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A.As online poker has grown in popularity, people have developed tools and web-based services to help them play better online. We think it is okay for players to use some of these tools and services. However, we think that some go beyond what we consider acceptable as an aid to playing online.
There are many things that a player can do to improve their chances in a poker game. For instance, they can play a lot and gain experience, or they can read a book about poker. Both of these techniques are clearly appropriate. At the other end of the spectrum, they can work in collusion with a partner, sharing information about hole cards and teaming up against other players. This is clearly cheating.
In between those two extremes are many tools - some of which we consider to be too close to cheating. For example, there are people building huge databases with profiles of every player online, and they are selling access to these databases. A player with access to such a database can call up detailed information about every one of his opponents without ever playing against those opponents himself. We believe this gives that player an unfair advantage against others at his table.
Obviously, knowledgeable people will disagree over what is appropriate and what is not. We have developed what we consider to be a reasonable compromise between letting players take every possible fair advantage, and prohibiting the unfair ones.
A.We have received emails on this subject from many players. Some want to use these tools or services and are asking if they're okay. Other players are concerned that their opponents are using them. We needed to establish a policy so we could draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable tools and services. We made this decision only after thorough discussion within our organization and with other poker experts, including our team of professionals.
A.The following types of tools and services are generally acceptable:
A.Consider this: you are playing at a six-person table and the other five players at that table are using a shared database tools and services. After each hand, they are able to see what cards every other player (except you) had. Do you want to play at that table?
A.The following are examples of tools and services that are permitted:
NOTE: We do not make any guarantees regarding the functionality, reliability, or safety of any of these tools and services.
^ Denotes tool is compatible with Mac OS X only
† Denotes tool offers a limited subset of features when our software is open, in order to comply with our policy
A.The following types of tools and services are prohibited:
‡ Hosting live streams on Twitch and other similar services is not considered as sharing hole card data.
A.The following are examples of tools and services that are prohibited at all times:
There are some tools and services which have legitimate uses for analysing your game, but which are not appropriate for use during play. Typically, these tools fall under the following categories:
The following are examples of tools and services that are prohibited while our software is running:
There are some tools and services which have legitimate uses for analysing your game, but which are not appropriate for use during play. For example, ICM (Independent Chip Model) and Nash Equilibrium tools may be used for post-game analysis and for studying hands which you have previously played. Also, there are some web-based results databases, and its fine to use these to look at your own results. However, you may not use such a tool while our software is open.
Some examples of tools and services which are prohibited only while our software is running are:
* PH Stars (a compliant version of Insight Poker Hound) is permitted
** SitnGo Wizard version 126.96.36.199 and later is permitted
A.Please send an email to Support with all the information you have about the tool or service in question. Please include a URL to a relevant web page if possible. We will review the tool or service and let you know if it's permitted or not.
We do not actively endorse or support any tool or service on the permitted list, nor do we make any guarantees regarding the functionality, reliability, or safety of any service whatsoever.
A.Yes. In addition to evaluating new tools and services that come to our attention, we frequently re-examine those already on the permitted and prohibited lists to ensure they continue to fall within our terms of service. In addition, the terms of service themselves and the definition of a prohibited tool or service are periodically re-examined and are subject to change without notice. These re-examinations can result in a tool or service being reclassified without notice, moving from the permitted list to the prohibited list or vice-versa. We assume no responsibility to notify players of any such reclassifications. Players should regularly check the lists of tools and services to verify the current status of any item's classification.
A.No. You may only collect hand histories and player information from hands in which you are a participant.
A.We are going to look to see if any of those tools or services that may provide an unfair advantage are running on a player's computer.
A.Absolutely not. Our sole interest is in protecting our players and our sites from tools and services that we believe are bad for the integrity and fairness of our games.
A.We believe that it is best to take action against these services at the root. Consequently, we are continually improving our software to stop the datamining of our games. In addition, we reserve the right to take legal action as we deem fit against those services that maliciously and repeatedly breach our Terms of Service.
A.We may, at our discretion, prevent the poker client program from running on your machine, or require players to upgrade the client program. However, it is not possible for our staff to remotely modify any file on your computer, or send any file to your machine.
A.While we reserve the right to confiscate the funds of somebody running a prohibited tool or service, we are not going to do this lightly. Our goal is to educate via warning players who are found to be using prohibited software that is publicly available for download. However, we will confiscate funds if a player shows a pattern of using prohibited tools and services after being warned, or if a player attempts to bypass our detection measures, or if a player is found to be privately developing or using privately developed software that violates our policies.
A.We do have a more in depth developer reference guide (PPSX, PDF) if you are interested in finding out some more of the intricacies regarding this policy. If you have any further questions, please contact Support.