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back to article Net sleuths spot poker site cheat code

The former operator of a popular online poker site faces a $75m claim after internet sleuths presented evidence that for more than three years it offered rigged games that allowed cheaters to win hands at astronomically unlikely odds. According to a special report published last week on msnbc.com, scammers were able to …

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Pirate

Next in News: Moon orbits Earth

Cheating in the gambling business? No! You don't say? Next you'll tell me that the mob has a greater-than-average interest in gambling!

(where IS that sarcasm icon?)

I barely trust the people in the casino - and I can *see* them in front of me. Takes a lot of faith to put money into the net like that - or foolishness.

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Cheating ??

I would of never suspected ??? So who prosecutes ?? Is it were servers are at ??? were you are at or is it were the cheat is at

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Wow

If you can't see it or don't control it, don't put money on it.

i need the emails of these people who are completely trusting i've got some nice 419 email to send off.

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Unhappy

Cheating?

On my internet? I don't think so.

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Paris Hilton

Net sleuths spot poker site cheat code?

Hang on, I thought that's how these poker sites work anyway.I am not astounded.

Paris, poker, ace in the hole....

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Jobs Horns

Is a hole as good as 3 aces ?

Just wondering, cos if so, I'll be using those on my next poker night with the boys..

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Only a fool

Would bet real money on a computer game. You don't know if the cards are random, and you don't know if the other players are even real.

The only thing strange here is that they got so greedy that they were noticed.

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Alert

Let me get this straight...

People with more money than sense got scammed by an online casino..?

Where's the story in that?

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Bronze badge

And you can play roulette with your TV and a phone.

Late-night on one of the commercial Freeview channels, you can watch a roulette wheel on your TV, and place bets via a premium-rate phone number.

What guarantee is there that the video image of the ball is live?

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Anonymous Coward

Not surprising

I play a lot of online bingo (reviewing the sites) and have noticed a trend with many of them. I'll win several times in a row using the free sign-up bonus they give you to start with, but after having deposited money I've gone double the number of games without a single win. Can't prove anything, just saying it's odd...

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Anonymous Coward

One born every minute

I worked in online gambling for a brief period a few years back; never met a more dubious bunch of human beings in my entire life, especially at the gambling conferences, so this doesn't surprise me in the slightest, and I doubt this kind of thing is just happening in poker.

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They aren't all scumbags

I once worked on a Roulette system on a well known and well respected casino site and I can honestly say that the numbers really were random (I subjected them to all sorts of statistical analysis).

Just so you know, I lost £3000 working out my system and then made £3800 once I put it into practice. I was sensible and quit whilst I was ahead :)

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What is a "hole" card ?

Could it be "the whole cards" ?

I'm not a player, and less a gambler, but I've never even heard of a hole card, let alone see one.

</pedant>

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Happened already?

I'm sure I remember a security-glitch (read, bad design) in an online poker system before, where the seed for the random card generator was available from the client-side stuff, meaning you could predict what cards other players would have.

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Alert

Interesting...

...that they only got caught because they were too greedy.

It does seem kind of hard to detect these scams any other way, doesn't it?

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Stop

Rigged

Online poker is for the most part pretty above board, incidents like this are the exception not the norm. Your sarcastic comments and bullshit spouting are unwarranted, the random number generators used are vetted by respected 3rd party software houses and the most (if not all) of them use Intel hardware RNG to seed the shuffle. Those who cry about online poker being rigged are usually those who play poorly and are unable to psychologically deal with the stress of taking a few bad beats. The bad press generated by this sort of thing is not good for business for the site so it's in their interest to keep the games as fair and above board as possible.

You are at risk from players colluding against you, but then their is a risk of this playing live bricks and mortar as well... If you suspect something is not right you can report the incident to customer support though and they will analyze the incident.

You may also be at risk from automated bots depending on what game you play and what your skill level is, the AI is not yet at a stage where it is unbeatable though and the sites actively work to detect these things and deny the bots.

I have been playing for a while now both online and live and I use software to analyze my statistics and play, once you start to get a large enough sample you can start to see the results converging to around where they should be according to the mathematics of statistics/probability - that in itself is enough to prove that the software is in no way rigged.

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Obviouscat is pleased

At the extension of His empire to bellends who not only bet money on poker, but do so online.

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Flame

Looks like the idiots are out in force

Poker websites make their huge amount of money from the rake and tounrnament entry fees. It doesn't matter to them who wins or loses. All that is important is that they maintain their reputation, otherwise they lose players and money. For that reason any reputable poker site is very careful with security to the extent that their staff are not even allowed to play on the website.

Any poker software that was sending player's hole cards to the client must have been written by a complete moron and I fail to see how it could last several years without becoming public knowledge.

To be honest I cant say I'm suprised at the level of ignorance on here.

