Simons Poker Casino for iOS: Texas Holdem Poker-Bot Learns As It Plays

Simon's Poker Casino (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
2.5
Simon's Poker Casino
Developer: VTI Games LLC
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
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VTI Games today is pleased to announce Simon's Poker Casino 2.0 for iPad, a major update to their Texas Hold'em game that analyzes its opponent's play, learning his or her strengths and weaknesses, which the poker-bot exploits in order to win. Incorporating sophisticated AI, the game employs more than 100 generalized rules during gameplay, folds with strong hands to set traps, and bluffs expertly. Featuring 3D, photo-realistic cards, table, and chips, the exciting, animated game is ideal for experts and novices alike. Texas Hold'em is currently the most popular variant of poker in U.S. casinos, and Simon's Poker Casino allows one player to compete against the computer, practicing betting and folding strategies for use during actual, casino gameplay.

Feature Highlights:
- Texas Hold'em poker game for one player
- No Internet connection required - 100% off-line gameplay
- Cutting edge artificial intelligence algorithms for human-like play
- Simon learns as it plays an opponent, improving with every hand
- Realistic, immersive casino environment
- Optimized for Retina display

Simon's Poker Casino plays Texas Hold'em, where the poker-bot and player are each dealt two cards face down, followed by five additional community cards, face up. Both players begin the game with $50,000, and play continues until one player has no chips remaining. The game includes all the standard rules, including a pre-flop betting round, and betting after the flop, the turn, and the river. Players always have three betting options: call/check, raise, or fold. Betting amounts are user selectable, and the game also offers an "All In" option. The deal alternates between Simon and the player, with the big blind set at $2,500 and the small blind at $1,250. The game is completely self-contained and accommodates 100% off-line play.

Unlike most other Texas Hold'em games in the App Store, Simon's Poker Casino was designed from the ground up to be capable of evolving into a world class poker player. According to the developer, Chilton Webb, "The goal has always been to create the Deep Blue of poker." Currently, the game defeats approximately 90% of all average players, and approximately 60% of all experts. To achieve such an unprecedented level of play, the sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithms employed have been carefully tweaked over thousands of hours of gameplay against players of all levels of ability. In addition, future updates will upload completed games to the developer for analysis, allowing continual improvement of algorithms, which will be made available through free updates.

"Simon's Poker Casino plays like a human, not a machine," commented the developer. Machine play, even with randomization, is too predictable, too inflexible to achieve world-class play. For this reason, Simon's Poker Casino uses no look-up tables for mathematical odds, and does no card counting. Instead, Simon follows rules, which allow him to adjust his responses depending upon the opponent. Players will notice that Simon does not respond instantaneously, but rather takes a second or two to run through a few thousand lines of code to determine his next play.

In fact, Simon is designed to create a profile of each player he competes against. This ongoing analysis looks for patterns in gameplay and assesses the style of play. If the poker-bot concludes that the player is comparatively unlikely to bluff, Simon will be more likely to bluff. If Simon thinks his opponent is closely following classic strategies, he will be more likely to bluff in particular situations.

New in Simon's Poker Casino 2.0:
- Optimized for iPhone 5 and iPad 3
- New Cheater mode lets you peek at your opponent's cards - it's illegal in casinos, but Simon's Poker Room is not your average casino
- In-app purchases let you boost your starting bank balance
- In-app purchases let you buy cheats
- Tons of UI improvements
- Faster gameplay, up to twice as fast on iPad 2
- Ergonomic changes for easier one handed play
- Game Center Achievements let you track your progress
- 6 new bonus card backs
- 6 new Poker table styles
- New sound effects
- New graphics

Complementing Simon's Poker Casino's realistic gameplay, is the photo-realistic rendering of the playing cards, poker chips, and felt covered table. An advanced physics engine creates an immersive environment in which cards and chips fall and interact with Newtonian precision. The game offers user-selectable styles of playing cards and card tables with very high quality 3D objects and textures.

"Simon's Poker Casino is the most advanced poker artificial intelligence ever created," stated Barbara Leonard of VTI Games. "More than just a poker-bot that plays by the rules, Simon learns from you, and learns how you play. Simon likes to bluff, and will lose a few hands if he thinks he can trick you into losing more a few hands down the road. Don't be deceived by his cute expressions or impatient demeanor when he knows you're starting to get nervous. He's watching, and waiting, and will take all your money."

Simon's Poker Casino 2.0 is now at the special sale price of $0.99 (USD), and it is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. It will return to the normal price of $2.99 on November 1. Review copies are available on request.

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