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Artificial intelligence in poker


The idea of the future consisting of robots and other man-made items is edging closer and closer. With technology advancing at a high rate, we’re seeing it slowly start to trickle into our everyday lives, as well as our passions and hobbies.

Now, it has landed in the world of casino. With gambling and betting being a game of numbers, Artificial Intelligence has made its mark by beating five human opponents at Texas Hold’em.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) robot ‘taught’ itself how to play Texas holdem and then competed against opponents to see how successful it could be at solving the problems faced in the game.

You might have already predicted the presence of robots in gambling as many of the games are centred on numbers, maths and patterns, meaning that engineers can create an algorithm in order to win a game.

Artificial intelligence, however, takes it a step further. It’s not about simply following a pattern, the key is to adjust the pattern depending on the scenario or situation.

Poker chips
Image- Chris Liverani on Unsplash

coImage – Chris Liverani on UnsplashWith human interaction in the game, it is almost impossible to predict, this is where robot Artificial Intelligence comes into its own.

With AI involved, the programming will contain all the smarts and intelligence of a robot but with the mental capacity to adjust the game plan accordingly, just like a human would.

Now an unbeatable poker bot has emerged, giving a glimpse into the future of AI in gaming.

Created under the name of Pluribus, the AI bot has been designed to reflect human attributes when playing poker, including the ability to bluff.

Pluribus’ co-creator Noam Brown said:People thought in the 1950s that playing chess was a very human thing that computers are not able to do… And then people thought that bluffing is this very human thing that an AI would not be able to do. And we see that, in fact, an AI can bluff better than any human alive.”

Now it is believed that there is no limit as to what the poker bot can do in a game as Pluribus beats human professionals in a six-player no-limit Texas Hold’em poker game. It is the first time an AI has beaten elite human players at a game with more than two players.

What makes Pluribus different from other AI is its capability to bluff. Pluribus not only conceals the fact that he might have a good hand by trying to put off his opponents but also contemplates how to win when it is dealt a bad hand.

Not only does this mean that Pluribus is functioning with more human capabilities, it means that it can figure out the best way to win the most money no matter what cards lay in front of it.

From here we can take a look into how AI will help not only in gaming situations but everyday life. By being able to win a multiple-player poker game, the AI demonstrates that it can solve a complex problem, that doesn’t necessarily have a clear win-lose situation – which reflects most real-life scenarios.

The algorithm that Pluribus is based upon means that it doesn’t move through a decision tree to find the best next move, but that it searches to the end of the game before choosing any action.

Although the real breakthrough came when Pluribus only had to look ahead a few steps in order to make good moves, demonstrating how it has self-taught itself how to play.


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