10 Main Ways How People Are Cheating At Poker

10 Main Ways How People Are Cheating At Poker

10 Main Ways How People Are Cheating At Poker

Poker is a family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and other different skills. All poker variants involve betting as an intrinsic part of the play, and determine the winner of each hand according to the combinations of players’ cards – at least some of which remain hidden until the end of the hand.

Now when it comes to gambling, you can bet that there will definitely be cheaters out there looking for easy wins. We absolutely despise cheaters and have no respect for them for they ruin the fun of the game. We are here to provide tips that will help you catch these sly cheaters so you can have enjoyable games without having to worry about these people.


10 Main Ways How People Are Cheating At Poker
10 Main Ways How People Are Cheating At Poker

Hidden cards

This is the easiest and by far the oldest trick in the book. The cheaters typically take their whole hand under the table and leave the card they want to hide, hidden somewhere on them. They then bring their hand back up to the table and fold. The hidden card would then be used in the following rounds. The easiest place to hide the card is under the leg. Here are some other ways they could hide their cards: 

  • Drop the card out of their hand and onto their lap.
  • Pretend to drop something on the floor. Pick it up, but leave their card hidden somewhere.
  • Place it under the table 
  • Place it in their sleeve if they’re wearing long-sleeved shirts/coats/jackets

Remember: The best hiding places are ones that allow for easy and quick access. They move smoothly and quickly so be sure to be very alert and observant.


Working with their friends will give them an advantage. Their goal will be to share what cards they have with each other. They need at least one friend. Too many friends will increase the risk of getting caught. They will typically choose friends who they’ve known for a long time because they need to work with people who they can trust because selecting someone who isn’t in line with their cheating can get them caught. They then send signals to their friends. These signals can vary from :

  • Placement of chips
  • Coughing
  • Tapping the table
  • Blinking
  • Touching ears, eyes, nose, neck, or some other body part
  • Tapping shoes
  • Humming certain tunes

Remember: Each signal means something else. For example, a cough could mean ‘fold’ and an ear touch could mean ‘call’. So, whenever someone does any one of these actions, observe their body movements and see if you can catch their ‘signals’ if you’re suspicious of them cheating.  

Marking cards

When playing card games, try to play with fresh, newly bought decks of cards. Ever wondered, “I just bought these cards yesterday and the corner of this card is already dented?”. Why? That’s because you have yourself a cheater playing amongst you. Observe that dented card. What card is it? Is it a card that holds high value? If it is, the cheater is most likely using this method to cheat. Here are some suspicious markings you should keep an eye out for:

  • An indentation with a fingernail.
  • Slightly bent corner.
  • A small gouge on an edge.

They then watch for other players who might have the card in their hand and plan their plays according to who has the card and how they might use it. Keep in mind that they need to look for these markings. So, if you keep a close eye, you might be able to find your cheater scanning the cards in search of their marking.

Fake shuffle

This method is easier shown than described but the easiest false shuffle you can perform is a derivation of the stand riffle shuffle. You know, where split the deck in half and then riffle the cards together? In this version, however, they use only a quarter of the cards from the bottom. This way, when they riffle them together, they will ensure that they finish the short stack before interfering with the top stack. This way, they get dealt with cards that they want.

Chip stealing

Cheating while playing poker does not necessarily have to involve tricks or manipulation with cards because players will often take the chips straight from other players’ pots! Sleigh of hands techniques have been used for this method and in many cases, players do not even notice that their chips have been stolen from them until it is too late! Stealing of chips can happen on several occasions and it can involve dealers as well as other players. Whenever players are moving their chips in the pot, there is a possibility for their chips to be stolen. Because of that, every player needs to be aware of what other players are doing during the entire game. One of the ways in which players can make sure that their chips are not stolen is to splash the pot. Splashing the pot means that when a player is about to make a call, raise or a bet, is placing his or her chips directly into the pot instead of placing them in front of themselves. Stealing poker chips often appears in underground poker games because the security measures are not that strict in those games like they are when it comes to land-based casinos. So to avoid this, try to gamble in casinos that have better security.


Ghosting is a very hard cheating method to detect especially in online poker games. This cheating method operates on the principle of friends giving advice to players on what he/she should be doing with their hand. Often, players will have their friends sit next to them and they would often have a much better perspective on the game than the players and they would give advice to the players on how to play their hands. In land-based casinos, this cheating method cannot be applied because only players are allowed to sit at the poker table. However, when it comes to online poker games, players often use this method to gain an advantage. Whether players are communicating with their friends by using Skype or some other chat or by talking to them while their friends sit next to them, with this cheating method players might have a huge advantage in the poker game.

Betting tactics

There are many different tactics that can be used to create a deceitful edge. From string bets variations (designed to garner a read on an opposing player) to using approaches such as saying “I’m calling’:” in a way that sounds like “I’m all-in.” DONT be afraid to ask them to repeat themselves. Even if you have to ask them “I’m sorry, what was that?” every round, do it. Make sure their pronunciations are clear and correct.

Bottom dealing

Bottom dealing is the practice of dealing from the bottom of the deck. Usually, the cheater will have stacked the deck by putting good cards at the bottom during a shuffle. They will deal as normal, but when it comes to giving themselves cards will use sleight-of-hand to deal themselves a card from the bottom of the deck while looking as though they are dealing from the top. 


Not all cheaters need to have sleight-of-hand skills to cheat at the poker table. Sheer nerve alone can take a cheater quite far. For example:  At a self-dealt game, a player may call a bet and “accidentally” only throw six chips into the pot instead of seven. If caught, they can say it was a simple mistake; of course, it often is as most people do not actively cheat. However, someone who consistently makes a lot of “mistakes” should be watched closely.


Some people will go to extreme lengths to cheat for money. A great number of them are also willing to spend thousands of dollars to purchase devices and gadgets that will help them in their deceitful ways. Specially-modified smartphones are being sold online. They use infrared light to spot cards and help cheat at gambling. The modified phones run with the custom Chinese 4.2.2 ROM and allow the user to access its cheating features via a dedicated Android app called “Game,” which is password-protected.

The cheater can use the app to activate the device for a number of games and configure the phone for a specific scenario based upon the game type, number of players, etc. How does it do it? With the help of three hidden infrared LEDs, that’s how. They read a specially marked deck of cards based upon each card’s unique surface pattern. It’s not even that difficult to get one of those special card decks.

We hope we were of great help to you! Remember: The main key to cheat is to be quick and sneaky while the main key to spot a cheater is to be observant! Good luck and happy betting! We wish you all the best in your future cheater-free games!