What is chip dumping in poker and why is it illegal?

Poker, like any other card game, is not exempt from the mischief and bad faith of some of the players who try, by all means, to find a way to cheat the rest of the players, as well as the game supervisors and the poker room -in general-. There are several poker traps that we can find today, although each time the methods and strategies to detect them are more effective and practically infallible, both at the physical poker tables and at the online poker tables. One of the most popular poker traps is chip dumping. In this article we will focus on analyzing what it is, how it can harm the rest of the players and why it is an illegal practice. We also look at other popular card game cheats, such as collusion poker. Read on for more information!

What is chip dumping?

Chip dumping is a poker cheating that takes place when one of the players intentionally loses a hand in order to transfer his chips or money to another player. It is a strategy previously agreed between both players -sometimes it can be two and sometimes it can be more players- and the aim is to get the maximum profit from a table by cheating. The profits are then divided between the people who carry out the infraction. If a player premeditates that he is going to lose his chip stack or money to his friend or partner, this is known as chip dumping. 

Generally, chip dumping is a practice that is more common in online poker rooms, this is so because players have several means to warn each other and carry out the strategy. In addition, one of the moments in which it is more common to perform chip dumping is when having the welcome bonus that players who have just opened an account have. Since they do not have the necessary requirements to withdraw the money, many players agree to chip dump with it.

Prevention of chip dumping: How do bookmakers act?


The first thing to know is that chip dumping is usually more common in the first games of a player who has just opened an account in the poker room, specifically when he still has the welcome bonus of the same. At the moment of applying the trap, player A has the bonus frozen in his bankroll -this is because he has not yet earned enough loyalty points or rake to unlock it, but he can use it to play-, so the accomplice, player B -who has a table in order and without freezing-, tries to extract it by winning to finally share it between them. Player A raises before the flop and player B puts all in, player A folds and player B pockets the amount in question. This is how the strategy is applied.

The most popular betting and poker rooms have all kinds of security mechanisms to prevent this from happening, as well as agents that ensure the proper use of the gambling services offered. The best way to prevent chip dumping is information, i.e. knowing what it is and when it takes place. Likewise, players have different mechanisms that they can use to report alleged frauds and illegal actions within the poker room, so that those in charge of the room are responsible for taking the appropriate measures.

Why is chip dumping illegal in poker?

As you can imagine, chip dumping is an illegal practice in poker since it harms the rest of the players and alters the order and trust that users place in the house. As it is obvious, the image of the poker room is also damaged, that is why there are more and more controls and surveillance mechanisms to prevent this type of actions. Poker rooms clearly state in their conditions and policies the prohibition to apply this action, as well as remind users that their account may be immediately suspended in such circumstances. In addition, many poker rooms specify that in case of closing the account or invalidating it the house has no need to refund the money that may have accumulated in the bankroll, i.e. users who carry out such fraudulent actions would lose all the winnings they may have made in their account.

In the poker room regulations it is clearly specified that chip dumping is an illegal behavior, this can result in legal issues for players as well as accomplices. 

Other poker traps


As we said at the beginning, there are several poker traps. The chip dump is one of them, but we can also find many others, such as collusion poker. The most important thing is to know what they are, to avoid being affected by them, and to report them if we detect them. These are the most common poker traps:

  • Chip dumping: As we explained above, when a player agrees with another player to lose and give up his chips.
  • Collusion poker: Action organized by several players to attack a player and get the maximum benefit from him.
  • Passive play: Or soft play. It takes place when players send signals to each other, specifically when one of the accomplices has a very strong hand - it is also the easiest to detect. It can be identified when the player with the very strong hand does not bet or does it in a very soft way to let his partner know not to go for the hand in question. This way he will avoid losing more chips and will know from the first moment what his partner has.

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