Online Gaming Sites Begin Crackdown on 'Poker Bots'

Dennis Faas's picture

The popularity of online poker sites has skyrocketed in recent years. But for some the experience may be tarnished upon hearing that a number of these sites are using "Poker Bots" -- automated software programs designed to play poker games by stacking the deck and lining the pockets of those that control them.

Internet gambling is illegal in the United States, but online casinos operate offshore and continue to attract a number of new users on a daily basis. Likewise, Poker bots are not new to most gaming circles. The programs continue to be openly sold online the black market for hundreds of dollars. Shanky Technologies, one such retail site, sells licenses for the "Holdem Poker Bot" for $129 per year.

Bots Intended for "Intellectual Exercises"

Still, the success ratio of these bots in years past has been questionable, as humans seem to understand the simple nuances of the game better then their robotic counterparts.

Brian Jetter, co-founder of Shanky Technologies, reasoned in an email interview that most people purchase the license to a Poker bot simply to assist them with "intellectual exercises". Once a buyer gains control of a bot, they can program it to access a series of personalized decision-making strategies for use in various situations. The human can sit back and see which outcomes generate the best results, and perhaps use these adopted strategies in real-life scenarios. (Source:

But Poker bots have come a long way in the past few years, with some being good enough to win tens of thousands of dollars on even the most popular poker sites. And that's a real problem for those gambling their hard-earned money against what they think are human players.

Poker Bot Crackdown in Full Effect

In response to the issue, some of the world's most popular online gaming sites have started a campaign to crack down on players using Poker bots.

This past summer, a number of bots were shut down on the popular PokerStars website, while Full Tilt began suspending bot-related user accounts. While the Holdem Poker Bot continues to be sold online, more than 400 Shanky Technologies clients have since been banned from the Full Tilt poker site. (Source:

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