2017 Rules

The 2017 AAAI Computer Poker Competition will have two heads-up no-limit competitions, total bankroll and instant run-off no-limit Texas Hold'em.

Teams may enter one agent per competition (i.e., one agent for each winner determination rule). By default, if a team submits only one agent to a division with both a total bankroll and instant run-off event, then it will be entered into both competitions for that division. Teams may opt-out of this if they wish, but the competition would like to encourage as many entries as possible in all competitions. The winner of a competition will be determined by matches between bots that were submitted to that specific competition.

We will use the same server code as the last few years: ACPC 2011 Server Code. The protocol remains unchanged. Please check the technical details page for agent implementation details.

Advancing our Objective

Pursuant to the competition objective, the details of each hand will be made completely public and available to anyone who wants to view them. This includes cards (both the community cards and each agent's hole cards, regardless of whether the hand made it to showdown), betting sequences, and so forth.

We will endeavor to make a benchmark server available after the competition. With this server, agents will be available to test against (for teams who competed in 2017), but the code will not be available to download. This will help competitors try alternative techniques to find out how they would have done.  Agents will be available for two years after the competition concludes.

Finite Computational Resources

Unfortunately we only have a limited amount of computing time available to generate the results for this year's competition. If we have insufficient resources to evaluate all pairs of competitors in a given competition, then we may need to take measures to ensure we get sufficient data to properly evaluate the competition. This will likely take the form of a reduced number of matches between some combinations of entrants.  We will compute a round robin using all the competitors with a small number of matches to get an initial estimate of agent performance. Top agents based on these initial results will then be given further computation time.

Heads-up No-limit Texas Hold'em

Details of the event rules are listed below. Please see the links for further details of this particular variant.

Game No-Limit Texas Hold'em (Doyle's Game)
Competition Format Series of heads-up duplicate matches
Hands Per Match 3000
Stack Sizes 200 big blinds (400 small blinds)
Bet Sizes No limit
Blind Sizes 50/100
Blind Structure Reverse blinds, no ascending blinds
Showdown Mucking No
Illegal Actions

Any illegal action is interpreted as a call if raise is illegal. If it is a raise for an illegal amount, it is interpreted as the closest possible raise amount.

Winner Determination

Bankroll instant run-off and total bankroll


If collusion or abuse of the network is detected, a Chair will present the issue to the arbiter of the competition (to be determined). In such cases, the arbiter's decision will be final. Abuse of the network is defined as any ethernet traffic that is not a communication of actions to the server. Collusion is cooperation between agents.

Agents that crash during matches may be disqualified from the competition at the discretion of the chairs in consultation with the arbiter. The rationale for this rule is that a high degree of variance could be injected into the total bankroll competitions if an agent crashes frequently against some opponents but not others.

Card Generation

The teams will collaborate to generate cards. Specifically, seeds from each team will be used to compose the random number seeds for the competition.