What is meant by solving Poker as a game?

AllenKll

AllenKll

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Solving poker means the same as it does for solving any other game. Formally a 'solved game' is one where given the state of the game at any point one can accurately predict the ending assuming player play perfectly. Perfectly meaning that they always make the best move for themselves.
Let's explore what that means by starting small.

Tic Tac Toe (or Naughts and Crosses ) is a simple game that you have probably already solved. So what does it mean to have solved TicTacToe? It means that you know every line of play that could happen, and you take the move that is most likely to lead to your winning. There are only 138 possible final boards for a game of tic tac toe, and so it's easy to imagine the ones that exist for the state of the game at any point, and make the move that leads to you winning in more of them.

Moving up in difficulty, we come to chess, which the human mind has not solved due to the Ultra High complexity of the game. - There are about 4.4x10^46 legal states of a chess game. In recent years, chess has been solved by a super computer that can do in chess, what you can do in TicTacToe. That is, see all finished game states, and make a move that will lead to winning in most of them.

Stepping up again, look at the game GO. Go has NOT been solved. There are simply too many board variations for our computing power at this time. There are computers that are amazing at it, but they play as we do, imagine a number of steps ahead, and plan according. It's just that computers can imagine a lot further and a lot faster than we can.

Finally we move on to poker. Image a NLHE SnG, with 6 people. 1500 starting ships, 50/100 blinds, and a deck of 52 cards. How many combinations can exist for just the hole cards? about 1.4x10^11 --- that's just hole cards before anyone bets... then multiply by preflop bet combinations for UTG.. fold, 1BB, 2BB, 3BB, 4BB, etc, then, multiply by the response possibilities from seat 2, times seat 3, etc...
You easily surpass all the number of atoms in the known universe trying to figure how many possible positions there are of a 6 player sit and go at any one time.

Poker can not be solved by any means that we know or theorize about. Some say quantum computing could hold an answer like that. But then, remember that every player has to play perfectly, which players don't do.

That being said, you can make a machine that can play like we do, given the proper inputs of player ranges, win percentages, bet/response lines, pot odds, etc. But such a machine should be easy to bluff. You would need a generalized Artificial Intelligence to really beat the game with a computer.

Again, that's not to say that bots don't make money sometimes. If you or I had the patience of a bot to play perfect percentages all the time, we'd usually come out ahead too.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question. You can read more about solved games on wikipedia here.
 
najisami

najisami

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Solving poker means the same as it does for solving any other game. Formally a 'solved game' is one where given the state of the game at any point one can accurately predict the ending assuming player play perfectly. Perfectly meaning that they always make the best move for themselves.
Let's explore what that means by starting small.

Tic Tac Toe (or Naughts and Crosses ) is a simple game that you have probably already solved. So what does it mean to have solved TicTacToe? It means that you know every line of play that could happen, and you take the move that is most likely to lead to your winning. There are only 138 possible final boards for a game of tic tac toe, and so it's easy to imagine the ones that exist for the state of the game at any point, and make the move that leads to you winning in more of them.

Moving up in difficulty, we come to chess, which the human mind has not solved due to the Ultra High complexity of the game. - There are about 4.4x10^46 legal states of a chess game. In recent years, chess has been solved by a super computer that can do in chess, what you can do in TicTacToe. That is, see all finished game states, and make a move that will lead to winning in most of them.

Stepping up again, look at the game GO. Go has NOT been solved. There are simply too many board variations for our computing power at this time. There are computers that are amazing at it, but they play as we do, imagine a number of steps ahead, and plan according. It's just that computers can imagine a lot further and a lot faster than we can.

Finally we move on to poker. Image a NLHE SnG, with 6 people. 1500 starting ships, 50/100 blinds, and a deck of 52 cards. How many combinations can exist for just the hole cards? about 1.4x10^11 --- that's just hole cards before anyone bets... then multiply by preflop bet combinations for UTG.. fold, 1BB, 2BB, 3BB, 4BB, etc, then, multiply by the response possibilities from seat 2, times seat 3, etc...
You easily surpass all the number of atoms in the known universe trying to figure how many possible positions there are of a 6 player sit and go at any one time.

Poker can not be solved by any means that we know or theorize about. Some say quantum computing could hold an answer like that. But then, remember that every player has to play perfectly, which players don't do.

