Poker Is The Latest Game To Fall To Artificial Intelligence

In yet another major milestone in the development of artificial intelligence, a poker playing algorithm has bested a large number of human pros. ‘DeepStack’ consistently beat professional players at the extremely popular and challenging game with the help of a synthetic ‘gut feeling’ learned through playing thousands of rounds of the game.
An artificial intelligence 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. The system’s creators say their program beat its human opponents by using an approximation approach that they compare to “gut feeling.”
Heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em is a version of poker played between two people who can bet as many of the chips as they possess. This game has been shown to be too difficult for machines to play expertly. In each hand there are a staggering 10160 possible paths of play.
DeepStack, the poker-playing software that has already bested some professional players, was developed by a team led by Michael Bowling, a professor of computer science at the University of Alberta, and included researchers from Charles University and Czech Technical University in the Czech Republic.
"In a study involving dozens of participants and 44,000 hands of poker, DeepStack becomes the first computer program to beat professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em," write the researchers. "Furthermore, we show this approach dramatically reduces worst-case exploitability
compared to the abstraction paradigm that has been favored for over a decade."
Poker contains levels of uncertainty, that are not as involved in other games. For instance, the most well known part of the game is bluffing. Poker players cannot see their opponents’ hands, meaning that, in contrast to checkers, chess, or Go, not all of the information contained within the game is available to them.