Blu¢ng Beyond Poker
Johannes HörnerNorthwestern University
Nicolas SahuguetUniversité Libre de Bruxelles
February 6, 2002
This paper introduces a model for blu¢ng that is relevant when bets aresunk and only actions -not valuations- determine the winner. Predictions frompoker areinvalid insuch nonzero-sumgames.
)occurs when a weak (respectively strong) player seeks to deceive his opponentinto thinking that he is strong (respectively weak). A player with a moderatevaluation should blu¤ by making a high bet and dropping out if his blu¤ iscalled. Aplayer with a high valuation should vary his bets and should sometimessandbag by bidding low, to induce lower bets by his rival.
“Designers who put chess-men on the dust jackets of books about strategy arepresumably thinking of the intellectual structure of the game, not its payo¤ structure;and one hopes that it is chess they do not understand, not war, in supposing that azero-sum parlor game catches the spirit of a non-zero-sum diplomatic phenomenon.” -Thomas Schelling
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