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Blind Stealing: Experience and Expertise in a Mixed-Strategy Poker Experiment

We explore the role of experience in mixed-strategy games by comparing, for a stylized version of Texas Hold-em, the behavior of experts, who have extensive experience playing poker online, to the behavior of novices. We find significant differences. The initial frequencies with which players bet and call are closer to equilibrium for experts than novices. And, while the betting and calling frequencies of both types of subjects exhibit too much heterogeneity to be consistent with equilibrium play, the frequencies of experts exhibit less heterogeneity. We find evidence that the style of online play transfers from the field to the lab.

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Paper provided by Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney in its series Working Paper Series with number 6.

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Length: 49
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uts:ecowps:6
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  1. David Reiley & John List & Steven Levitt, 2010. "What happens in the field stays in the field: Professionals do not play minimax in laboratory experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00080, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Shih-Hsun Hsu & Chen-Ying Huang & Cheng-Tao Tang, 2007. "Minimax Play at Wimbledon: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 517-523, March.
  3. Shachat, Jason M., 2002. "Mixed Strategy Play and the Minimax Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 189-226, May.
  4. Richard Mckelvey & Thomas Palfrey, 1998. "Quantal Response Equilibria for Extensive Form Games," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 9-41, June.
  5. Garratt, Rod & Walker, Mark & Wooders, John, 2004. "Behavior in Second-Price Auctions by Highly Experienced eBay Buyers and Sellers," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt7s72r56p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
  6. John List & Jonathan Alevy & Michael Haigh, 2005. "Information cascades: Evidence from a field experiment with financial market professionals," Framed Field Experiments 00116, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. Wooders, John & Shachat, Jason M., 2001. "On the Irrelevance of Risk Attitudes in Repeated Two-Outcome Games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 342-363, February.
  8. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Sally E. Sadoff, 2009. "Checkmate: Exploring Backward Induction Among Chess Players," NBER Working Papers 15610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert W. Rosenthal & Jason Shachat & Mark Walker, 2003. "Hide and Seek in Arizona," Experimental 0312001, EconWPA.
  10. David J. Cooper & John H. Kagel, 2009. "The Role of Context and Team Play in Cross-Game Learning," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(5), pages 1101-1139, 09.
  11. John List, 2003. "Does market experience eliminate market anomalies?," Natural Field Experiments 00297, The Field Experiments Website.
  12. Erev, Ido & Roth, Alvin E, 1998. "Predicting How People Play Games: Reinforcement Learning in Experimental Games with Unique, Mixed Strategy Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 848-81, September.
  13. Rapoport, Amnon & Boebel, Richard B., 1992. "Mixed strategies in strictly competitive games: A further test of the minimax hypothesis," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 261-283, April.
  14. repec:feb:artefa:0097 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. repec:feb:artefa:0094 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. P.-A. Chiappori, 2002. "Testing Mixed-Strategy Equilibria When Players Are Heterogeneous: The Case of Penalty Kicks in Soccer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1138-1151, September.
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