Breaking Down Real-Time Assistance: What Is It and Is It Legal?

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Online poker players can play the popular card game in a different environment than those who play live poker. When playing online, some platforms offer a real-time overview of poker statistics that may help the players. However, in live poker, players are responsible for keeping track of all that information in their heads.

Still, some of those real-time tools are not allowed in online poker, as they are considered cheating methods. After a player named Fedor Kruse caused a scandal by utilizing a tool called Real-Time Assistance (RTA), many poker players started to wonder what that is and how it can be used for playing poker. However, the main question that everyone asked was whether RTA was legal in the first place.

Let’s check that out!

What Is RTA?

Real-Time Assistance is not a physical tool; it’s actually any piece of additional software (not provided by the platform) that players use as an assistant when playing cash games or tournaments on the web. Some RTA programs are entirely automated, meaning they do everything for you, while others require you to make an input to make calculations and influence your final decision.

There are simple and more complex assistants. The complex ones assist players with reaching a Game Theory Optimal (GTO) strategy, which means that every decision they make is mathematically perfect.

Fedor Kruse used a solver. Solvers are any type of assistant that tells you how much money you need to bet in every specific scenario (they also tell you when you should avoid betting at all). Using a solver means you are gaining an edge over your opponents, and having the tiniest advantage in high-stakes games could help you earn thousands of dollars on an annual basis.

Using GTO strategy to improve your success in poker is not illegal or unfair. Many professional players learned how to do it, even though that’s not an easy task. They spend hundreds of hours studying when not playing the game to perfect GTO strategy and increase their success. However, using a shortcut, such as a solver, is not fair for those players who devoted their lives to playing the popular card game, or to those who do not have the same access to a solver.

Solvers are Banned on Many Online Poker Platforms.

Most online platforms do not allow players to use solvers, and there are significant penalties for breaking the rules. However, even simpler versions of RTA are usually not allowed, such as a push/fold chart or starting hand charts based on stack sizes in the game. Anything that requires a lot of work and can assist you when playing the game is generally banned on big poker platforms.

GGPoker uses lengthy terms and conditions to help players learn what is and isn’t allowed. According to their online terms of service, every action that players take at the virtual poker table must be made by a person, not any RTA program. Any type of software or reference material that would influence the final decision that players make is strictly prohibited on the platform. Some of these RTA programs that are not permitted are GTO solvers, range calculators, ICM analyzers, Nash Equilibrium, ICM equity, GTO charts, and more.

Remember The Reason For Playing

Even though poker is all about having fun, it’s completely natural to have the urge to win more money. Still, fair play is the basis for every game, and using things that would give you an edge without actually being a great poker player is simply unfair.

Many major online poker platforms have entire teams dedicated to detecting cheating players who use additional software to improve their chances. We always recommend learning and having fun, rather than using cheat-codes and risking being banned from your favorite poker platform.