You’ve got to know when to fold ‘em playing against this program
Peter Hopper/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Even the best poker face won’t work against a new superhuman cardsharp.
For the first time, a computer algorithm has solved a game of poker, heads-up limit Texas Hold’em, making it unbeatable in the long run against any opponent. The achievement, detailed in the Jan. 9 Science, may help develop strategies that maximize return in a business negotiation or minimize the risk of terrorist attacks — even if an adversary knows the strategy.
“It’s a big step toward understanding games that are closer to real-world problems,” says Murray Campbell, a computer scientist at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Campbell was not involved in the study but helped develop Deep Blue, the computer that defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997.
The algorithm, developed by computer scientist Michael Bowling and his team at the