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A Comprehensive Approach to Poker Games and Training

Poker Games

Strategic moves allow players to seize an advantage and increase their payoff. They are unconditional first moves and can only have the desired effect if they are Credible.

A basic example is the heuristic that many players have that more wins lead to higher losses. Simple dynamic models can show that this is not true.


High level professionals devote a lot of effort to pregame preparation. This includes physical and mental preparation. They take care of basic needs, like eating and showering, to allow them full focus at the tables. They also create training routines and sleep plans to improve performance. Finally, they set goals for their poker session to keep them motivated and on task. These goals are often specific areas of their game that they want to focus on in that session.

Strategic moves are actions players can take to alter the rules of a game. They can be unconditional or conditional first moves. Conditional first moves are response rules designed to deter rivals from taking certain actions or to compel rivals to take other actions. Threats and promises are examples of conditional first moves. They cost nothing if they succeed, but may carry the risk of failure.

A strategic move must be credible to have the desired effect. To be credible, the strategic move must be observable and irreversible. For example, a commitment to play straight in the chicken game would only work if the player was able to observe that the vehicle was being modified to always be steered straight. Similarly, a promise to play closed in the rock paper scissors game only works if one can be observant of the fact that your opponent is not modifying their strategy in response.


Games that involve commitments, threats and promises only work if they are credible. To be credible a threat must hurt the proposer in one of two ways. The first way is to remove the alternatives preferable to your threat from her choice set (reduce her freedom of action). The second way is to change the payoff associated with your threat. Examples of this include cancelling a social engagement to supervise a grounded child or giving someone $50 that will only be returned if you carry out your threat.

The most difficult strategic moves involve competitive tension. Figuring out how to respond, or even whether to react, to a competitor’s move is often an uphill battle for executives. The outcome of a series of moves and countermoves can have long term implications for a company’s profitability.

Defensive strategic moves are aimed at protecting current market positions from rival attacks. They reduce the probability of attack or lower the intensity of an attack. They can be accomplished by raising structural barriers, increasing expected retaliation, or lowering the inducement to attack.

Companies must consider the possibility of a security breach or attack when making strategic decisions. In order to be prepared for these possible breaches, teams need a structured process to discuss security risks and mitigation. North Carolina State University has developed a poker game called Protection Poker that allows teams to build security into iteration planning.


In a بازی پوکر, a promise is a commitment to do something if you have the chance. For example, you might promise to give someone a free drink if they win a hand. The promise must have a value and be credible for it to work.

In his 1944 paper “The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior,” von Neumann hoped to mathematically model human competition, and in particular the competitive interactions involved in games such as poker, submarine warfare, and even the way species compete to pass their genes on to future generations. Fortunately, the research on poker did not progress as quickly as von Neumann hoped. The first significant advances were made by members of the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta more than five decades later.

Strategic moves are specific plans that detail how a strategy is implemented. They are narrower in scope and shorter in time horizon than a strategy, making them a link between strategy formulation and strategy execution. Examples of strategic moves include strategic timing moves, and strategic market location moves.

Strategic timing moves involve the timing of a company’s entry into a new market. A successful strategic move here creates a first-mover advantage by entering a market before rival firms can. A related strategic move is the “franking maneuver,” in which a company attacks a competitor’s niche rather than attempting to fight head-to-head with its competitors in an existing market.

Games People Play

Poker is a game that requires players to make decisions under uncertainty, balance risk and reward, deceive opponents, and take chances. These features distinguish it from simpler non-cooperative zero-sum games with tractable optimal strategies such as chess and checkers. As a result, poker research falls into three broad categories: understanding human decision-making in competitive incomplete information settings, engineering effective heuristics to increase wins of real (AI or human) players, and analyzing the relative strength of strategies (e.g., bluffing, chasing) using game theory.

In the latter category, there is a significant body of work that studies human learning and strategy choice in poker. Most of this work has modeled the decision-making process using reinforcement learning with an urn of marbles that represent different strategies. Each agent selects a color from the urn, which dictates their strategy in a particular round. Over time, the agents accumulate a propensity for each of the different strategies and eventually choose the one that performs best for them.

Some researchers have also employed evolutionary game models to study the dynamics of poker play. However, these simulations do not allow the agents to revise their strategy on the basis of feedback from other members of the population. As such, the resulting dynamics may lead to an overly myopic selection of one strategy over another that is indifferent to other players’ actions and beliefs.

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