Genetic linkage maps, constructed from multi-locus recombination data, are the basis for many applications of molecular markers. For the successful employment of a linkage map, it is essential that the linear order of loci on a chromosome is correct. The objectives of this theoretical study were to (1) investigate the occurrence of incorrect locus orders caused by duplicate marker loci, (2) develop a statistical test for the detection of duplicate markers, and (3) discuss the implications for practical applications of linkage maps. We derived conditions, under which incorrect locus orders do or do not occur with duplicate marker loci for the general case of n markers on a chromosome in a BC(1) mapping population. We further illustrated these conditions numerically for the special case of four markers. On the basis of the extent of segregation distortion, an exact test for the presence of duplicate marker loci was suggested and its power was investigated numerically. Incorrect locus orders caused by duplicate marker loci can (1) negatively affect the assignment of target genes to chromosome regions in a map-based cloning experiment, (2) hinder indirect selection for a favorable allele at a quantitative trait locus, and (3) decrease the efficiency of reducing the length of the chromosome segment attached to a target gene in marker-assisted backcrossing.