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Unfortunately, as with any activity involving competition and/or money, the possibility to cheat (and BE cheated, for that matter) exists with online gambling as well. The information below is a short introduction to the different issues regarding cheating which may occur in online casinos and how the sites themselves respond and/or control the behavior. Also, we’ve included some links to blacklists and lists of rogue casinos that you may find worth checking out.
Overall, most of the poker rooms you visit (or, at least the ones you SHOULD visit) are reliable and trustworthy and you have little to fear in terms of getting cheated. Most sites, and the ones we recommend, proudly display symbols or information indicating their use of certain software packages ensuring their trustworthiness and/or independent audits to verify their operations. Nearly all online poker rooms adhere to a strict ‘fair-gaming’ policy which you, as a player, should come to expect and demand. Whatever fears you may have, most reputable rooms are generally as safe as or even more secure than most popular websites which handle financial transactions. Like any industry, there are of course some online poker sites which should be avoided for their lack of transparency and/or shady dealings. Check out our reviews section for a list and description of sites that we vouch for here at Pokermaster.org.
Cheating in a poker room - whether online or on land - is never a good idea. The consequences are severe both in terms of repercussions from the casino itself and from law enforcement. Online casinos are actually able to monitor players even better than their ‘live’ counterparts and their software generally includes numerous tools which can detect: if someone is playing from multiple locations, using different log-in names, playing as a team, manipulating screen information, etc. Poker rooms are, quite naturally, extremely intolerant of this type of behavior and if caught, you risk not only being banned from that site, but the casino also has the option (and won’t hesitate to exercise it!) of reporting your name to other casinos (placing you on a ‘blacklist’) and law enforcement.
Below we’ve included a list of a few links to sites which have compiled their own, unofficial, ‘blacklists’. While some of these lists may be helpful, it’s important to keep in mind that they change frequently and are usually only the opinions of that particular site. For example, one site may recommend the same casino that another says to avoid. For these reasons, we encourage, and recommend that you: check out several such sites beforehand; look for a pattern or whether a site consistently appears on several blacklists; read the reasons why a casino has been ‘blacklisted’; and, visit the casino’s site itself before making any decisions.