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Collusion In Poker: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Collusion In Poker: What Is It & How Does It Work?

Welcome to Online Bingo and our latest blog post, where we delve into the intriguing world of collusion in poker. Whether you're new to the game or looking to deepen your understanding, this post is for you. 

We'll explore what collusion is, how it operates within poker games, and the measures poker sites implement to prevent it. Additionally, we'll discuss the legality of collusion and its prevalence in online poker, as well as provide practical tips on how to spot it. 

Join us as we unravel these complexities in a simple and accessible manner, ensuring you're well-informed and prepared for any future poker games. 

What Is Collusion In Poker?

Collusion in poker refers to a dishonest practice where two or more players secretly work together to gain an unfair advantage over others at the table. This cooperation among players is intended to manipulate the outcome of the game in their favour, often at the expense of other unsuspecting participants. 

It's considered a form of cheating because it disrupts the integrity of the game, which is designed to be an individual contest where each player makes decisions independently. Understanding and recognising collusion is crucial for maintaining fairness and enjoyment in poker. 

How Does Collusion Work In Poker?

Collusion in poker can take several forms, but all involve covert cooperation between players. 

Players might share information about their cards or betting strategies, which they normally wouldn't have access to. This allows them to make more informed decisions compared to their opponents. 

They could also coordinate their actions, like one player betting aggressively to force others to fold, thereby increasing another colluder's chances of winning. Another tactic is 'chip dumping', where one player intentionally loses chips to another to give them a larger stack. These strategies disrupt fair play and can manipulate the outcomes to favour the colluders. 

How Poker Sites Prevent Collusion Online?

Online poker sites implement several strategies to combat collusion and ensure a fair playing environment. One key method is the use of sophisticated software that monitors gameplay for unusual patterns and behaviours, such as repeated instances of two players always raising when only they are in a hand together. These systems can alert site administrators to potential collusion. 

Additionally, poker sites use random seating algorithms to prevent players from selecting specific tables and coordinating with their accomplices. This randomness makes it harder for colluders to consistently play together. 

Player reports also play a crucial role. Sites encourage players to report suspicious activities, which they then investigate thoroughly. Lastly, secure account measures and regular audits help maintain integrity by ensuring that players cannot use multiple accounts to collude. 

Together, these measures help maintain the integrity of online poker, deterring and detecting collusion effectively. 

Is Poker Collusion Legal?

Collusion in poker is illegal and is considered a form of cheating. It violates the basic rules and ethical principles of fair play essential to all forms of poker, whether played in a physical location or online. 

Poker laws and regulations, along with the terms of service of online poker platforms, explicitly prohibit players from colluding. The legal repercussions for players caught colluding can include being banned from a site, forfeiture of funds, and, in some cases, legal action, depending on the jurisdiction. 

Essentially, collusion undermines the integrity of the game and is not tolerated within the poker community. 

Spotting Collusion In Poker

Spotting collusion in poker involves being vigilant for unusual behaviours that may indicate players are secretly cooperating. Key signs include: 

  • Frequent Raises: Two or more players consistently raising to force others out of the pot.
  • Soft Play: Players not betting aggressively against each other as they do against others.
  • Sharing Information: Subtle cues or gestures that suggest players are sharing card information.
  • Irregular Fold Patterns: One player consistently folding good hands to the same opponent.
  • Chip Dumping: Intentionally losing chips to another player.

Recognising these patterns can help identify potential collusion and maintain a fair game environment. 

How Common Is Player Collusion In Poker Games?

Player collusion in poker, while a concern, is not as widespread as one might fear. 

Due to the stringent security measures and monitoring technologies employed by online poker sites, most attempts at collusion are detected and dealt with swiftly. The advanced software tracks player history and patterns, making it difficult for collusion to go unnoticed for long. 

However, it's still important for players to remain vigilant and aware of the signs. While the majority of poker games are played fairly, keeping informed about the potential for collusion helps maintain the integrity and enjoyment of the game. 


In summary, collusion in poker is an illegal practice where players secretly cooperate to gain an unfair advantage, disrupting the integrity of the game. Online poker sites combat this through sophisticated monitoring software, random seating, and encouraging player reports. 

While the occurrence of collusion isn't rampant thanks to these preventative measures, it remains important for players to be aware of the signs, such as unusual betting patterns or consistent soft play among certain players. By understanding and spotting potential collusion, players can help ensure a fair and enjoyable gaming environment for everyone involved.