Like all online poker rooms, Full Tilt Poker has been at war with cheating since its launch in 2004. In any environment, there will always be people who try to get ahead by playing outside the rules, and the cut-throat nature of online gaming is certainly conducive to that attitude.
Fortunately, the site’s management maintains a dedicated security team focused on rooting out individuals and groups who are attempting to cheat the Full Tilt Poker system.
Algorithms and encryption technology have come a long way since the wild early days of online poker. It’s next to impossible for anyone to hack the software or Full Tilt Poker servers. And there are certainly no cheat codes, cheat programs, or cheat hacks. Any website that claims to have discovered any of these things is out to make a quick buck from the people gullible enough to believe it.
That said, the three kinds of cheating to watch out for online are:
Building a winning poker program is incredibly difficult. Since there’s no way to cheat the software, a winning bot needs to be legitimately better than most of its opponents. It requires enough close knowledge of poker strategy that anyone who could pull it off would make more money by grinding the tables themself. But the big odds against success have not stopped people from breaking the Full Tilt Poker terms and conditions by attempting to create a winning bot.
To combat the threat of bots, the Full Tilt Poker desktop application is able to detect other programs that are running on the same computer, and won’t allow the ones on its banned software list to be opened while the Full Tilt Poker client is running.
Also, Full Tilt Poker analysts keep track of patterns of play on the site. Any account playing inhumanly long sessions, keeping unnaturally precise playing times, or exhibiting other suspicious behavior will be investigated. The Full Tilt Poker player base can be a huge help in this regard, alerting the site security of accounts that seem unusual.
When a bot or ring of bots is discovered, Full Tilt Poker bans the accounts in question and redistributes the funds from those accounts to honest players who were affected by the bots. There have been a number of high-profile bot busts over the years, most recently in October 2010.
The security team also watches to make sure players are using only one account and one screenname, and that they are not working at one table as a team to gain an unfair edge over other players. Both of these methods of cheating are unlikely to make a winning player out of a losing one, but unfortunately, that hasn’t stopped people from implementing them.
However, the security team keeps a careful eye on these methods of Full Tilt Poker cheating, helped out by tips from players. As with the bots, there have been a few cases of multi-accounting and colluding over the years, but Full Tilt Poker has banned the villainous accounts and refunded money to players who were affected.
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