Avoiding Online Poker Scams

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Poker players are crazy. There’s so much trust in the game that it’s ridiculous, especially when the goal is to directly take the other players money. Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples looking to take advantage of these trusting players.

Here are some common scams I have encountered during my online poker poker venture.

Mild: The side-bet scam
Watch out for the players hovering around sit-and-go tables trying to make private side-bets on the results. For example, they’ll register for a $50 sit and go and offer their opponent a $100 side-bet that they’ll win. If the player agrees and loses, he would pay him $100. If the opponent wins, the scammer would just act like the side-bet never occurred.

This is a basic scam that I’ve seen way to many people fall for. It often happens in games that they’re not involved in from the online rail (chat box). Lucky it’s usually for a small amount.

Mild: All in on the first hand scam
This is a heads-up sit-and-go scam that a high limit player used to pull all of the time. Before each sit and go started, he’d suggest to his opponent that they both go all in on the first hand. Sometimes the opponent would agree and follow through with putting their chips in on pre-flop the first hand. The scammer on the other hand would break the agreement if he didn’t have a good starting hand and continue playing like normal.

Severe: “Send me $10 and I’ll pay you back $20 tomorrow”
This is a scam that you really have to be careful about, because the scammer has their eyes on making a lot more then $20 off of you. Little do you know that when you send that first $10, you’re getting lured you into a ponzi scheme.

It starts with a small amount and usually they get a few people involved(that only the scammer knows about). He’ll gain your trust by sending the promised money back, chatting with you, and becoming buddies.

Once he has a few people involved, he starts asking for a little more while still promising a high returns. He’ll pay the money back, but with other ‘investors’ money, not with money he earned from playing poker or anything.

Once the scammer has you eating out of his hands, he goes in for the kill. He’ll make up some story, like having money tied up somewhere and needing a large amount like $1000+ for a business venture. He’ll of course promise you a high return and you won’t have any reason not to trust him, because he’s always held his word to you. Then he will just keep getting you in deeper and deeper with false promises until he disappears with your money.

I’ve seen this particular scam unfold in a poker forum. The scammer was one of the most friendliest and active posters. Everyone liked him. He ended up taking over $30,000 from 5 other active forum members using the exact method described above. One guy even trusted him so much that he convinced his friends give him money.

Severe: “You know me. Loan me $20,000 and I’ll pay you back”
There’s a lot of trust between high limit players. If a known player asks in the chat box to borrow a large amount, like $20,000, their fellow high limit friends won’t think twice about hitting a few buttons and sending it over. Usually it works out fine, but what happens if the person you’re sending money to isn’t who you think he is?

A few months ago a scammer got a hold of a high limit players password. He proceeded to go to a few different tables asking certain players who knew the screen name to transfer large amounts to him. The scammer ended up collecting over $100,000.

Severe: “I’ll send you $200 on site A for $150 on site B.”
This is another one of those scams that can get you in a lot more trouble then you think. It starts out with a player asking you to do a favor and trade money with him from one site to another. He’ll even offer to send first and give you extra money for your trouble. You decide to help out and the transaction goes smoothly… until your account and funds are suspended for being involved in money laundering!!!

Yes, the money you received was most likely stolen from another players poker account who wasn’t to careful with their password. Since transfers between accounts usually aren’t monitored, they trade stolen money on one site for legit money on another with unsuspecting players. The innocent player who now has the laundered money in their account is left in a mess of trouble, while the crook simply cashes out of the other site.

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So if you got anything out of reading this, just be careful with your online poker money. Don’t lend money to anyone unless you can absolutely confirm who they are and keep your password private. If you spot any of these scams in the making, be sure to call the person out and notify the poker rooms support team so nobody else gets scammed

37 Responses to “Avoiding Online Poker Scams”

  1. Winston Rast

    There’s also a phishing scam I’ve seen on Full Tilt, which I’ve described on my blog as well.

  2. Mike

    Thanks Winston, I forgot all about that one. That’s another scam you gotta look out for. I can see how players can easily mistake that for a real promotion and hand over their personal info.

  3. BDMK

    another one i’ve seen on FTP lately is a phisher pretending to be support typing in the chatbox that you have won a cash prize and they need you to visit xyz site and enter your acct info. such an obvious scam, yet many ppl have fallen from it.

