Open-Face Chinese poker has become very popular over the past 1-2 years or so. Barry Greenstein is relatively new to the game and recently played it online using a popular App for iPhone/iPad.
"I was told then by some people that many were playing Open-Face Chinese on an app that's available for iPhones and the iPad. So when I got home I downloaded the app, and I started playing just for fun against some people. You can even play against the app itself," Greenstein wrote on his latest blog.
But it didn't take long before he noticed something strange. Another player had challenged him to play $50/point and he accepted - even though he had heard from other players that the opponent might be better than he was. The match started and he beat him out of about 100 points. The other player then suggested that they should double the stakes. Barry, like most other poker players would have, accepted.
Now, however, the other playing started winning and getting saved on the river time after time.
"It seemed like after being in trouble he kept getting saved on the river over and over and over. Even though it was believable that he was a better player than I was, I decided I wanted to start keeping track of when he needed to get outs in these situations. When he had to get an out on the river to beat me, I wanted to see what his percentage was.
I started keeping track, and the next 14 times it came up, he hit seven times. Now that's not every time, but it was enough that after that I quit."
After Barry had left the game, he decided to call his nephew who's a programmer. His nephew downloaded the app and called back within 30 minutes. He informed Barry that it was very easy to manipulate the game and get yourself a huge advantage. In fact, it was even possible to view an opponent's cards in every session. However, he could not say for sure that Barry was a victim of cheating.
Barry Greenstein contacted the company behind the App after speaking to his nephew. He has been informed that their technicians are investigating the security of the program.