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Gambling (Pexels)
Gambling (Pexels)

This AI can play poker. And it's crushing human champions.


Robots are coming for your money. Carnegie Mellon University made an AI, named Libratus, that can play no-limit Texas Hold 'Em, and probably beat you. 

It's topping human poker champions, The Washington Post reports. Over 13 days and 67,000 hands of poker, it has won $701,242 worth of chips. There are 56,000 hands left to play, but if Libratus wins, it would be the first AI to ever beat humans at poker.

That's even more impressive and technically difficult than winning at chess. 

Why is poker a big deal to a computer?

Games like chess are games of "perfect information," according to MIT's Technology Review. The computer sees every part of the game board and can inform its moves likewise. But in poker, you're keeping secrets from your opponent. 

The computer can try to figure out the most likely possibilities, but there are a lot more possibilities than in chess, since you can bet basically any amount of money with any hand, no matter how good or bad.  

The first couple of days, we had high hopes. But every time we find a weakness, it learns from us and the weakness disappears the next day.
Jimmy Chou, poker pro

Libratus took the lead early and hasn't lost it since, Tuomas Sandholm, Libratus' creator, told the Post. It took 12 years of research for him to create Libratus. Past AIs grasped the basics of poker, but couldn't beat top players. One, codenamed "Claudico," would sometimes bet $19,000 to win a $700 pot. 

At this rate, Libratus might have trouble holding all its winnings.

Brains Vs. AI Rematch: Why Poker?

WATCH | Here's a promotional video Carnegie Mellon University released for Libratus.

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