How To Avoid Common Live Poker Cheats?

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There are players who deploy cheating methods to increase their winning chances. Amateur players and sometimes, even good players might be able to spot poker cheats.

If you find your opponent easily preempting your move and constantly getting the better of you, it might be that they are cheating. This article contains the different poker cheats and ways to avoid them. 

Poker Cheats In Live Games

Some of the ways poker players cheat on live games include the following:

Chip Dumping in Tournaments

Chip dumping is a process by which one or more players on the same table deliberately lose their chips to a particular opponent.

The plan is for one or more players to work as a team and give one player an advantage over others. It’s one of the most popular cheating techniques and it can be sometimes difficult to spot.


This is a situation where two or more players agree to form a secret partnership at the expense of other players. Poker is supposed to be an individual game and collusion is against the game.

Collusion covers several forms of secret partnership such as chip dumping, card sharing, soft playing, and hand signaling.

Card Marking

Card marking involves putting a particular mark on a card for the purpose of identifying the card when it’s in the hands of opponents.

This is a cheating technique you might have seen in some movies and it used to be quite common. Playing against a player who marks cards can be very frustrating because you will keep losing without knowing why.

Experienced players use invisible ink paired with special glasses or contacts. Casinos have gotten around the trick and they now have equipment for spotting invisible ink.

Hand Signaling

This involves secret hand gestures between two or more players to let each other know the strength of their hands and the cards off the deck.

This is amongst some of the most common techniques and it can be hard to spot especially when the players are good at masking the signal.


Spooking is where a player positions a player to stand behind the dealer to spot their face-down-card value, then signaling this info to the player at the table.

This is a bold cheating technique that’s not very common hence you might not be in danger of spooking.

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Stacking The Deck

Stacking the deck is a situation where a player who deals gives the best card to themselves and their partners. The easy way to stack the deck is strategically putting the best cards at the bottom when shuffling.

Stacking can only be executed when one of the players is doubling as the dealer. Normally, players don’t act as dealers in professional games so stacking of deck isn’t one of the most common cheating technique.

Card Trading

This is a cheating technique where two players sit next to each other and exchange cards in order to gain an unfair advantage.

Card training requires sleight of hand to execute and it’s difficult to pull off when playing vigilant opponents.

How To Prevent Cheating In Live Games

These are some of the techniques to spot and prevent cheating in Poker.

Learn How Players Cheat

The most important step is to learn the different ways players cheat. This way you will be able to spot when a player is cheating.

Knowing the various cheating techniques will help you identify the indicators to look out for when playing.

Monitor Players Seated Next To Each Other

A good way to spot players in collusion is to monitor players seated next to each other. If two players appear to be strategically positioned next to each other, it might mean that they are trading or showing cards.

Listen For Complaints From Others

Some players have drawn suspicion of cheating from other players. You should listen to the complaints of other players regarding a player to gather more information on whether they might be cheating.

Look For Suspicious Play

Cheating is not easy in live games and if you look closely enough you will find suspicious moves. So you should pay extra attention to an opponent when you suspect any shady dealings.

Set A Stop-loss Limit

There’s no point to keep playing when you have a strong suspicion that you’re being cheated. Instead of continuing playing, set a stop-loss limit and walk away.

You should set a bankroll limit and when you hit that limit you should have the discipline to leave the table.

Final Thoughts

Cheating in live poker can be done in a number of ways. You can only know that you’re being cheated if you know the different types of cheating techniques.

To detect and avoid cheating you should be vigilant and also be ready to walk away when you keep losing.


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