Game Theory and Bluffing Frequency According to Your Opponents

In actual poker situations, optimum strategy based on game theory is not always the best strategy. Obviously if you are up against an opponent who almost always calls you, then you shouldn't bluff at all. By the same token, if you are up against someone who folds too much, you should bluff with some frequency.

Game theory bears out these shifts in strategy. Notice in the first part of this chapter that if you bluffed with five cards instead of six — that is, slightly less than optimally — you would win $300 more per 42 hands if your opponent called rather than folded every time. However, if you bluffed with seven cards instead of six, you would win $300 more if your opponent folded rather than called every time. Here is where a player's judgment supersedes optimum game theory strategy: He would bluff a little less against opponents who call too much and a little more against opponents who fold too much.

Good, intuitive players understand this concept. If they notice they have folded on the end a few hands in a row, they are ready to call next time. Otherwise players will start bluffing them. And they use similar considerations in deciding whether to bluff themselves. It is against such expert players, whose calling and folding are right on target, or whose judgment is as good as or better than yours, that game theory becomes the perfect tool. When you use it, there is no way they can outplay you.

0 0

Post a comment