How Does PokerStars Deal With Bots?


PokerStars recently gave an insight into its game integrity team and recently launched another video showing how the world’s number one online poker site deals with bots and other artificial intelligence (AI).

Bots and AI have been around almost as long as online poker. Unscrupulous people will always try to take shortcuts wherever there is money to be made. Bots and AI are a common way to do this.

What Is a Bot?

A bot is essentially a piece of software that automatically plays online poker. The software analyses what’s happened at the table, then makes an automatic decision of what action to take. Usually, this is the most mathematically correct decision.

Bots have grown more advanced over the years. Some can even share information if there is more than one of them at the same table, giving them a massive advantage over a player playing fair.

Another type of AI does all the same analysis before directing its user to make the correct decision, doing so in real time. Both types are banned from all online poker sites and PokerStars takes the use of any banned software extremely seriously.

How Does PokerStars Combat Bots?

Just like its Game Integrity team, PokerStars has a dedicated team whose sole job is to combat bots and AI. It is made up of data scientists, programmers and former professional poker players who actively seek out and punish illegal software users.

PokerStars keeps its detection methods secret as not to give the software creators hints on how to avoid detection, but does reveal it uses a combination of hardware and software to track down AI users. The site believes it has the best bot detection in the industry.

The team look for patterns and anomalies across billions of hands. A rigorous investigation takes place whenever a suspected bot is uncovered. The cheater’s funds are frozen and redistributed to those players who lost money to the AI, if it is determined the person under investigation is a bot user. The bot user is then banned for life from playing at PokerStars.

Zoom isn't only about cash games at PokerStars

How Effective Is The Bot Detection Team?

PokerStars states 95% of the bots it catches stem from its bot detection team, with the remaining 5% coming from reports from players. Every bot claim is investigated so we’d urge you to report anything untoward to the PokerStars customer support team who will ensure your claim is looked into.

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