  4. Shawn Murphy

    If it sounds to good to be true it is, not maybe, not probably, definetly.

  5. Mac Poker

    I treat my online poker accounts similar how I would my online bank – VERY CAUTIOUSLY!


  6. Mickeys aces


    When pokerroom.com freezes, and its been happening more lately, they refund your buy-in. What they wont tell me is whether or not they keep the buy-ins of those who went out before the freeze. If they keep that money instead chopping it and distributing it among the remaining players they stand to make lots of cash during the freeze.

    Why do they not want to answer my question?

  7. Another "cheat" is it for real? - PokerForums.org

    […] who are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme Check these out for a bunch of scams to be wary of: Avoiding Online Poker Scams – Five Common Poker Scams Read the third scam (first one labelled Severe), doesn’t that sound exactly like what TheAlex did? […]

  8. Steve O


  9. Jamie (Bolton UK)

    Not so much a scam as such, but something that really got on my nerves. I registered onto a freeroll on full tilt, and something was fishy. none of the other players were playing realistically, they were folding everyhand, and every hand i was dealt was brilliant and i won every time, nobody would reply to my chat, and i realised soon that every other player was automated. I got out because i thought it seemed dodgy. wasted my time tho and i was pissed off!!!

  10. PokerStud

    The biggest scam of all is Full Tilt poker. Since I have a Mac, I am more or less a captive audience to FT. I have tracked exactly 13,626 hands, and please tell me how the following is statistically possible. But this is exactly how it has transpired:

    Number of times I had AA: 51
    Number of times I lost with them: 47
    (not once did I slow play AA or any other hand for that matter.)

    Number of times I had KK: 47
    Number of times I lost with them: 41

    My QQ lost 86.4%
    My AK’s held up to win about 50%

    A straight or flush was realized by someone 71% of the time.

    These were tourneys or s-n-g’s, usually a $24+2 buyin.

    This is fraud, my friends. The sheer odds of losing 88 times out of 98 with either AA or KK is 26,440,872 to one.

  11. PokerStud

    pokerstud, as usual, is right on the money. industry experts have tracked 100’s of millions of hands on FT, and they have discovered a QQ will beat AA, heads up, all in, about 74% of the time. any pair, all in, heads up, will lose to a lower pair 66% of the time.

  12. aces2469

    well lets see if you try to email full tilt they will not get back too you whats worse they do not deal with e passporte will see if i get paid they owe we will see

  13. bill

    I found a robot on paradise poker on the cash 5 card draw tables. Every time i raised and then stood pat and raised he would fold every time. i got like 200 bucks off him one nite and a player named paradise, with some numbers behind it, sat down and he left. After that you could still rob him but it was harder. eventually they blocked me so when i sat down at his table he would leave. I dont think many people knew about it but i watched him take alot of money from people because if you played passivly he would be aggressive and vice versa. just thought it was wierd that they can have a bot for the site to create action and make money off it

  14. Ahson

    Hey guys, fulltilt. hehe big time scam.

    the idea behind the game they give you is to have patience. but try this now…….

    When you win a hand….. raise every hand after that untill you get really bad hands….. and you will see you get a picture card everytime 2 to 4 hands consecitively. and keep following the same structure as soon as you hit raiseable cards. I think the game is pre-calculated by the computers sitting as the dealers.

    one more point….. does anyone know how does or what algorithim do these people use to draw cards…..
    i dont know…. do you?

    therefore think about it….. it could be pre-calculated…..e.g.
    table of 6
    player 4 is given 2 n 4
    player 2 & 3 get QQ and AA
    flop comes out: JK242

    does that not mean the computer cannot pre-calculate the hand….. since we havent a clue wht in the world are they doing on their end.

    i HATE online poker.


    but i love poker otherwise. hehehehe

  15. bluffmas

    another one… for poker lovers… i was on ftp first hand on heads up, players raise pre flop, I had AQ Spades i re raise, he goes all in, I called him… it was a $26.00 heads up… he had 5,7 (h,s) flop was 6,7,7 ..

    I was shocked and started following him on different tables, he was winning on the worst cards any body can have… i have stopped playing on ftp since then..

    I also searched him on market pulse online poker listing, his name was unknown to the website..

    Are there ppl who get paid to do this on these websites?? Or is it automated??

