Poker is a competitive game and it should have a certain amount of integrity and openness without having players resorting to cheating. However, this is exactly what is happening online as players are using advanced software such as HUDs, poker tracking and table rating software to know HOW you have played and what your style is. In addition to using those types of software, online players are also resorting to colluding with their friends, sharing hand histories, and poker hands through instant messenger and other mediums.
So what are the poker sites like Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Party Poker (among others) doing to stop this subversive behavior by unscrupulous players?
1. All major poker sites have banned the use of certain poker tracking software idn poker
They accomplish this simply by using special code to DETECT what apps you are running while you play on their site. Using permissions in your computer’s registry, if they detect that you are using a banned software program, they will notify you by email, warn you and if you continue they will close your account.
However, is that enough? What about the software they can not detect or are not aware of yet? Furthermore, what about cheaters who collude and use IM to communicate their hands while sitting at the same table? How do they further prevent this?
That brings us to number 2 of how the poker sites are stopping this illegal behavior.
2. The poker sites use special algorithms that will circumvent player cheating and colluding. These poker algorithms are used in conjunction with the RNG to make deterministic decisions on poker hands as you play. In some cases, they are the direct result of bad beats! How is that possible? Simple, the same poker algorithms that are designed to prevent collusion, detect possible cheating and subvert illegal playing are the very same algorithms that inadvertently cause bad beats. Some may recognize these poker algorithms and be able to take advantage of them to win more often.
Obviously, a poker site is not able to personally monitor every single player, table or hand, and therefore they have designed and implemented short algorithms to detect what they believe is behavior of a cheater. Those algorithms, if they were to detect you as a cheater, would then activate and cause you to lose.