Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Home Poker Discussions of home poker games

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-07-2021, 09:49 AM   #1
jeff31
stranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 5
Marked cards? cheating detection

So I've been playing in this "home" game that is raked. 4 people organize the game, but usually only 2 or 3 of them play at a time, depending on how many other players are there, in order to make a "full" table of 9-10 players.

I've played there for a couple of months and have played about 4000 hands. The game is super soft as far as looks go, but I'm losing a lot. I could think this is just variance, but some very weird dynamics go on at this game. The 4 players that organize the game are all bad players, and they always win. Not all 4 of them, but in almost all sessions, the group comes out way ahead, while everyone else loses. They also pretend to lose more than they do when they do lose, and they pretend to win less than they do when they win. One of the 4 pretends to be a big loser, but he's about breakeven from what I've seen. Furthermore, he seems to win against other players and mostly lose to the other 3.

Generally the game has a few fish that are present about 33% of the time, and they lose big. But the game also has/had a few good regs and a lot of decent and good players that come by and play a few sessions to try their luck. All of them lose big, except for one good reg who is about breakeven. All the good and decent players I've seen play only a few sessions have lost big.

The game in general is super loose preflop, with most players being willing to put in 25% or even 50% of their stack preflop with T2o or whatever. They tighten up a bit postflop, but not always.

The 3 big winners play horrible preflop, which gives them a good image, but they seem to play "perfect" postflop. And by perfect I mean they seem to always fold when they're losing, and always call when they're winning. They often make crazy bluffs against 4 opponents, pull them off and show a garbage hand that shouldn't even be playing preflop, let alone bluff in a multiway pot. I've seen them make crazy hero folds and show them, crazy hero calls as well. I don't remember seeing them make mistakes in the river in big pots, they seem to play as if they could see their opponent's hands, or as if they knew who holds the winning hand, at least in big pots.

The only mistakes I've seen them make is either in very small pots, or sometimes when one of the two cards in their opponent's hand could make them think they had a hand different than they one they had. For example, the board is TT342 and one of them folds 65 on the river and shows it, then asked their opponent if he had 3's full and the guy had A3. I'm thinking if the cards are marked, maybe they can only see the top card, and they were never able to see or memorize the bottom card, so they figure a river shove means 33 or T3.

Sometimes they even claim to know what the other guy has, and they're always right by at least 1 card. For example they'll say, ah, you have 87 of clubs, and the guy shows Jh8c. Or they'll say, you have AJ, and the guy had JJ.

TL;DR: How do I detect marked cards? I've inspected the cards with my bare eyes and all I can see is a weird way the light seems to reflect on them. I was thinking maybe they're using some sort of "invisible ink". There are sites out there that claim to sell these, as well as glasses and even contact lenses, that can see this ink while others can't.

I don't really wanna show up there with glasses for invisible ink, and I don't wanna accuse them of cheating when I'm not sure if they're even cheating, or if they are, what the cheat even is. Is there an alternative? Does anyone know the physics behind this invisible ink stuff?

As far as I gather it has something to do with infrared / UV light, but how could glasses help, since these wavelenghts are not visible, and all a pair of glasses can do is block light, not make it otherwise visible?

Another possibility for cheating would be if the dealers were card wizards / magicians. I sometimes tried to watch them closely and didn't notice anything particularly suspicious, but they wouldn't have to be stacking the deck every hand, only in the big hands that one of the 4 is meant to win.

