AAAI Publications, Thirtieth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Poker-CNN: A Pattern Learning Strategy for Making Draws and Bets in Poker Games Using Convolutional Networks
Nikolai Yakovenko, Liangliang Cao, Colin Raffel, James Fan

Last modified: 2016-02-21


Poker is a family of card games that includes many varia- tions. We hypothesize that most poker games can be solved as a pattern matching problem, and propose creating a strong poker playing system based on a unified poker representa- tion. Our poker player learns through iterative self-play, and improves its understanding of the game by training on the results of its previous actions without sophisticated domain knowledge. We evaluate our system on three poker games: single player video poker, two-player Limit Texas Hold’em, and finally two-player 2-7 triple draw poker. We show that our model can quickly learn patterns in these very different poker games while it improves from zero knowledge to a competi- tive player against human experts. The contributions of this paper include: (1) a novel represen- tation for poker games, extendable to different poker vari- ations, (2) a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) based learning model that can effectively learn the patterns in three different games, and (3) a self-trained system that signif- icantly beats the heuristic-based program on which it is trained, and our system is competitive against human expert players.


deep learning;artificial intelligence;neural network;convolutional network;game theory;poker

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