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What is a poker bot?

At a time when botting has become common in online games, poker has witnessed the emergence of bots too. This is essentially a result of the popularity of the online poker platforms as the bots can’t be used elsewhere. While a section of the community has embraced AI and are trying to benefit by using the bots, another is completely against the use of bots. It can be stated that the growing popularity of bots has resulted in a mixed reaction from the online poker players.

What is a poker bot?

Basically, a bot is a robot without a physical existence, i.e., a computer program that functions in an automated way. In various games, bots are used to replicate the actions of a human player with higher accuracy and efficiency. As a bot is powered by AI, it can make decisions and act at a quick pace. Poker bots have been becoming a menace for many online poker players as these bots can repeatedly defeat them.

How do these automated players function?

The sophisticated poker bots can play on their own and do not require the support of any other app. The users can configure these bots and instruct them regarding the playstyle. There are a variety of ways in which poker bots function, as not every programmer develop the bots in the same way. For instance, some of the simple bots with just the basic features only play as per the predefined strategies. This implies that the developer codes it to perform a specific action when it is dealt a particular hand in a position.

However, stronger bots capable of making more complex decisions exist too. These bots can observe and record the behaviours of their opponents and accordingly adapt their own playstyle to win. These bots play in a manner similar to many expert players and are quite hard to beat.

What are the pros of using poker bots?

No matter how unfair it might sound to use bots against human players, poker bots do offer a number of advantages. After all, they wouldn’t have grown popular if the users didn’t enjoy any upper hand after investing in a bot.

  • Multiple tables: A poker bot can seamlessly play at an unlimited number of tables. While a human player can multi-table too, it is certainly stressful and increases the chances of making silly mistakes. Moreover, even an expert human player can play at a limited number of tables at a time. If a bot has a high win rate, it can earn huge profits in this manner.
  • Easy wins: The most basic advantage of using a poker bot is that even the novice players can win the games through the bot. A well-designed poker bot can, therefore, make up for a player’s lack of poker skills.
  • Constant functioning: Human players need breaks to relax, eat or sleep. However, bots do not. This means a bot can play all day, every day and constantly earn profits, provided that it has a good win rate. The long hours of playing also allow the bot-users to earn more loyalty rewards from the poker sites.

What are the cons of poker bots?

Bots might be good at poker. However, they are not unbeatable and invincible. The bots face a number of problems that human players do not.

  • Bans: Most poker sites ban bot accounts and confiscate all the funds if they detect one. Now, avoiding detection might be hard as bots display a number of prominent characteristics. This makes it quite risky to use a bot on a well-established platform.
  • Losses: After all, a bot plays as per the strategies programmed into it. It is not easy to develop a powerful bot with a very high win rate. While a weak bot can still beat new players, its overall win rate may be low.

Are bots worth your time and effort?

There are primarily three ways in which you may obtain a bot:

  • Develop one yourself: This isn’t a viable option unless you are really good at programming or want to test your programming skills.
  • Purchasing a strong bot: You may pay a skilled programmer to build you a powerful bot. While it costs money, buying a good bot might be a profitable investment.
  • Buying a generic bot: Various websites offer generic bits for free or cheap prices. However, these generally have a low or average win rate.

Conclusion
Considering all these facts regarding bots, it can be concluded that using a bot has advantages as well as disadvantages. While it is not a criminal offence, the usage of bots is banned by most poker sites. Using a strong bot is often a gamble as you may either make a huge amount of money or get banned and lose all the money. However, a strong bot is hard to obtain in the first place. Whether a player should use a bot or not would ultimately be up to his/her personal decision and morality.