Online Poker Tools will help improve your play. Online Poker Cheats may improve your play. Online Poker Tools are legal to use at Online Poker Rooms. Online Poker Cheats are illegal and when detected your account will be closed, your money seized.
Online Poker Tools defined
An Online Poker Tool is any device that a player uses to assist or help play Online Poker. Online Poker Tools conform to the Terms and Conditions of the Online Poker Room. Technically, a pad and calculator could be an Online Poker Tool. Most Poker Tools are software that is used before, during, or after play.
Online Poker Cheats described
Generally speaking, an Online Poker Cheat is any Software/Program that when utilized, breaches the Terms and Conditions of your Online Poker Room. Most reputable Poker Rooms' Terms and Conditions provide a description of banned practice, as well as a citation of specifically banned software. Online Poker Robots are a subset of Online Poker Cheats.
Where is the Cheating Line?
Where is the cheating line between Online Poker Tools and Online Poker Cheats? The line exists where your Online Poker Room sets it. Although Cheat creators like to argue about it - for better or worse - the Poker Room holds all the chips on this issue (pardon the pun). When you initiate an account with a Poker Room, you agree to their terms and conditions. What they call a cheat, is by default a cheat.
Cheats tend to fester in three areas - data mining, card prediction, and automated play.
Data mining - is where a Software/Program assimilates historical information for use during or after play. In general, it is okay to use information saved from hands you've played in. For hands that you haven't played in, the use of Cheats to gather historical information is illegal. The process of repetitive data mining is done by Robots.
Card prediction - some programs insist they have broken the code on the random number generators used by Poker Rooms. Statistically speaking, this is unlikely. These Programs are illegal.
Automated play - any Program that takes the player out of the loop of play (where the program plays a complete hand without a player click) is illegal. Automated players are often called Robots.
How Prevalent are Online Poker Tools and Online Poker Cheats?
Any guessing on the prevalence of Tools or Cheats can at best be described as a ballpark guess.
Online Poker Tools are growing at a rapid rate, and because of their legality, their growth is unchecked. It is estimated that 17% of Online Poker Players use Online Poker Tools.
Online Poker Cheats exist in a fast moving battle zone. The battle zone exists between their Creators and the Poker Rooms. Once a Cheat achieves popularity, Poker Rooms respond and install counter measures. It may be estimated that less then 1% of Players are attempting to use Online Poker Cheats.