Last edited by jeff31; 04-07-2021 at 09:55 AM.
jeff31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 10:22 AM   #2
rickroll
oddly catty
 
rickroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: serene, serene, puissant, puissant
Posts: 10,142
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

it sounds like a really loose and high variance game

and i'm not trying to be a dick or nothin, but most "good regs" in home games are pretty terrible and I'm quite certain that extends to this situation as well since so many are regularly dumping in 25% to 50% of their stack preflop to just fold later - which is frankly rtarded

solution is to fold, fold, fold until you get premiums and just put them all in preflop.

secondly, it's normal for winning players to downplay their wins in order to get repeat business

but it's certaintly super sketchy that four hosts of the game are playing in it - that's just a recipe for disaster, i would never play in that environment because even if it is on the up and up, i'd be like you and very paranoid it wasn't

cheating in poker games in which you are the host is incredibly easy

they could be using rfid, ivisible ink, infrared, or standard markings

ink needs special glasses/contacts, rfid/infrared needs a relay mechanism ie they need to be able to receive the signal back, are they playing on their phones? do they have bluetooth devices in their ears?

in the mike postle cheating case, it's speculated that he began viewing the control room feed on his phone and later the control room was relaying information via a bone vibration audio device inserted into his hat - not saying that's what happened in the postle case nor yours, but that's plausible methods of how the rfid and infrared data could be relayed to the players

but typically, the easiest way for them to cheat is to slip in cold decks, in which they'd set up absurd coolers dealing one guy KK and the other AA etc

here's a thread dealing with sleight of hand https://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/2...cards-1787334/

for traditional card markings, you're looking for a single dot of ink that blends into the pattern, it's very subtle but if you google it you'll see what it looks like and what to look for

but again, either your story is grossly exaggerated of 25% to 50% in the pot preflop only to fold or if you're telling the truth then it's literally a group of some of the worst poker players on the planet, in which all I can ask is can I come and play because it sounds like just terrible play which will lead to major imbalances between the totally inept and partially inept?

games like this are what sustain an entire industry of professionals living in places like vegas, they crush games like this, think they know what they are doing and sit down at the tables in between speeches at the conference
rickroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 10:45 AM   #3
jeff31
stranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

rickroll,

1) Yes, most "good regs" here are not really great players, but they're good enough that they should all be either beating or crushing this game, and none of them is.

2) I'm not concerned about hosts playing, I'm used to games like that and have played them for years, but I've never seen something like this where all the good players are losing while the game is so soft.

3) Can the glasses be clear / clearish, or do they always have to be dark / red / blue / orange? And if it's contacts, I don't know how to tell if they're wearing them or not. Do you know of an alternative way to detect this ink?

If it's RFID, it could be located in the underside of the table, or inside the table. But I don't think this is it because the cards seem normal, they're not overly thick and they don't lack flexibility, which I suspect a RFID chip would imply.

I highly doubt they're using cold decks, I do pay attention when they swap decks and nothing weird happens. I also have never seen them take the deck out of view of the table except for swapping decks. The shuffling style seems normal, if only a little too clumsy. The dealers do alternate between looking at the cards before every riffle, and looking at the players inbetween, which could mean they're paying attention to see who's watching them, and then stacking. But I doubt these dealers have the level of skill necessary to pull this off. And I haven't seen many "easy" setups like AA vs KK very often. Most of the big pots are where one of the winners has a garbage hand that hit the jackpot on the turn or river, and I suspect this requires much more skill than simply setting up preflop allins.

4) I'm not exaggerating, but they obviously don't put that much preflop in every hand, they're just willing to do it quite frequently. I really wouldn't recommend this game to others because all I've seen good players do is lose. At this point I'm only trying to figure out if there is cheating, and what the cheat is. The rake is also quite large, while not as large as other similar games I've played, it's still high enough that if there were a few more good players, it would not longer be worthwile even if there is no cheating. Keep in mind we're only playing about 20 hands an hour.
jeff31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 11:04 AM   #4
rickroll
oddly catty
 
rickroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: serene, serene, puissant, puissant
Posts: 10,142
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

you should always be deeply concerned when a host is playing, especially if multiple hosts

their priorities are not in playing poker, their priorities are hosting a game and collecting rake, for them to raise and see a flop is always a good thing regardless of whether or not they win the hand because they're collecting a ton of rake along the way

