Anyone who plays poker even just casually entertains thoughts of making some extra money playing online. As long as you stick to low stakes games, there are plenty of terrible players out there just waiting to lose their money to a more skilled player. We all started out as bad players, I know I’ve certainly lost some money during my day as an online player. I started out with $50, promptly lost it all, and then paid my dues as a play money player. I’ve since gotten some cash in my account via cashing in some freerolls, but it’s a constant effort to stay above zero.

Simply put, I’m a pretty average poker player at best.

What if there was a way to make money playing poker effortlessly? There may be, assuming you don’t mind, ahem, bending the rules a bit.

It turns out that there are programs that will play for you; the industry has dubbed them “poker bots”. Simply put, poker bots are programs that mimic human players. The program is playing hand after hand, using specific variables built into the program to play each hand. If you believe the claims of  the developers of the program, if you stick to low stakes limit tables, you’re pretty much guaranteed to make money in the long term. They claim that they play better than most human players, avoiding the emotion that gets many human players into trouble. There are many available via a quick Google search, some free and some costing much more.

There’s a slight problem though. The poker sites are all on record as being against poker bots. They claim that the bots are immoral, that online poker should be between humans. If you’re caught using a poker bot, you’re just about guaranteed to lose any amount accumulated in your account. The proponents of bots claim that the use of bots is widespread and although I can’t find the link now, one site claimed that as many as 1 in 12 players on major sites are actually bots.

In fact, a quick Google search for programs used to cheat on online poker gives you tons of matches. I don’t know if they work or not, and I would definitely recommend staying the heck away from cheating, yet it seems like the technology exists to cheat the poker sites.

If it’s true, then if I’m an online poker site, I’m shaking in my boots. The entire system is based on the sanctity of humans playing against humans. The naysayers who claim there are people cheating are quickly labeled as crackpots who are the victims of a bad conspiracy theory. While I don’t know whether cheaters are as rampant as the cheaters claim, I do have serious doubts that online poker is honest. And because of that, I’ll never put another dime into any of the online sites. I probably wouldn’t have anyway, so it’s kind of a moot point.

Once the sanctity of a business is compromised, it’s tough going for any business. As for the people who are interested in poker bots, just remember that if things seem too good to be true…

Tell everyone, yo!