No matter where you have played or whom you've played with, everyone has had at least one thought regarding the fairness of poker. Throughout its colored past, poker has been more famous for its association with dishonesty than with honest, skillful gamblers. Now that this great game has taken the leap into the high-tech world of cyberspace, there is a whole new brand of outlaw. No longer armed with pistols or sleeves full of aces, modern day hustlers use instant messages and software programs to pull the wool over the eyes of uneducated players.
So is online poker safe? Like most things, the key to safety is education. By knowing what to look for, it is absolutely possible to have a safe, enjoyable andIs Playing Poker Online Safe? profitable online poker experience. The concerns of poker safety fall into two categories - the companies you play with and the players you play against.
Choosing a respected poker room is the first step to ensuring a safe poker experience. You should start by only playing with companies that have been in business for at least 3 years and who display their security policies prominently on their site. Integrity must be a priority. Poker sites should have a current, independent certification of fairness and they should state the measures they use to ensure a fair game. This means sophisticated random number generators and security programs. By using unique algorithms, poker sites ensure a fair deal by making the randomness so great it is impossible to predict the pattern. Therefore, it is just as hard to manipulate. These random numbers and algorithms are similar to the methods used to protect information in the world's leading security systems. This makes the chances of being cheated by a reputable poker room very slim.
Any poker room you choose should take collusion (cheating) very seriously. Make sure they have a strict cheating policy displayed on their site. This not only shows that they make security a priority, but also lets potential cheaters know that any sort of cheating will not be tolerated.
Another chief concern is banking. By checking the poker sites banking policies before depositing you will ensure that you can always have access to your money and will be paid promptly when you win. If you have questions regarding banking, contact the customer service center prior to depositing. A few minutes up front will ensure no confusion later.
The final element to consider when discussing online poker safety is the players you are playing against. Taking a few minutes to identify the ways a corrupt player may try to cheat can help you avoid being a victim. Collusion is the most popular way for players to cheat at online poker. Collusion occurs when two or more players team up at a table seeking an advantage in the game. This can be as simple as just splitting their winnings, or as complex as using instant message or telephones to communicate the cards they hold during a hand.
Web sites do offer protection by limiting each player to one IP address. They also watch for game play patterns that appear to involve players working together. While this is a decent method, it's still far from perfect. To truly protect yourself from cheaters you must keep an eye out for suspicious play. By taking responsibility for your own safety you will greatly reduce your risks of being taken advantage of. If you ever see suspicious behavior or if it appears that players are working together, stop playing and report it to the poker room host immediately.
At the end of the day, online poker is as safe as you make it. Spend the few minutes it takes to research a poker room before depositing. Keep your eyes open for suspicious activity during a game and always be aware of the possible risks. By using your head you can eliminate nearly all the risks associated with online poker.
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