Wednesday, June 19, 2019
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# Poker Game Theory

Poker along with the other aspects of social sciences such as politics and economics has used an essence of mathematical game play theory, which is applied in a competitive situation involving two or more things that have some conflicting interests. Three common implications have been identified which describes how game theory can be applied to poker game.

• Optimal bluffing frequency

This aspect has been defined by David Sklansky who gave the idea that a person in poker game should continue to bluff with a busted hand on the same pace of frequency with which odds are being offered to the opponent from the pot. If the pot offers 4/1 ratio at river bluffing it gives 25% chance to you that your opponent will lose the same amount every time whether he calls or folds the hand. A simple way to do is that when you make a bet, first you should calculate the odds you will be offering on the hand after which you random size the bluffing and choose a couple of extra cards which doesn’t affect your hand. In this case if you find your opponent calling or folding frequently you should anticipate and adjust your bluffing frequency accordingly, it will help you exploit your opponent’s strategy and tendency.

• Independent chip model

The ICM is a representation of your dollar equity formalized by the chip stack you gain in the prize pool of the tournament. This type of game theory is mainly used in sit and go play as the numbers in such rounds is easy to calculate. It becomes easy and possible to calculate the correct range of hands to push all in when you and your opponent have fewer stacks in comparison to the blinds. The use of ICM strategy earns you profit if you put your opponent on correct hand range to make call or push. It can be very helpful for you to learn ICM technique as most players today use this math in their poker games.

• Stack sizes and the Gap concept

This concept refers to the need of player where he has to have a stronger hand so he can call the opponent’s bet and can raise theirs also. In the Holdem tournament where the stacks are shallow when compared to the blinds the gap in such game is small and continues to shrink as the game proceeds. Poker game theory emphasize on the understanding of this concept to exploit the opponent. It can be done when players re-raise the pot ahead and stacks getting shallow. If the opponent develops the understanding of this gap concept he might attempt to open raise the bet with a wide range of hands and if he raises 20% of hands and calls only 5% he will then fold 75% of the time to your re raise. The gap concept is particularly true in the situation where stack sizes are balanced which will make your opponent commit to the pot.