How can you be sure when playing online that some other player is not a site employee that can see the cards of every player?

  • 1
    You can't. Just for the record, poker sites, especially the bigger ones (stars) are winning boatloads of money from rake. They want you in the game, not drive you out by illegal means.
    – user1165
    Aug 27, 2015 at 12:12
  • I second the comment. There are no trustworthy online sites. Though some do work harder than others to prevent cheating--Stars, for example, recently sent refunds to many tournament players after they discovered cheating. May 23, 2016 at 20:04
  • User1165 is right. Why risk their whole (huge & steady) income from rake, just to win a couple of buyins? Plus nowadays, with all these management and tracking software the players are using, it is very risky for the company to cheat. Of course, you can never be 100% sure, but it is up to you to get into all these conspiracy theories or not. May 24, 2016 at 11:30

8 Answers 8


It makes no sense for a profitable poker site to cheat because this industry is black and white. If they will be caught cheating, all players will leave the site and they will be closed.

think of it - lets assume the site wants to cheat by building bots or by "handle" the cards. To do so, someone should develop/design dedicated code, test and support it. its too risky, because "this someone" might get mad on the company (didn't get the raise he wanted, bad relationships with his/her manager, etc.) and start talking about his/her deeds in the company...

the site will be shut down in a minute...

although its possible, it's hard to believe they will cheat.


I tend to believe that most (I use that word loosely btw) Poker Sites that have some years behind them, clearly make plenty of money between rake and the luring casinos and BJ tables that are attached to EVERY one of them, to make cheating an unnecessary risk. That being said, I do believe that the cheaters among us are the real risks you will encounter in any live play session, they may take on a variety of methods but, I call it a real threat ONLY BECAUSE I HAVE DONE THE FOLLOWING MYSELF WITHOUT ANY RECOURSE & IN FACT EVEN MADE A FEW MORE BUX THAN I WAS ENTITLED TO IF PLAYING BY THE RULES... Back when VPN's were only used by the NSA FBI KGB & HACKERS I spent a lot of time trying to understand their capabilities used in conjunction with my favorite poker game, NL & PL Omaha Hi/Lo Split, Once I felt "anonymous" in my activities online I enthusiastically spent a lot of time and money setting up numerous work stations monitors etc. in order to, unbeknownst to Poker Room Pokerstars or Betonline It was me and ME ALONE SITTING IN WAIT SIMULTANEOUSLY at about 8-9 seats between 2 Omaha (sometimes Hold-em) tables. Sure to anybody just sitting at one of my little grossly tipped Odds Pitfalls I used to call them. It seemed that you were playing against 4 different people with 4 different names from wherever in the world I felt like signing up from that day, but you would have been, and sometimes blatantly abused by bet - raise - pause - reraise -hopelessly in the middle of an unwinnable situation where not only did my odds increase by literally 20-50% over a player that sees only one hand vs my 4 hands. If you can call yourself a winning player at this game over the course of say 1 year (You wouldn't be playing online) but imagine what kind of money could be made under that one simple scheme at the cost of online poker pl..uh Gamblers I will call them since they are the ones that even in doubt about the fairness would be so tilted after a few of these betting barrages would continue to unload their entire bankrolls to simply win at one of my tables. My long winded point is that never not even one time did I ever have an account closed warned or even monitored that I opened up under fictitious (to an extent)info CC had to be real and it took a handy little prepaid that would gladly issue you up to 10 virtual CC#'s from one CC account in which to fool the sites simple verification processes, and deposit to different accts as one person. Again though to date I still currently can log into and play as anyone of the over 40 Screen-names I created years ago, meaning as long as that Rake is juicy the sites don't care what kind of games are being played at any given moment, until you affect their bottom line profits directly in a negative way you as a "cheater" are an ASSET that no-one needs to know about! Sorry for such long answer I just hope you will realize it's not just the sites that you can't trust, and the sites don't employ special security to weed out the cheaters unless they are cheating the house. Just some food for thought the next time you sit down to log onto your favorite online poker room.