That being said, you can make a machine that can play like we do, given the proper inputs of player ranges, win percentages, bet/response lines, pot odds, etc. But such a machine should be easy to bluff. You would need a generalized Artificial Intelligence to really beat the game with a computer.

Again, that's not to say that bots don't make money sometimes. If you or I had the patience of a bot to play perfect percentages all the time, we'd usually come out ahead too.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question. You can read more about solved games on wikipedia here.

Hey man I don't think that question could've gotten any better answer. Thank you so much for the valuable info you included.
 
D

dgroes

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Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Total posts
692
Solving poker means the same as it does for solving any other game. Formally a 'solved game' is one where given the state of the game at any point one can accurately predict the ending assuming player play perfectly. Perfectly meaning that they always make the best move for themselves.
Let's explore what that means by starting small.

Tic Tac Toe (or Naughts and Crosses ) is a simple game that you have probably already solved. So what does it mean to have solved TicTacToe? It means that you know every line of play that could happen, and you take the move that is most likely to lead to your winning. There are only 138 possible final boards for a game of tic tac toe, and so it's easy to imagine the ones that exist for the state of the game at any point, and make the move that leads to you winning in more of them.

Moving up in difficulty, we come to chess, which the human mind has not solved due to the Ultra High complexity of the game. - There are about 4.4x10^46 legal states of a chess game. In recent years, chess has been solved by a super computer that can do in chess, what you can do in TicTacToe. That is, see all finished game states, and make a move that will lead to winning in most of them.

Stepping up again, look at the game GO. Go has NOT been solved. There are simply too many board variations for our computing power at this time. There are computers that are amazing at it, but they play as we do, imagine a number of steps ahead, and plan according. It's just that computers can imagine a lot further and a lot faster than we can.

Finally we move on to poker. Image a NLHE SnG, with 6 people. 1500 starting ships, 50/100 blinds, and a deck of 52 cards. How many combinations can exist for just the hole cards? about 1.4x10^11 --- that's just hole cards before anyone bets... then multiply by preflop bet combinations for UTG.. fold, 1BB, 2BB, 3BB, 4BB, etc, then, multiply by the response possibilities from seat 2, times seat 3, etc...
You easily surpass all the number of atoms in the known universe trying to figure how many possible positions there are of a 6 player sit and go at any one time.

Poker can not be solved by any means that we know or theorize about. Some say quantum computing could hold an answer like that. But then, remember that every player has to play perfectly, which players don't do.

That being said, you can make a machine that can play like we do, given the proper inputs of player ranges, win percentages, bet/response lines, pot odds, etc. But such a machine should be easy to bluff. You would need a generalized Artificial Intelligence to really beat the game with a computer.

Again, that's not to say that bots don't make money sometimes. If you or I had the patience of a bot to play perfect percentages all the time, we'd usually come out ahead too.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question. You can read more about solved games on wikipedia here.

Thanks for the answer... Ankenman claims to have solved Poker. Which got me thinking.. Did he? And if yes, how?
 
Collin Moshman

Collin Moshman

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Certain much simpler situations within poker can be solved.

An example would be if you're considering jamming with either a very strong or very weak hand at the river. The question is how often you should have the strong hand compared to the weak hand; based on what fraction/multiple of the pot you'd be moving in for, you can solve for the frequency you should be strong compared to weak.

Whereas a complete solution to deep-stacked, full ring no-limit would be really tough to come up with!
 
abgvedr

abgvedr

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Poker is not quite like chess or tic tac toe. Those are combinatorial games. They don't have no randomizers or hidden information. And a concept of a Solved Game is usually applied to games with full information and no element of chance.

Also i don't think chess have been solved and will be solved any time soon. And while the number of states in chess you mentioned is 4.4x10^46, the actual number of possible games is more like 10^50^50, which easily surpasses the number of atoms in a known universe, which is just roughly 10^80.

Solving poker means the same as it does for solving any other game.
 
Last edited:
abgvedr

abgvedr

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Its very easy to prove that poker is unsolvable game.
Like say every time we deal AA vs KK with no A or K on the board, and one player having twice the chips of other player. And every time every player plays perfectly by reraising till al in, and the game goes forever.
Which cannot happen with chess (there is a 50 move rule) or tic tac toe.
 
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