How do they deal with ratholing?
Nowadays, most poker rooms are very concerned about the "poker ecosystem," so they increasingly integrate functionality that allows them to automatically stop any "predatory behavior." For example, PokerStars, iPoker, and Winning Poker networks made it difficult to bumhunt by restricting table selection over the past couple of years.
Most poker rooms deal with "ratholing" in manual mode (usually based on player complaints).
The prohibition of such manipulations has been automated only for a particular table: during a certain timeframe, a player can return to it only with the same amount of chips as it was when he left it.
Back in 2017, the "Buy-In Obligations" feature was integrated at PokerStars. Since yesterday, a more advanced version of it has been launched at Unibet Poker. It allows players to "rathole" only 8 times on different tables during 20 hours (4 times for fast-fold poker).
The most anticipated update
Unibet has long recognized that player complaints about ratholing are one of the most common. However, Relax Gaming (the software developers) has been integrating the appropriate algorithms only recently.
On September 21, 2021, a "ratholing counter" was launched at Unibet Poker.
How does it work?
- The counter activates only when a player buy-ins to the table with a 100BB stack or increases his initial stack to at least 100BB after winning some pots. If a player leaves the table with 100BB or more, he can return only with the same stack.
- Returning to the table with a lesser stack in 30 minutes since leaving is considered as 1 "ratholing" attempt.
- A player is allowed only 4 "ratholing" attempts per day.
- The counter is reset at 00:00 (UTC).
So short stacks cannot "rathole" at all, while large ones are allowed to do this only four times a day (if they return to the table within half an hour after leaving it).
As a result, there may be fewer short stacks at the tables, while the number of 100+ BB stacks will increase. This will definitely make the game more profitable and exciting for regulars, considering a relatively weak playing field.
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