You Too Can Design a Poker Bot and Get Banned From Poker Sites

Poker Chips and a Circular AI Image

To become a great online poker player, you must dedicate countless hours towards studying strategy and fixing leaks… Or you can design a poker bot.

Bots have become an increasingly common part of the online poker landscape. They’ve actually had some success in recent years, too.

In 2015, a bot ring won over $1.5 million on $0.50/$1 and $1/$2 PLO cash tables. The accounts associated with the ring were eventually banned, but they showed exactly what one could do with AI.

With that said, you may be interested in what a bot can do for you. The good news is that you can build your own poker bot without a computer programming degree.

But you also have to account for the chance that you’ll be banned and have your funds confiscated. Provided you’re okay with this, you can find out more on designing and employing a bot below.

How to Create a Poker Bot

Programming seems like a foreign language when you first begin looking it over. However, you can eventually learn more on programming through articles and YouTube.

You can also find niche resources that explain the basics of creating a bot. This post, for example, discusses how to develop a bot using Python.

This process begins with laying the foundation for the environment (poker table) that the AI will operate in. You also need to enter commands that serve as the “players” participating in the game.

The linked post above uses the following commands to determine players:

  • import pypokerengine
  • from consoleplayer import ConsolePlayer
  • from fishplayer import FishPlayer
  • from randomplayer import RandomPlayer

The next step is to enter code that creates a poker cash game or tournament. You then let the game play out and judge the success of your bot.

Of course, your AI won’t perform very well if it doesn’t feature any advanced programming. You need to add code that allows for evaluating hand strength and bet sizing.

Once you input this code, your bot should perform better than when it can’t evaluate hands and makes random decisions as a result.

Odds are, you won’t develop stellar poker AI without experience, practice, and lots of learning. But you can create a basic bot fairly quickly and eventually work towards a smarter program later on.

Buy an Existing Bot If You Don’t Want to Build One

The thought of learning programming and working your way up to a winning poker bot may not sound appealing. Luckily, you don’t have to go this route if you don’t feel like it.

You also have the option of purchasing a complete bot. Several websites specialize in developing AI that competes in ring games and tournaments. You can even find bots that are developed specifically for certain forms of poker. 6-max, multi-table tournament, and PLO cash are a few examples of these niches.

Poker Hand and Chips

The only catch is that you’ll need to pay plenty of money for these programs. For example, you might spend $300 to obtain a 6-max cash bot.

Some companies only give you a one-year license on their AI. Therefore, you must pay several hundred dollars to license a bot each year.

The upside, though, is that more expensive AI performs better than free poker bots. Expensive programs are likely to be better than any AI you design as well, at least in the beginning anyway.

Advantages to Using Poker Bots

You may be apprehensive about putting the time or money into a poker bot. However, you might be more interested in the matter after reading the following advantages.

Win Long-Term Profits

A well-programmed bot can generate lots of cash. You may earn six or even seven figures by employing a series of successful AI programs.

Again, the bot ring that was busted on PokerStars earned $1.5 million. Incredibly, these profits all came in low-stakes cash games.

You may not ultimately get rich with these programs. However, you can at least earn steady profits under the right circumstances.

You Don’t Even Need to Be Good to Win at Poker

The average online poker player gets to where they are by dedicating lots of time towards learning strategy and post-session analysis.

Assuming you have no interest in pouring serious effort into poker, you can still win with bots. You just need to be good at programming and understanding what commands will help your AI succeed.

Of course, this process is easier said than done. However, bots give you another path towards beating the game.

Play 24/7

Real money online poker might be a relaxing and entertaining experience for the average recreational player. However, it involves intense concentration and discipline if you expect to win.

Putting this much thought into poker will leave you drained mentally and physically. You may only be able to last three to five hours at this pace.

AIs don’t have to worry about the same problem. It can play exactly how it’s programmed to without breaks or sleep.

Haul in Loyalty Rewards

The obvious advantage to a winning poker bot playing 24/7 is that it can generate more profits. A secondary benefit is that it will accumulate more rewards.

A poker bot that’s on the tables for hours every day is bound to generate lots of VIP perks, regardless of the limits. It will only earn more loyalty benefits for you as it moves up the VIP ladder.

Never Tilt

Tilt is one of the toughest parts about being a human poker player. It refers to a highly emotional state where you’re more likely to make bad decisions.

Tilt can arise from a bad beat or just a prolonged losing session. While experiencing tilt, you may impulsively call and raise in situations where you know doing so is a bad idea.

Herein lies another problem that bots don’t deal with. They’re emotionless computer programs that don’t worry about previous plays and what’s currently going on in their lives.

One Major Downside to Poker Bots: They’re Banned!

You can see that poker bots offer plenty of advantages over relying on your own skills. The problem, though, is that they’re against the terms and conditions of every online poker room.

Poker sites don’t allow bots for obvious reasons. They don’t want to subject their customers to emotionless AI that’s capable of winning money.

Online Poker Screenshot

The issue for internet poker rooms, though, is that they have difficulties catching AI. They especially struggle to spot these programs if they don’t have a properly trained security team.

Nevertheless, poker sites are on the lookout for bots. They’ll ban associated accounts that are suspected of using these programs.

Poker rooms look for multiple signs when rooting out AI:

  • Same decisions in certain spots
  • Same bet sizes in specific situations
  • Playing 24/7
  • Doesn’t respond to chat
  • Enters games with a specific number of players
  • Sits out of the same games immediately when a certain number of people aren’t playing

Catching AI isn’t an exact science. However, poker operators are getting better at spotting the signs and acting accordingly.

Conclusion

Developing a poker bot isn’t an insurmountable task. You can create one with nothing more than basic programming knowledge.

Again, you’ll find plenty of articles and YouTube tutorials that explain programming. Specific resources are even dedicated entirely towards creating bots.

Nevertheless, programming poker AI takes time, especially winning programs. You may just decide to purchase a program.

You’ll need to shell out hundreds of dollars for quality AI. You’re also taking a chance that the bot isn’t even good enough to beat the game.

This brings me to one final point in that not every poker bot is a winner. You can dedicate time and money towards these programs and still lose.

Compounding the problem is that you’ll be banned from poker sites if you’re caught. Imagine developing or buying losing AI that also gets you kicked off a site!

That said, using poker bots isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Some people profit greatly off these programs, But the majority lose money and even have their accounts banned.