OGS cheater policy

I’ve been looking in the forum and ToS on how AI cheating is handled, hence I met a cheater (or rather noticed one) for the first time today.

I signaled the game for which I had a doubt, it was annulled by the mods as well as several others played by the cheater and…
a few hours later the fraudster accepted another public challenge by me?! As soon as I brought up his/her behavior in our previous game he/she quit.

I’ve blocked the person from accepting my challenges since.

I have two questions in relation to this:

  1. Which status have the blacked out, but not annulled, games I can see in the cheaters game history?

  2. Which other actions are taken against cheating?


Hello 8fledermaus8,

unless the user already has some “history” with us, we generally give at least one warning in most cases of all common issues (unless the problem is really big/urgent). It may sometimes seem too lenient, but we keep this policy because lots of our players are children, sometimes even a good person loses his/her nerves, there can always be a misunderstanding or an honest error on either side (especially AI detection is if often tricky and prone to errors), etc. we simply want to give users at least once chance to also explain their side of the story and communicate with us (in real time) towards common understanding.

So if the player accepted your game again, this is probably the case. Simply please report the problem again if you believe it persists. If the user saw our warning but chose to ignore it the second time it usually leads to their account being disabled.

Not completely sure I understand the question - the black (but not annulled) games were unranked - if that is what you are asking.


Hi Adam,

Thank you for your quick reply. :smiley:

I agree on a policy which lets some place for errors, especially for younger players as you said.

Several points caught my attention:

  1. Between the scammed game, the signaling, the annulation and his/her second acceptance of my public challenge only five hours had passed.

Imo a short temporary ban would be justified, to get the message across that cheating is not tolerated, and to let cheaters (hopefully) reflect on their behavior before they resume playing on OGS.

  1. The mod detected and annulled several other scammed games. Before I signaled my encounter with him/her I went myself with AI over other games by the same player - I am reasonably confident that there are more occurrences of cheating than flagged by the mod.

Going through someone’s games takes a considerable time if done manually. I wonder if the cheater could be brought to take some responsibility for this. For ex. that he/she could be obliged to auto-signal the games in which he/she cheated, or else get the result of all of his/her games annulled or be put on a longer temporary ban? This leads to the next point:

  1. The players rank doesn’t reflect his/her strength if there were scams before but the other games I had with him/her before weren’t annulled.

This could distort my as well as his/her rank, and everybody else’s. As far as I can see a new player finds relatively fast a rank reflecting his/her strength. In regards of that and the second point it might be reasonable not to bother with the scammed games at all and just to reboot the cheaters rank? Or would this impact the overall rank distribution on OGS to much?

I wouldn’t like to see the cheater banned if this was the first time he/she did it - but I certainly want him to be held in some way responsible for his actions, besides the annulation of some of his/her games.

This answered my question, I seldomly play unranked games - I forgot that they are shown like this. ^^

Thank you again for your quick reply.

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If this doesn’t disturb OGS ranking too much, it could be an incentive too not to cheat in the first place, without being too harsh as a first step.

Btw I spent some time on the forum and the ToS to find info on this subject before making a new thread - maybe I just looked for the wrong terms? - imo it could be helpful for new players/people interested in this to detail how cheating is handled and to pin it somewhere clearly visible (before it sinks back into the depths of the forum (yet again) lmao).


At the risk of reopening old wounds, this makes me realise that AI cheater victims are inadvertent sandbaggers.

Since sandbagging causes other people’s ranks to be a bit higher than they otherwise might be and AI cheating makes them a bit lower this makes me wonder:

What are all the other sources of rank disparity?

Do they push ranks up or down?

What is the overall effect?

What is the effect of imperfectly attempting to address the rank effects?

A few other ways rank can be affected came up in the discussion about sandbagging e.g. misclicks

What is the overall effect of leaving AI cheating games and sandbagged games unannulled? Some victims got a boost in rank, some got a reduction…

philosophical thought

I’m still trying to get my head around the idea of inadvertent sandbagging. It seems to me that the sandbagging only starts at the point where the sandbagger is at a rank (artificially lowered) to start beating victims. It doesn’t seem like the phase of lowering rank on the first place is really sandbagging. At that point the sandbagger is actually trying to lose. When sandbagging proper they are trying to win (but may also resign from an obviously winning position once satisfied with their “win”).

So, if you have no intention of engaging in the actual sandbagging part of the process, are you really sandbagging if your rank is pushed down “artificially” somehow but without that being your intention. I’m thinking about AI cheater victims here, but also misclicks where opponent refuses undo or maybe rage quitting while in fact ahead or some urgent thing that interrupts your game. There are probably other circumstances.

If you are never going to “actually sandbag” shouldn’t the system just be allowed to work to correct these inaccuracies by itself?
Or in other words does inadvertent sandbagging even exist?


In my case it is a rank boost - dang it I was happy to beat a Dan player, twice even :sob: lmao

*edit: before he cheated in our third game

If an AI cheater is going to continue playing here, it seems obvious that their cheat games need to be annulled, otherwise we have a supposed Dan who’s actually only a kyu.

You know what sort of complaints we get after only one game where someone encounters a wrongly ranked person (recall the recent "hey this newcomer is too high ranked) - it’s not hard to imagine the ongoing complaints as that person gets ranked down.

The flow of their AI gained rank out to the others is probably less of a problem, because it’s dispersed. But if you had lost to an AI cheater, wouldn’t you want it annulled?


As far as I can see the person I played seems to be a legit Dan player, he is not continuously cheating. Tho his/her rank is still altered.

By reboot I mean giving the person a [?]-rank.

I do not understand, sorry. Do you mean in general for players who played against the fraudster, even in games without fraud? Personally I’d like to see both my wins and losses getting annulled.

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