Books by Arthur

Social Networks
Article Index [A-Z]

Arthur S. ReberI’ve spent over fifty years living two parallel lives. In one I am a semi-degenerate gambler, a poker junkie, horse player, and blackjack maven; in the other, a scientist specializing in cognitive psychology and related topics in the neurosciences, the origins of consciousness and the philosophy of mind. For the most part, I’ve kept these tracks separate mainly because my colleagues in each have little appreciation for the wonder, the complexities and the just full-bore fun in the other.

But over time these two avenues of my life have meshed. There’s a lot that we know about human psychology that can give us insight into gambling, especially poker and, of course, there’s a lot that poker can teach us about human psychology. It is quite astonishing how richly these topics interlock. I’ll also introduce you to some engaging characters I’ve known – bookies, con artists, hustlers, professional poker players and perhaps an occasional famous scientist.

This site will wander about in both worlds with new columns and articles along with links to scores of previously published ones. Now that I’ve retired I’ve become something of a political junkies and will go on rants on politics and economics,  When the mood strikes I’ll share views on food, restaurants and cooking. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Entries in Poker (41)


Post-flop Play – VI

This is the last installment in our extended discussion of the psychological nuances of NLHE, the game designed to be played after the flop. In the early years when few played NLH, the conventional wisdom was only see a flop with a premium hand. David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth became the most respected teachers in the game because they understood this principle first and developed it to a higher degree than anyone else.

Click to read more ...


Post-flop Play – V

Okay guys, we’re back ruminating on post-flop play. Today’s thoughts are driven by a burst of testosterone. Not quite sure why but maybe ‘cause I thumped some fish last night and I’m stoked. So, let’s begin with the obvious: Grow steel cojones. In virtually every competitive enterprise aggression carries benefits. One of my favorite lines comes from the inestimable Mike Caro, “aggression is rarely wrong in poker, and when it is, it isn’t wrong by much.”

Click to read more ...


The Twilight Zone and How to Survive in It

A poker game usually starts out sensibly. You wander over to the local card room, buy some chips and sit down with folks of varied backgrounds, personalities and skills and mix it up a bit. Games will be tight, loose, varied and shifting. Players are weak, strong, tricky or predictable.

Click to read more ...


Psychology of the Chip: Size Counts

Chips are the coin of the realm in casinos. For the most part their denomination isn’t particularly important. Baccarat tables use “big” chips because the game invites large bets, roulette tables use special colored chips to distinguish each player but for the most part the psychological value of the chip is mainly to disguise the true financial nature of the enterprise.

Click to read more ...


The Force Fallacy

That intergalactic saga, Star Wars, gave us one of life’s more annoying clichés: “May the force be with you.” The “force” in question here was some kind of cosmic power that could, apparently, be channeled by those with decades of intense training and a Zen-like understanding of the complexities of life (Yoda) or, lacking these, good looks and a couple of afternoons in a swamp (Luke Skywalker). This “force” was definitely a cool thing ‘cause it could make all manner of things happen, like moving objects, overcoming obstacles and, quite literally “forcing” the world to cooperate with you in particular ways.

Click to read more ...