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Stripped-Down Poker: A Classroom Game with Signaling and Bluffing


  • David H. Reiley
  • Michael B. Urbancic
  • Mark Walker


The authors present a simplified, "stripped-down" version of poker as an instructional classroom game. Although Stripped-Down Poker is extremely simple, it nevertheless provides an excellent illustration of a number of topics: signaling, bluffing, mixed strategies, the value of information, and Bayes's Rule. The authors begin with a description of Stripped-Down Poker: how to play it, what makes it an interesting classroom game, and how to teach its solution to students. They describe how signaling, bluffing, and so forth emerge naturally as important features of the game and then discuss possible applications of this game-theoretic model to real-world interactions, such as litigation, tax evasion, and domestic or international diplomacy. They also suggest modifications of the game either for use in class or as student exercises. For reference, they conclude with a brief history of game-theoretic treatments of poker.

Suggested Citation

  • David H. Reiley & Michael B. Urbancic & Mark Walker, 2008. "Stripped-Down Poker: A Classroom Game with Signaling and Bluffing," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 323-341, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:39:y:2008:i:4:p:323-341
    DOI: 10.3200/JECE.39.4.323-341

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    Cited by:

    1. Don J. Webber & Andrew Mearman, 2009. "Students’ perceptions of economics:Identifying demand for further study," Working Papers 0914, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.

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