We’ve seen poker programs like Claudico, Libratus, and Pluribus clash against human players, with mixed results. Humans were more dominant in the past, but is that still the case?
After contact years ago, the link between AI and poker seems to have had a sharp acceleration in recent times.
Artificial intelligence has come into public use, thanks to ChatGPT, an AI that conversationally interacts with us humans by basing its language learning on our feedback.
According to a study, ChatGPT has already left its mark on the world of poker.
The research was conducted on a sample of a thousand poker players with at least three years of experience behind them: of these, the majority belonged to Generation Z (41%) while Millennials were 34%. The sample was also made up of two-thirds male and one-third female players.
Well, according to the results of this study, 93% of the sample is in favor of using ChatGPT to improve their game. 40% of those interviewed said that artificial intelligence has improved their game, while for 45% of the sample, the role of AI was above all in stimulating them to become better players.
But, if ChatGPT can really be of help to poker players, it means that it knows how to play poker well. Intrigued, we wanted to put it to the test. Before asking the AI how it would play a specific hand, we took the conversation a bit further.
A Poker Chat with ChatGPT
– (Player) Do you know how to play poker?
– (ChatGPT) As a virtual assistant, I am unable to play poker as I do not have the physical or cognitive fitness to do so. However, I can provide you with information and resources to learn how to play poker or improve your playing skills if you need them. Just ask me!
– Okay, then I ask you what to do in one hand?
– Sure, I can help you figure out what to do in a poker hand. However, I would need more information about your specific situation in order to give you an accurate answer. Could you provide more details about the hand in question, such as the type of poker you are playing, the cards in your hand and on the table, and the actions of your opponents? This way I could give you more specific advice.
If you’re wondering how some poker rooms are planning to combat AI programs at the tables, analyzing gameplay will be key. It’s likely that every bit of information from a player’s account can be (and probably is already) scrutinized, from the sizings, timings, table selection, and other patterns. AI might help poker sites sniff out suspicious accounts too.
The Head of Game Integrity at Partypoker says they’ll stop short of viewing a player’s screen, as that would be viewed as “a huge invasion of privacy”. Instead, they will rely on analyzing technical data, reviewing gameplay, and other techniques.
ChatGPT’s Style of Poker
Encouraged by words that seem to show a certain knowledge of poker, we tried to understand which style of play the artificial intelligence prefers.
– Do you prefer to play balanced or exploitative?
– As a virtual assistant, I have no personal preferences in terms of poker playing styles, as I do not have the ability to play poker myself. However, I can tell you that both balanced and exploitative play can be effective in different game situations.
Balanced play is based on the use of a balanced strategy, in which game decisions are made in a mathematically correct manner based on game theory. This style of play aims to maximize long-term expected value while limiting potential losses. It is especially useful against experienced and difficult-to-read opponents.
On the other hand, exploitative play is based on observing opponents and their weaknesses, using tactics that exploit these weaknesses to win hands. This style of play requires a great ability to read opponents and careful analysis of the situation to identify the opponent's weak points. It can be especially useful against less experienced opponents or those who have predictable playing habits.
In summary, the choice between balanced and exploitative play depends on the specific game situation, your opponents, and your playing skills. In both cases, it is important to have a well-defined strategy and adapt your game according to the situation.
Wow! It's time to test yourself.
ChatGPT “Plays” a Hand
We then asked the AI what it would do in a specific hand in place of the protagonist. As a reference, we used a televised cash game hand in which Patrik Antonius flops a set and goes three streets against Andrew Robl’s flopped straight.
Here's how ChatGPT would have played, or at least, here are the options it is aware of.
We first tell GPT about some basic conditions of the game, like the format, stack sizes, and recent action.
– In a Texas Holdem poker cash game, after a straddle of $2,000, with a stack of $1.93 million, we raise to $10,000 from the Button with . The Small Blind position folds and our opponent in the Big Blind with a stack of $1 million re-raises to $52,000. What are our best options after the player who straddled folds?
– I will choose to call the $52,000 3-bet. The flop is . The big blind continues betting with $65,000. What do we do now?
– I call and a comes on the turn. The big blind bets $140,000. What do I do now?
– I call on the turn and the river is a . The big blind bets $375,000. What do I do?
Extra Questions for ChatGPT
As you can see, the answers are delivered as strategic factors, then options. While it rarely gets too specific, ChatGPT does point out potential draws, strength indicators, and stack management.
Unfortunately for Patrik, this hand didn't go his way. He paid off Robl all the way to the end and saw the bad news. Still, there were a couple of questions to put ChatGPT to the test with.
– Do you think there is any chance my opponent has Jack-ten for a straight?
– How does ChatGPT know so much about poker?
Last Thoughts on Poker and ChatGPT
From the conversation that took place, ChatGPT demonstrated that it has a clear understanding of the dynamics of poker from a theoretical point of view. However, there are very large gaps in the transition from theory to practice.
As we have seen, artificial intelligence avoids an ultra-specific answer to our question, preferring to outline the various scenarios that would open up, depending on the possible options.
Occasionally, the program gets it wrong, just like a human player. At present, ChatGPT can offer some form of support to those who play poker, but if it played poker it would probably be the whale of the table!
This is today. As we write, AI is continuing to learn, so things could change in the near future.
There are plenty of advanced programs that can teach you how to play better, instead of just telling you what to do (which isn't allowed). Many of the leaks poker players experience can be fixed by tools in the GipsyTeam Shop – without shortcuts like ChatGPT that only skim the surface of poker strategy.