The Online Poker Bot: Man vs Machine
In a live poker game, you’d notice right away if you were playing against a robot (or at least, hopefully you would). However, with online poker your opponents are hidden behind a screen. You can’t physically see them, so how do you tell if they are a human or something more sinister?
A poker bot is a program that automatically makes decisions at the poker table. It isn’t affected by wins or losses, and doesn’t make emotional decisions like we do as people. This automatically gives it an unfair advantage. On top of this, bots then have the mathematical advantage of always knowing what odds they are getting, and what odds they need. The bots then have the strategic advantage of whatever winning tactics have been programmed into them. They can also play a large number of tables simultaneously since their decisions are instant.
However, these bots are far from perfect. Poker is a very complex game and it has not been solved, so they cannot always make objectively correct decisions. Many of these online poker bots are simply designed, and actually have many major flaws in their strategy. They are often unable to adjust their strategies for different bet sizes, meaning that they play very poorly against both very small and overly large bets. However, what these bots are good at is exploiting beginner players, by taking advantage of the mistakes that new players commonly make – such as calling bets too often.
It’s pretty easy to see that it’s not fair for online poker bots to have the opportunity to make money playing online poker against other people, especially those who are new to poker. For this reason, online poker bots are usually prohibited by the Terms and Conditions of most poker sites. Anyone caught using an online poker bot will be instantly banned and funds will be confiscated (and often returned to the players who were cheated). The trouble is that the people creating these illegal online poker bots are always trying to come up with new ways to avoid getting caught for as long as they possibly can.
Make sure you join us next week for the following article, to find out more about how online poker bots are detected and removed by the poker sites, as well as how you yourself can identify the common traits of a bot in comparison to a normal human player.