An IRC poker dealing program

Simple Instructions for Windows {95,98,NT}

A freely available graphical client is available for download from its author, Greg Reynolds. I highly recommend using this client in order to get started playing quickly and to become familiar with the games and the players.

Complete Information

  • What is IRCbot?
  • Connecting to IRC
  • Sending commands to the dealer
  • Command list
  • IRC help and hints
  • Known bugs/problems
  • Future enhancements (wish list)
  • Game list
  • Other related WWW pages

  • What is IRCbot?

    IRCbot is a poker dealing program designed to use Internet Relay Chat (IRC) as its communication medium. The program (also referred to as dealer or as a bot) resides on a particular channel and manages the action of a game.


    IRCbot is a result of some poker simulation work done by the author (Todd Mummert). This work entailed the simulation and statistical evaluation of a wide variety of games. The author became aware of a poker dealing robot (Hbot) running on IRC that dealt only Holdem which was written my Anthony Chang, based on some work by Bob Herlien. Using the commands that Hbot understood as a basis from which to work, IRCbot took shape.

    Connecting to IRC

    An IRC network consists of one or more interconnected servers. An IRC client program is used to connect to this network and communication with other IRC clients can then be made using an established protocol. In general, once you've connected to a server you will join a specific channel that consists of clients with interests similar to yours.

    Finding an IRC client

    Hopefully, your system already contains an IRC client program. In general, it is usually called irc or ircII. If you do not have such a program, you can compile one from sources available via ftp from (/pub/irc/clients). Currently, the ircII2.2.9* files are known to work well.

    Connecting to the poker server

    The poker server currently resides an an isolated IRC server, one that is not connected to any of the established IRC networks. This isolation was necessary to allow the poker dealers to communicate with the channels at a sufficiently high rate to increase the rate at which a game is played. The name of the server is, and its current IP address is

    You can connect to this particular server with a command similar to:

        % irc foobar
        % irc foobar
    The 2nd argument is your nickname for that session, and is limited to nine primarily alphanumeric characters. Alternatively, if you just use the command irc and it connects you to a different server you can change servers using the IRC command /server

    The easiest way to become familiar with the poker server is to join in on one of the active channels and just watch the play for a while. You join a channel by using the following command: /join #holdem, where #holdem is the name of one of the poker channels. You can see the names of the channels and the number of clients connected with the /list command. After joining a channel, any command you issue that does not begin with a leading '/' will simply be echoed publicly to the channel. This is a simple way to ask questions of the other players, or if you're playing for the first time, to send commands to the dealer.

    How to talk to the dealer

    In general, the dealer is parsing everything that is sent publicly over the channel, as well as commands that are sent privately to it. However, the dealer expects to receive its commands in a very specific format. All commands to the dealer, whether public or private, should begin with the single character identifier P. For example, to inquire about the status of a game, type p status. The dealer is case insensitive, except when entering a password. Game action commands such as call, raise, check, etc may be done in advance. The dealer will remember the command and act upon it when it is your turn to act.

    Upon playing a game for the first time, or if you just drop by to watch, you may notice the lack of public action by the other players. This is because once players become familiar w/ IRC, they realize that all actions can be sent privately to the dealer. This has several advantages:

    For example, to send a private message to a dealer named Dbot (all the dealers have unique names), we would use a command like:

          /msg dbot p fold

    /msg is the irc command to send a msg to a person or channel. dbot is the case-insensitive name of our dealer and the rest of the command is the specific action we wish to make. Notice that the 'p' is still a necessary part of the command.

    IRCbot command list

    This is only a description of the commands that the poker dealer understands. It does not describe any of the IRC commands necessary for joining a channel.

    IRC help and hints

    Not yet done.

    Current Buglist

    This is a list of the known problems w/ the current IRCbot:

    Plans for IRCbot

    A tournament dealer capable of handling multiple tables
    The current tournament channels assume all the players are at the same table. Obviously this puts an absolute limit on the number of players in a tournament. I'd like to expand the capabilities of the program to manage multiple tables. When enough people bust out of the tournament, seats would be redrawn at the remaining tables.

    Divorce the game from IRC
    While IRC was an easy medium to bring the game up on, it has some serious shortcomings. One thing I would like to see would be graphical (i.e., X windows) interfaces for the game. These would not have to connect through IRC, but could connect directly to the dealer. Most of the support code for this was designed into the current dealer program.

    Game List

    Currently, the bot "understands" the following games:

    Here are some other gambling related WWW pages:

    Three shareware front-end programs for accessing the poker game are available. These programs still maintain the IRC client side interface where users write to each other by typing lines of input. The user still specifies game actions with messages to the dealer bot (often using special aliases). These programs are available for public ftp from
    Todd W. Mummert