Oh and anonymous coward: If you can't tell if you're playing bots or humans you deserve to lose all your money. Also they are all regulated by independant companies whose only job is to make sure the system is secure and the cards are random.

But that is beside the point, the thing to remember is that it is in the poker website's best interest for everything to be as fair and secure as possible.

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Paris Hilton

Fruity

On a tangent, wasn't there a news story a while back whereby some people had downloaded the ROMs of fruit machines into MAME, and after saving the machines' states at certain points and replaying supposedly random pot-luck draws, they had determined that the machines were rigged? Whatever came of that?

I could have written that more elegantly.

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Unhappy

Aha that explains it!

So that explains why I always lose at online poker, everyone else is cheating. Now I wonder if my inability to win in real life poker is down to my opponents wearing X-Ray specs.

I could probably win the World Series of Poker with my incredible poker skills if it wasn't for all these cheats.

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oneline , no thanks

I always thought online poker was for saps

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Stop

@Pascal Monett

"What is a 'hole' card ?"

GIYF - http://www.google.com/search?q=hole+card

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Paris Hilton

Hole

Hole cards are the cards you are dealt face down, they are "in the hole" i.e. not visible to other players unless they are ultimate bet superusers. You know like having an "ace in the hole".

Shaun the most obvious reason for why you loose money playing internet poker is that your not very good at it, I was a losing player until I started studying the game seriously a few months ago. I thought I had incredible skills as well, but the fact of the matter was, I was deluded and so are you and anyone else who posts some crap about losing because the game is full of cheaters. The good news is you can easily turn this around, I am in solid profit over my lifetime poker career now. Buy some books about poker and read them!

GL at the felt.

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Happy

Finally a chance to use the quote!

Customer: Are you sure this place is honest?

Carl: Honest? As honest as the day is long!

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@Ashley Pomery

Fairplay - http://www.fairplay-campaign.co.uk/

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Stop

Everyone knows

I bet everyone who's played online for long enough has seen some suspicious activity. Like a player going all in a few times in a game with ridicolous hands that were astronomically unlikely to win only to have fouth street and the river win them the hand. Almost as if they knew the hands that would be dealt... They play conservatively then do this every so often and clean up. I know a few people who've noticed the same thing on a large UK poker site and that's exactly why I don't play anymore. It's not a level playing field. It's some simple software and who knows what exploits are out there in the underground of the internet.

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Hehehe

Ouch, don't hit me!

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Black Helicopters

Trusting online poker.

Like the chaps above have already mentioned, I'd not really trust online poker. It's not the RNG which is at fault (usually), but the cheating which is going on inside the company itself. Somebody releasing the hole card details of other players to a couple of friends is most likely the suspect.

It is very much in the companies interest to run a straight shop, as any hint of impropriety is usually pounced upon by the community and then they are effectively out of business. Unfortunately, the transparency & oversight which is needed to effectively police this is sadly lacking. It's very much like the Government saying "Trust us, it's all OK and above board. We wouldn't cheat you".

As to anybody who'd play in a high-stakes, live game, go check out how card manipulators work (not very hard to top/bottom deal, palm & return cards, etc). Alternatively, spend a few minutes thinking about how you could work with another player secretly to gain advantage - it's surprisingly easy. A couple of players working together can generally clean up on a game.

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Paris Hilton

Yes, the idiots are indeed out in force

"Nick Thompson" in particular is amusing, I wonder if he believes in the tooth fairy? The whole self-righteous poker-face (couldn't resist) act over websites that decide who gets to keep the money is just hilarious. With more than a few fuctioning braincells, it's easily possibly to rig these "fair" bits of software to produce a significantly statistically advantageous outcome towards favoured parties, without anyone noticing. Hell, everyone has their price, too. If voting machines in the world's richest "democracy" can be built with obvious backdoors (lookin' at you, Diebold) in the full view of the world's press without anyone caring, why do you imagine that some seedy gambling website frequented by mathematically-challenged muppets will fare better?

Paris, because she's as likely to come in your bedroom at night as the tooth fairy.

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Coat

@Elrond hubbard

"Paris, because she's as likely to come in your bedroom at night as the tooth fairy."

If she was in my bedroom at night, then she would. I certainly wouldn't have a fairy in there....

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Pirate

@Martin

Yes, the gambling business is run by a bunch of real nice guys. No organized crime is interested in anything as above board as online poker. They don't hide away on tropical islands they just like the weather.

And all the staff are well paid, honest, happy people.

And as an aside, all the stuff they sell on infomercials really works too. ;)

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A fool and his money..............

Does anybody really care?

Betting, whether it is 'fair' or not, is just ridiculous. You never see a bookie on the dole.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this a game of chance?

W.C. Fields Not the way I play it, no.

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