even more so with multiple hosts playing, again, they are probably even pooling the money, what do the four of them care seeing a flop together if in the end they likely are splitting the take anyway? even if they go into it without planning on teamplay, they very possibly engage in it subconsciously

there's absolutely no reason for them to play in order to get a full table, either they are just really stupid or they are lying, my guess is they are lying, while some of the guests may prefer a full ring, the games will run perfectly fine with as few as 6 players and can even manage at less, and they'll deal more hands per hour and rake more with fewer players so it's not even in their incentive to have 10 to a table when they could not play and run 9-6

as a former live pro who started off at home games and underground clubs, i'm not speculating here, people who host these games are often sketchy af and the fact that the four hosts all play is just unthinkable and untenable, i legit would just walk out if i saw that happening

if it were microstakes among friends then whatever, you haven't named the stakes, but you said this is a raked game, so it's not among friends - there are red flags and their are danger signs screaming in your face you're going to get owned and this is the latter

rfid scanner has to be pretty close, ideally embedded into the table, you may notice on tv they need to put their cards in specific spots in order to get picked up, this makes it least likely imo (you can google a poker rfid setup) and it's also the most expensive as it's intended for tv broadcasts

the other stuff, i suggest you spend some time checking out the companies who actually sell this stuff to get familiar with how the various products work so you'll know what to look for, there's probably less than a dozen of these companies in existence so you can easily get familiar with everything out there in a few hours of browsing and google searching the vendors
http://www.xfpokercheat.com/
https://www.cards999.com/

the whole point of a cold deck is you don't even know they swapped it, otherwise it'd be too obvious that the cooler happened right when they swap out the deck, it's actually incredibly easy to do, you'd never know it happened

then there's also learning to second deal and other things that are dealt with in that thread i linked

but frankly, at the very least they team playing, even if subconsciously and you clearly are never going to enjoy playing there now that your guard is up, i'd just stop going and find a new game

cheating is rampant in underground games, those companies i linked exist for good reason
rickroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 11:31 AM   #5
jeff31
stranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

1) These games are not raked by the hand, they're raked by the hour. And without the hosts, there wouldn't be enough players to make a full table. And when there are more non-hosts players available, the hosts step down. Most fish don't wanna play short tables, so it's either fullish tables or nothing.

Also, a short table means more hands played per hour like you said, and the fish would get cleaned up faster, leading to less rake for them. I've played games like this off and on for about a decade without problems, so I'm not concerned about that. If there is teamplay it's minimal, so I don't think that's what's going on, at least not mainly.

2) I've seen those companies, but they all have terrible english so I'm not even sure what it is they're selling, since they seem to swap words around and call the same product by different names. I'd like to understand the physics of what is being done here, and how.
jeff31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 11:49 AM   #6
rickroll
oddly catty
 
rickroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: serene, serene, puissant, puissant
Posts: 10,142
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

jeff i'm not experienced in those products and couldn't explain the details

point is you shouldn't be playing there, even if it's legit, you won't be comfortable and enjoy yourself because you'll always be worried

but yeah, 9/10 they are cheating here, it's not a question of if they could but if they would want to and yeah, they would very likely want to do so
rickroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 01:49 PM   #7
sw_emigre
old hand
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Here but I should be on a yoga mat
Posts: 1,590
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

I agree w rick that there's so many red flags, even if only some of them are true, idk why you would want to keep playing there. Even if you don't know exactly how it's happening, you do know it's something.

I also think if you want more helpful info, you're going to have to provide more helpful details. Saying guys are putting in 50% of their stack w T2o and then saying nah I'm just exaggerating, well we can't really help you like that. It makes it tricky for us to guess which parts of your story are legit vs some rando poker guy going on about not much. Honestly, you make the cheaters sound like ****ing idiots. If I know what cards my opponents have I would never call them out, that's just so stupid. I'd say something like damn I got caught bluffing again.

