Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere right now. From Chat-GPT to AI art generators, the online world is abuzz with mentions of this emerging technology and how it’s set to revolutionise the world. Already, we are seeing AI being used in many industries, and online poker is no exception. With AI technology advancing rapidly, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that this technology is going to have a significant impact on online poker’s future. In this post, we’ll explore the ways that AI is already changing the game, and what might be in store for the future.
The development of AI-powered players is one of the most obvious ways that AI is impacting the world of online poker. These are computer programs that are designed to play poker at a superhuman level. With advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques, an AI-powered player can make decisions that a regular human person would never be able to make, in a split second.
While we’re still some time away from seeing them used at the top casinos online, there have already been some notable achievements. In 2017, a poker-playing computer known as Liberatus defeated four professional poker players in a 20-day-long competition, ending with more than $1.7m in chips more than its human opponents.
AI isn’t close to taking anybody’s job yet, but where it really is coming up trumps is in a helping role. The development of AI-assisted players is another area where AI is impacting the world of online poker. Human players are using AI software and tools to help them make better decisions and be in with a better chance of winning at the poker table.
A heads-up display (HUD), for example, is one way AI is being used. This provides real-time statistics and data on the other players at the table such as the percentage of hands played, their average bet size, and how often they make certain actions. Without having to try to track and remember all of this with their human brain alone, the player can make better, more informed decisions.
AI-powered hand analysis software is also growing in popularity. This is used to help players identify trends and patterns in their own play. What’s more, many provide suggestions to the player on how they can improve, such as pointing out areas where they could be more aggressive or identifying leaks in the game.
AI In Tournaments
AI has also made its way into online poker tournaments. Here, players use it to analyse betting patterns and hands that have won in the past so that the AI can assist them in knowing how to play a certain tournament against specific players. When used in this way, AI can help players anticipate their opponent’s moves before they make them, which can give the player using these tools a massive advantage.
Many casinos and online poker platforms do not see this as fair, so they have tools, software and security features that ensure players do not use them. Interestingly, these tools also use AI to identify the use of AI by players in tournaments.
Use of AI in Training
Many players have turned to using AI when studying the game and practising for tournaments because they cannot use it in some main events. The most common type of AI used this way is known as a solver, and it takes all of a game’s data, analyses it and lets the player know the best moves to play in specific positions and situations.
AI does this by plugging the information gaps that players typically have when playing a game of online poker. These gaps arise because players do not have the information other players have, as poker has hole cards, which are private and only viewable by one player.
However, using AI and enough training with available tools helps players learn the different scenarios that arise, making them better at guessing which hole cards other players have. This information can be invaluable when deciding what to do in a game or tournament.
Players use these tools as mentors and sparring partners that help them prepare for specific tournaments. Players can play such AI multiple times to improve their skills because it gets increasingly harder as the AI also learns from the player and past games. Poker pros like Daniel Negreanu already use this strategy to become better online poker players.
Secure Online Poker Platforms
Security is becoming a concern for many players as there have been numerous reports of breaches in recent years. Many industries already use AI to keep customer data safe, and online poker platforms have implemented such measures.
These platforms take it further by helping protect players from fraud and cheating when at the table. They can detect patterns of likely cheating or fraud and flag suspicious activity, which the operators of these platforms can take care of. The result is securer online poker platforms where players are less likely to lose their bankroll due to scams, cheating and fraud and where players can be sure their personal and banking details are safe.
We can expect to see these measures strengthened in the future, with AI playing a role on both sides; players trying to gain an advantage and online poker platforms ensuring they do not.
The Changing Perception of Online Poker
AI will also likely change how people view and approach poker in the future; we are already seeing this happen. Some players say that it will kill the spirit of the game, with the game turning from who can solve creative problems to who can memorise the most patterns and apply them in a game.
Some say that this is the natural evolution of competitive games, with players of games like chess already adopting AI in training.
The Future of Online Poker
With AI technology advancing rapidly, we can expect to see it having even more of an impact on online poker in the future. It’s also expected to be coupled with other big tech developments, such as the use of virtual reality (VR) technology, to provide a more realistic, immersive poker environment.
What’s more, blockchain technology is also becoming increasingly more commonplace in online poker, creating a more transparent, secure, online poker ecosystem. In the future, this could look like decentralised systems for player fund management, and proven fair algorithms for dealing cards.
All in all, it’s clear that AI is having a big impact on the online poker world, and we can expect to see even more of it as time goes on.