Monday, September 17, 2007

Availability bias

The availability bias is the tendency of people to think of things in terms of whatever they've recently seen or experienced -- available to them in short-term memory.

An example of the exploitation of that bias in poker is at Greektown.

Update:
An example from draw poker. This is one I read about in a book by Fox many years ago. It's amazing in it's accuracy.

This works best from the blinds after one limper. If you have aces, raise, draw 3, check blind, call any bet.

It works on the availability bias. When you raise and draw 3 you're essentially announcing that you have AA. They just aren't going to put you on any other hand.

If they have a short pair they'll immediately hope to make two pair, if they have two pair they'll just hope you don't make two pair. It's about hope and no matter what they have their hope centers around two pair.

If they make two pair, or start with two pair, they won't bet because they'll worry that you won't call without aces up and they'll check it down. But if they miss they'll think the same thing, and they'll bluff. They also won't bet if they make trips because then they'll stop thinking about you have aces up and start thinking about you having AAA.

It's all about them looking at their own hand and thinking about your hand with a bias generated by what their own hand is. If they bet they either can't beat AA or they can beat AAA. They are very unlikely to have a hand in between.

It's not 100% accurate but I've found it amazingly effective over the years. I did it just yesterday in a small PL Draw sitngo on Stars. I checked and called a pot size bet after the draw and he couldn't beat AA. I had not seen that player bluff before that.

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2 Comments:

Blogger DMW said...

I was curious about this, since you cannot check dark at stars. Do people really not bet if they make trips?

6:53 AM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

The effect will not be as strong if you can't check dark, but just checking works well enough.

The way the availability bias works is that they are looking at trips so when they go to think about your hand they'll but more emphasis on worrying about your making AAA than the probabilties warrant.

That doesn't ensure they won't bet, but it does make a bet unlikely. The key to making that effect is that they know you started with AA. Once they make trips they'll worry about you making trips.

It won't tend to work if they start with trips. Because in that case their thought about your hand doesn't center on making trips in the draw.

12:45 PM  

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