Chinese Poker Phone App Scam

shutterstock_108311192Barry Greenstein has been a pro for Team PokerStars for some time now, so when he mentions something is amiss it usually means when digging further there is something not right.

His latest blog on PokerStars has revealed that a new style of poker known as Open-Faced Chinese may have some technical flaws that allows a player to view what their hand will be before it is dealt. The revelation came after he was playing the game using an iOS app to deal and score the game.

He became suspicious when his opponent appeared to be landing more than his/her fair share of luck via outs that for one would make no sense chasing and on a second count they were outs so thin that the player could not have hit them with the amazing regularity seemed to be happening. This sparked Greenstein to investigate further by contacting a computer programmer friend who happened to be his nephew.

After downloading the app Greenstein’s nephew confirmed that the way the program has been designed leaves it susceptible to cheaters who have the programming knowledge to edit or manipulate certain code in the application. This manipulation would then allow players to see all 13 of their cards before they were dealt. This obviously gives the opponent a mammoth advantage despite the fact they cannot see their opponents cards.

The idea of Open-Faced Chinese Poker is to slowly build up a poker hand as cards are dealt one by one after an initial 5 cards have been dealt.

So far the software version of the game hasn’t been designed to play real money and rather uses a points system, but players make cash side deals before and during the game, so the software is effectively the engine that deals the cards and keeps score in what is a play for fun version of the game.

Cash agreements are then made between the players who agree on how much each point is worth and at the end of the game the players settle any monetary agreements made.

Greenstein recounts his game starting with stakes of $50 a point and doing quite well boosting himself up to around the 100 point mark. He upped the ante by changing the game to $100 a point. His luck then changed or at least his opponents luck did. The amazing suck outs seemed a little far above the odds of even Jamie Gold’s unstoppable run of cards when he won the 2006 WSOP.

So far Greenstein has not mentioned who exactly his opponent was or the name of the software used.

Even though there is only suspicion of cheating, it worth staying away from committing your cash to games that have been designed for play for fun as obviously the extra security needed for a real money version is not going to be as important for software designers not expecting players to use their game for cash purposes.