Game Integrity Policy
MPN Game Integrity Policy
‘Bots’ are software programs or other devices which interact with the game software to play poker, while requiring little or no human intervention. They may use rules or artificial intelligence to make playing decisions.
Bots are prohibited because the overwhelming majority of poker players do not wish to play against them and because some bots are capable of winning and therefore draining money from the poker economy.
Bots are not the only type of software which confers the player with an unfair advantage over their opponents. Certain other types of software are also prohibited.
1. Software is prohibited if it:
a. Relies upon any form of artificial intelligence;
b. Reduces or eliminates the need for a human to make decisions (for example, ‘bot software’ or tools that automatically fold specific starting hands);
c. Shares hole (private or hidden) cards among players or assists collusion or cheating in any way;
d. Utilises a database of hands or player profiles which is shared between users;
e. Is designed to datamine (i.e. gather hands or player profiles from the game client beyond which the player has observed from their own play) – see section ‘Datamining’;
f. Provides advice on the action to take during gameplay, including Independent Chip Model (ICM) and Game Theory Optimal (GTO) analysis tools;
g. In Microgaming’s sole opinion, confers an unfair advantage on the player using it;
h. Attempts to block any of Microgaming’s fraud and cheating detection mechanisms;
2. Rule 1 may apply whether or not the software is actually used in conjunction with the Microgaming poker software, at Microgaming’s sole discretion.
3. Rule 1 applies whether the software is commercially obtained, privately developed, or otherwise.
4. Microgaming will actively attempt to detect prohibited software and other forms of cheating by monitoring and analysing the player’s device. Interference with any Microgaming’s fraud or cheating detection mechanisms, or attempts to hide the player’s true location or hardware configuration (including the use of VPNs, TOR, IP blocking or any similar tool) is prohibited.
5. Software not covered by rule 1 is permitted. For example:
a. Tools intended solely for analysing a player’s own game, after gameplay has ended (‘Post Game Analysis Software’);
b. Tools intended for a player to be able to track their own playing habits or results (‘Tracking Software’);
c. Tools which overlay legitimately-gathered statistical information on the table (‘Heads Up Displays’ or ‘HUDs’).
Note that even if software is Post Game Analysis Software, Tracking Software, or a Heads Up Display, it is still prohibited if it contains any functionality which is prohibited under rule 1.
6. Players should be aware that software provided by third-parties is not endorsed or supported by Microgaming in any way. Third-party software may display information which is incorrect, misleading or incomplete. Microgaming may make changes to the poker software which disables or interferes with third-party software at any time.
7. Players should be aware that the use of third-party software may convey a disadvantage on the player using it, or might be exploited by other players.
Collusion is behaviour between players in which they act as a team, with or without prior agreement, to the actual or theoretical detriment of other players in the game. Collusion is strictly prohibited.
8. Players must always play in their own individual best interests.
9. Players must not work together with another player to gain an advantage.
10. Players must not ‘soft play’ against friends. Players must play just as aggressively against somebody they know as they would against an unknown opponent (assuming both are utilising the same strategy).
11. Players must not ‘chip dump’ – i.e. they must not intentionally lose hands or manipulate the gameplay in order to transfer funds to any other player;
12. Players must not share hole card information, or any other card(s) which would not normally be known by all players, with any other player;
13. Players must not play in the same cash game or Sit ‘n’ Go tournament as any player in which they have a financial interest – i.e. they should not play in the same games as anyone with whom they have a staking, swap, profit sharing or bankroll sharing agreement;
14. Players must not encourage any other player to collude;
15. These rules apply whether or not there is any explicit agreement between the players, and whether or not any actual demonstrable harm has been caused to others.
Datamining is a practice whereby a user gathers data on hands played or opponents playing styles, without actually playing in those hands or against those opponents. It is prohibited and any data gathered by a player must come from their own playing experience at the tables.
16. The practice of datamining, for any purpose including personal or commercial use, is prohibited.
17. The use of any data which has been obtained by datamining, whether the data was obtained by the player themselves or by anyone else, is prohibited.
18. Sharing any data with other players, even if legitimately obtained, is prohibited.
19. The use of screen-scraping or any other technique to gather data that is not provided in Microgaming hand histories is prohibited.
One Account per Player
Each player is allowed to have only one account with each poker room. Utilising multiple accounts, perhaps to gain an unfair advantage, is a form of ‘Multiple Account Abuse’.
Players are permitted to have more than one account on the MPN, as long as each account is with a different poker room.
20. Players must not open more than one account with a poker room.
21. Players must not log into the poker network with more than one account at the same time, even if the accounts are with different poker rooms.
