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Poker in the Back

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Poker bots? An interesting article on using computers to play online poker. It serves as a follow-up to our interesting discussion of poker a few weeks ago. A comparison to chess is again made. Slashdot has a long discussion thread on the story with many insightful posts.

"The strategy of [poker] is difficult and to sit down and write a program that can beat a table of experienced human players is no trivial task," he said.

While bots have been used to play the optimal strategy in other online card games, like blackjack, poker is a different animal. The biggest obstacles lie in the amount of information unavailable to the player and the need for the program to be able to employ a variety of strategies at different times, such as bluffing and laying traps for opponents, explained Billings, a doctoral student and master poker player.

"With chess – I don’t want to trivialize it – but it’s just a matter of calculation," he said. “With poker, you really need to write a program that can think about the game and reason.”

The solution, in the case of the Vex Bot, was adding a layer of artificial intelligence over its ability to calculate probabilities.

Of course the implications of computer cheating for a game based on gambling are severe. Online chessplayers obsess about computer cheating, but that's about ego, rating points, and the occasional small prize. With the typical love of Big Round Numbers, they describe poker as a "billion dollar industry." I'm not sure gamblers would even care. These are people who pour money into slot machines, roulette, and other games in which they have only the casino's word that they have an honest chance of winning. Online poker is the same. You trust that it's not rigged or cheatable.


So when are we going to see "Deep Blue" vs. "The Unabomber" ;-)


Judging by the last two messages we got ourselves a great thought-provoking topic here.
Mig, are you going to do something about it ot you're too busy checking out that cialis site?

Yah, blog spam is just as bad as email spam. I have an auto-kill system that catches 99%. Beyond that, I kill it when I see it. But these snuck in while I was in transit back from Seattle. (Where it has been decided that a few journalists will get free room at the US Ch, but only if they stay with Yermo in his car.)

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 21, 2004 2:51 PM.

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