Join date: Apr 23, 2022


If you are easy to read, poker is the wrong game for you. Unless you play against very weak players, you will certainly lose, and by poker’s cruel ethos, you will deserve to lose. Because deception is legitimate, your opponents will happily exploit your transparency Every winner knows that if your scruples or feelings cause you to act openly, while your opponents act deceptively—you will lose.

When Should You Be Deceptive?

Clueless players are deceptive. Because they don’t know what they’re doing, they can be very hard to read and predict. Since their deceptiveness is accidental, I won’t discuss them. I will focus on the people who are deliberately deceptive or straightforward at the wrong times. They make deceptive moves, even when straightforward play would be more profitable (and vice versa).

David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker contained the first systematic cost-benefit analysis of deceptiveness. He stated:

The more your play gives away what you have, the less likely it is that your opponents will make a mistake. Creating mistakes is, in a sense, the whole object of the game.2

…However, there are situations when deception is costly, and straightforward play is best.


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