  16. chowtowin

    ftp is really big scam. I lost about 1k on this site in 3 weeks. Its not really against me its just that i will get up a few hundred then i will loose just a little more than i won before going up and then going down just a little more than i just won. it seems to be geared to the river card that gives two people a really great hand and this happens a whole hell of a lot. I am a real life poker player and have played on many online sites and have never found any bigger scammers than the full tilt poker site. I am not a sore looser I am just pissed that I gave my trust to Full tilt and was betrayed. This site should be shut down. They make me sick. I believe they are crooks that only go popular after some sites stopped letting us players load cash on them.

  17. james

    fulltilt poker is a scam i have depositied almost 600$ over the course of a few months.. deposited 50 at a time and the most ive ever won was over 50 dollars which i eventually lost by the infamous SUCK OUTS of full tilt poker.

    i will never deposit to ftp again

    the amount of suck outs that have happened to me would never happen to my in real poker.

    full tilt poker = scam

  18. clinton

    so who wins if all these sites are ripping players off, someone always wins the pot,

  19. Kroanos

    I think there is something wrong with the random number generator online poker sites use. I used to play at Paradise a couple of years a go, and I got knocked out right before the money in tourneys with QQ 5 times and one time I folded preflop cause I had a bad feeeling about it, would have lost other guy had AA and KK.

    Just started tracking QQ at PStars and I’m down 13.45$ with them on the 0.50/1$ limit game out of 4 QQ dealt

  20. George

    Forget about looking at the statistics of just playing at Real Money Tables at Full Tilt Poker, I compared the statistics with Play Money Tables and, You get remarkable amounts of great hands on Play Money Tables verses the Real Money Tables. Every 20 hands on Play Money I will receive great cards 50% of the time verses 15-20% of the time with Real Money. And as I have heard others say, when I do get a great hand dealt to me on real money, the other players fold 70-80% of the time before the Turn comes…..

  21. youralldonksguyyyy

    you guys are all losers damn donks woohoo i deposited $50 and lost blah blah pokers rigged you gotta be kidden me the 1st thing you should understand is you need to look at it over the course of a year not a few $50 deposits and provide links to your ” evidence ” bot just steam like some moron but hey thats what the sharks need to fish on are idiots like you guys HAHA

  22. Caleb

    Full Tilt Poker has never been proven a scam. Yes, the cards are randomly generated, of course they are. I can tell you that I’m up around $600 and hardly any of these winnings came from bad beats or suckouts. At a 9 handed table 67 suited is the best hand to have against AA. So you got unlucky and lost once or twice with AA KK or QQ. Ive lost numerous times in real live cash games the exact same way so quit complaining about depositing a measly $50 and losing because you had one bad beat. That’s poker and until you have real evidence and stats from over a year’s time don’t go accusing full tilt as a scam. Try and keep stats on every hand you play not just online poker and just realize that bad beats are out there. If you cant handle a bad beat just dont play simple.

  23. eddie

    You think ftp is bad,, try Ult bet and Doyles room. they are by far the worst. That tired old prick has to makr $ somehow, hes washed up in poker

  24. dave

    Who has sat at a table and had people call them to the river with nothing more than two overs…im talkin big bets…bets you make to GET THEM OUT. It has happened to me ALOT…another thing is when the board reads 10, J, Q, K, 8 or something along those lines, you know damn well that player is holding a low pocket pair…you make your move…he calls without batting an eyelash…strange??? So i started taking names of players who make uncanny calls…my belief are these “people” play for the site, if in fact they are even real people. It would be FAR FAR FAR too easy for the site to create numerous users who take your $$ all day long…am i right or am i wrong???

    I have emailed the site about a few of these names…i never hear a single response back…i play at sportsbook.com…i try not to play poker too much and when i do i dont expect to get rich, just to kill time…i use the site for NFL picks…which they havent found a way to rig….YET.

    I am just curious as to what you all might think about my theory…could that be true?

