Join date: Apr 23, 2022

Barry Tanenbaum agrees: “When you play deceptively, you are making a theoretical mistake (at least on this hand)” Since you are making a theoretical mistake, “you must have a very good reason to vary your play…. If you cannot explain a good reason to yourself, you should not make the deceptive play.”

Generally, the more you need the best hand to win, the more straightforwardly you should play. Your theoretical mistakes become more costly and yield fewer benefits as the probability of going to showdown increases. Sklansky, Tanenbaum, and others have discussed factors that affect deception’s value.

Your Opponents’ Ability

The most important criterion is…the ability of your opponents. The tougher they are, the more you must consider playing a hand other than optimally to throw them off. The weaker they are, the more you can get away with optimal play.

Because Tanenbaum’s book focused on tough games, it emphasized deception. The first two chapters were “Unpredictability” and “The Illusion of Action,” and chapter 1 began with these words:

Top players use two primary weapons to increase profits:

· Forcing their opponents into predictability

· Being unpredictable themselves

Bernard Prejean
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