Poker Bots, otherwise known as computer poker players, are programs that were made to play computer or human opponents with successful results. These technologically advanced programs are very controversial in the poker-playing world. Many people think that there is no issue at all; they only have a limited amount of intelligence, so it is fine to use them. Others believe that it is cheating to use one of these bots; that it gives the player an unfair advantage.
There are two types of bots that have been created. The first is known as a player bot. These programs are usually purchased or downloaded by an avid poker player in order to increase their winnings. Some of these programs need the assistance of a human player, while others can take over the game completely.
The latter, obviously, leaves much more room for debate for ethical reasons.
The second type of computer poker player is a house bot. There have been many disagreements on these types of bots. The site you are using may operate one of these programs to play against its users. The thing that creates the entire dispute over this is that you never really know whether the poker bot is getting restricted information. The website may tell you that it does not, but there is no way for them to prove this.
Many websites do not allow the use of a poker bot while gaming online. For the ones that do, however, it offers a big advantage for the players that are using them. There have been quite a few competitions in the past showing that these computer poker players are successfully able to beat human opponents. Most of them are even able to bluff!
One of the most well known of all computer poker players is a system called Polaris. The group of people responsible for this came from the University of Alberta. They really have an amazing artificial intelligence department there. They delved into this project for many years, and it eventually became a success. The leader of the project was a man named Jonathan Herbert Shaffer.
The team started working on this project in the early 1990‘s. The goal was to create a program that could easily beat a human opponent. The bot was created with many different strategies that it is able to “choose” from when playing a hand. It took a long time before Polaris could be used in actual tournaments. From July 3-6 of the year 2008, the program took part in a poker tournament involving five very well known poker players. Polaris did eventually beat the humans, but not by a landslide. It took a little bit of work, and in the end, it came out almost even. This may have been an advantage to this poker bot, though, because it showed that the program did not have too much artificial intelligence where it would be considered cheating.
Another very well known poker bot is known as the Bluffbot. The Bluffbot was created by a man by the name of Teppo Salonen. The team of designers were very perceptive when creating this computer poker player. They actually had a couple of professional poker players sit down, use the bot, and then offer tips on how to make it better. This definitely gave this company an initial advantage over its competition. It was entered into the poker competition created by the AAAI in 2006 for the first time, using the original version. Since then, it has competed every year with more updated versions. It has been very successful so far in beating out human opponents.
These programs are amazing, and they just keep getting smarter. Many designers believe that it will be no time before bots are able to become more intelligent than their human opponents are. We cannot wait to see!