Poker Bots – Time to Worry?

poker bots

What is a Poker Bot?

A poker bot is a computer program developed to play against human opponents online. They are despised by most players as people hate the idea that they are playing and potentially losing, to a piece of AI.

Why Would Anyone use a Bot?

Everyone likes free money. The idea of developing a programme that automates playing and allows you to have fun while it plays, and wins money is appealing. The reality is, that whilst some bots may have capacity to win at micro stakes levels, they are likely to be used primarily to clear rakeback and bonuses on websites.

How Good is a Bot?

Bots are likely to be programmed quite basic. They’re unlikely to be profitable beyond very low stakes due to the inherent complexity that is involved in poker. They are programmed to work purely on mathematically theorems so whilst they are not burdened by tilt, ego or personal battles with opponents, they are not as observant or creative as a person is. Software has been created that was able to beat professionals  but this is very rare and we are a long way off this ever being used online.

Are Poker Bots Legal?

Poker bots are illegal to use on all websites, however, developing and selling them is fine. You are unlikely to play against one but there are a few traits that distinguish them from your opponents; identical timing for decision making, deathly silent in chat box and repetitive use of same line in a hand e.g. check raising turns frequently.

Beating Bots

Anyone who developed a poker bot to play well has to be a very strong player in the first place. They must have been a winning player at decent stakes. In order to develop a poker bot strong enough to win, the person must have spent thousands of hours developing the strategy behind the bot’s decision making. 

Beating a bot can be quite simple, if you have identified you are playing a bot in the first place. Most bots will be sensitive to different bet sizes based on the coding. They may have been coded to call 3 bets for 8bb but not 9bbs. This type of leak is very exploitable. Once you have found the chinks in a bot’s armour, they are actually easy money as you can just repeat the same moves and they are very unlikely to adjust like a person would. This means ditching any advanced GTO method you have for a reactive exploitative one instead.

Conclusion

Poker bots are so rare that you need not concern yourself with their existence or them taking your money. If you still worry about them after our post, stick to casino games where you are only facing the house. Get a bonus with Novibet using the code Newbonus and try them instead of poker. The ones that are around are unlikely to be very profitable and are used purely for rakeback purposes. They are also illegal. Remember to report any signs of bot usage to the website you are playing on.

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Image Source: Unsplash

Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: info@texasholdemquestions.com

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