Online Poker Bots: How To Spot A Bot

Now that you know what an online poker bot is, you’re probably wondering how the poker rooms go about identifying them. And how can you tell if you are playing against a bot that has slipped through the detection cracks? There are a number of behaviours that are specific to bots, and knowing these can help you detect online poker bots before they have the chance to take your hard earned cash.

Mostly, you won’t even have to detect bots. The poker site you are playing on will do that for you the vast majority of the time. A common test for a bot is for a brightly coloured, attention-grabbing message to come up in the chatbox, asking you to confirm you are human by typing a string of letters or numbers in the chat. To people this message is almost impossible to miss, but a bot has no awareness that anything different is going on and will continue to play as normal.

An even more obvious way for online poker bots to get caught out is playing continuously on large numbers of tables for an absurd amount of time. Obviously a human cannot play 24/7, but some online poker bots have been left on continuously and then noticed by the poker room. The problem is, not all sites are as active as they should be in catching bots. After all, the bots generate rake, so some sites may not put a large amount of effort into bot detection. Even the sites that are making good effort to catch bots can sometimes take a while to spot them. This means you should know how to identify a bot yourself, just in case.

The best way to do this is to know the difference between humans and bots at the poker tables. The first point is chatbox usage. Having a chatbox conversation with the opponent means you can be 99.99999% sure that they are not a bot. Just because they don’t respond to you, doesn’t mean they ARE online poker bots though.

Secondly, people rarely play exactly the same way every hand, especially for actions that are out of the ordinary. Any player who is consistently making the same strings of actions, and taking the exact same amount of time for each decision is potentially a bot. While some humans do play somewhat ‘robotically’, you can often get a feel for when an opponent is playing in a totally automated way.

For example, I once played a Heads Up Sit and Go a few years ago against an opponent who was nine times out of ten instantly folding to a bet on the flop, and one time out of ten, instantly going all in for several times the pot. They did not respond to any chat messages. Because they were so easy to beat when folding so often, I did not stop playing against them despite strongly suspecting they were a bot, and they automatically signed up for rematches until they had lost 3 games in a row, when they quit.

This is an example of a poorly programmed bot, one that I would suspect did not make money playing online poker, even though it was playing at the lowest possible stakes. If you would like to play against a more sophisticated bot for play chips, you can try playing against Neo Poker Bot (http://www.neopokerbot.com/) or against PokerSnowie (www.pokersnowie.com)

The most important thing you can do is make sure you play on a site that you have searched about and made sure most people believe it is legitimate. If it feels like something isn’t quite right with the players there, then it is up to you to quit. Don’t be afraid to report players who might seem suspicious to the poker room’s support department. Better safe than sorry.

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