Most sites do not allow bots.

How do poker sites detect bots?

I figured they scanned memory like how HUDs are detected.

Based on an answer on another question they also detect it on the server side.

It seems to me if you put some randomness in the play which you should do anyway it would be very hard to detect.

  • What makes you think sites care about bots? It would be trivial to have CATCHPAs run to prevent bots. They don't. My bank makes me solve a catchpa every time I check my balance. What does that tell you?
    – John Dee
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 16:22
  • acr also has bots but not that many Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 16:40
  • sportsbetting.ag is overran by bots. They wont do anything about it either. Every time I report a bot all they do is say they are sorry. Sorry excuse for a poker site I say. Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


From what I know they track certain metrics to determine bots. Most bots are pretty damn weak but as individuals are often hard to detect. What they track tend to be the following:

  1. Repeated use of identical bet-sizings (some humans have this trait also)
  2. Repeated use of certain lines (especially uncommon lines)
  3. Relentless aggression in certain spots (bots have HUD's too!)
  4. Identical timing on each decision
  5. Will not respond in chat
  6. Might sit out at predictable times (perhaps table gets short-handed)
  7. Will join a new table very quickly when there are more than a certain amount of players
  8. Will often operate as part of a bot-ring rather than an individual

In general bots are used in conjunction with other bots, and when they're used together it becomes easier to track. They track stats and trends in general. Like for example if at micro stakes, the average player will raise 6% of the time, now imagine you have several 'players' who are opening 25% of the time. It's likely not a coincidence.

  • 1
    It seems like a good bot would know to vary the time to make a decision.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 10:54
  • You're absolutely right, but good bots are not common apparently. It's mostly bad bots.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 12:01
  • How do you know all this? None except the timing seems reliable enough to cause a ban.
    – user1457
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 14:06
  • 1
    I know this mainly because I work in the i-gaming industry, specially poker. This is what the security/fraud guys talk about when banning bot accounts. You're right it's not 100% reliable, but you don't have bot nets asking for accounts to be reinstated. They also don't just ban account after one bit of evidence. They can go back and see every single hand the bot has played. It becomes more reliable when you have their entire history to see patterns that frankly are just unlikely to be a human action.
    – Grinch91
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 14:30
  • What is called when they make you click to verify you are a human?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 21:23

Some poker sites have code built into their clients that allow them to display a captcha challenge when the server requests it (which likely is manually triggered by the security team after reports from other users, or automatically if your playing behavior shows suspicious metrics as detailed by @Grinch91). And some also do track mouse movement to see if it moves in a natural fashion like a human would.

I've never been shown one personally (I don't use a bot however :P) but I've seen screenshots and also some files/symbols with very informative names while skimming through the program files and the binary code of the executables.

Captchas aren't bulletproof though, and are likely only being used as another indication if a particular account might be operated by a bot. Services exist (in third-world countries, where labor is cheap) where you pay a cent fee to have a captcha solved for you by a real human. They provide APIs to integrate their service into automated workflows.

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