Busting the Cheaters

Last night Cabby and I played a couple of Spades games and had so much fun. He is such a fun guy and a good player, and I know with his really busy life that he needs something like our Spades games to help him decompress and relax a little after a long day driving cabs and then also working on the manor house that he is renovating. It is a wonder he finds time to play any games with me, much less sleep!

I’ve been playing Spades in the internet since 1995, when I first discovered MSN’s I-Village. Actually, the first game they had available for online play was Hearts. While playing Hearts one day, I heard chat about the new Spades site, so I ventured over and was hooked. Eventually I came across the new Yahoo Games site and started playing there. Then another site, called World Play, came online and I played there, too. The World Play site was truly international – I met people from all over the world, including Cabby and his son, Steph.

So as we bounced from site to site and met so many good people, eventually the bad and the ugly had to find there way in to spoil things. The most common way to cheat back in the day was to have a second computer in your home and play a game either being your own partner or having your spouse or girlfriend playing the other computer in full view of your computer and, therefore, the cards in your hand.

Thanks to my geek brother, we found a way to discover these types of cheaters and bust them out. There is a way cool tool that you can use to find a person’s IP address. If you are playing against someone who’s play or conversation is suspicious, you can fire up the IP address tool and find out if they are partnering themselves.

When the World Play site went down, a lot of us migrated over to the new Hardwood Spades site, where cheating wasn’t very prevalent. But of course, human nature being what it is, eventually the cheaters came on over to Hardwood Spades, too.

Last night, Cabby and I thought the opponents were playing a little too perfect a game, plus there was a lot of lag between plays. Cabby fired up his IP address tool and, sure enough, both players on the red team had the same IP address.

I haven’t used the tool for a few years, but Cabby has one that he really likes, and if I ever have any suspicions about the players I send him an IM and ask him to check them out. It only takes a minute to locate ip addresses, and when you know you have a cheater at the table, you can file a complaint with the site administrators and leave the game. I tried the site that he used, and it was easy to figure it out. There are a lot more things you can do with an IP address locator tool – I think I’m going to like this little tool!

I don’t want to play against cheaters – I want to win a fair game.

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