Do computers cheat at card games?

Do most computer games cheat at cards and trick taking games? By that I mean to ask if the techniques they use when increasing the difficulty would be illegal for a human opponent in a similar position?

I have not studied the algorithms used at all but am wondering if computer opponents could be seen to be unfairly stacking the decks, so to speak, in their favour. Especially when setting the level above beginner?

Most card games can be played better if the player can remember cards or card combinations that have been played before, however it is illegal to walk into a casino with any sort of card counting software that will give you an advantage.

The human memory is fallible, while the pc can keep a perfect record of which cards have been played, and the odds of being beaten.

Now to quote one web site that gives techniques for programming a computer to play Skat,

“One unique aspect of Skat is that no communication is allowed between players. This means no one knows what cards the other players have on their hands. However, knowing how the cards are probabilistically distributed is crucial to winning the game. There are some complex card-counting and non-verbal communication strategies that we expect the computer to learn by analyzing human playing patterns.”

I don’t know about card games but when it comes to Minesweeper, I hit mines far more often than the odds say I should.

I think it may be the opposite actually. The computer may be cheating to make it easier while leaving probability or randomness untouched for hard modes.

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If I lose against the computer, of course it is cheating! :slight_smile:

That’s a really interesting take…

I see no reason why human statistical player data couldn’t be used to generate realistic forgetfulness and mistakes for varying difficulty levels aside from the time it’d take. Would make a great marketing pitch.

Some of that is difficult to collect, for example you don’t know what someone is remembering unless they tell you but i’m sure there’s some creative ways to fill in those gaps.

I’d say it depends on a game. We do know that computers “cheat” is some games both to make them more challenging and less frustrating.

For example in real time strategies on higher difficulties, CPU tends to get more resources if algorithm isn’t smart enough to make decent opponent.

On the other hand, many games help player, so they won’t die in a frustrating way. Platformers often let you do stuff, even if you technically should fail. But some games go much further, to the point of becoming little controversies (I don’t remember what games did it, but I can check if anyone’s interested).

As for card games - I don’t know of any such examples, but never looked for it either.

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All I know is that if there are two unknown/uncleared blocks left and one mine then I should select the block without the mine half the time instead of about 1/3 to 1/4 of the time if the mines are fixed when the game is started. I’m playing on the hard mode.