Buckshot Roulette Dealer Intelligence Reverse Engineering

Buckshot Roulette is an indie horror game by Mike Klubnika, available on itch.io here. The main premise of the game is that you’re playing Russian Roulette with a shotgun against an unknown “dealer” with an extremely creepy face. It’s amazing, and truly worth the $1.20 price of admission. However, one thing caught my mind: the dealer’s AI. It doesn’t seem to randomly choose what to fire next, but rather tactfully thinks through it’s next choices. So, I decided to fully hop into reverse engineering the dealer’s AI.

Note: This article is the first part in a two part series on how the Buckshot Roulette dealer works. This first article covers how the dealer functions, and the second article will go through the methodology of this work. If that sounds interesting, consider subscribing to my mailing list here!


If you’re familiar with Buckshot Roulette, you might want to skip this section.

In Buckshot Roulette, you are playing Russian Roulette one on one with a dealer. The dealer loads a set amount of live shells and blank shells into the shotgun in a random order. On your turn, you have two options: shoot yourself or shoot the dealer. If you shoot yourself with a blank, you get to have another turn. If someone gets shot, they lose a life (or two, explained below). You have a set number of lives, symbolized by electrical bolts on the screen to the right. There are three rounds to play, with the first two rounds acting like tutorials. If the player were to lose within the first two rounds, they would be revived and able to play again. In the second and third rounds, the player is presented with five items: beer, handsaws, handcuffs, cigarettes, and magnifying glasses.

However, a lot of good with the game is it’s unknown elements. So, give it a shot! It’s truly a great horror indie game.


  • Beer: Beer lets the user “rack” the shotgun, removing the shell currently in the chamber (next shell to be fired), displaying the shell for both players to see.
  • Handsaw: Handsaws let the user saw off the end of the shotgun, doubling the damage the next time the shotgun is fired.
  • Handcuff: Handcuffs let the user make the other player skip their next turn.
  • Cigarette: Cigarettes let the user heal one life, unless they are already at max (their starting lives).
  • Magnifying Glass: Magnifying glasses let the user see what’s currently in the chamber (next shell to be fired).

Dealer AI Flowchart

Below is the flowchart the dealer uses to make decisions in the game.


Buckshot Roulette’s dealer AI doesn’t cheat, but it plays the game extraordinarily well. It’s a great, yet fair AI. It knows how to play their cards well, and knows the rules of the game. For an indie horror game, it’s a wonderful implementation of a game AI.

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