On The EV of Talking Strategy With Your Opponents

For a beginning player, it’s good to talk about betting strategy at the table because there is much valuable information to be learned from the experienced players who are willing to divulge their thinking. Eventually though, as a player gains experience, the negative EV of divulging will exceed the small gains in knowledge that come from routine comments and discussions after hands.

If what I just said is true, it means that the optimum path is one of significant change: from talking, to not talking. So if you play a decent game of poker, and you still talk about hands at the table, maybe it’s time you stopped.



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  • Boris Posted July 31, 2017 12:30 pm

    I never discuss hands and actaully rarely talked until: a game in Caesar’s Palace few years ago when a guy that was prepared to spend some money gambling at a poker table said that he had enough, that “he has a hair dryer in the room and that is more fun than that table”. I talk a lot since and keeping those players entertained.

  • Alan Bostick Posted August 14, 2017 9:57 am

    If the really good players, by and large, do not talk strategy or tactics at the table, then the strategy talkers will be on average not so good. The utility of strategy talk to the new player is thus less than it might be. The Mum Poker utility curve is steep.

    @Boris of course is right; a player who cares about the health of the game will have plenty of conversation that isn’t about poker. Sports is always a good place to start.

    Of course none of this really matters. It’s all luck, anyway. After all, any two crds can win!

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