Game Theory and Bluffing
Game theory sounds like a theory about games, but it is actually a branch of mathematics dealing with the decision-making process. While it applies to games, as we shall see, it also applies to such disciplines as economics, international relations, social science, and military science. Essentially game theory attempts to discover mathematically the best strategies against someone also using the best strategies. Against an opponent you think is weaker than you are - and it can be in any game whatsoever - you would usually rely on your judgment rather than on game theory. However, against an opponent you think is better than you or against an opponent you don't know, game theory can sometimes enable you to overcome the other's judgmental edge.

To show how game theory can work in this regard, we'll employ the children's game of odds and evens. Each of two players puts out one or two fingers. If the total is even, one player wins; if the total is odd, his opponent wins. Now mathematically this is an absolutely even game. However, over a long series it is possible for one person to gain an edge by outwitting the other, by deciding whether to put out one or two fingers on the basis of what the other person put out in the previous round or rounds, by picking up patterns - in a word, by figuring out what his opponent is thinking and then putting out one or two fingers in order to foil him.

Suppose someone challenges you to this game. Feeling confident about his judgment and ability to outguess you, he is willing to lay you \$101 to \$100 per play. We'll assume you too feel your challenger has the best of it in terms of judgment. Nevertheless, by employing game theory, you can gladly accept the proposition with the assurance that you have the best of it. All you have to do is flip a coin to decide whether to put out one or two fingers.
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Draws in Multiway Hands

By multiway I mean more than two active hands. Most hands end up being played multiway. Games that don't have most hands competed for multiway are usually tight games that aren't going to last long.

Strong draws should usually be played aggressively in multiway hands.

By draw, I mean a flush draw or a straight draw with overcards. Flush draws are almost always strong draws. Straight draws not always. If you have two to a straight or flush in your hand and two on board, then assuming your straight cards have no gaps, you have eight cards you can catch to make your straight, or nine cards you can catch to make your flush.

It looks like there isn't much difference between a flopped straight draw and a flopped flush draw, right? Wrong. There is a world of difference between the two draws. Flush draws are almost always stronger, for three reasons:
1. There are nine ways to complete a flush draw, versus eight ways for a straight draw
2. A flush beats a straight
3. The card that makes you a straight might give someone else a flush or flush draw