buddies Brian Townsend and Cole South. Consequently, Townsend used to be suspended from Full Tilt for 30 days.

What Is Real-Time Assistance (RTA)? Is it Legal?

Name Surname
Will Shillibier

Government Editor E.U.

Will Shillibier is based totally in the UK. He graduated from the College of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German, after which studied for a NCTJ Degree in Sports activities Journalism at Sportsbeat in Manchester. He prior to now labored as a contract are living reporter, and video presenter for the Global Poker Excursion.

Author: Bradley Watson