pacomartin
• Posts: 7895
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
July 1st, 2011 at 8:56:03 AM permalink
I don't play poker, so this question may sound naive
Has anyone ever written a computer program to simulate four guys (out of a table of N) who are colluding in poker? They develop a series of signals so that someone can indicate what he has, and the other player could indicate if they have the cards to block his intended hand. If the four guys are playing as a team, it seems to me that they could quickly have an advantage over the other players.

Although it is certainly unethical, is it illegal? Do casinos watch out for teams of players? It might take some work to distinguish a coordinated team from a group of guys who like to play together.

What about online poker where each person has their own broadband connection? Can four people easily specify that they want to play together? I would imagine draw poker would be the best game to play since you would maximize the number of cards you can see, that the non-team players can't see.

What I am imagining is a setup where each player has three cheap computers around him that are set to mirror the screens of his teammates. They also have a separate audio link so they can discuss strategy.
odiousgambit
• Posts: 9644
Joined: Nov 9, 2009
July 1st, 2011 at 9:10:14 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I don't play poker, so this question may sound naive
Has anyone ever written a computer program to simulate four guys (out of a table of N) who are colluding in poker? They develop a series of signals so that someone can indicate what he has, and the other player could indicate if they have the cards to block his intended hand. If the four guys are playing as a team, it seems to me that they could quickly have an advantage over the other players.

Although it is certainly unethical, is it illegal? Do casinos watch out for teams of players? It might take some work to distinguish a coordinated team from a group of guys who like to play together.

What about online poker where each person has their own broadband connection? Can four people easily specify that they want to play together? I would imagine draw poker would be the best game to play since you would maximize the number of cards you can see, that the non-team players can't see.

What I am imagining is a setup where each player has three cheap computers around him that are set to mirror the screens of his teammates. They also have a separate audio link so they can discuss strategy.

there is no doubt in my mind that online cheating goes on and can't really be stopped, some sites try I guess.

I also fear walking into a poker room and seeing the "regulars" light up at the sight; I guess I am paranoid. It is likely I will never play poker in a casino, for this and other reasons.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
vert1276
• Posts: 446
Joined: Apr 25, 2011
July 1st, 2011 at 9:28:21 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

I don't play poker, so this question may sound naive
Has anyone ever written a computer program to simulate four guys (out of a table of N) who are colluding in poker? They develop a series of signals so that someone can indicate what he has, and the other player could indicate if they have the cards to block his intended hand. If the four guys are playing as a team, it seems to me that they could quickly have an advantage over the other players.

Although it is certainly unethical, is it illegal? Do casinos watch out for teams of players? It might take some work to distinguish a coordinated team from a group of guys who like to play together.

What about online poker where each person has their own broadband connection? Can four people easily specify that they want to play together? I would imagine draw poker would be the best game to play since you would maximize the number of cards you can see, that the non-team players can't see.

What I am imagining is a setup where each player has three cheap computers around him that are set to mirror the screens of his teammates. They also have a separate audio link so they can discuss strategy.

There is no doubt it happens online. I for one used to do it quite often(hangs head in shame lol). Years ago me and 2 other friends used to sign into the same table on the 10 man sit n goes on party poker. And IM each other our hands and help each other push pots with check raise and stuff like that. We were consistent winners. We did it for about 6 months. I heard later(rumor only) that the sites were really cracking down on it and if the same people always sat at the same table together that the site would review their play and if anything looked fishy that would just close your account and keep the money.
s2dbaker
• Posts: 3259
Joined: Jun 10, 2010
July 1st, 2011 at 9:40:13 AM permalink
Don't gamble online unless it's you vs. the house.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
Ayecarumba
• Posts: 6763
Joined: Nov 17, 2009
July 1st, 2011 at 9:56:59 AM permalink
Team play at live games does occur. You don't even need four colluders. Two can be just as effective. It is a practice that is supposed to be prohibited, but I have not seen it openly enforced. This is the main reason asking to see all hole cards at the conclusion of a hand is accomodated.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
pacomartin
• Posts: 7895
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
July 1st, 2011 at 11:10:11 AM permalink
Quote: vert1276

We did it for about 6 months. I heard later(rumor only) that the sites were really cracking down on it and if the same people always sat at the same table together that the site would review their play and if anything looked fishy that would just close your account and keep the money.

See that sounds like an idle threat. If you keep track of the times that you lost big pots (just by luck), and if you throw a few small pots in such a way that clearly indicates that you didn't know what was in each other's hands, and if you bring in some rarely used handles once in a while and throw the pot his way, I think you could have a pretty good defense. The burden on the poker site would be huge to prove you were colluding.

I could see the site having enough evidence to ban you, but not to keep your money.
zippyboy
• Posts: 1124
Joined: Jan 19, 2011
July 1st, 2011 at 11:21:14 AM permalink
I see collusion in live rooms from time to time. Usually two friends reraising everyone else out of the pot in macho squeeze plays till it's heads-up, then slow-playing each other, or checking it down to the river. Once the table sees what hands they're playing & raising with, no one folds again. If we all know these two are fratboy drinkin' buddies, the dealer might warn them it's unethical. However, sometimes a husband/wife team might come to the table 20 minutes apart and not acknowledge each other, and collude silently in the same manner, raising everyone else out, then one folds to a bet on the river. I've seen this myself. I had noticed this Asian couple in the buffet an hour earlier eating together (she was quite attractive), and was happy to see her sit at my poker table. Then her husband joined later but they ignored each other. I watched their peculiar play for a while, avoided being in pots with them, felt I was watching and learning from a scripted show.

The poker room doesn't generally care about collusion since it gets its rake regardless. It's just players robbing players, not the casino. But if it's too obvious, it chases away honest players and room get a bad rep, so the floorman or dealer will make some effort to control the integrity. But if the colluders are also good tippers, I'd think the dealer would give more leeway.

As for online, of course two players could be on a cell discussing hands at the same table. Or 4 players could be seated next to each other in a row at some Internet Café watching each other's screens. Kind of a moot point now with the DoJ crackdown. But with all the software helping out bad players anyway, like HUDs and other instant stats, and bots, etc, I never took online poker seriously anyway.
"Poker sure is an easy game to beat if you have the roll to keep rebuying."
buzzpaff
• Posts: 5328
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
July 1st, 2011 at 11:37:10 AM permalink
I could see the site having enough evidence to ban you, but not to keep your money.

On the Isle of Mann you are guilty until proving innocent. And the final arbitrator is the on-line poker room. Two plus two forum is full of posting from players who have been falsely accused and lost their money. Worse are the on-line poker rooms who take your money willingly but upon withdrawal want a picture of you holding your passport, a fax of other id cards, as well as the name of the first girl you kissed!
pacomartin
• Posts: 7895
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
July 1st, 2011 at 3:50:05 PM permalink
Quote: Ayecarumba

You don't even need four colluders. Two can be just as effective.

That doesn't seem obvious to me that two people could effectively throw the odds significantly in a ten person table.
MathExtremist
• Posts: 6526
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
July 1st, 2011 at 3:54:05 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

That doesn't seem obvious to me that two people could effectively throw the odds significantly in a ten person table.

Most hands there are only 3-4 people in the pot. If two colluders stay in every time one of them has a good hand, they have a very strong advantage over the other 1-2 non-cheating people in the pot.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
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