What Is Ghosting In Poker?

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Last Updated: December 18, 2023

What Is Ghosting In Poker

The term ghosting is used in poker when referring to the act of receiving outside assistance during a poker game from someone that is not participating in the game.

Ghosting can take many forms, such as a player receiving advice or instruction from a friend or a coach via text messages, verbal communication, or someone taking over to play instead of you. Obviously, it is much more common in online games.

In poker, ghosting is considered cheating, just like colluding or chip dumping, because it gives players an unfair advantage over their opponents, so it is angle shooting in a sense.

With this said, even though ghosting is illegal, some players still engage in this activity for different reasons. Some just use ghosting to make more money from poker, while others use ghosting because they believe that their opponents are also receiving some form of outside assistance.

Whichever the reason might be, ghosting can never be justified, and players caught engaging in this behavior can face serious consequences, including disqualification from tournaments and getting banned from online poker sites.

Poker Ghosting Example:

Let’s say that you are playing in an online MTT, and you find yourself in a spot where you are unsure what to do, so you decide to consult one of your poker friends who is watching you play.

While this action might seem harmless to you, the reality is that you are creating an unfair advantage over your opposition by seeking outside assistance, and your action might be interpreted as ghosting.

The more extreme example would be someone taking over to play instead of you when you reach the final table of a big tournament or another high-value situation.

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