Poker may be the latest game to fold against artificial intelligence

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In a landmark achievement for artificial intelligence, a poker bot developed by researchers in Canada and the Czech Republic has defeated several professional players in one-on-one games of no-limit Texas hold'em poker. Perhaps most interestingly, the academics behind the work say their program overcame its human opponents by using an approximation approach that they compare to "gut feeling." "If correct, this is indeed a significant advance in game-playing AI," says Michael Wellman, a professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in game theory and AI. "First, it achieves a major milestone (beating poker professionals) in a game of prominent interest. Second, it brings together several novel ideas, which together support an exciting approach for imperfect-information games."


Why Poker Is a Big Deal for Artificial Intelligence

MIT Technology Review

As the great Kenny Rogers once said, a good gambler has to know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. At the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh this week, a computer program called Libratus may finally prove that computers can do this better than any human card player. Libratus is playing thousands of games of heads-up, or two-player, no-limit Texas hold'em against several expert professional poker players. Now a little more than halfway through the 20-day contest, Libratus is up by almost $800,000 against its human opponents. So victory, while far from guaranteed, may well be in the cards.


Why it's a big deal that AI knows how to bluff in poker

#artificialintelligence

As the great Kenny Rogers once said, a good gambler has to know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. At the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh this week, a computer program called Libratus may finally prove that computers can do this better than any human card player. Libratus is playing thousands of games of heads-up, or two-player, no-limit Texas hold'em against several expert professional poker players. Now a little more than halfway through the 20-day contest, Libratus is up by almost $800,000 against its human opponents. So victory, while far from guaranteed, may well be in the cards.


Two research teams taught their AIs to beat pros at poker

Engadget

Poker-playing bots aren't exactly new -- just ask anyone who's tried to win a little cash on PokerStars -- but two different groups of researchers are setting their sights a little higher. To no one's surprise, those AI buffs are trying to teach their algorithms how to beat world-class Texas Hold'em players, and they're juuuust about there. In a paper (PDF) published on January 6, a team of collaborators from the University of Alberta, Charles University and the Czech Technical University claimed that their DeepStack AI is the "the first computer program to beat professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em". That confident (but not yet peer-reviewed) proclamation on the heels of a string of victories against high-level human players -- in total, 44,852 hands were played against 33 players recruited by the International Federation of Poker. Well, "string" might not be the right word; it sounds like the human players were basically routed.


AI surpasses humans at six-player poker

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Superhuman performance by artificial intelligence (AI) has been demonstrated in two-player, deterministic, zero-sum, perfect-information games (1) such as chess, checkers (2), Hex, and Go (3). Research using AI has broadened to include games with challenging attributes such as randomness, multiple players, or imperfect information. Randomness is a feature of dice games, and card games include the additional complexity that each player sees some cards that are hidden from others. These aspects more closely resemble real-world situations, and this research may thus lead to algorithms with wider applicability. On page 885 of this issue, Brown and Sandholm (4) show that a new computer player called Pluribus exceeds human performance for six-player Texas hold'em poker.