Game Theory and Poker

Posted 16 years ago by Adam Gautsch

The bottom line with using game theory in poker-- there are too many dumb people playing today to make it worth your time. I agree with that statement for life in general. If you continue to assume that people will make rational decisions then you will continue to be disappointed.


Evan Tishuk ~ 16 years ago

If you want a to face worthy rational competition try chess--it's a better game of skill and smarts. At least in chess you can't really fall ass-backwards into a win.

The problem is that to get really large stakes in any game you need to have a lot of people willing to play. And intelligent & rational people are the exception rather than the norm. So most will gravitate to games where smarts aren't a prerequisite. Why do you think slot machines and the lottery are so popular.

Bobby ~ 16 years ago

I've read Matt Matros' "The Making of a Poker Player," which goes into some deep analysis of game theory. I kind of agree with Bear. I wouldn't say there are too many "dumb" people playing, I would use a word more like "unexperienced." I am not claim to be pro by any means, I just think a lot pf new players like to play the game. In home games around the world, a few friends like to get together and gamble a little (low stakes). If you want to really use a method like game theory, you have to play in a casino in a high stakes game. If you watch GSN's High Stakes Poker, you see the difference of a cash game and tournament play. Players take far less "shots" in high stakes games because it for CASH, not chips. In a home game, Joe Shmoe will probably call a huge bet with JJ, but I've seen numerous lay downs with hands like this on High Stakes Poker. I'm not saying fold JJ everytime, it is just amazing to watch how dead on some these pros' reads are on each other.
I think the home games we play in are too friendly. I think subconsciously we don't want to break our friends. We want to win, but we don't want to see a friend loose $500 over a card game. It is a lot easier to take money from a stranger. That's why we tend to stick to low limits, which in turn, yields risky play and some unusual outcomes.

Adam Gautsch ~ 16 years ago

I really don't count on any strategy for home games. I've played with most of the people in my home game for years now. (In the case of Evan damn near a decade) so why over think that game, you know the person, you know you can win back soon if you do lose. Make the call, don't make the call, just don't waste my time thinking about shit for too long. That's my theory.

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