Poker Bots in Online Casinos: Features and Benefits
The development of technology brings significant changes to the game. Today no one is surprised by virtual poker when opponents are physically located in different parts of the globe. Another thing is rounds against bots. They cause mixed feelings among gamers and often ruin the reputation of the best online rooms in the world.
The Online Casino Market company describes the features of poker programs. You will find out why even experienced gamblers are afraid of them and what benefits they can bring to operators.
Poker is a card game in which any action at the table can be calculated mathematically and assessed whether it will be beneficial in the long run. The strategy applies to different types of entertainment, be it Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, etc.
Based on the betting approach, it is possible to create a universal program for casinos — a poker bot. It will act following a given algorithm, calculate different scenarios for the development of events and, based on the data obtained, make optimal decisions.
The ability for self-learning and improvement is explained by the use of artificial intelligence in the product development process. AI turns a typical betting program into a truly versatile machine that gets smarter and more inventive with each new hand.
Creating a strong poker bot is not an easy task. Today, only large gambling companies or research centres can invest huge amounts in software development. It is necessary to take care of the powerful server part, prescribe various mathematical algorithms, and conduct thorough testing.
The finished software should:
- play well;
- easily adapt to the opponent's betting strategy;
- not make mistakes;
- bring benefits in the long run.
The category of bots does not include the following:
- hand analysers;
- scripts for quick statistics collection.
This software only gathers and analyses information, but a real person plays anyway.
In terms of lawfulness, a poker bot is a controversial phenomenon. In large online rooms, the use of robotic assistants is strictly prohibited. Violators are punished with a temporary ban or even a lifetime blocking of the account with the freezing of earned funds.
Every popular site strives to provide equal gaming conditions for all visitors and prevent a situation where any gambler dishonestly gains an advantage.
The equality of gamers is one of the key requirements of licensing authorities. Therefore, great attention is paid to protecting the iGaming site from bots.
In many countries, the use of third-party programs to play with real people for money is punishable.
Let us figure out how the security service of the online room detects programs:
- scanning a gamer's computer and the software used;
- the analysis of mouse movements on the screen (robotic assistants can rarely repeat the smooth motion of the hands of a real person);
- the assessment of user behaviour using neural networks;
- CAPTCHA output for multi-tablers — gamers who participate in over 10 tournaments at the same time.
An AI program can be useful outside the gaming tables, both for the owners of gambling projects and for the users themselves.
There is a high demand for GTO simulators with the functionality of playing with bots. Users can simulate the gambling process, test different betting strategies, and hone their skills without risking their savings.
The programs also bring some benefits to operators. Their main tasks are as follows:
- the assessment of the audience's reaction to different types of bonuses and in-game moments;
- the understanding of what mechanisms allow entrepreneurs to effectively interact with visitors to the online room;
- testing new types of tournaments.
The popularisation of poker bots is an irreversible process. Today, more businessmen are investing in software development, appreciating the huge promise of machines based on AI.
It is worth noting that bots are already actively changing the industry. The once-popular Heads-Up tournament type is rarely found on top sites today. The fact is that in a one-on-one game, it is much easier to use a script and gain an illegal advantage. Therefore, operators are gradually moving away from this format and developing other competition modes, such as Sit'n'Go or Satellites.
The first Orac program appeared in the late 80s. The author of the solution is an American professional player Mike Caro. In his book Sign Language, he described the features of creating software and predicted the massive emergence of robotic assistants in the future.
The Orac software was notable for its quick decision-making and basic analysis of opponents’ actions. For example, if the opponent was late with the answer, the program concluded that the user was bluffing.
In over 30 years since Orac was introduced, the quality of chatbots has improved significantly. New models that can impose fierce competition on real players have emerged.
The most famous virtual assistants are as follows:
The Texas Hold'em program was created by a research group at the University of Alabama. The solution does not require large computing power. Therefore, it can work without problems on a laptop or PC.
The product has been repeatedly used to play against professionals. The bot participated in the Gaming Life Expo 2008 exhibition in Las Vegas, a poker tournament at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, and other significant events
The project was implemented by scientists from the Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada.
During two months of testing, the software used over 4 thousand processors. More than 6 billion card games were played every second on them. This is more than people have ever played poker in history.
Cepheus supports only Texas Hold'em — with two partners and fixed bets
This is the first bot in the world that managed to beat a professional poker player. The development of scientists from Canada and the Czech Republic won 44,852 times. The average success rate was 492 BB/100.
The product is only applicable to Texas Hold'em. The creators of DeepStack claim that the functionality of the bot will expand significantly soon
The AI-based program appeared within the walls of Carnegie Mellon University. The authors of the solution are Professor Tumas Sandholm and his student Noam Brown.
