Banned Poker Software on Online Poker Rooms

Date: 2008-11-12
Author: Brett Collson

The moral dilemma of whether third-party software programs should be allowed while playing poker has forced online poker sites to come to a decision: Are these programs unethical to use? And if so, which ones? Some have concluded that programs don't give players an unfair advantage while others have attempted to even the playing field by banning specific software while playing on their site.

So where does each site stand on the subject of poker software? Here's a look at the position some sites have taken:

Bodog Poker

When playing poker at Bodog there aren't any specific software programs that are prohibited. However, Bodog does not allow "bot" programs or collusion in the form of "trading information about their cards." Refer to Bodog's Terms of Service for more information.

Cake Poker

According to Cake Poker, there is no definitive list of prohibited software due to pace of the fast-moving of this industry. The site provided with the following statement: "Any software that intentionally sets out to gather or display information regarding the game or any statistical data related to the game or your fellow players is not allowed."

Doyle's Room

While the site doesn't have a list of prohibited programs, it states that basically any type of software that can be used to manipulate the game in any way is not allowed on its poker room. The following is mentioned within Doyle’s Room's terms and conditions: "The Company reserves the right to cancel your account if you are found cheating or if it is determined by Company that you have employed or made use of a system (including machines, computers, software or other automated systems)." Click here for more info.

Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt discourages the use of software that gives grants an unfair advantage at the tables. The site states: "Software capable of making recommendations on betting actions during play is strictly prohibited. This includes programs such as hand strength calculators, tournament end-game analyzers and other poker advisors. Players who use such tools are deemed to be gaining an unfair advantage over their opponents, and may have their accounts closed permanently. Account funds may be forfeited and used to compensate the victims.”

"Some software tools are legitimate aids to learning the game of poker. Those tools may only be used offline, when the player is not currently participating in any games on Full Tilt Poker."

In addition, Full Tilt does not permit the use of databases that include hand histories for hands that a player did not personally partake in. Click here for more info.


Pokerstars provides users with an extensive list of software programs that players can and can't use []. The site prohibits:
1. Any program that shares hole card data with other players or programs.
2. Any program that works off of a central database of player profiles or hands played.
3. Any program that plays without human intervention (a 'bot') or reduces the requirement of a human playing.
4. The practice of datamining (observing games as a non-player for extended periods in order to build up a large database of hand histories for future reference).
5. Any software that offers direct game play advice on the appropriate action to take, and which is also programmable or configurable beyond a very basic level.

Prohibited Programs:
Advanced Poker Calculator, CardAnalyzer, Gambot, Hand HQ, hhSmithey. Holdem Hawk. Holdem Pirate, Online Holdem Inspector, ICM-Bot, iHH Harvester, Magic Holdem, Mandraker, MyPokerIntel, Online Omaha High Inspector, Open Holdem Bot, OPI Wizard, PokerAnalytics, Poker Android, Poker Bot+, Poker Bloodhound, Poker Crusher, Poker-Edge, Online Poker Inspector, Poker Mate, Poker Player Winnings, Poker Prophecy, POKERobot, Poker Sherlock, Poker Table Manager, Poker Usher, Real Poker Rankings, SharkMate, Sit n' Go Brain, Sixth Sense, SmartCollector, SpadeEye, Stars Hand History (SHH), StarSpy, Texas Auto Fold, TheCashDB, and WinHoldem.

Programs prohibited only while Pokerstars is running:
Insight Poker Hound, PokerStrategy ICM Trainer, SAGE Decision Calculator, SharkScope (including SharkScope HUD), Sit and Go End Game Tools, SitnGo Wizard, SNG Power Tools, Spade ICM, and STT Analyzer by PokerSoftwareTools.


UB has taken the following stance regarding poker software programs: "At UltimateBet, we do not encourage the use of tools that attempt to reveal other players' poker statistics. However, we do not prohibit poker odds calculators, as there are no means available to confirm their use.

"Even though we cannot restrict the use of third party software by other players, we can assure you that we have taken all the necessary security measures in order to guarantee our software's integrity. We have implemented a number of features to protect your privacy while you are playing with us."

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