In the ever-evolving world of online poker, one issue has consistently plagued the industry: Real Time Assistance (RTA). RTA refers to players receiving external advice while playing, which undermines the integrity of the game. PokerStars, one of the leading names in online poker, is taking a proactive approach to combat this problem.
In this article, we’ll provide insights into PokerStars’ robust strategy for identifying and deterring RTA users, shedding light on their relentless pursuit of fair play.
A Constant Issue
PokerStars has a long-standing commitment to maintaining the integrity of their games. This commitment extends to addressing RTA, which has persisted as a challenge for nearly two decades.
To combat this issue, the platform initially used a clever approach – analyzing how players interacted with their mouse during gameplay. By identifying distinct human behaviors, they could spot fully automated bots.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
As with any arms race, staying ahead of cheaters requires constant innovation. PokerStars maintains a culture of innovation within its team to adapt to evolving threats. They recognize the need to keep their detection methods discreet to avoid alerting cheaters.
The battle between cheat developers and PokerStars’ vigilant teams is a perpetual one, driving the platform to develop and refine their tools continually.
PokerStars anticipated the rise of Game Theory Optimal (GTO)-solutions and proactively took action to counter them. They developed systems capable of monitoring hundreds of player decisions and actions in real-time. This required significant investment and ongoing development, but it positions them to stay ahead of the curve.
PokerStars’ detection tools are developed in-house and specifically designed to catch cheaters efficiently. They employ various methods to identify different types of cheaters, including those who play perfect GTO or seek advice only in critical moments. These tools work even if players occasionally use RTA, thanks to behavioral indicators in the data.
The platform has had a dedicated team for around 20 years, with staff now having many decades of combined experience. These experts have played countless online poker hands, giving them an intimate understanding of the game’s nuances. The Game Integrity Development Team is supported by dedicated developers who continually update detection tools and maintain the highest standards of fair play.
RTA Detection Rates and Process
PokerStars’ proactive detection rate exceeds 95%. While they don’t claim to have everything covered, they view setbacks as opportunities for improvement. Player reports play a vital role in this process, helping PokerStars refine their detection techniques.
While the specifics of the process remain confidential, PokerStars provides insight into their investigation process for RTA use. Cases are initiated by alerts that flag suspicious activity in real-time. These alerts consider various factors, including player decisions and additional data points. If a case is confirmed, the player’s account is suspended, and a thorough investigation follows, often including video or phone calls.
Zero Tolerance Approach
PokerStars adopts a strict zero-tolerance policy towards RTA users. Cheating players face permanent bans, and any account balance is confiscated, with PokerStars covering any shortfall to compensate affected players. The message is clear: attempting to gain an unfair advantage through RTA is not worth the risk.
Sign Up to PokerStars to Play Online Poker in a Safe and Secure Environment
New depositing PokerStars customers can claim a welcome bonus worth up to $400. Download PokerStars via PokerNews, create your free account and decide how much you want to deposit. Your deposit is matched 100% up to $400 as a bonus. In fact, your first three deposits in the first 60 days after making your first deposit are matched up to a combined total of $400.
The bonus releases into your playable balance in $10 increments each time you generate 180 redemption points, which in turn are earned at a rate of five per $1 contributed to the cash game rake or spent on tournament fees (6.5 points per £1, 5.5 points per €1, and four points per CAD$).
Calum has been a part of the PokerNews team since September 2021 after working in the UK energy sector. He played his first hand of poker in 2017 and immediately fell in love with the game. Calum’s proudest poker achievement is winning the only tournament he has ever played in Las Vegas, the prestigious $60 Flamingo evening event.