The Vice in DeviceWhere there’s a will there’s a way, especially when it comes to scamming the online gaming system with devices sold over the internet. But Richard Marcus investigates whether or not it’s worth the risk.
These days, you can hardly search the internet for anything related to cheating at gambling (online or off) without falling upon an array of Google-sponsored websites hawking online-gaming cheating devices. What was once the domain of brick-and-mortar casino roulette computers has largely given way to devices whose sellers claim they can do everything from count cards at online blackjack, to determine where roulette balls will land on online roulette wheels, to teach you how to control virtual world dice in craps games, and, of course, to see your opponents’ hole cards at poker, which appears to be the most attractive of all the online gaming cheating gizmos and gadgets for sale.
But, and this is a very big “but”, do any of these gadgets actually work? In prior months I have written extensively about the brick-and-mortar roulette computers for sale online. The truth concerning them is that the majority of them do work, but only up to a certain point. The ones for sale on the internet for a thousand quid or two will overcome the huge built-in casino roulette advantage and even give you a sleight statistical edge, but due to other factors—mainly the imperfect actions of those using them, lack of internal operational security, and the fact that practically all roulette bosses in all European casinos are already keen to this fashion of beating brick-and-mortar roulette—very few groups employing them make any worthwhile money at it. There is, however, much better and much more expensive equipment that is not for sale online and is quite effective tracking spinning roulette balls, but the playing lives of those operating them is still usually short and most find themselves barred from every casino on the continent before they earn enough to pay off their equipment.
As far as the internet sale of gadgets for cheating online gambling goes: are their buyers mainly suckers, or is there anything to this stuff? Well, let’s start with the most popular of these offerings—software that supposedly allows you to see your opponents’ hole cards in poker games.
In light of all the online poker scams connected to this type of cheating, right off the bat the validity of these online cheating “packages” cannot be 100 percent dismissed. I, for one, can attest to that. Back in 2005, I was witness to a clandestine operation of online cheaters using high-tech software called Peeker to see their opponents’ hole cards. At the time, Peeker worked on several sites and no inside help was needed to assist the cheating operation. Although it’s true that today’s online poker sites’ security systems are much better than just a few years ago and their source codes more difficult to crack, I don’t believe, nor do many people with much more knowledge than I, that effective hole-card peeking software implemented from the outside can totally be rendered useless. But is this type of powerful software really available for sale online? If so, then why are people selling it? Why are they not just using it?
I do think that some serious hole-card software is for sale on the internet, but not in the sponsored Google ads you see in your search results. Just as there are hidden corners in cyberworld for terror, hate and child exploitation, there are those for people to buy highly advanced online gaming cheating equipment. But I assure you that the number of people trading in this area is small and the prices big—very big.
As for why people sell it instead of using it, there is a plethora of answers. I would lay odds that some people are doing both: selling some of their equipment while using prototypes to cheat the players on online poker sites and the operators of online casino sites. In other cases, those with the capability to design and develop this kind of software technology just don’t want to use it for personal reasons. They very well might be into other forms of cybercrime such as identity theft and bank and credit fraud. Whatever the case, don’t always assume that the “why are people selling it instead of using it?” discrediting clause means that whatever is for sale is bogus. I would, however, discount the vast majority of cheating software and equipment for sale to the general internet public.
What about the cheating offerings for online gambling games other than poker? Do they have any validity? Can you count cards and gain an edge at online blackjack with the aid of cheating software? Can you know ahead of time if player or banker will win the next hand at online baccarat? Well, to date, I have no concrete evidence of these technologies making anybody any money, although I get emails from people claiming they have used them to beat these online games and online roulette as well. Not surprisingly, I have also received e-mails from sellers of various cheating software wanting to post articles on my blog espousing their effectiveness. One person who claims to have written software that will beat online blackjack by exposing the dealer’s hole card even invited me to China at his expense to see his “laboratory”—with the condition that after proving its validity, I would write about it on my blog. Honestly, I was tempted, but my schedule is just too hectic to go to China anytime soon.