Sincerely, StackTaxer

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    I found StackTaxer's answer a bit disturbing. Although it doesn't actually address the exact question asked, it is very relevant to the issue of whether or not you can trust online poker and I'm surprised that no one has reacted to it. Maybe there is another discussion somewhere of this particular issue but I haven't been able to locate it. May 31, 2016 at 19:45

Because it doesn't make economical sense for a company to rob their customers and make not become repeat customers. If you feel cheated you won't return. They want you to return. Poker sites charge a rake and make a huge amount of money from that.

Why would they risk it by cheating, or rigging it and face future court cases, brand tarnishing, etc, etc.

Although you can't really know for certain. There has been cases in the past ,I believe it was Ultimate Poker, but I don't think it worked out too well for them.

  • It does, however, make sense for the company to give to the beginner player better hands than to somebody who has been around for a while (since it is much less probable that this would drive him away).
    – user3612
    Sep 1, 2015 at 17:31
  • I can see your point for sure Hindsight, but I disagree. Of course poker sites, like any business want to attract new customers, but they also want to keep a high retention of players they know for sure are repeat customers day in day out. They already give new players very good and appealing new player/first deposit bonuses, I don't see why they'd want to piss off their regular, loyal customers. I do see your point, but I think they do use other ways already to entice new players.
    – Grinch91
    Sep 1, 2015 at 18:07

Short answer to this question is you do not trust an online poker site. There are many reasons not to.

  1. It is a business whose interest is to make money. They are there to make money from you. They are not there to give you a fair shake, they are not there to see that you make money. They are part of the morally defunct corporate culture that has become prominent in todays business climate. Companies lie and cheat, buyer beware.

  2. Every one of their customers is out to get your money. You may read the rhetoric about how they protect their games from collusion, from cheats, fair deals etc. But the bottom line is cheaters are some of the best customers they have. They really do not want to catch to many of them.

  3. Rarely do you have recourse if something goes wrong. They are a business on foreign soil. Your pretty much screwed when they decide to screw you.

  4. A couple of the previous answers used this logic: "Because it doesn't make economical sense for a company to rob their customers". It does make economical sense and companies do it all the time. Casino companies from my casual observation do it more then most. The majority of casino customers, are degenerate gamblers on many levels. If there is only one game in town at a clothing optional retirement home, that has a 20% rake with no cap, most of you will be playing there. Card rooms know that gamblers are going to play no matter what. They will use whatever method they can use to remove the money from your pocket. They have done it repeatedly in the past in all venues of gaming and they will continue to do it into the future.

The only thing you can trust about any poker game, land based, or online is that sooner or later your going to be burned. The more your exposure to gambling the more your exposure to being ripped off. There is no reason to trust any poker site, it is a risk.

  • I think it's worth noting that the majority of the time, the house is going to make money whether you win or lose (antes, taking a percentage of the pot). They have nothing to gain by cheating you. Unless they were to pull an exit scam and just take everyone's money and leave.
    – Skyl3r
    Jun 1, 2016 at 14:35

Th easiest way to answer this question is to ask yourself why a bunch of companies who are making hundreds of millions or even billions in some cases would ever risk this by doing something nefarious. They are making so much money it makes absolutely zero sense for them to risk that.

But if you want to know yourself you can also just play a lot of poker like me and use a tracking program like Pokertracker or Hold'em Manager. You can run equity analysis on pretty much any situation possible.

I have played over 8 million hands of online poker so I have a sample size that is perhaps in the top 100 ever played. There is nothing amiss to me. Most of the people who complain about online poker being rigged have not played anywhere close to a statistically significant sample. Millions of hands is what you need, this takes years.

Most of the people who complain about online poker being rigged are also terrible at poker and that is the real reason why they do not win. Blaming somebody or something else protects their ego and prevents them from addressing the real root cause.

