How does George end up beating Dr. Buzzard at poke and what is Dr. Buzzard's response?

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George ends up beating Dr. Buzzard at poker by using the latter's cheating against him. First, George tries to ascertain how Dr. Buzzard is cheating by looking out for characteristic "tells." In poker, "tells" are a set of betting strategies or behaviors which show how strong or weak someone's hand...

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George ends up beating Dr. Buzzard at poker by using the latter's cheating against him. First, George tries to ascertain how Dr. Buzzard is cheating by looking out for characteristic "tells." In poker, "tells" are a set of betting strategies or behaviors which show how strong or weak someone's hand is.

Examples of poker tells that indicate someone has a strong hand include:

  • being protective of hole cards
  • rapid breathing and barely repressed excitement
  • unblinking eyes
  • relaxed, almost euphoric smile

Although relying on "tells" isn't an exact science, many poker players swear by them. To read more about "tells" that signify whether someone has a weak or strong hand, please refer to the link below.

Once George discovers Dr. Buzzard's "tells," he devises a strategy to maximize his advantage. Prior to observing the older man's tells, George played by using conventional strategies based on game theory. He relates how he learned game theory during a mathematics course at Columbia University.

During his student days, George learned to isolate common strategic features from a number of conflict situations. He then used those common features to craft winning strategies.

During the game between him, Dr. Buzzard, Parris, Junior Lee, and Rickshaw, George finds that his conventional ways of playing are useless. This is because Dr. Buzzard is actively cheating. The other men suspect it but are helpless to counteract Dr. Buzzard.

For his part, George determines that Dr. Buzzard has somehow marked the cards. To counteract the other man's advantage, George proceeds to mark the cards as well (in order to confuse Dr. Buzzard). What ends up happening is that all of the players become confused. Previously, the men adjusted their strategies to account for Dr. Buzzard's cheating. Now that George has marked the cards as well, confusion sets upon the whole party.

Dr. Buzzard responds by dealing a new set of cards. However, George continues his close observation. He notices Dr. Buzzard extracting the seven of hearts. So, he adjusts his strategy to account for a 51-card game with the seven of hearts in no one else's hand but Dr. Buzzard's. This is how George wins the poker game.

In response to George winning, Dr. Buzzard begins to clap. He is soon joined by the other men. Next, Dr. Buzzard takes off his feathered hat and bone necklace. Then, he empties his pockets, takes off his shoes, and stands on his hands.

Meanwhile, the other men ply George with moonshine, and he drinks it, becoming very drunk as a result.

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