TEAMING UP - It's unfair, unethical, and bad poker etiquette!

During poker games (mostly in tournament tables) groups of friends will often gang up on other individuals in order to gain an unfair advantage. While this type of behavior is sometimes done in a very blatant way, it is almost always done in a subtle and passive way, which makes it both frustrating and hard to detect.

An example of such subtleness is when groups play “friendly poker” against each other (small raises, a lot of checking back and forth) but then play very aggressive against anybody not in their social clique. I’ve also observed groups teaming up by collectively calling a strangers’ raise which they do not do when it’s one of them raising. I also see a lot of friends making nonsensical folds or insane calls in order to save a friend who has a “short stack”.

These “subtle” methods are technically not against the rules but I have studied many different tables and the behaviors of different groups and I can assure anybody reading this that - while it’s technically not “cheating” - it does indeed make the game unfair for anybody that’s not in these “social cliques”.

I understand that this type of behavior is practically impossible to pinpoint (unless it’s done extremely blatantly there’s no way to really proving it) so I don’t really expect the Replaypoker Staff to do anything. I just want to remind players to have some INTEGRITY. Poker is an individually competitive sport, it is NOT a game of group survival.

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Points made in your post: Fair Enough
Some questions though:
The problem you’re outlining here never happens to me, you say you have studied many different tables and behaviors of different groups, where does this happen (stake level) and can you tell me some of the player’s names and ranks?

I agree that it’s bad poker etiquette, but you just have to switch up your playstyle if you know they’re going to play like a team.

No, I will not single out any specific person or group, for various (and obvious) reasons. If you don’t believe me or question the validity of my claims, then fine.

For the record I was not accusing the entire community either, I believe the MAJORITY of the community are honorable players (and fun/nice people).

Like I said in my original post, most of these behaviors are subtle and hard to “prove”, one reason why i’m not singling anybody out. My post might come off a little dramatic but I have chatted with a few in tournaments and some have agreed with me. But like I said my Thread wasn’t to get any single person or group in trouble, it’s just a friendly reminder for us (myself included) to try to maintain the highest level of integrity in the game and minimize as much “friend biasness” as possible.

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One last note: I did not write this thread because I was mad I lost a tournament or chips or whatever you think is motivating me. My bitterness has nothing to do about any loss of chips (I honestly don’t even care about chips)

You dont have to prove it at al. Just report it. Staff and mods check it out. They got the experiance.


Never noticed either. As for the “friendly poker” it could be what you describe, it could also be people who know each other and their mentality approaching a tourney.
If say in the early goings they know the best strategy is to value hard then it’s not surprising that they are pot controlling when playing against each other and raising or calling big raise when they have singled out an unknown player who could be spotted as a passive/aggro fish.

Usually as you don’t have much info on the players early in a tournament I’ll use the rank (keeping in mind that it’s obviously imperfect) to determine how I’ll play. So you might even spot me as part of the “team” when I don’t even know the other guys doing the same thing.

It’s natural in poker that “regs” attack “fishes” before fighting it out for the win.

I will if it’s ever very obvious. I would feel silly doing so for less. How exactly do you prove 3 friends on a Final table are biased towards knocking me out first?

I would rather just remind people of this type of behavior and hope more people are conscious of it rather than try to pursue penalty actions for something that’s “grey area”-ish and hard to prove. Unless it’s suuuuper obvious, then of course i’m reporting them!

Oh no Qu4, of course that’s not what i’m talking about!! LOL. I might be fairly new to this site but i’m not new to poker. I’m familiar with shark / fish dynamics. I take advantage of those players too, I won 1.5Mil off them just today, doing the same thing the regulars do (I pick up on that stuff fast). I’m talking about… like… OK, i’ll give you an example I actually remember happening… Friend #1 (and I know they’re friends because of chat) has 200 chips left and there was 5,000+ in the pot. Friend #2, who has a massive chip lead, folds his hand when the last move is his instead of just checking (strange, no?) which saves his friend from getting knocked out and giving him another chance at making it “in the money” with a now much much bigger pot. Now technically there’s nothing illegal about folding like that in poker, but it is more a question of integrity. You can make the argument that Friend #2 just had a bad hand and was embarrassed to show it? Sure, let’s go with that. I don’t like jumping to conclusions either!! But then stuff keeps adding up and in the end you’re pretty sure they’re trying to keep each other alive until they’re both “in the money”. I am NOT a paranoid guy. There’s no 100% way of proving it all the time, but once again it goes back to integrity. Do you get what i’m saying? Or do I sound crazy?