You said time rake, what is the cost, how is it collected, and are you positive the dealer isn't shorting pots? I ask cuz there is one game I used to go to, it was soft but the rake (per pot) was so large that the game was close to unbeatable. I can easily see scenarios where good players can't beat good games for reasons like this.

But based on the OP, the cards are marked and I'd never play there. If you must play there, start covering your cards immediately after getting them. (It won't be enough to beat a cheating game, but it will help.)
sw_emigre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 02:13 PM   #8
jeff31
stranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

sw_emi,

I can't be sure there's cheating, I'm just highly suspicious about it.

What I said is that most players are willing to put in that much preflop with garbage, it doesn't mean they do it every hand, and it doesn't mean the 4 hosts do it more than the rest. I wasn't exaggerating, I've seen both fish and hosts put in up to 100% of their stack preflop with garbage multiple times, but they don't do it every hand. Also I think putting in 25% preflop with T2o is worth it if you can see what everyone else has. But even if it's -EV, it still gives the game a great image, which is what they want. They can always win it back later on in other hands.

The rake is about 10bb per 100 hands, and tips are about another 4bb/100. It varies because of the straddles and how fast the game is going. It's charged by the hour. The dealers could to an extent be shorting pots and making mistakes that benefit the hosts, and they do make many mistakes, but I can't say I've noticed a consistent enough pattern, and even if it exists, I don't think that's enough to justify this much of an anomaly, at least not by itself. And I highly doubt there are multiple forms of cheating going on, it would be just that many more opportunities to be discovered.

I've played over 150k hands in games like this over the years, I know how to calculate how much rake is too much. Besides, the hosts pay rake too, so even if this was the problem, they should not be winning so much while everyone else is losing so much; they should just appear to lose and then make it back from the rake.

Like I said, I want to figure out if the cards are marked and how, but I don't understand the physics behind invisible ink and stuff, it seems you need a pair of glasses or contacts to match the invisible ink in question, so not any pair of glasses or contacts will detect any type of invisible ink, but I don't know the specifics.
jeff31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 06:47 PM   #9
DavidNB
Pooh-Bah
 
DavidNB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 4,288
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

One way to check is can you get the deck in your hand? Just riffle the deck, not a cut but with the whole deck. If they are marked you will see a difference between the cards.

Another thing to watch for is how the dealer handles the deck, shuffle, cut and so on. At the very least after shuffling, they should be squaring the deck, then cutting the deck onto a cut card with one hand. Do they wash the deck between hands?

You need to watch the deal from begining to end to look for anything unusual.

Of course someone really good with the deck can set it up even with you watching.
DavidNB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 07:19 PM   #10
DavidNB
Pooh-Bah
 
DavidNB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 4,288
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

I left a underground cash game once and it all started with hearing a card snap when the dealer was cutting the deck. I didn't suspect anything then but I started to watch the dealer closer just to make sure and out of boredom.

1: When the dealer was cutting the deck they were using two hands. It was so fast I couldn't tell if the deck was actually being cut.

2: When the stub was being restored, dealer had the deck on the side so the cards were facing dealer. I could see the dealers eyes watching the cards. Pretty clear to me they were setting up the deck.

I folded a pair of aces preflop and left the game.

A few weeks later at another game, same crowd mostly, I pointed out to the dealer they should be cutting the deck with one hand, not two.
DavidNB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2021, 08:56 PM   #11
sw_emigre
old hand
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Here but I should be on a yoga mat
Posts: 1,590
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

"The rake is about 10bb per 100 hands, and tips are about another 4bb/100. It varies because of the straddles and how fast the game is going. It's charged by the hour."

If rake is charged by the hour, i.e. time rake, it shouldn't matter if people are straddling or not, or if you get 100 hands an hour or 10. I honestly can't compute what you mean. Either you're paying on a specific interval or you're not. And tbh, less than 1% of live players think in terms of anything/100, it isn't a useful measurement to us. (I got started as a button masher, but I simply think differently these days.)

