Software apps and online services
Hello everyone at re:Invent!
I am really excited to show you what I have been working on this week with the Echo Dot and AWS Lambda.
Since we are all here in Las Vegas, I wanted to create a new skill for Alexa that could help us all out.
I am going to show you the Alexa Blackjack Trainer skill that I created using AWS Lambda and the Amazon Alexa Skill Kit.
Blackjack Trainer is a skill which enables you to practice blackjack against Alexa and receive useful feedback to learn and improve your skills at the game.
I was inspired to create this skill because I don't have a lot of experience with casino card games and find blackjack to be fun, but I don't want to lose my shirt. I wanted to have a venue to practice and receive the statistics driven feedback that I need to become a better player so that if I do decide to play at a real blackjack table, I will be prepared and able to make the right choices.
For this skill, I used AWS Lambda and the Alexa Skills Kit to create a new skill which stores session data in the request response cycle with Alexa and provides quick feedback to the decisions I make in the game based on a decision tree that has all of the probabilities of each combination of dealer and player cards mapped out.
When I am playing correctly, Alexa will simply play the game with me, and when I make a mistake she will correct me and let me know what I should have done instead. She also can report statistics about the games I have played with her and how well I am doing.
The decks used in the gameplay are shuffled at the start of play and reshuffled as necessary so that every hand is unique, just like at a real blackjack table. You will notice that there is no bidding mechanism, because bidding itself is irrelevant to learning the statistically correct actions to take in any single game, unless perhaps if you are card counting.
Without further ado, here is blackjack trainer.
Alexa, play blackjack trainer
how am i doing?
hit | stand | double
how am i doing?
what's on the table
please repeat that
can I beat the casino