Online poker has led to the rise of bots and solvers employing advanced game theory methods. While their usage is prohibited on most sites, you sometimes encounter such artificial intelligence opponents online.
Poker bots and solvers
Poker bots are illegal computer programs that play automatically by making calculated decisions based on the cards and odds. They aim at maximising EV mathematically. Solvers use vast simulations to create ‘game theory optimal’ strategies i.e. the mathematically perfect play for each poker situation. Top solvers like PioSOLVER and MonkerSolver have enormous processing power and virtually play a ‘Game Theory Optimal (GTO)’ balanced strategy. While difficult to detect, you suspect a pokerbandarqq bot if you notice very rapid, emotionless play with exact bet sizing and timing. Their hyper-aggressive styles maximize EV but don’t work for real-world gameplay. Solvers follow an unnatural balanced strategy that is identifiable if you understand GTO concepts.
Key strategies against poker bots
Here are some highly effective strategies to counter poker bots and solvers:
- Identify Bot Play Style: Carefully study their play over a sample size of hands. See if they play too fast, without emotion, and use exact bet sizes/timings. It is indicative of a poker bot. Also, watch for betting patterns that look computer-generated.
- Don’t Bluff Against Bots: Bots play purely based on hand strength and odds. They don’t fall for fancy plays or bluffs. Don’t try to bluff a bot – it’s futile. Wait for strong hands to maximize value against the bot’s predictable style.
- Leverage Human Advantages: Unlike humans, bots don’t feel frustration, impatience, or greed. Use your human intuition and emotions like controlled aggression to disrupt the bot’s mathematical style.
- Avoid Hyper-GTO: If an opponent seems to play a balanced GTO style, they are likely using a poker solver. Deviate from GTO yourself and use more exploitative strategies to confuse the solver.
- Target Weak Spots: Solvers have some blind spots like not adapting well to opponents, playing too straightforwardly, and taking all lines with the same frequency. Identify and exploit these holes.
Handling GTO style play
If an opponent seems to play a very balanced Game Theory Optimal (GTO) style, they are likely utilizing a poker solver. Here are tips to counter such players:
- Don’t mirror GTO back: If you try playing GTO against a solver, you will end up in neutral EV situations and get ground down in the long run.
- Focus on board texture: Solver strategies tend to ignore specific board textures and just barrel with the same frequency on all boards. Identify which board textures they over/underplay and exploit this.
- Pick good bluff spots: Don’t bluff randomly against a solver. Watch for certain boards where their logic falters. For example, they will likely check back more on paired/connected/mono-tone boards. Those are good spots to bluff catch or value bet thinly.
- Leverage bet sizing tells: Solvers use very systematic bet sizing – for example, 1/3 pot bet always as a bluff & 2/3 pot as a value bet.
- Play against their ranges: You know a solver uses balanced preflop ranges. So your hand equities against their opens/3bets will be clear. Crunch these equities and play very selectively, not just your default charts.