  • Nefarious is not the whole answer in my opinion. How aggressively are they fighting collusion among players or bots? Employee monitoring? Random hands is clearly required but there is more than that to keep the playing fields level.
    – paparazzo
    May 30, 2016 at 20:29

It shouldn't be hard to trust the site. Their ultimate goal is to make money and driving customers away is not going to make them money. Not to mention with clients being able to be reverse engineered it's highly unlikely the company would put itself on the line.

The thing that makes online sites fishy is the ability for people to inject code into the clients to create their own huds, databases and having access to hand knowledge of players not capable by any normal human being.

On top of that with the ability for players to even cheat, this is why online poker should be a risk for anyone. If a poker site is not careful, and even sometimes if they are it is possible for a player to being able to predict the entire order of the deck, player cards, the flop, turn and river cards all before they are dealt. Now most poker sites have measures to make this as hard as possible, but they can't make it impossible when a computer is in control.


So , 1.totaly online poker is not random , as the RNG is programmed by human. 2.Wehn we toling about scam and rigged site thats not mean they rig the games openly , let think about poker the natur of poker game is like rigged , we have see a lot of hand set over set , 4a kind over full at live table , the online poker use some of those statistical and they rig your game on facts , 3. online poker AA or KK or AK have the same and right precentage to win and lose BUT , your acecs won 80% at erarly position at mid or low stack , at big pot or at the late tournamnet your acecs often beated from strange hands, 4.the people say you play to much and fast more hand at online poker more hands= more bad beats? lol thats is not true . im player on live table and online more than 10 years . 5. the people say online poker have many fish and donks players thats its not true , online poker as and live poker have always 5% fishes 5% donkeys 50% regularts and max 10% good players other % they fun or try them luck . those player playing with emotional someone bielive thats his have cracked the algorithm and theys know how it work ,and bla bla bla . but in fact . all online poker have they own players pokerstars use more than 50% theys own players not bot but real players , theys players use diferent IP and diferent country . pokerstars is work with RAKE its like slots maschnine exmaple , if pokertars is programmed brings equally 100K in 24 hours , and theys brings 120K then 20k start sharing randomly at players , and thats keep the online poker have winner and losser , 6. and the final , at online poker thera are not skrills or time to wati for good hand , its action poker and must got luck to win but not skills . sr for my english i hope you undersntat what i mean and what im toling about

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    This is currently very poorly formatted answer, with many major gramatical errors. @miragess can you edit it and improve it? Feb 28, 2017 at 16:40

Poker sites do not give advantage to any players at the beginning. But, in a bubble stage as from economical point of view they want tournaments quickly finish they give big pair to a big stack and some low pairs to short stacks. You will often encounter these situations in an online poker. KTs of a big stack will definitely hit his flash or straight. It sounds biased but at least that is what I have noticed. That is why try get stacked from the start then you will be a favourite in bubbles.

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    It's what you have noticed, eh? Sep 3, 2015 at 16:56
  • @ChrisFarmer yes that is what I have noticed. I don't believe when I flop A high flush and the opponent flops straight flush. I mean, come on. Sep 4, 2015 at 11:46
  • Yeah, those things never happen in live card rooms. TPTK always holds up. My flushes are safe because boards never pair on the river. And opponents always pay off big with second best hands. It's like heaven. I don't see why anyone plays that corrupt online stuff. Sep 4, 2015 at 13:08
  • To go further on @Chris, we tend to remember our bad beats but not our bad wins. We tend to forgot bad wins with a miracle rivered 2-pair with A6o against an AKo because we feel we're the best players, but we remember our bad beat for days because we feel we're the unluckiest player on Earth. Solid players know all of this sums up after thousands of hands or some hundreds of tourneys and just move on. You're just looking in a drop of an ocean of hands.
    – user1165
    Sep 4, 2015 at 14:49
  • ok i got your point @vlzvl - reasonable. Sep 4, 2015 at 16:19

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