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At the highest levels of play psychological factors are pretty minimal. Before a showdown which cards you actually hold aren't particularly material, as the only information you convey is through your bids. This means if you predict that you're more likely to win a hand by bidding (and inducing a fold) than by calling and going to a showdown it makes mathematical sense to "bluff". I'm sure AIs have no trouble learning that fact.



The issue is that you don't know exactly the probability of your opponent folding.

This is psychology.


The probability of the opponent folding doesn't matter. The goal of bluffing in modern games is so that optimal players are indifferent in their decision (no matter how they play, you can't lose money). And because this is a zero sum game, if you can't lose money then you win if the opponent makes mistake.

You only need to know the probability of the opponent folding so that you can deviate from the theoretical optimal strategy to win even more money if they are a biased player


I'll have to go back and watch Data playing poker on Star Trek NG -- what do sci fi writers think of this.




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