One of the games that have fallen prey to bots is poker. The game itself is complicated and often has incomplete information, and as such, draws the attention of the researchers. Each year, a more improved version of bots is released, but none has beaten the complexities of the poker game.

Aside from the inability to completely crack the game, poker bots have received a lot of opposition from the gaming companies. Quite a number of these firms have banned their usage, and seek to crack down those that have installed them, including by closing their accounts. This raises the question whether the games actually do enable long-term profitability for their users, or whether they actually result in an unfair advantage over human opponents in a game, and as such, contravening the rules of the game.

Bots have certain advantages against humans.

  • Their decision-making is purely objective – because of the use of advanced mathematical theory and statistical data, the decision-making by bots does not take into account subjective emotions of a player.
  • They are not averse to risks – in the gaming process, sometimes, players make certain decisions based on their fear of failure and the magnitude of that impact. This is uncharacteristic of the bots. Since they do not have emotions that are affecting their decision-making process, they tend to take all risks.
  • They can detect human weaknesses – when bots play against real humans, it is possible for them to discover weaknesses through certain patterns of behaviour. This is possible for the bots that have inbuilt HUDs
  • They do not tire – since the game itself and its continuation are based on recursive decision making, bots do not get tired unlike humans. They are therefore able to optimise decisions when the human playing against the bots is weary.

However, because the bots play in a predetermined manner, experienced players can outwit them by simply changing strategies.