Why aren't you even telling us what the stakes are? this is what I meant by useful information. Cuz if this is anything less than 2/5, the amount of effort required to cheat a game is probably not worth contact lenses, rfid, or anything beyond a black marker and a wee dot somewhere on the card, or basic card mechanics (though that wouldn't explain how a host playing in the game knows the cards).
sw_emigre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2021, 04:30 AM   #12
jeff31
stranger
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 5
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

David, they cut with two hands, and I can't tell for sure what they're doing when they cut, there seems to be 3 piles during the cut and I can't tell if the middle one ended on top or where exactly it came from, but the riffle seems pretty legit, although it's only two or three riffles and go. They only wash once in a while when asked, to save time, and I can't really tell if it's a real wash or fake.

It's a good point about the two handed cut versus one handed.

emigre, please stay on topic. This isn't about the stakes or the rake. If you're gonna be annoyed better leave the thread for others who can contribute something.

I think I'm gonna start another thread in SMP to discuss the physics of invisible ink
jeff31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2021, 05:47 AM   #13
sw_emigre
old hand
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Here but I should be on a yoga mat
Posts: 1,590
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff31 View Post

emigre, please stay on topic. This isn't about the stakes or the rake. If you're gonna be annoyed better leave the thread for others who can contribute something.

I think I'm gonna start another thread in SMP to discuss the physics of invisible ink
I think this reply just told most of us what's really going on here
sw_emigre is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2021, 10:06 AM   #14
DrStrange
adept
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 846
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

It seems to me the best answer is to find another game. Hero isn't winning, for what ever reason. There are questions about the integrity of the game. So why play?

I am not sure that Hero really wants to uncover proof of cheating either. If the matter comes out into the open, it may be the end result is violence. And what would be the point? Let's just move along and find a better game.
DrStrange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2021, 10:23 AM   #15
rickroll
oddly catty
 
rickroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: serene, serene, puissant, puissant
Posts: 10,142
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw_emigre View Post
I think this reply just told most of us what's really going on here
was thinking same
rickroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2021, 06:43 PM   #16
DavidNB
Pooh-Bah
 
DavidNB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jupiter
Posts: 4,288
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw_emigre View Post
I think this reply just told most of us what's really going on here
Yes , I think you are right there.
DavidNB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 12:30 AM   #17
swivet
enthusiast
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: NH
Posts: 92
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Originally Posted by sw_emigre View Post
I think this reply just told most of us what's really going on here


I read thread.

call me dense.
What's going on here?
swivet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2021, 12:39 AM   #18
rickroll
oddly catty
 
rickroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: serene, serene, puissant, puissant
Posts: 10,142
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by swivet View Post
Originally Posted by sw_emigre View Post
I think this reply just told most of us what's really going on here


I read thread.

call me dense.
What's going on here?
he's asking about how this crooked game could be cheating by marking the cards and providing a setting that doesn't make any sense

all his responses drive discussion to teach him how to use invisible ink to mark cards rather than to answer basic questions which are needed to help him figure out if the game is crooked or not

most of his details about the game make no sense whatsoever, he says rake is hourly and then says it's every 100 hands, so there's someone counting the hands? then he says rake changes whether or not people straddle??? it seems like someone with a basic understanding of how the game works wants to start cheating by marking cards and is looking for us to feed him with expert advice on how to do it, he realizes in his efforts to drive conversation towards card marking he got caught in a lie and we probably won't see him post again

i was leaning this way myself, why i stopped interacting with him and his response to tell sw to stfu and just tell him about how to mark cards sealed it
rickroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2021, 07:11 PM   #19
Garick
Oberbiergenießer
 
Garick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Do you even math, bruh?
Posts: 24,096
Re: Marked cards? cheating detection

Rule 1) If you are suspicious a game is crooked, don't play in it.

Don't go back to figure out how they are doing it, just don't go back, no matter how juicy it seems. As for styles of runners cheating games, check YouTube. There are several.
Garick is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:37 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2020, Two Plus Two Interactive