Three Ways Gamers Cheat in Online Poker
By Sift /
8 Jul 2014
As we mentioned before, there are many signals linked to fraud in the digital world. At Sift Science, we use advanced fraud detection technology to help customers identify bad behavior and adapt to tactics in real time. In the online gambling sphere, where regulations and oversight are unclear, gaining player trust by providing a safe and fair environment is paramount. One way to improve game experience is to prevent fraudulent behavior. Here are three common ways gamers commit fraud in online poker.
1. Bonus Abuse Through Multiple Accounts
Poker sites often give away play money using bonus codes to attract new players. Fraudsters try to take advantage of this and sign up using multiple accounts at the same game table or tournament, causing the poker site to lose money while also providing a bad experience for other players. Usually it’s enough to track account registration by IP address, but for advanced cases, more sophisticated tools are required. The best fraud detection tools use device fingerprinting to find multiple accounts created by a single laptop or computer.
2. Computer Bots in Poker Rooms
Hackers have created computer programs (“bots”) that automate online poker play. Bots are banned from poker sites because they create an unfair advantage–computers have no emotion, so they are not subject to “tilt” (the poker term for player aggression when they play a poor strategy). Fraud rings have been caught colluding and cheating players out of hundreds of thousands of dollars using bots.
So how do poker sites detect bots? While most detection techniques are proprietary and unknown to the general public, some measures include monitoring player reaction time, suspicious mouse movements, and randomized pop-up windows with challenge questions.
3. Chip Dumping in Tournaments or Ring Games
Chip dumping happens when a player intentionally loses chips to another player at the table to give them a better chance to win. It has become a way for players to launder money. Fraudsters use stolen credit cards to deposit funds and then dump chips at a cash table to another account he or she created. In other cases, the fraudster will hijack an innocent player’s account (“account takeover”). Online poker rooms typically check for players making curiously large bets with a terrible hand or folding on a relatively safe bet.
Interestingly, most fraud is caught by vigilant human players who report fraudulent behavior. However, cyber criminals can still take advantage of even the most experienced (and most valued) players. One reason is that online poker is still mostly illegal in the US and most sites are physically located offshore. It can be difficult to determine whether sites are legitimate and whether it’s safe to hand over your credit card number. The good news is that there are simple steps players can take to protect themselves from fraud.
To learn more about common methods online poker rooms use to combat fraud, check out Cheating & Collusion at Online Poker Rooms. If you’ve been a victim of online fraud or would like to learn more about us, let’s talk.