Using AI can help gamblers make smarter choices in online gaming

Every time a topic related to artificial intelligence (AI) in gambling venues and sites is brought to light, usually, the focus is on what it can do for operators to improve their service and operations. However, the essential component of the business, the gamblers, might find benefits in AI-based tools that could potentially give them an edge over the house. This is something discussed by a recently-published report called “Playing a Smarter Game: How Machine Learning is Changing Online Gambling,” which analyzes machine learning (ML) and gaming in depth. One interesting finding of this report was some data about how AI can alter the gaming experience.

First of all, sports bettors can have access to ML in order to make a more accurate prediction about sports games results; this topic, in particular, has been drawing the attention of hackers and data geeks. The idea of predicting outcomes of sports games has attracted attention for a while now. In a blog post about an NBA ML system in python, the author wrote, “If you build your own machine learning models you will find that you can correctly predict winners at a rate of around 70%.” This, adds the blog, is “better than ESPN experts and a lot of academic papers.” There are some companies already developing these kinds of tools to have them available for gamblers to use.

Beyond predicting games, ML can help someone be better at playing poker. There was already an AI-based robot – Libratus – that was created in recent years and that was able to defeat a table with great poker players, such as Jimmy Chou, Dong Kim and Daniel McAuley. Libratus played 120,000 hands over the course of 20 days and won from the pros a total of $1.7 million. This topic is more sensitive to the scope of ML and AI in online poker; the possibility of having bots designed to defeat humans and being used at poker sites could really unsettle the online poker landscape. However, this concept can potentially be transformed into ancillary tools that can teach any player how to improve his or her game.