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5 Steps to Spotting a Poker Bot

By Leanne Clute
Published on December 09, 2014

Online poker lets you enjoy the game from the comfort of your own home needing nothing more than a computer with internet access. While some individuals are able to win big with the game, many are taken advantage of by poker bots developed by the site creator. Poker bots are computerized players who behave in a specific manner which can hurt your chances at profiting unless you know how to identify them and use this tactic to your advantage. Here are five steps to identifying these bots.

  1. Watch for Players that Never Sleep. The funny thing about computers is that, unlike you, they do not need sleep. If you notice a player on multiple tables at one time or playing at nearly every hour of the day then you can bet that it’s likely a bot. Players use these bots to play for them while they are resting in the real world. A poker bot is easy to identify because its plays seem effortless no matter how much is going on.
  2. Look for Play Consistency. Another interesting fact about computer bots is that they are not programmed with the same variables as the human brain. As an online poker player you can see what is happening in the game and make spur of the moment decisions based on that. A computer cannot. If you discover that one “player” makes the same moves in every game, it may be a poker bot. Bots are only able to make specific moves based on the pre-set variables programmed into its “brain”.
  3. Notice Players that Play Different Games Simultaneously. It’s hard enough to keep up with what’s happening at one table, let alone three or four. For a human, that is. Poker bots are able to seamlessly switch between different types of games online and never miss a beat. If you notice a player that is handling Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud without fail then this is an indicator that the player is in fact, a bot.
  4. Look for Players with Minimal Interaction. When you play online poker, you will banter with other players. It is half the fun. Much like when you play Call of Duty with people from other parts of the world. Poker bots are not programmed with a voice or emotion. They are unable to communicate with you or reciprocate your messages with anything more than basic answers. This can be the easiest way to tell if you are playing with a bot. Try to contact them and see what happens.
  5. Notice Predictable Players. When you make a decision during a game, you put some thought into it. This thought might take you a minute or a few seconds. It’s always different. With poker bots it’s predictable. You will notice a specific interlude of time, say – 20 seconds – before each move is made. This is the same pace style that you see when you are playing against a computer on any type of game. Players that time out their moves perfectly each time do not actually exist.

Once you’ve spotted that you’re playing against a bot it is time to be proactive. Keep your bets small so that you are not losing to the computer. Keep a list of the player names so that you can identify them at other games. And lastly, switch up your games so that you have a better chance of playing with other humans and not computers.

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