Cyborg Poker Night

Cyborg games: a human and a computer working together to play a game better than either could alone.  There are Cyborg Chess leagues out there, but how about having a Cyborg Poker Night?

Computers are much better than humans at some things, like looking ahead a few  moves in chess, or computing odds in poker.  But there are some things computers can’t do, like long term strategies, or deciding if someone’s bluffing, or any of the psychological aspects of the game.  So put them on a team, and each handles the part they’re best at.

In practice, this will work out as a player typing in moves or cards into an analysis engine, reading the probabilities, and selecting a move or bid.  In poker, a computer can compute the exact probability that each player has a winning hand.  It can even compute the maximum amount you’d want to invest in a particular hand.

So then Cyborg Poker Night works like this: Invite over some friends for poker.  Everyone should bring a laptop, and the host should point the guests at some poker engines, so they can install one beforehand.  Then you can use physical cards, or a program like Maptool to deal.  Each person types the cards into the program (or the server broadcasts them).  The programs make recommendations, but ultimately it’s the human who decides what to do.  I think it’s important that, even if you have a game server, everyone should be in the same room, so you can gauge their reactions.

Cyborg Poker could give a better quality of game, with a higher skill level, by taking advantage of the strengths of both a human player and a computer odds engine.  The Cyborg Poker Night would be a lot of fun, and an opportunity to find, develop, and tune poker probability software.  Who’s in?

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