torstai 19. marraskuuta 2009

Version 1.0.1

I have been playing No Limit Texas Hold'em poker on the internet for years. Often times I used to spend hours and hours sitting by the computer and playing poker like a robot. Occasionally some poker sites even suspected I was a bot. This made me
think how hard it would be to create a bot that plays poker the way I do?

I started creating decision rules based on the practices that I myself used when playing small money tables on the internet. Gradually that rule base became the brains for my bot. I also created a GUI so that I could test the brains by playing against the bot. At the beginning it was of course easy for me to play against a bot who was merely following the logic that I had defined. But things started to change when I made his actions less predictable by adding some random elements to the logic and also teaching the bot some bluffing.

The bot began making some decisions that I couldn't expect and that started to make the games between us quite entertaining. One of the best laughs I got was when the bot calculated that his odds for winning a certain hand were so low that it decided to bet a negative amount of money to the pot. What a brilliant move. It was of course simply a bug which I then fixed.

After extensive testing the program began to work perfectly and the bot started to play so well that I decided to publish it. Apple iPhone/iPod development environment gave nice possibilities to add some animations as well as audio to the game so I selected that as a first platform.

I needed a short name for use in the game comments so I started calling the bot Joe. The main idea of the game is that the bot is doing its own thinking and does not do anything that is not allowed in a normal poker game (like peeking into the deck or to my pocket cards). This eventually led to the bot being named Honest Joe.

Now I'm in the process of getting it available to Apple App Store. I attached a couple of screen shots to show how it currently looks.