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Poker Bots are Rare but Real: Here’s How to Deal with Them

Poker bots are real, and they can ruin your game. Despite the best of efforts, poker providers can’t always catch wrongdoers on the spot. Even 888Poker, one of the largest poker platforms in the world, recognizes that it is possible for bots to sneak in despite tight security. It’s the dark nature of the game, and poker providers are always working on staying in front of the cheaters. However, as with anything, there is no 100 percent guarantee that one day you won’t have to battle against a computer. The good news is that with some sensible play, you can take advantage of your cheating opponent.


Poker Bots - They are Improving!

Bots are only getting better. Meaning that poker operators will need to keep up with the booming AI industry (Image Credit: Prototypr)


What are poker bots?

When it comes to poker, a bot is an automated software that plays the game without the presence of a human. However, bots are different than other human-operated supplemental software that might be permitted under the poker site’s rules. Another distinction to make is that this article refers to bots that are not created for research purposes.

When it comes to poker bots, the good news prevails over the bad ones. First, you should know that most poker bots are not that scary. It’s not to say that they don’t work, but if you are sensible with your play, you can outsmart them. Another good news is that bots are only as good as the person that programmed and operates them. As with any other scam, the scheme is as strong as its weakest link. So, if the bot was released by an inexperienced person, odds are that it won’t do much damage to the game. The bad news is that some bots are quite good and sophisticated enough to outplay even experienced players. Note, though, that such bots cost lots of money and time to develop. Meaning that it doesn’t make sense to use them against low-stake recreational players.

In conclusion, most poker bots are not overly sophisticated. The way that they work is pretty simple. They look for weaknesses to exploit within other players and also play based on predetermined patterns. Doing so makes them easy to exploit.


Top Trends in AI

The field of AI is only getting more sophisticated, creating both threats and opportunities. Image Credit: PricewaterhouseCoopers


How do you recognize bots?

There are different types of bots, though most of them are divided into tournaments, cash games or Sit & Go. They usually play in a ring. Meaning that there might be several bots at the table that work together to get an extra advantage against other players.

One way to recognize bots is to look at their statistics. If you suspect that there is a bot on your table, look at its stats along with the those of other players. If you notice several players with results that look out of the ordinary, it might be a bot ring, especially if they share the same odd stats.

Of course, there is always the possibility that you’re playing against a human whose play might look like a bot. Such is especially the case when you’re playing against inexperienced players. Either way, take notes of how your opponents are playing and pay attention to any warning signs. If you notice suspicious behavior, report it to the poker platform so the security team can review your case.


Poker Bots work on algorithms that can be exploited

Poker bots are somewhat linear. They work on algorithms that can be exploited. Image Credit: Times Free Press


So, you suspect that a bot is present at your table and you report it. Still, there is no action taken by the poker platform’s operators. Well, this is unlikely to happen because no poker operator wants to get a bad name of having bots on its site. So, it is more likely that your case will be considered. However, if for whatever reason you would like to play against a bot, there are some things you can do to maximize your chances. How do you go about it?

Well, there is no definite strategy as bots are different. But generally, they rely on repeated automated behavior. So, your best bet is to take note of the pattern and break it. The pattern can show at any stage of the game — pre flop, turn, river, on betting, raising, etc. For example, if the both aggressively bets pre flop even with weak hands, re-raise when you get a right hand. Play with the idea of getting the bot to keep pouring more money into the pot. Alternatively, if you are playing against a good bot, you need to treat it as an experienced player and use the tactics described in this post.

When playing against a bot, the most important thing is to adapt to the game. Bots play by patterns, but they also exploit them. So, apart from following predetermined instructions they also read players. If you have a weakness in the game, the bot will likely notice. Do you tend to call when you’re supposed to fold? Once the bot has made the connection, it will adapt its style and play against your weak spot. The trick here is to confuse it. Play a few hands one way and then change tactics and strategy. To win, you need to continuously adjust your approach to the game, so you get the bot confused about what move you’ll make next.

If you’re not acquainted with general poker playing styles, do read about them. Once you establish yours and the bot’s style, you’ll know where your game cracks up and also get to notice any weaknesses in the way the bot plays.

The chance of a bot sneaking through a poker platform’s security is not high, but it can happen. If you notice a poker bot, it’s better to leave the table and sit at another one, though it might be tempting to try your skills against a computer. Even though most bots are yet not so sophisticated, they will only get better. Why waste your time playing against cheaters?

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