  25. ian holden

    tulltilt is a joke iv never seen such crap, mid and low pairs beating pocket q’s and aces more than 50%, in one matrix tourn i seen q’s beat 5 times in the space of 4 mins by poo , iv played and beat pro’s, but i have a phat feeling that these sites have office blocks filled with computers and players robbing us all blind, oh and stay clear of pitbullpoker don’t signup and DON’T give them any phone number, u will be tormented by computer voice phone calls telling you you’v won stuff, just press 9 to claim wich probobly costs you a large sum eather way its not wanted, my advice is to play v small buyin tourns with large amount of players in or play headsup for medium to low stake, play for the game not for the cash, i think the most evil online scam is the 6 seater sit n goes, where 5 of the players are talking to each other on free weekend mobiles, lets say we have a group of 100 split into 20 groups of 5, as soon as they have made about $500 between them they leave 1 by 1, then the [sorter] aka the player alocater then mixes up the groups with players who havnt played with eachother that day if this is done right i can see no reason why each person carnt make $1000 a day, u could work 9 months out of the year the other 3 months you could spend on the moon from BUSTERSLUGDOG

  26. kellyseye

    offline poker scams have bin around for donkey years card fixin 2 markin cards always more than one in on the scam,one scam where a few lads were ask did they want 2come over for a game of poker £50 buy-in,b4 the lads turn up for the game the 2 scamers wen’t out 2 nearbye shop to buy every pack of cards that the shop had,then they opened 2packs of cards very carefuly and marked 2 of the decks of cards very well,they put the cards back in and seal them up just same way they got them, and brought em back 2 the same shop,walked in 2 the shop put em back on the shelf without no one seeing a thing,back 2 the house were the lads turn up 4 the game of poker”guess what?”the scamers” they dont have any cards, 8 ppl no cards ,2 scammers say hey there,s a shop 5 mins down the road,so one fella says ok ill go and get some cards back comes the man with the pack of marked cards from the shop sealed and not even opened”so they think”but the 2scamers only kn 2well,who won the game? lol,£400 1st prize not a bad nites work for the 2 scammers. thats only one of many scams that have happend 2 ppl, there’s fixed betting going on everywhere from horse racing to football + dogs slots and casino,thoes poker and casino sites a making a alot of money out of ppl’s accounts money that you worked hard 4, about 70% 2 the house/ 30% to the player,its always the house who comes out on top, the more money thats in flow and less taken out of the site the better off for them,your money is only another mans loss, you’ll get your turn but you wont win more than you should no matter what the odds say they are or how well you kn the game of poker. a real game of poker can go on all nite-well a few hours with good players at the table/than ya have the online cartoon poker that end with in less than hour becoz?A.good vs poor?/B.coz 3 or more players each time gettin gr8 hands from the dealer?C.or the longer a game goes on the less money a player is goin 2 spen’t on poker site?.con men are everywhere poker sites chat rooms e-mail lotto scams home mailing scams all over the net,they’ll lick an trick your ass he or her will make you feel bad about not givin it 2 them they will go as low as it goes 2 get what they want off you,no one should ever kn your personal or bank info, thoes kind of ppl will take an rob what you have at the drop of a hat” to late then ,the whole internet are full of con men and scams alike, ppl just have to be up 2them beware.

  27. DDAY813

    absolute/ub are a scam as well i bought in for 200 bucks got up to 400 very easly and cashed out original 200 after that point i could not win a hand to save my life i have heard ppl ,talk around the site saying the same has happened to them as well i lost the other 200 and deposited the 200 back in won 150 ontop and cashed it out once again could not win until i lost original buy in and redeposited the 200 then started to win again this is over the course of a year. i also signed up for rake back and could not win until i was sent denial from rake back then the cards came back around the loses where unbelieveable AA vs 45 flop come A 2 8 turn 3 river 6 i pushed all in on flop player calls with gut shot? that is just one example of many hands that ended that way until denial was sent to me from rake back

  28. ceo full tilt poker

    thanks for your money keep it comming mugs

  29. cc1

    I was playing online for years, and the scam finally caught me. I was transferred $1700 for 1000, thougt it was good since I receieved the monies first, and since the site was kicking my butt. I figured why not. The site then froze my account and are investigating me for fraud. Prior to this I have invested over $20,000 in this site over the last 4 years, legally. I also, had qualifed for an important chip leader freeroll, based on points for a periord of 6 weeks. The site UB also suspened me from participating. Dont know what to do. but online poker is fun, and yes I feel that something is going on behind the scene

