TMCnet Feature
June 27, 2022

Are Bots Better Than Humans at Poker?



In recent years, the field of artificial intelligence has come a long way, with computer software getting increasingly complex. Artificial intelligence, usually just known as AI, is the simulation of intelligence by a computer program or machine. As technology has improved, software has improved to the point that many can complete complex tasks better than humans.



Although we don't have to worry about computers taking over the world, there are some things that they're much faster and more efficient at, such as completing calculations. Because software can be used to complete incredibly complex mathematics and calculations in a short space of time, one of the functions of AI can be to play games such as chess and poker. Often known as bots, these computer programs can be used to develop strategies and beat human players.

In the 90s, IBM (News - Alert) created a supercomputer named Deep Blue that was capable of playing chess. It made history in 1997 when it defeated grandmaster chess champion, Garry Kasparov. Because computer programs are becoming increasingly effective at beating humans, the use of such bots is usually seen as cheating. The best sites to play poker online typically ban the use of bots, and your account can be closed if you use one. While these bots are banned, poker players can still use other software such as tracking tools and HUDs to help them make the right decisions.

How Do Poker Bots Work?

Bots are simple software tools that can be programmed for a wide variety of functions. For example, a poker bot is usually programmed by someone that understands poker and knows which actions the bot should take in certain situations to get the most value. Bots operate in the background of the poker client you're using. They mostly track the hands that have been played and make observations that the human eye could miss.

It's similar to a HUD, but it also plays for you. Running a bot is simple, as long as the poker site you're playing at allows it. They're just downloadable programs with easy-to-follow instructions and are normally always preprogrammed for you. You can purchase poker bots online, checking the reviews before you hand over any money. Once you've downloaded it, just follow the instructions to set it up to play for you.

One important thing to note before you start using bots is that just because they can beat human players at times, it doesn't mean that you're guaranteed profit. The advantage of a bot is that you don't need to play the hands yourself, and it won't make mistakes based on the programming it has. However, it can still lose. Additionally, many poker sites have now banned the use of third-party software to limit the use of bots.

Can Bots Beat Poker Pros?

Computer programs have been used to beat chess grandmasters, but could they also beat professional poker players? The short answer is that yes, they can. While it took much longer for poker bots to be perfected, they're now better than ever, and several have won major tournaments against top players.

In 2017, an advanced poker bot named Libratus played against four high-level players in a No-Limit Hold 'Em game. At the time, most people believed that the human players would easily win. Despite the fact that poker bots can make fast calculations and play with optimal strategy, they're mostly incapable of reading bluffs or bluffing themselves. However, Libratus managed to win $1.7 million worth of chips after two hours of play, making it the first AI that was capable of beating pro poker players.

Since then, poker AI has only gotten better, with bots like Pluribus able to have success against multiple players at once. This type of bot could potentially change tournament poker forever, making it easier for players to cheat their way into the biggest tournaments. If poker sites want to ensure that games are always fair, they need to get better at detecting and banning players who cheat.



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