When I first started playing poker online, my number one concern was that my money and I would be protected from scams and cheating. I’d heard some horror stories about the early days of online poker, when groups of players would work together to cheat other players out of their money, so naturally I did my research when it came time for me to start playing online. As online poker has grown in popularity, the industry has responded in kind by increasing the level of security and protection that poker rooms can offer their players. The tools and methods poker rooms employ today are much more sophisticated at identifying cheaters and protect players, so it’s really not an issue anymore.
Poker rooms are in the business of hosting poker games and tournaments so it isn’t good for business if their room is filled with cheats. In response to the threat of collusion, poker sites have developed sophisticated tools to make this kind of cheating virtually impossible. Each room has their own systems, which none will talk publicly about, but there are a few common methods that are known. The most common is players playing from the same ip address and players who play a disproportionate number of games together. Poker rooms have very strict policies and continually look for red flags like these. They immediate ban players in violation of these and/or if they suspect of colluding.
Another concern I had was whether or not the poker sites I was considering playing on were trying to cheat the players. I was especially skeptical of this aspect of playing online as you can’t see any cards being shuffled. This led me to investigate RNGs, or Random Number Generators. RNG’s are the piece of software that decides which cards are dealt, to make sure that cards are dealt fairly. All legitimate sites have their RNG’s audited by third parties to ensure they are dealing completely random cards so the games are fair. All the sites I list on this site are completely safe and secure and use RNG’s audited by third parties.
Finally, I wanted to make sure that any financial transactions I was going to be making on these sites were completely secure. This led me to researching SSL encryption – which is something that poker sites use to encrypt your connection when making any financial transactions. As an additional security measure, any good poker site (and all the sites I list on my site) use 1024-bit RSA and CA certificate keys.
So, to sum up, and to answer the initial question, it IS safe to play poker online, as long as you choose a site that meets all the requirements to be a completely secure place to deposit your money and play in fair games alongside players who aren’t able to cheat the system. Luckily, I’ve done the research for you, so you can rest assured that the sites I review on my site meet these strict requirements.