In a recently published blog post, PokerStars has revealed more about the techniques and processes that make the online poker site a safe place to play for all players, professionals and amateurs alike.
At a time when a variety of cheating allegations are being made against even top-rated players, one of the world’s leading online poker platforms, PokerStars has decided to reassure its players in regards to the game integrity and player security on its site.
For more information on how online poker rooms in the US protect their players and keep games fair check out our guide on understanding bots and collusion in online poker and how legal operators combat this to make games safe for their players.
Game Integrity at PokerStars
Online poker sites are constantly exposed to all types of dangers. On the one hand, some players are always trying to get an unfair advantage by using third-party software, bots, or other means of cheating, and on the other, hackers and other nefarious individuals are trying to gain access to players’ accounts to steal their personal data.
As the operator, it is PokerStars’ job to prevent all these things from happening and to ensure that the games are run in the fairest and safest way possible.
According to PokerStars, it is always making sure that:
- All cards are dealt randomly
- Player data is processed in an appropriate manner
- Cheaters are caught and victims are compensated
Over the years, no online poker site has done as much for poker players in this sense as PokerStars. Cheating players, botters, and other individuals trying to abuse the system have been caught on many occasions, and the site has compensated millions in losses to players over the years.
PokerStars continues to adhere to its own high standards when it comes to game integrity at a time when cheating in poker is becoming problematic due to new real-time assistance (RTA) technologies also coming into play.
How Player Security is Ensured at PokerStars
According to the PokerStars blog post, Flutter employs a team of 50 experts who are part of the Game Integrity Team. This Team ensures that games run smoothly and in compliance with all the rules.
The Game Integrity Team is made up of developers, analysts, and pro poker players, all of whom analyze poker hands, player accounts, and more, to ensure that no rules are being broken.
As part of this process, the Team collects various types of data to analyze, including:
- Technical Data: IP addresses and Mac addresses of your devices.
- Behavioral Data: User’s behavior on the platform, decision-making time, and more.
- Software Data: Other programs running concurrently with your PokerStars client.
- Gameplay Data: Billions of hands are analyzed to recognize gameplay patterns and deviations.
PokerStars decided not to disclose all of the information it gathers and analyzes at this time, so as not to make cheating attempts any easier on the offenders.
Yet, it is clear that the company does a lot to ensure the safety of all games on its platform, which has yielded results repeatedly over its 20 years of operation.
Screen Recording and Funds Confiscation at PokerStars
Over the years, sites like PokerStars have been accused of sometimes collecting more information than necessary and going as far as recording players’ screens during play.
When it comes to PokerStars, the operator has reiterated that it does not use any such techniques and never records player screens for any reason.
The operator does ask players to record their playing sessions at times to confirm they are playing on their own account, but these sessions are recorded by the player and sent to the operator.
In addition to this, PokerStars talked about the ways it uses funds it confiscates from players, once again reassuring the poker community that all such funds are used to reimburse the damaged players.
Real-Time Assistance and Path Forward at PokerStars
Evolution in the ways poker is analyzed and played in recent years has led to some changes, namely the introduction of various real-time assistance (RTA) tools that players can use to gain an edge in games.
PokerStars and other operators have been faced with the challenge of preventing the use of such tools, which is often not easy as they are external tools not directly related to the client.
Yet, PokerStars has developed a system of catching RTA offenders by using a variety of tools to analyze the play and recognize patterns that point to the use of RTAs.
The operator’s parent company Flutter Entertainment continues to work in accordance with the laws and regulations set in place by the various regulatory agencies that regulate its operations and the legal framework of the markets it operates in.
The company has, once again, promised to continue to search for and fight all types of cheaters and those who try to exploit the poker ecosystem for their own benefit while using all the systems and methods its Game Integrity Team has been developing over the last two decades.