22. Players must not attempt to bypass any of the restrictions which prevent the creation and / use of multiple accounts.
No Account Sharing
Players must not share their account with any other person. Besides creating an unnecessary security risk for the player, account sharing can be a form of Multiple Account Abuse in which a player gains an advantage by sharing accounts to disguise their playing style, or by ‘handing off’ tournaments to another player part-way through.
23. Players must keep their credentials (alias, password, and any other information used to access the player’s account) secret and not reveal them to any other person;
24. Players must not allow any other person to use their account under any circumstances;
25. A player must not use any account other than their own.
Own Best Interests (‘Gold Farming’, ‘Push This Button Bots’)
‘Gold Farming’ is an arrangement in which a person plays poker on the behalf of an employer, perhaps being funded by the employer or playing according to a strategy provided by the employer. Gold Farms are essentially sweatshops consisting of ‘push this button bots’, and are prohibited for similar reasons as bot software and artificial intelligence.
26. All players must play on their own behalf and in their own best interests;
27. Playing on behalf of an employer, sweat shop, ‘gold farm’ or any form of team or co-operative is prohibited.
28. While this rule is not intended to prevent legitimate staking arrangements, all players must have a genuine financial interest in their own gameplay.
Angleshooting and Other Unethical Behaviour
‘Angleshooting’ is the term used to describe activities that are designed to give a player an unfair advantage, but which may be allowed under a strict interpretation of the rules or due to a loophole or unintended software characteristics. This rule is intended to cover unethical play which is not specifically prohibited but which would be considered unethical and unfair by the vast majority of the poker playing community.
29. Any attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other players is prohibited;
30. Behaviour which is intended to disrupt the game is prohibited;
31. Examples of prohibited behaviour includes but is not limited to ‘grimming’, ‘buttoning’, blocking seats or tables, intentionally stalling, taking advantage of a disconnected opponent, following an opponent from table to table, abusing a player using the chat facility, etc.
32. Microgaming retains the sole right to determine what constitutes an ‘unfair advantage’ or ‘disruptive’.
Microgaming takes social responsibility and the welfare of players very seriously.
In order to protect vulnerable individuals, the reputation of the network and the brands running on it, players who have a gambling problem are not allowed to play.
33. Anybody with a known gambling problem is not permitted to sign up for an account or play.
34. If a player is in need of assistance or suspects that they have a gambling problem, they must inform their poker room and cease playing on the network immediately.
Microgaming and the network poker rooms must be able to perform investigations, penalise players who break the rules, and stop fraudulently-obtained funds from being withdrawn. In cases where a player has obtained funds fraudulently, or through any form of unethical play, the poker room must be able to seize all of the funds in the player’s account, including deposited money. This provides a deterrent and allows funds obtained unethically to be returned to the player(s) to whom they rightly belong.
35. If a violation of these rules is suspected, a player’s account may be locked in order to allow for an efficient and effective investigation of the alleged violation. The duration of the lock will be no longer than is reasonably required to complete the investigation. For the duration of the lock, login, gameplay and/or the withdrawal of deposited funds may not be possible.
36. Penalties for violation of the rules will take into account all relevant information and the exact circumstances of the violation, and may include any combination of the following:
a. A warning
b. Temporary or permanent closure of a player’s account(s)
c. Reversal of any pending deposits or withdrawals
d. Seizure of some or all of the funds in a player’s account(s) (including funds not used to play poker)
e. Reporting of the incident to a relevant law-enforcement agency or regulatory body
37. Funds seized in accordance with these rules will be placed into a network Game Integrity Fund. The aim of the Game Integrity Fund is to fairly compensate victims of cheating and unethical behaviour, by refunding losses that can be attributed it. At Microgaming’s sole discretion this may include (for example):
a. Compensating victims of collusion
b. Compensating players who lost money against bots
c. Returning chip dumped funds to the poker room to which they belong
Microgaming will always aim to return players affected by cheating to the state that they would be in had the cheating not occurred.
38. Microgaming reserves the right to determine whether or not a violation of these rules has occurred. Microgaming’s decision is final.
How to Make a Complaint
Players who have a complaint about alleged cheating or any kind of Unethical Behaviour should contact their poker room’s support department. Players should not contact Microgaming directly, as Microgaming does not have access to poker rooms’ support systems or players’ personal data, and hence is unable to assist.
In the event that a poker room requires assistance to investigate a complaint, the poker room will escalate the complaint to Microgaming. Microgaming will provide all support reasonably required to effectively resolve the complaint.