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Webcam Poker

now you can actually get tells on your opponents!
  (+9, -6)
(+9, -6)
  [vote for,

I've been trying to program this. I got the idea of combining online poker with webcams! Ta da! You have webcam poker! You set up your webcam and then it displays on the software. You can get tells and everything! I even tried to wire audio in.

There would be a little "report" button wired in, just in case you can't see someone's webcam, or they were covering it.

The only big disadvantage I could think of would be the fact that it causes lag. I've programmed heads-up to work, but playing at a table of 3 slows down your computer a lot (but maybe it's just my computer; it freezes permanently when I run Adaware). I've tried reducing the size of the image, which helped (and allowed the table to have 4 players), but if the images go any smaller, they'd be about as small as the image on Poker Stars. You'd have to line up your face perfectly.

There are many smaller disadvantages, such as the fact that some webcams are cheap and provide a bad quality image. I thought of fixing that by making rooms based on webcam quality (you'd have to get a webcam test first). Also, some webcams (such as the Logitech Quickcam Messenger, which I have) come with a focus ring that adjusts the sharpness of the image, so a person could make the sharpenss as high as it goes, and then make it blurry, but still play at the high-level tables.

However, there are definite advantages that I believe outweigh the disadvantages. I named most of the big ones, but there are some smaller advantages such as websites not having to design avatars for players, which takes time.

Nemmy, Dec 29 2004


       //The only big disadvantage//   

       Another big disadvantage is that there is no positive incentive for me to do this. Why give someone the chance to analyze me?
contracts, Dec 29 2004

       Hey, if a person didn't want to, then a person didn't have to. Fine with me.
Nemmy, Dec 30 2004

       hahaha. You're right. That's why I gave you one of those two buns. But still - - you have to admit the logic of it. It would be endless strings of people who are intentionally poorly lit, and people who post still photographs of themselves, et cetera. The reason is, there isn't an incentive to use the system.   

       <edit> : No, that (below) doesn't solve the problem - - I didn't skip over that in the idea. You can't have "minimum lumen" standards, you can't say that someone 'isn't moving enough!' et cetera. </edit>
contracts, Dec 30 2004

       //There would be a little "report" button wired in, just in case you can't see someone's webcam, or they were covering it.//   

       That solves the problem, eh?
Nemmy, Dec 30 2004

       Webcams don't have a very high framerate, or resolution -- I would think not enough to transmit the usual "tells" regular poker players watch for. Also, based on the one pertinent television ad I have seen, only balding, overweight, white men in wifebeaters and boxers play poker online.   

       For recreational poker games, slightly more human interaction would, I hope, be incentive enough.
tiromancer, Dec 30 2004

       [contracts], I think that it would be obvious to interpret if you are looking at a photo or a real image. And if some idiot can't, and hits the report button anyway, then a mod checks it out, and judges whether or not it is appropriate.   

       Now, after saying that...   

       If someone decided to remove the photo or whatever after they were reported, then there wouldn't be any evidence except for a screenshot, so I might take out the feature that types in the chat box "so and so was reported for inappropriate webcam use".
Nemmy, Dec 31 2004

       I am still working on this project! Right now, I can fit four or five people at one table, with images the size of PokerStars avatars, without substantial lag (fast computer, WiFi internet). Tiromancer was right - it's pretty tough to get tells. But you can get some by seeing their betting patterns. I played one of these experimental versions with my friend Mike for a couple hours today, and we found that with split Hi-Lo pots, instead of a random decision of who gets the higher amount of money (say, $35.50 instead of $35), it's taking the winner from the previous hand. I'm looking for the line of programming where this might've gone bad as I type. Anyway, it's pretty successful. If all goes well, this should be on the web around January 2007.
Nemmy, Sep 10 2005

       I could have sworn this has already been done.. The search begins... Any search involving the word webcam is a flooded disaster though.
Kcsolutions123, Sep 10 2005

       If you combine this idea with strip poker THEN you've got something. No wait, the thought of seeing fellow bakers naked...disgusting! Very Bad Idea! Never Mind!
dogzapper, Sep 10 2005

       Oh, [dogzapper], what you have started...
pooduck, Sep 10 2005

       Some guy emailed me the very same idea a couple weeks ago. *cringes*
Nemmy, Sep 10 2005

       //the thought of seeing fellow bakers naked...disgusting!// good thing I don't have a webcam then...
Susan, Sep 12 2005

       What if they point the camera at someone else?
Aq_Bi, Sep 13 2005

       Unless you had all webcam tables and tournies, and if it could even be incorporated, you'd get a quarter of a table with webcams and the rest with icons or the typical poker site person. It wouldn't look good. Then you'd have to forget about enforcement, players just won't put up with getting bitched at by the site for not having the right light. It wouldn't add to information gathering, just add problems. It'd be amusing to try, but that's it. Part of the fun of poker sites is you don't have to look at the old card room flys, and you don't have to comb your own damn hair before you play. And forget about audio. It might be fine for online poker nights with friends, or players dedicated to a more realistic online poker room, but not the average joe.
miggavin, Mar 19 2006

       This would be quite interesting as an alternative to conventional online poker, where you can have obvious tells which are unnoticable. It would be a better way for people to learn how to play.
hidden truths, Mar 20 2006


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