Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Euchre news - Computers use game theory to win and you should too

It seems scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have created a computer program named GS1 that plays poker (Texas Hold ‘em) better than the best computer players in the world. The remarkable thing is that the program is based strictly on game theory, and does not use input from the “best” human players. The program does it by using probabilities to make its betting decisions.

This is reminiscent of the computer program used to create the euchre point system strategy that is the heart of the Euchre Universe advice.

I’ve always believed that you could take a game like euchre and break it down to a matter of probabilities. There is always a “best” play to make and that is dictated by the probability that it will win or not. Hunches, beliefs and superstitions about euchre all succumb to the great god of game theory.

Now, this computer program hasn’t been put to the test against the greatest human players, but it will be interesting to see if GS1 can take all of Phil Ivey’s money someday. Maybe when they’re done with a boring game like poker, they’ll reprogram it to play euchre. Will the talking heads over at euchre science be ready for high quality computer opponents? They’re coming.

2 comments:

Harvey "the Rabbit" Lapp said...

Do you remember a "Ripley's Believe it or Not?" t.v. show episode back in the late 70's, where Bob Stupak played bust-out five-card stud poker against a computer for a million bucks? Stupak beat the pre-cambrian mega-computer and kept the loot (and a little more publicity for his casino).
I believe that there are simply too many variables involved with euchre for robots to ever out-guess a human though. Plus, the computer can only figure out how to play with a partner that is predictable (according to it's own program). If it had a human partner however, it's strategies could often be derailed.
I'll play that robot for a million bucks (to my hundred).

Perry said...

Hey Harv,

I do remember that show. I loved it! All those freaks, and human anamolies. I'm sure it inspired some of my own eccentricies. Like Joggling for example.

I still believe that creating a computer program for euchre is a bit more simple than for a game like bridge. Probably more complicated than poker but there is lots of luck in that game.

A guy over at Euchre Science is having me beta test his euchre computer "bot". It's not bad so far. Plays as good as most humans that I've played. The future is coming. The future is coming.