How poker networks are regulating seating scripts.
Last updated on April 12th, 2019
One of the questions that I am most frequently asked is, if it is allowed to use a seating script on a particular poker client and which measures the poker sites are taking to prevent players from using auto-seating scripts. I have decided to write a short article on the topic, with details for every poker site.
Please be aware that all of the information below is supplied without liability. It is based on my personal research and is subject to change. I have tried to provide sources where possible, so that you can verify the information yourself.
Update (March 19th, 2019): There have been changes related to ChicoPoker. Please review the updated information.
Update (April 12th, 2019): After PokerStars' recent changes with regards to third party software did not have a positive effect on ring games, they unexpectedly decided to ban seating scripts altogether. Please review the information below.
Where seating scripts can be used without hesitation.
The following clients either officially allow using seating scripts for table-selection on their clients, or they don't really care about it.
The iPoker Network
Seating scripts in general are widely popular on iPoker, so it's safe to use NEED4SEAT on the iPoker network. As far as I know there have been no official statements from iPoker that seating scripts are prohibited. Unfortunately iPoker has no standardized terms and conditions on their website, but of course you can always check the terms of your specific iPoker skin.
The Prima Network (MicroGaming)
The MicroGaming Game Integrity Policy does not mention that seating scripts are prohibited to use on their network. There have been no incidents of warnings or closed accounts that I know of, so seating scripts seem to be accepted on MicroGaming.
The WinningPoker Network
The WinningPoker terms and conditions do not mention anything about seating scripts being prohibited to use with their software. There should be no problem with using NEED4SEAT on WinningPoker.
Where seating scripts should be used with care.
These clients have officially restricted the use of seating scripts in some way or another, but I haven't heard about serious measures they take. If you've received a warning from one of these clients, you should probably stop using a seating script there.
The ChicoPoker Network
In March 2019 some ChicoPoker skins started to send out warnings to players for using "automated software applications". Unfortunately, there are no general terms and conditions for the ChicoPoker network. The Tigergaming policies, however, state that "any actions taken in [their] poker room must be executed by the player personally". According to these rules, using the manual seating mode should be allowed, but to be sure I have contacted ChicoPoker and will publish an update as soon as I know more. Until then, you should be safe if you have not received a warning email, yet. Just make sure to check your emails regularly and consider using the manual or random seating mode for now.
The terms and conditions state that the use of "software that facilitates the opening of tables such as seating scripts" is officially forbidden on Winamax. However, to my knowledge, there have been no incidents of warnings or closed accounts on Winamax, that are related to seating scripts.
The PartyPoker Network
PartyPoker prohibited the use of seating scripts back in 2016. Since then they have made major changes to their software, so that player identities remain hidden until you sit down at the table yourself. NEED4SEAT was adjusted to those changes by auto-seating you based on the number of players at the table. Since then there haven't been issues for NEED4SEAT users on PartyPoker, so at the moment I don't see a problem with using NEED4SEAT with a PartyPoker client. For details, please refer to PartyPoker's terms and conditions.
Where it is not recommended to use a seating script.
These clients have officially prohibited seating scripts and are actively enforcing these rules, which is why NEED4SEAT no longer supports them.
PokerStars & FullTilt
After PokerStars changed their policies with regards to third party software in March they now decided to prohibit the use of seating scripts altogether. They will enforce the new policy by locking accounts and freezing the funds of players who don't comply.
It is not recommended to use a seating script or any other software that helps with table-selection on PokerStars and FullTilt, which is why NEED4SEAT officially dropped support for both platforms. At the moment it is also not allowed to run any seating scripts while the PokerStars or FullTilt clients are open, even if the script does not support those sites. I have, however, contacted Scott from the PokerStars integrity team about the issue and hope that the simultaneous use of NEED4SEAT on other poker sites will soon be allowed, once PokerStars has reviewed the software.
Pacific Poker (888)
The use of seating aids is prohibited on 888 and they strongly enforce that policy by warning players and in some cases (temporarily) suspending their accounts. It is not even allowed to have seating software running on other platforms while also playing on Pacific Poker. Therefore I decided to completely cancel support for 888 in Octobre 2018. I have emailed the 888 support, asking for an official statement regarding the use of NEED4SEAT on other platforms, while playing at 888, but I am still waiting for a final answer.
How to stay under the radar.
If you don't want to risk getting sanctioned for using a seating script, NEED4SEAT offers two alternatives to the auto-seating option. First, you can choose to be seated with a short, random delay. This will render your seating a bit more natural and might throw off some detection mechanisms in exchange for reducing the chance of getting a seat. Second, you can decide to use manual seating altogether, in which case NEED4SEAT will only notify you when a recreational player appears, but you will still have to take the seat yourself. Naturally, this requires the skills of a true ninja.
Of course you should always use a seating script in a fair way. While it's true that the whole purpose of using a script is to play more tables with recreational players, that doesn't mean you have to lose your manners over it. Recs are playing poker for fun and if they see you sitting out every time they are taking a pee break, they might start to feel offended after a while!