  30. Trixies7s

    US players beware of FTP! It is nearly impossible to get your deposited money back from them. I tried canceling a deposit, they said no. I tried retrieving my money via their site, it wouldn’t let me. Told them I was disputing the charge with my cc company as a result, they threatened to ruin my credit, and take legal action, etc. Total BS of course, and my cc company ruled in my favor on the dispute. If you use a credit card, the merchant name they use to process the “deposit” is INTERNET SALES and the category is Merchandise. It makes it much tougher to fight because then they are claiming that you actually bought something. I never played a single hand, and they never gave me anything, but they did expect to keep my money anyway, and reiterated this in several emails. They are in France (supposedly) which means it could be more challenging to go after them legally. Based on all of the posts I’ve read on FTP, one would be wise to avoid this scam completely. I hope they do get shut down.

  31. poker rakeback

    I have come across a lot a scams in this online poker games.We must really have to keep our eyes wide opened against these ones.

  32. Arto

    I played on Bodog poker yesterday, and was quite suprised when I tried to take my money out. Impossible!!!! It

  33. bj moore

    full tilt an all the rest are total scams people call raises only a pure moron call an ends up winning . an the % of these bad beats leave you with know chance of ever winning money in the long run. yes you may win even a few thousand dollars, but if you dont withdraw they will get it back plus more. then try an go to a forum an let people know. thell try an make you seem like a cry baby even stupid . an if you get past that point an they know your a player by the stuff your writeing they will banned you . rounders radio does the same thing . you go to the radio chat room an start talking bad beats youll be kicked out or even banned. mr ace jones will try an make you look stupid .but he knows he work for a online site yrs ago. an who knows he still might. ace has his listeners brain washed .im i right on or im i really just a bad player???????? lol

  34. nick

    i have a question for all of you out there im not a rich man and i deposited 700 dollars on bodog through e-wallet express. i made the deposit and thought it cleared right away didnt realize it takes about a week . in the mean time i broke up with my girlfriend who shared the account with me so i closed it and opened a new one. then i ended up turning that 700 into 3200 and was geting ready to cash out when they froze my account telling me the 700 did not process. i have been in contact with both companies and explained my situation and they are telling me to mail e-wallet an international money order for 770 and they will release my 3200. they wont give me anything in writing and wont just deduct the money from my 3200 is this legit or are they gonna take me for 770? i dont know what to do i dont want to loose the 3200 but im not sure if i send them the money the will unfreeze what i have already won. please some advice is needed i dont know what to do


    Say what you want but this is the truth

    Its uses bots to speed up tournaments = sorter tournament plus more tournaments played in a day = more rake + les payouts

    Creates action flop for bigger pot = more rake

    When you deposit you will win 100% to the value of your deposit after that you well lose it all
    And you will not win a thing until you deposit again = deposit $300 win $300 = 100%

    Withdraw scam = when you withdraw your user name is put in a list whats this list dose
    Is it gives you worse odds on wining so if you wore 50% 50% to win a hand it

  36. River King

    Hi all,

    Is it scam – maybe
    Is it Rigged – for sure !!
    Not only FTP , Jokerstars too. What a joke.
    I understand, its their Business, they are making money and suckers like us still hanging in there.
    First – I have to agree with number 37 (STOP) on few points.
    I have deposited $100 on PS. In 2 weeks , I have made nice amount of money from tourney wins and also cash games. Overall $5000. I made a huge mistake withdrawing $4000 and leaving $1000 in my PS account.
    Since – I CAN NOT WIN A HAND.
    My AA get done by 22. I flopped quad 9`s got done by Quad tens.
    I have managed to lose $1000 on hands that odds of loosing a hand was 1%.
    One outers get me very often. IT IS GONE crazy.

    PS Sets algorithms to give a chip stacks, clear and obvious advantage in the preflop all in situations.
    Just imagine, without these settings, tourneys with 2000 entrants and more ,would last at least 12-14 hours.
    Is this of any benefit to PS. Ofcourse not. Brandwith is costly and they want these tourneys over and done with very quickly.

    com number 14 -Ahson ABSOLUTELY agree – Quote
    “When you win a hand

  37. justpassinthru

    anyone else having trouble getting paid i have been waiting 6 weeks and keep getting excusees from fulltilt what a rip off – they can take your money but jerk you around when you do win and want to withdraw

    any ideas on how to get at my money


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