How Will Artificial Intelligence Change the Game of Poker in 2024?

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Since the first online poker tables emerged, this popular card game has evolved with the technology, creating new player experiences while retaining the classic style that keeps people coming back for more. Allowing people to play poker against others across the world, from free play games to million-dollar tournaments, poker today is built on a platform of technology.

As artificial intelligence, often called AI, develops rapidly, there is no doubt it has already had an impact, providing exceptional learning tools and guidance for players from beginner to professional.

The Current State of AI in Poker

Ai is used in a number of ways right now, with poker bots that can play against multiple opponents at once using powerful AI algorithms to adapt in real-time to situations at the table and other player’s strategies. The best of these can beat a table of professional players, and bots deployed to play automatically on poker platforms can win consistently against newer or low-skilled players.

AI is also used in poker assistants, which help players improve their game. The most basic of these allow you to input the details of each hand and they will use machine learning algorithms to identify areas you could improve. The most advanced AI-powered assistants work in real time, providing move suggestions and analysis of other players during each hand as they are played.

But while AI has advanced to the point it can beat professional players, these are marginal victories and such systems still have weaknesses. Bots deployed on poker sites can be beaten by clever players who recognize what they are playing against, and there is still much work ahead in getting AI to really understand the human element of poker play.AI is also used in one more area of poker, and that is identifying the use of bots and other tools by the various top poker sites. Understandably, they have rules in place to create an even playing field, that is good for their bottom line. So, deploying AI systems to identify playing patterns or traffic that suggest the use of third party tools is one of the things they do to give players confidence that their tables are fair.

Technological Advancements in AI for Poker

Poker has been used as a development platform for AI pretty much since its beginning, with the first so called poker bot appearing in the early 1980s. The reason for this is simple, it is a game that goes beyond rules and involves human strategy and deliberate deception, or bluffing. That makes it incredibly challenging for any logic based system, and can only be conquered by true learning technology. Much of the research done using poker has been done to develop self-driving car technology, for this reason.

But during this journey the technology itself has advanced significantly and rapidly. Learning algorithms replaced large database lookups as bots developed, becoming more sophisticated in analysis and capable of learning from previous games. But it was the advent of Pluribus in 2019 that the technology became what we understand as AI today. A complex, software based neural network and learning algorithms that can run on minimal hardware, delivering a true intelligent system that learns as it goes. Indeed, pluribus was not taught how to play poker, instead, it was taught the rules of poker, and learned how to win as it played.

Changing Strategies for Human Players

However, Pluribus and similar software-based AI bots that have emerged since have changed poker. There approach to the game Is built on analysing strategy and matching a hand with historical games to calculate probabilities for every outcome. This is important, because while poker websites and platforms try to ensure that bots are not used in their games, inevitably, bots are used in online poker on almost every site you can think of.

To win at tables with bots means doing things a little differently, and so human players are doing just that. Less predictability is at the heart of it, changing up both pre and post flop play to avoid bots being able to predict how they will play.

In addition, when joining a table, part of that initial phase of play in the first few hands is now not just assessing how your opponents play, but whether any of them are bots. Many bots available remain unsophisticated, and can be manipulated and beaten if you adopt the right strategy, so identifying a bot, such as repetitive betting, are a big part of playing online poker today.

The Evolution of AI in Poker

The first ‘poker bot’ appeared as far back as the 1980s, but until the 2010s they were mostly poor players with a very rudimentary understanding of the game and were easily beaten by human players. The first real breakthrough in poker AI can in 2015, when a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University developed a new AI system that actually beat a human player. Known as Claudico, it is really the beginning of AI in poker as we understand it today.

However, Claudico and the projects that followed used a combination of AI and huge dedicated hardware requirements to achieve this performance, but the team continued to develop their systems and AI. In 2019, the result of this was Pluribus, which changed everything in two ways.

First, it could play more than head-to-head, in fact it played against a table of four professional players at once. It won.

Second, it was fully software based, and could be run on something as simple as a cloud node, the need for extensive hardware resources was gone.

The result has been a bot that can beat multiple professional players at the same time, however as impressive as that is, it is not quite as it seems. During the test, the bot did win more hands than any player, but it was marginal, and in terms of money, the AI would not make as much money as some who had a lower win rate.

The Future of AI in Poker

Ai tools have already proved their worth, with professional players using poker assistants, such as PioSOLVER, to analyse their own performances, find weaknesses and understand mistakes. As we move forward, the technology will become more accessible, so that even new players can have these powerful tools to help them learn and grow as players.Crucially, more real-time assistants will appear, providing on screen guidance and data while a hand is being played, offering an advantage over anyone at the table who does not have similar tools. This real-time AI analysis will not just be found in more refined assistants though, and as the technology has matured and become easier to access, we are going to see a rapid increase in bot use, with powerful AI that can consistently beat human players.

The Impact of AI on Poker Game

The result of that increased use of poker AI will have a significant impact. Many poker experts believe that we will see an overall reduction on poker skills as players rely more and more on Artificial Intelligence assistants to tell them which strategy to adopt. However, the industry could well take the opposite route, and instead of having to rely on third party offerings, we may see such AI tools being integrated into poker platforms directly, so everyone has the same options, removing any advantage.

Poker platforms will also use AI to gain better insight into how players use their games, leading to improvements in the overall gaming experience for online poker players.

AI’s Role in Game Development, Poker Training and Coaching

With more advanced AI that can reliably beat human players, better, stronger bots can be created and used as training tools. Because they can learn and adapt, they will provide a more interesting challenge for players as they develop poker skills, becoming a valued part of the poker experience at every level, helping beginners and professionals alike.

Predictions for AI in Poker Gaming for 2024 and Beyond

Poker was transformed by the adoption of online gameplay, as it now only increased access to the game, but being online in those early days was a novelty, adding excitement to the experience and attracting many new players.

AI will do the same, and whether it is AI assistants built into the poker gaming software for every player or advanced learning tools, players will have more support than ever before in learning the game and refining how they play.

Beyond that, AI will also help platforms as they seek to keep the game interesting and bring new players in, whilst also being a valuable tool in keeping games honest and preventing widespread bot use.

Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence is reshaping all kinds of industries, from photography to language translation, and it doing the same within poker. Not as disruptive as some applications, AI is providing new tools to help players improve their game, but we must be careful that those AI assistants do not replace player skills completely.

FAQ

What are the latest advancements in AI technology that have an impact on poker in 2024?

Real; time AI analysis during hands allows poker assistants to offer strategy suggestions while a game is in progress, giving players a potential advantage. That same ability is also used by bots to adapt to player strategies during games, making them better players.

What strategies should human poker players adopt to compete effectively against Artificial Intelligence in 2024?

Playing against bots in 2024 is not easy, they can, and have, beat professional players. However, AI play is generally conservative, and they look for patterns in your play to predict what you will do. Changing up strategies frequently and playing an aggressive approach can exploit these weaknesses, however, in 2024, AI bots adapt quickly, so it is still a challenge to beat them.

How is AI being used for online poker training and coaching in 2024, and what benefits does it offer?

AI powered poker assistants can help you analyse performances in hands both during and after play. The system will look at how you approached each situation and identify probabilities for the route you took and alternatives to see where you are making poor decisions. This ability to go through games choice by choice and see where you can improve has been used by professionals for years, and is now available for everyone.

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