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I play TCGs a lot, and often, the same cheater would challenge me to a duel. I know they are cheating, but I don't have any proof. What is the best way to deal with it? A few examples of the bad actions include:

  • Looking at my set cards

  • Peering at my hand

  • Changing LP

  • Removing Damage Counters

All I need is a simple way to deal with the issue.

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If you're playing in any kind of organised play, there should normally be a store owner, tournament organiser or some kind of official you can report this to. This is normally the best approach as you don't then accuse the person directly and it's then in the hands of the official to investigate and discover what has happened. If you then report over time it builds up a profile of this persons continued actions (this is based on my experience playing competitive Magic the Gathering) I'd even consider reporting it if it was casual games if you're playing in a store. Letting the owner know someone is coming in and cheating others let's them become aware of the sitation.

To ensure you can accuratly report things I'd make note of things like life totals and just being aware of the sitation. The moment something happens you should ask the person to stop the game, and go report the sitation.

If you're just talking about casual games, I'd suggest you just stop playing with this person. "Punishing" them by refusing to play games with them will teach them that if they want to ruin run for other people then you aren't going to let them play in your group at all. I'd try and talk to them and explain that it's meant to be fun and by cheating you take the fun away from other people and only add to their own experience.

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Magic: the Gathering has pads of paper with 3 columns divided into 2 each, to allow one player to keep track of life for both them and their opponent. You may want to do something similar with your opponent's live points in yugioh. Both of you aren't infallible of course, honest mistakes could happen, at the recent MtG prerelease one source of life gain was missed a few times by my opponent, but when I pointed out where the difference was they accepted it. This is good advice to use for all your games, first it will not look like you are singling out one person, second, two people keeping track helps prevent those honest mistakes in other games where someone forgets to carry a 1 or misses writing down a source of damage or gain.

Looking at set cards and your hand should be easy to prevent, for set cards they would actually have to touch and look at them, for your hand they would either need to stand behind you or again touch and look at them. Both are things that you should easily be able to spot. As for removing of counters, this should be fairly easy to spot too, they have to actually take them off the card.

If you are having a hard time proving this player is cheating, perhaps have an outside third person watching the game, someone not focused on playing it (like you are) looking only for the cheating you suspect. This would work particularly well if your opponent doesn't know about it.

If this is a competitive play environment, there would be a judge or a TO this can all be reported to, if it's casual play, there really is no recourse, but then, there is no stake in the game either.

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