That’s just a single example btw. Not everybody “teams up” in the same way either, some do it in different ways.I could give more examples like the one I gave above but I already sound like a big CRY BABY lol. I already feel like i’ve written way too much on this subject. I feel lame at this point. LOL, I was just reminding the community to keep integrity in mind and to keep in mind how unfair teaming up can be… in case somebody participated in it in one form or another without really thinking about it.


If you got doubt, better tell them. I was mod, they got some tools to look up. Need data and time tho.
But as I said, they got more experiance and tools then you ever will.

No way, I’d rather be embarrassed showing complete garbage than not checking back to an uncontested pot. Actually I’d stab at it with complete junk even if the guy has only 200 left, he should have pulled the trigger way before with a decent hand so might work and if he calls I get cheap info. I’d need some SDV to check back so that is highly suspicious in that case to just fold, doesn’t make any sense. Except of course if you consider what you are saying.

I don’t feel you’re being a cry baby, I’ve just never noticed something like you described on RP. And I usually don’t pay attention to potential “team play” because I don’t think there are enough players doing it to be a problem.

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Well, I have only started playing this week really so maybe I was just unlucky my first couple of days? That is a possibility. I will say it hasn’t happened yesterday, although some guy DID go all in every time I raised (it’s ok though, TILTING players is an advantage).

I agree though, folding makes no sense, it isn’t the first time i’ve seen somebody do that. I would look at my hand history to try to show it but i’m really not trying to go through 1,000 videos for it lol

I am sure you are correct though. This community seems generally nice and most importantly, fair. Apart from the occasional toxic player, but hey, every table needs a troll right?? :smile:

That’s hard to arrange in tournament play. Odds are, you won’t see many of your friends the whole game.

I often play less aggressively against my friends because I know their tendencies and they know mine. Playing against people you know takes more finesse and less brute force, at least in my experience. For example, my friends usually know that if I bet the pot, I have at the very least top pair and a good kicker. I bet less with them to get paid, not to be nice.

I have played a lot of teamers in real money games though. I never considered them a problem because they usually sucked as individual players, and it took so much time to coordinate their game that it cost them dearly in the long run.

"An example of such subtleness is when groups play “friendly poker” against each other (small raises, a lot of checking back and forth) but then play very aggressive against anybody not in their social clique. I’ve also observed groups teaming up by collectively calling a strangers’ raise which they do not do when it’s one of them raising. "

Oh, I really love this behaviour. I’m always glad when I detect swarm-players. You can gain much more chips out of those groups than against a couple of single players.

you say report them then when you do it happens that these players are long time players and make you go looking for another table to play on every time they get on a table they tell all the players how you reported them how does that make it better to me it just made things worse

Dont tell them then.

I did not tell them you have some short replies if your friends with them I understand that you think that this is not a problem but its how you lose people

I dont think is other cure for that. I believe, RP have a tool for detect this ( or will be ), but, lots of variables. Often laber could solve that better. AKA moderators. Anyone can be a moderator. You can apply for it.
Couple hours from your free time , help out players and RP.

Don’t play at a table if you aren’t comfortable there… just find another table.

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I agree with you, Olivia Sweet. I’ve run into these groups also and have waited for the perfect hand and opportunity to get the nuts and play them to an all in and take most of them out. When you do this to them, they will usually leave you along after that, and for the few that haven’t, you just spank them twice. It doesn’t always work, but it’s assume when it does.

You will find that play here is much different than live play… People make calls, raises, ect on a regular basis here that you rarely see in live play. Some of them are simply inexperienced.Some like me get into one hand after another more because they to play than because i have good hole cards. Sometimes you draw a flop sometimes not. There are many people who play that way here. (why not when the flops are so cheap) I would never do that in live play where real money is on the line. I was amazed at first how many people will push large percentages of their stack on a draw. And how many simply bluff.