How do solvers work?


Solvers are tools that assist in decision-making by analyzing multiple levels of data and providing optimal solutions based on given inputs. In the context of poker, solvers are used to determine the best possible play for various hands by analyzing a range of scenarios and outcomes.

How Solvers Work:

  1. Input Parameters: Users provide specific parameters to the solver, such as possible bet sizes (e.g., one-third of the pot, two-thirds of the pot, or one and a half times the pot) and the scenario to be analyzed. The solver then processes these inputs to identify the optimal plays for different hands 1.

  2. Decision Outputs: Solvers generate outputs detailing what actions to take with each hand. For example, they might suggest folding a pair of kings with a queen kicker but calling with a pair of fours and an ace kicker. This difference in decisions is based on the solver's calculation of potential outcomes and hand ranges, considering how certain cards (like having a queen) affect the likelihood of opponent bluffs 2.

  3. Simplification by Users: Due to the complexity involved, users often simplify solver recommendations into broader categories or "buckets." Instead of remembering highly specific percentages for each possible hand, they generalize into simpler strategies that approximate the solver's output 1.

  4. Learning and Strategy Development: Analyzing solver outputs helps players understand deeper aspects of the game by encouraging them to think about why certain plays are recommended. This iterative learning process involves deducing the rationale behind the solver's decisions 2.

Overall, solvers are pivotal in high-level poker, bridging the gap between pure logic-based strategies and human implementation, although they are sometimes limited by the user's ability to interpret and apply their complex outputs.

Poker Solvers

Daniel explains how solvers work and how they are utilized in poker. He also discusses the limitations of solvers and how humans try to mimic them.

Lex Fridman Podcast

Daniel Negreanu: Poker | Lex Fridman Podcast #324