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April 1990

Dunes in Las Vegas had two tables of pai gow poker, both of which had signs saying "Surrender allowed; keep half your wager and fold your hand." With proper strategy, surrender at pai gow poker gives you an edge over the casino of 1.2% (after paying the 5% commission). The maximum bet was $1000. Proper strategy for surrender at pai gow poker is contained in Optimal Strategy for Pal Gow Poker.

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Bluffing is an integral part of poker. More precisely, it is an integral part of every single bet or raise you make, since every bet or raise carries with it a chance of winning a pot immediately, ~regardless of your cards. (Note that this is not true of a call.) Knowing when to attempt a bluff depends heavily on your perceptions of your opponents, their perceptions of you, and the circumstances of the hand.

Some aspects of bluffing can be modeled using expected value, since every time you bluff, you are making a bet that has a certain chance of winning a pot of a certain size. If it were possible to quantify the chance of a bluff succeeding, bluffing strategy would simply be a matter of making a bluff whenever it had a positive expectation. In the real world, of course, no precise odds of winning can be assigned to a bluff, because you have incomplete knowledge of your opponents' holdings and inclinations. Even so, the expected value model does illuminate the fact that bluffs only have to succeed a certain fraction of the time-hased on their pot odds-to generate ca net profit. In other words, you aren't a bad poker player if you get caught bluffing sometimes, or even most of the time. It only takes a few successes to come out on top.
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