Poker is either seen as a magnet for shady people and gamblers or as a gentleman’s game where one’s word is a bond. The truth is, like any other game, cheating does occur in the world of poker. While you don’t have to be paranoid and constantly watch out for cheaters, it is a good idea to keep your guard up when playing in private games and at home games.
Cheating in live poker is a bit harder to do than in online poker because the players can see each other and communicate more easily in person. However, a few things to look for include players whispering and making coordinated bets and raises that seem out of character or players who have a lot of winning hands at the same table. These are signs of collusion between two or more players and a clear violation of poker ethics.
Another way that cheaters can manipulate a game is by marking the cards. This can be done with anything from a mirror, a shiner (essentially a piece of shiny material like coffee or a lighter that reflects card indexes) to even bending and crimping the corners of the cards to make them easier to read. Cheaters may also hand-muck or palm cards so that they can later false deal to themselves or a confederate.
In addition to these methods, many cheaters use RFID sensors in their decks of cards that are broadcast and streamed in a live game or on the internet to help read the cards as they’re being dealt. Some of these devices are being used in the current scandal surrounding Robbi Jade Lew and Garrett Adelstein.