The battle between man and machine redirects its course to Poker play! With the upheave of AI technology, especially in the latest years, not even the gambling domain could have escaped the use of Poker bots.
Yet, the question stands: are they really better than humans? Or do their flaws make them easy to spot and declare ‘game over’?
Let’s see what exactly they bring to the table!
How does a Poker bot play the game?
As you might have already inferred, a Poker bot is a software specifically programmed to participate in a Poker game against other players. The catch is that instead of you playing the actual game, you use this alternative to make your moves.
It sounds like a quick way to win, but if it were that way, everyone would appeal to it.
What is its purpose?
It is actually designed to recognize certain moves or patterns and make complex mathematical calculations in order to predict the gambler’s behaviour. In fact, its win/loss ratio highly relies upon how experienced the opponent might be.
For example, if this software goes head-to-head against a beginner, there are chances it will be victorious. Why, may you ask? The player only knows a few strategies that the bot can deduce with ease.
The situation changes when a professional player steps in because not only does he have a wider range of moves and knows when to switch his stratagem, but he might also infer that he is playing against software and not a real person.
Is it easy to spot it?
Yes and no. It really depends on how much you know about the game itself.
Even you might have come across such a programme, and it left unnoticed or inferred its presence. Yet, upon numerous rounds and intensive research, casino experts have figured out multiple ways to spot a Poker bot so that even beginners can report its presence with ease!
Why do some players choose Poker bots?
Poker bots provide some advantages that convince some gamblers to make use of them in multiple rounds.
In essence, there are two main reasons why someone would opt for this option:
- Going for a possible victory
Being on top of your game in a Poker round is, for sure, not an easy thing to achieve, especially if you go against professionals all around the world. It is actually a challenge that competitive spirits want to beat.
Psychologically speaking, for some, being the winner is the only option, and they will do anything in their power to be successful. This also includes using such systems.
Nonetheless, the odds of actually winning are not as high as you may think, especially if the bot itself is discovered by other gamblers or by the casino itself. In fact, as with any other game of chance, nothing guarantees you a definite victory.
- Easy way of gaining money
Besides the competitive aspect that is usually encountered in such games, some gamblers want to earn money without putting too much effort into it. Of course, you won’t be able to win a great amount using this method, but it may be enough to make use of some bonuses.
This, however, may have quite a dangerous outcome since the avid desire to gain will propel you into a loop of never-ending attempts that could possibly leave you broke. Not to mention that this mindset will soon lead to a gambling addiction which could immensely affect your physical and mental health.
The biggest ace of a Poker bot
In this case, we are talking about a programme that continuously broadens its strategies based on the rounds previously played, and exactly this aspect gives it an edge over human players.
Humans have a limited learning capacity as well as behavioural cues that might slip up and reveal their next move. On the opposite end, this software has an incredible capacity to memorize all steps taken by its opponent and provide a response rate that amounts to a couple of seconds.
However, these may also be considered flaws and a clear give-away for the experienced eye. Moreover, this programme still hasn’t managed to take part in the chatting feature of an online casino. This, once again, could be considered a red flag by those who are in the heat of the game.
Is it legal to use such software?
Poker bots and casino legality don’t go well hand in hand. In fact, its use is usually forbidden by most online casino websites, but there are some that allow it.
Their fair use is usually stipulated with the terms and conditions, alongside the consequences that may appear. Also, in case of UK, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission may regulate this aspect very thoroughly.
Poker bot trajectory in time
The onset of Poker AI took place in the 1980s, which was tested against renowned WSOP champions that led to unsuccessful results.
Then, the 1990s brought along the first version of an actual Poker bot, followed by its mastered versions, such as Polaris, Cepheus, Claudico or Libratus.
The technology improved and is continuously improving tremendously, with the software learning something new with each game. As a result, the 2016 Annual Computer Poker Competition was won by Poker bot Baby Tartanian8 which showed an astonishing innovation.
The final battle between humans and bots
There’s no denying that the latest years have brought with them great developments, especially in the AI department. Nonetheless, their functioning principle is, basically, the same and, thus, leaves room to be more easily spotted.
Besides, they stand little to no chance against professional players, who can end the game quickly and immediately report the use to online casino operators.
In the end, only time will tell if the joy and excitement of playing Poker will be taken away by such software.