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5 Reasons NOT to Cheat at Poker
by Timmor L. White

In a previous article (“Yes, You Can Cheat at Online Poker”), I make the point that cheating is possible when playing poker. That being the case, you are faced with the decision whether or not to do it.

My answer to you is NO. I advise you to learn to play properly and to develop your skill so you can win fairly. Do not get caught up in cheating. To help you resist the temptation, here are five reasons why you should not cheat:

1) Cheating is not fair. Don’t scoff at this reason. There is great value in playing according to the rules. A sense of fairness is the essence upon which all order and justice proceeds. There are already plenty of injustices in our world. Why add to that total? The challenge of any game, whether it be poker or any other, is to win and beat your opponents within the framework of the established rules. That is the essence of meaningful competition. When you cheat, you break out of that framework, and you act in a way that is not within the bounds of what is acceptable. There is no challenge in cheating; you accomplish nothing of merit, since by not following the rules, you are not constrained by the same regulations that control others. For that reason, cheating is a travesty to everything that is decent and proper.

2) Cheating is morally wrong. Whether or not you believe in God, you surely have a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Ultimately, righteousness is its own reward. According to the laws of karma, what goes around comes around. By cheating, you are putting negative, destructive energy into the universe. Some day, your actions will come back to haunt you in one way or another. That does not sound like an appealing prospect, does it?

3) You are hurting others (and yourself). When you play poker, whether online or face-to-face, you are competing with real opponents. The people sitting across from you at a poker table are living, breathing individuals. Your table-mates are people with real families and real lives. When you compete with them in an unfair manner, you are directly harming them, even if they are unaware of your activities. Furthermore, you are harming yourself. This is not always obvious, but it is nonetheless certain. Self-esteem is a critical requirement for happiness. You must possess a measure of self-worth to attain any sense of purpose. When you cheat, you deprive yourself of your full measure of self-esteem. Even if you think this does not happen, it does.

4) Your poker skills will suffer. People who cheat at poker, no matter what they say or how strongly they say it, do not play the game of poker well. Cheaters never develop superior skill. When they are in a game, their mind is not thinking along the lines of skillful play. Cheaters filter everything they do, every situation they are in, through the prism of cheating. As a result, they never develop an ability to play the game well in honest competition. Simply put, if you have your sights on notoriety in the poker world, do not start down the path of cheating. You will be unable to cheat in high-profile tournaments and games with top professionals, and you will be like a fish out of water without your cheating ways. Many cheaters reason that they can start cheating to acquire a bankroll, and then once they get going, they can stop cheating and learn to play the game properly. Trust me on this point: that NEVER happens! Your best intentions aside, you are living in dreamland if you think you will do that.

5) You might get caught. There are really two separate categories of poker here: online and in-person. When playing online, there are specific ways of cheating that are virtually impossible to detect, so you may reasonably expect to remain unnoticed when using one of those methods. (To explore a specific way to cheat online, click here: Poker Cheat.) But playing poker in person is an entirely different matter. Cheaters can, and often do, get caught. In order to cheat effectively in person, you need to become really, really good at it. Pretty good is not good enough. Cheating in person requires literally years of dedication and practice. You cannot simply learn a method of cheating and then go out and execute it flawlessly and expect to not be discovered. Most people do not have the commitment and determination to become good enough at cheating in person to actually pull it off. Therefore, their odds of getting caught are high.

In short, cheating is a dangerous path to start down. Cheating is harmful to yourself and others, and the habitual practice of cheating typically ends badly. Here is a critical point: Even if you never get caught, cheating is still unwise! Cheating is never anything of which to be proud. These facts are reason enough to eschew any thoughts you may entertain of cheating. If you are smart, you will learn to play the wonderful game of poker within the framework of the rules. You will practice and improve your skill over time. You will build your bankroll, and you will achieve real success and a true sense of self-worth. And you will leave the cheating to those less informed than yourself.


Timmor L. White is the founder and president of Online Poker Systems. He is active in the study and reporting of online-poker playing strategies. He has also developed a system to Cheat at Online Poker.

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