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Chip dumping.

Have you ever wondered why software manufacturers always release a "Beta” version of their product(s) before letting the public have the real McCoy? The answer is simple. All systems need to be thoroughly tested by the masses before they are delivered to the masses, for a fee. The best possible test a system can have is by as many regular individuals as possible. The more the merrier. The more money a company can afford to spend on beta testing and beta testers, the better final the final product they’ll boast.

More often than not, the wisdom of the masses is by far more powerful than that of any individual engineer, regardless of how brilliant he/she may be.

The masses will test the product in ways the inventors and creators would never have thought about, and they’ll find breaches in the system. There are always shortcomings and breaches.

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Likewise, an online poker room is used by probably a few million people over the course of a year. Rest assured, whatever glitches the software may have, and whatever shortcomings there may be in the security system, they will be found and they will be fully exploited.

With the popularity online poker has achieved nowadays, people often play together as groups of friends or relatives. The dilemma of a fuss-free transfer of funds between two players who know each-other, is not a new one, and neither is the way some people thought they’d go about solving it: they lose chips to each other on purpose.

Now, you may not know this, but this practice is absolutely forbidden in every poker room, and the penalties applied for it when caught red-handed, are some of the harshest.

The poker room will immediately freeze the account of a person suspected with partaking in such a maneuver, and all his money will be confiscated.

Let’s see how chip dumping (that’s what poker-savvy people call it) works and the reasons why the crackdown is so harsh on it.

Let’s suppose player A wants to transfer some money to player B. They both join an online poker room, A creates a private heads-up table and gives B the password. B soon joins and they start playing.

They raise every single hand, (regardless of the cards they get) and A always folds on the river. Soon, all the dough gets through to B. If you think this is a brilliant idea, think again. There couldn’t be a more obvious way to dump chips than described above. Remember that poker rooms have sophisticated systems working to detect much more intricate patterns of collusion. They’ll have no problems homing in on your little illegal money transfer, and giving you both the good old 1-2-3.

You may try to disguise the transfer by actually playing hands and letting the other player know when you have weak cards. Again, the software will most probably detect you. You’ll probably still push the envelope, since you don’t want to be paying too much rake on your transfer.

If you take your thing to a multi-handed table, you’ll be guilty of collusion again. Not only will you do your illegal transfer, you’ll be stealing money from other players as well. On top of that, there will always be a chance that some third player messes up your scheme.

Now that you know how chip-dumping works (how it cannot work, actually) let’s see why it’s considered such a big crime.

I bet you’ve already figured out the money laundering-potential of such a setup. A criminal will deposit illegally acquired money, and dump it all to an accomplice of his. The money comes out clean on the other side, with only a minor amount lost to the rake.

Money laundering is one of the most serious crimes, used to aid organized crime, terrorism and who knows what else. By chip-dumping, you’ll be guilty of money laundering.

Another reason is, that every poker room has made it a priority to only offer their customers fair games. No matter how you look at things, a table where someone dumps chips, cannot be reckoned a fair game.

If your poker room uses the dealt rake method to determine your rake contribution and you’re an aggressive player, you’ll end up generating rakeback for others. The best rakeback deal for you is with a poker room which features weighted-contributed rake. That way, your rake back will be channeled optimally towards your rakeback account.

Another form of chip-dumping is tournament chip-dumping. Out of two friends playing at the same table, the short-stacked one decides to give up his chips to the one who has the thicker stack. This is cheating. Again, no fair game for the other players.

Chip dumping will hurt a poker room in more than one ways. A place that becomes known as a safe-haven used by criminals for illicit activities, will likely find it extremely difficult to attract regular players. It’ll hurt the business in the long-run, and ultimately, it’ll likely destroy it altogether.

Furthermore, whenever you dump chips to a buddy of yours and he cashes out, the poker room will literally lose money. There are certain fees involved in transferring money to and from poker rooms. The fees are usually a set percentage of the whole sum withdrawn (the larger the sum the bigger the fees) and the rake you generate through your chip dumping will just not cover those expenses.

Bottom line: do not go about looking for back-handed shortcuts. There are legal options available in every poker room if you want to pay off a debt to a friend of yours, or give him a loan.

If you’re looking to launder some money though, take your "business” elsewhere, or better yet, forget about it altogether.

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