Is it Possible to Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino?

7 min read
Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino

Nowadays, card games are a very widespread entertainment product on the market. They are played by different categories of people of different ages, both for entertainment and for professional, commercial purposes. The Polish gambling market is not an exception to the rule, and it attracts the attention of more gamblers. If you are in Poland, just insert in your favorite search engine the “kasyno online” request, and you will receive dozens of offers of online casino products. There, you will be able to play against real people or against artificial intelligence (AI) since scientists and IT developers have managed to teach neural networks to play casino games very well. 

Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino

What is the role of a neural network?

Despite the uncertainty and significant influence of luck, the so-called “lucky deck,” in the gambling sphere, mathematics, as well as accurate calculations, play a significant role. Even a completely and utterly unlucky person can easily master any card game and have a chance of winning if they know mathematics and are able to calculate and predict their and others’ moves.

A neural network is an attempt to reproduce, with the help of mathematical models, the work of the human brain to create machines with artificial intelligence. An artificial neural network usually learns with a teacher. This means having a training set (dataset) that contains examples with true values: tags, classes, indicators, etc. All this help to create an algorithm for casino games providers to create a sufficient playing background for all casino players, whether they attend Polish casinos or prefer foreign platforms.

Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino

The creation of poker-bot

Recently, the research group of the popular social network Facebook presented a general bot for artificial intelligence (AI). The new algorithm was named ReBeL and can easily play both chess and poker. The developers expect that the new algorithm will work well in a number of more complex games. The ReBeL’s developers explain that the program will not act primitively. Instead, it will be able to negotiate, detect fraud and be responsible for cyber security. 

The AI-based algorithm is not an innovation, but the special feature of ReBeL is that the system is able to learn itself and later imitate the game of the world’s players. This has been confirmed by numerous tests. During tests against the algorithm, real world-class professionals played poker. Three players can be mentioned from the list:

  • Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2000 World Series of Poker champion, winner of five WSOP bracelets);
  • Greg Merson (2012 World Series of Poker champion);
  • Darren Elias (four-time World Poker Tour champion).

Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino

ReBel’s Experiment

Two formats were chosen for the ReBeL performance experiment: five people played with one AI at a table, and one person played with five copies of the AI at a table. In each of these options, six players started the game with ten thousand chips before each round. In the case of a five-player game against the AI, the latter earned an average of $1,000 per hour, which is a very good result. This result shows better outcomes as compared to a situation when professional gamblers play against amateurs and professional gamers at once. When playing five copies of the AI against one player, the numbers were also in favor of the players.

Teach a Neural Network to Play in a Casino

Final Words

In general, the algorithm is still weaker than real players because the professionals can quickly find vulnerabilities in the ReBeL game and win in the end. Ferguson concluded after the experiment that ReBeL was a very tough opponent to play against. As a result, it was possible to establish that the AI is still not up to the level of professional players and sometimes makes predictable decisions, but in general, the developers see its progress and hope to improve the algorithm.​​ But what we see is that neural networks can be taught to play casino games and the results of its potential success are quite promising. 


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