Online Poker Bots – Threat or Not?

Online Poker Bots – Threat or Not?

Introduction

Online games from chess and backgammon to 1st person shooters are rife with those who use computer assisted play or computer robots – even when there’s no money in stake. With the correct program any player has the ability to engage in at a world championship level ruining the game for honest people. What makes online poker different, given that there are huge amounts at stake?

In this informative article I will explain how I developed a poker bot and what I learnt from this particular adventure. My judgment is the fact that although it is possible to create a poker playing bot the threat from poker bots to the internet poker player is exceptionally limited to non situs judi.

For interest and college courses I had previously written computer playing programs or bots for games including chess, Connect 4, Othello, backgammon, bridge and various others. For games such as Connect 4, Othello, chess and backgammon where all players get precisely the same available information concerning the game state, the theory on what steps to take to best to construct expert bots is recognized. Deep search strategies, looking many moves ahead, are used for games such as Othello and chess. Recently (10 years ago) it was discovered neural networks can be taught to play backgammon superior than just about any player. Games such as poker and bridge contain hidden information where the players may watch their very own hand but not that of those other players. The published theory behind writing expert computer bots for these incomplete information games is decades behind the complete information games and there are doubts techniques will be designed so that computers can play at expert or world championship level. At the moment the most effective techniques for these incomplete information games appear to involve some type of simulation and opponent modelling.

1) Data Gathering – observing the game state and history

2) Data Processing – using the info from your data gathered to establish whether or not to fold, raise or call.

3) Output – Pressing the proper button on the poker room client.

My Poker Bot

My program was created in early 2004 using Microsoft .Net C++ and was created to play at the same online room only. For the technically minded the program relied heavily on MFC and the Win32 API.

1) Data Gathering

My bot gathered information about game state and history from internet poker tables by taking repeated screenshots and analysing the picture. To begin with I just observed games, taking screenshots automatically so I could gather data on the job of the cards, chips and button. By deciding the color of a certain few pixels I was able to gather all this information concerning their state of this game.

Eventually I was able to assemble data from multiple poker tables (4 at any given time) by repeatedly bringing each window into the foreground and taking a screenshot. From this screenshot I managed to pinpoint my cards, board cards, button position, that was simply abandoned at the hand, pot size and player bet sizes.

2) Data processing

This can be the component that eventually bought my poker bot project to an end, struggling to come up with a strong enough strategy to win always. I tried various rules based, neural net and simulation techniques. At best my bot managed to create a tiny profit in $1/2 and $2/$4 limit maintain Celtics, however no where near the tens of thousands dollars each week I envisioned earning when I started off the undertaking. Ultimately it just was not really worth my time to keep to put resources into developing my poker bot further.

3) Output

This is actually the easiest component to create. This involved programmatically moving the mouse pointer to the appropriate screen coordinates and sending out a mouse down/mouse up control signalling that a left-click. I’d consider adding the ability for the bot to use chat but never progressed that way.

Conclusion

Although you might come across a poker playing bot whilst playing online the chances are it plays very badly. At some level of play you are far more likely to perform in an expert human player than an expert computer player.

Harrison Elliot composed that this informative article for Review Poker Rooms – Online poker room reviews plus useful news, articles and links.

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