The premise behind the pokerbot is simple: there are many, many bad players in online, low-limit poker games, and thus by playing a tight, mistake-free strategy, you will win over time. Unfortunately, because the worst players are in low-limit games and because Joe from Topeka takes his allotted thirty seconds every time he’s confronted with a $0.05 raise, you might make a better hourly wage mowing lawns, flipping burgers, or participating in medical trials, even if you play multiple tables at once (see earlier blog "Internet Poker: By the Numbers").

Enter the pokerbot: instead of doing the drudgery of playing mechanical, low-limit poker yourself, why not use a program to do it for you—better yet, use many programs each taking in a little money at a time.
There are many popular pokerbots available for immediate download. Simply search, click, pay, install and go; or, if you like, input your own formula set, teaching the bot how to play your way before setting it loose on the competition; or better yet, get down with C/C++ and either write your own bot or tweak an existing one. Some bots allow you to automatically collude with other players at the table running the same software, further increasing your chances of winning.

Now, the question is how long you can run your bot without your poker site of choice detecting it. (Even in the impersonal world of online gaming, there are ways to break your kneecaps including freezing and/or appropriating your account.) There’s an arms race between security and bots: poker sites keep tabs on length of play, so pokerbots have evolved to frequently switch tables; poker sites scan hard drives for common pokerbot software, so people now operate pokerbots from remote computers. Still, the most effective method of discovering a bot stems from the fact that bots can’t chat. If you fear you may be playing against a Terminator, try striking up a friendly conversation.

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