The bot received universal recognition after it defeated four professionals at the Brains vs Artificial Intelligence tournament. Its opponents were Daniel Macaulay, Jimmy Cha, Dong Kim, and Jason Les.
During the tournament, the program earned $1.7 billion. A total of over 120 thousand card hands were dealt
Today, AI-based robotic assistants have found application not only in gambling but also in other sectors of the economy with a high level of risk, for example, in financial exchanges. Here, with the help of software, it is possible to predict stock quotes and find out their real value after a few days.
Enterprising buyers have even used bots during eBay auctions to try and get their desired items. As a consequence, a scandal broke out. The American site refused to recognise the results of the auction, fearing its impeccable reputation in the market.
Leading IT corporations are constantly working on creating high-quality assistants and improving previously released models. Products are complemented with new characteristics. They become more inventive and resistant to external factors (player manipulation, technical failures).
Standard bots usually consist of two components:
- The auxiliary interface is utilised to interact with the user, prescribe a betting strategy, set up commands, and get results quickly.
How virtual assistants work:
- The collection of information. These are the cards on the table and the hands, the size of the opponents' bets, the stack volume, the button, and other information.
- Making the optimal decision. The bot treats the situation as a logical task and uses all available inputs to find the correct answer. AI enables fast decision-making. A poker bot does not make rash moves. It follows the same principle as a real person.
- The imitation of a gamer’s actions. AI-based software perfectly disguises itself as a real gambler. It simulates mouse movement and keystrokes. For this reason, distinguishing a bot from a real player on the other side of the screen is not an easy task.
What information does a bot use to make decisions:
- scanned screenshots of tables with optical character recognition and transliteration of graphics into machine text;
- log files — bases of actions of players with a detailed description;
- the signals on the way to the online room server;
- network and encrypted Internet traffic;
- data on distributions and hands;
- general information about the gamer — a nickname, recent victories, the nature of play, and preferences for bets and limits.
Companies produce 3 kinds of solutions:
- Skill-based bots. They function strictly following the given rules. For example, with one combination, the tools sharply increase the bet. With another, they instantly fold the cards. The program will easily defeat a beginner. However, it will never beat a professional poker player.
- Balanced products. They work on basic algorithms and use the optimal betting strategy. Such poker bots are prone to mistakes, especially when playing with professionals. Nevertheless, the owner of the program (operator or gambler) is always in the black in the long run.
- Operational bots. The key advantage of products of this type is the ability to instantly adapt to the opponent's tactics. The program operates with different betting strategies, which allows users to defeat strong opponents. The software works based on different mathematical algorithms and requires large computing power. It can be camouflaged well.
Top iGaming platforms value their reputation in the market. They will never use programs to beat clients and make illegal profits. Another thing is online rooms without a licence.
The main signs by which you can detect a bot are as follows:
- the sequence of actions is always the same, and there is no imagination and non-standard moves;
- identical timeframes (for example, 5 seconds to make a decision);
- hours-long sessions without interruptions;
- minimal activity in the chat, but most often, there are no answers;
- the lack of bluffing and attempts to confuse the opponent;
- simultaneous play at multiple tables;
- the end of the session at a strictly limited time.
When these signs are discovered, a gambler needs to think about who is on the other side of the screen. Perhaps the opponent is a real user who is just taking the first steps in Texas Hold'em or Omaha. The user’s play is far from ideal, and the punter may systematically make the same mistakes.
The creation of a full-fledged program from scratch will cost $50,000. This is the average price on the market. It depends on the quality of development, the type of project, the number of supported games, tournament formats, and other factors. Most often, customers are focused on software that can beat opponents in Texas Hold'em.
Punters can buy the engine for $50-300. Theoretically, the program will help them win in any round (be it a one-on-one game or an MTT format). In practice, experienced poker rooms instantly block the client if they find out about the use of third-party software.
The considered artificial intelligence-based programs mimic the actions of a real gambler.
- Such products are characterised by good play, the ability to easily adapt to the opponent's betting strategy and bring profits in the long run, and the absence of errors. Some programs can beat both beginners and professionals.
- The operation of the engine is based on three main principles. These are a thorough collection and analysis of information, making optimal decisions based on the studied data, and simulating the actions of gamblers.
- The more details the program collects and processes, the faster it reads the opponents’ strategies and defeats them. Scanned screenshots of tables, log files, Internet traffic, the history of previous hands, and general information about the gamer are used as basic data.
- The installation of a poker bot in online rooms is not approved by everyone. Many operators avoid such decisions because of the fear of damaging their reputation.
- Entrepreneurs can install GTO simulators on gambling sites. Such AI programs will benefit visitors, allowing them to hone their skills without risking savings.
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