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In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call real In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making? Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.


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In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call real In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making? Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes. By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.

30 review for Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eric Lin

    tl;dr Acknowledge the (omni)presence of uncertainty in every decision we make, and recognize that "everything is a bet" - even decisions we're very confident in. In poker, luck is acknowledged as a major factor in every hand. If you have a 50% chance to win a $100 hand, it is a sound decision to bet anything under $50 on the hand. Make this decision enough times, and you will eventually come out ahead (spending anything less than the expected ROI: $50 is net positive). But we have trouble thinkin tl;dr Acknowledge the (omni)presence of uncertainty in every decision we make, and recognize that "everything is a bet" - even decisions we're very confident in. In poker, luck is acknowledged as a major factor in every hand. If you have a 50% chance to win a $100 hand, it is a sound decision to bet anything under $50 on the hand. Make this decision enough times, and you will eventually come out ahead (spending anything less than the expected ROI: $50 is net positive). But we have trouble thinking this way in real life, Annie Duke argues. We don't look too closely at our successes, chalking them up to our great skill at decision making, and we don't look too closely at our failures either, usually trying to explain the outcome on bad luck instead. This book isn't really breaking new ground, necessarily. Thinking, Fast and Slow has covered much of this (and is referred to several times), and I found a bit of The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - But Some Don't, and Playing to Win: Becoming the Champion in here as well. The point is - a lot of the ideas that Duke lays out have been discussed before individually (or even together), but she ties these phenomena together into something resembling a framework for better decision making, with some advice on how to get out of the bad habits she points out. To hit some of the major points: 1. We should try to decouple our assessment of the quality of a decision from the outcome (AKA "resulting"). 2. We're wired to always be looking for ways to support our internal narrative that we 'are doing good'. When we make a decision and things go well, it's because "we're smart". When we make a decision and things go poorly, we blame bad luck. This impairs our ability to learn when we make bad decisions (once we start attributing poor outcomes to bad luck, we're divesting ourselves of blame). 3. We can improve... but to do that we have to adopt new habits when making decisions (see highlights for some examples). As a professional poker player since 1992, Annie Duke has seen millions of poker hands played out. Due her access to other poker pros who make similar decisions, and the undeniable impact of luck on the game, she's been able to see the long view, and understand that good outcomes can come from bad decisions, and vice versa. There are advantages to assessing our decisions as if they were poker hands, and we make better decisions when we acknowledge that we don't (and perhaps will never) know. Four stars for tying these theories from behavioral psych into a coherent framework, plus an extra star for validating my support for Pete Carroll's decision to throw it on 2nd down on the last play of Super Bowl XLIX.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Johan

    First half is basically Superforecasting recap Second half is more interesting, with actionable techniques and tips to systematically improve decision-making

  3. 5 out of 5

    Eric Franklin

    This is a fantastic book for understanding, identifying, and correcting biases in decision making, while also repeatedly separating the quality of a decision-making process from its outcomes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Blackledge

    One of author Annie Duke’s key insights is: ‘life is more like poker than chess.’ Meaning, we often make decisions and negotiate in an atmosphere of tension and deceit, without all of the information, based on probability (like poker). As opposed to making choices and deals in a rational, formal, mechanistic context, where all of the information is available, and based on game theory, where we can reasonably assume the other player will make their best move (like chess). Annie Duke splits lanes One of author Annie Duke’s key insights is: ‘life is more like poker than chess.’ Meaning, we often make decisions and negotiate in an atmosphere of tension and deceit, without all of the information, based on probability (like poker). As opposed to making choices and deals in a rational, formal, mechanistic context, where all of the information is available, and based on game theory, where we can reasonably assume the other player will make their best move (like chess). Annie Duke splits lanes between her knowledge and appreciation for academic and experimental psychology, and the hard earned street wisdom she gained as professional high stakes poker player. The book is basically one cross reference after another between the two worlds, with the intent of animating and clarifying the oft counter intuitive world of statistical probability and behavioral economics. One of the most important points the author makes is that people frequently judge decisions based on outcomes. And in both life and poker, luck plays a HUGE role. In other words, you can make really good decisions and get unlucky, and vice versa. The quality of a decision is somewhat independent of the outcome, and if you change course on a good decision based on an unlucky outcome, you’re compounding the problem. Conversely, if you stay with a bad strategy because it bounces well once, you’re bound to loose in the long run due to regression to the mean (the tendency for anomalous or improbable outcomes to correct to average over many iterations). In other words, strategies need to be evaluated independently from outcome. And accurately parsing skill from luck is a fraught endeavor. We tend to attribute our own good outcomes to skill, and our competitors good outcomes to luck. Just to avoid difficult feelings. But if we can manage to tease the two apart, and accurately assess our own skill (+/-) luck, we can use this clear view as feedback for improvement. In other words, we trade out the comfort afforded by our own self protective biases, for genuine improvement in skill and wisdom. According to the author, this all but necessitates gaining the wise counsel of other experts. In other words, it’s hard to see our own bullshit, but it’s easy to see each others bullshit. And we can trade the favor. We can be bullshit detectors for one another. Hear hear! It’s a cool book. The author is interesting and eminently likable. The subject matter is fascinating. But the book is poorly designed in places and could have been edited down to be less repetitive, or more effective in its summary of previously made points. I may have given the book a 3.5, or a 3.75 if I had that option. But it’s better than 3 stars, so my hand is forced: 4 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️’s it is.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anton

    3+ ⭐️ This book is nicely written, with good examples, and curious titbits about life of pro-level poker players. It also has a great premise: all decisions are bets. But I felt there was just too much filler content to make it a satisfying experience for me. So while I enjoyed some bits a lot, I was skim reading the others. I would recommend this book as a good intro read if you haven’t been following recent popular science releases on decision-making for the past 5 years or so. It also includes 3+ ⭐️ This book is nicely written, with good examples, and curious titbits about life of pro-level poker players. It also has a great premise: all decisions are bets. But I felt there was just too much filler content to make it a satisfying experience for me. So while I enjoyed some bits a lot, I was skim reading the others. I would recommend this book as a good intro read if you haven’t been following recent popular science releases on decision-making for the past 5 years or so. It also includes a very good ‘additional reading’ recommendation list

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leo Walsh

    I've read dozens upon dozens of pop-science books on contemporary cognitive science. In fact, as I get older, I find cognitive sciences and how we humans work "in the world" more important science reading than the physics that captivated me when younger. And nearly all cover, at least in part, our "predictably irrational" cognitive biases. But few offer effective strategies for overcoming our built-in human failings. But former poker champ (and one-time Penn State PhD candidate) Annie Duke manag I've read dozens upon dozens of pop-science books on contemporary cognitive science. In fact, as I get older, I find cognitive sciences and how we humans work "in the world" more important science reading than the physics that captivated me when younger. And nearly all cover, at least in part, our "predictably irrational" cognitive biases. But few offer effective strategies for overcoming our built-in human failings. But former poker champ (and one-time Penn State PhD candidate) Annie Duke manages both in THINKING IN BETS. I found the book captivating from the opening pages. She uses Pete Carroll's infamous 2015 Super Bowl play-call, a pass from the one-yard line that the Patriots intercepted with seconds to go. The result: Carroll and the Seahawks lost the game. The media ripped the call as the worst play call ever. But when seen rationally, the call was smart. There had been 62 passes from the one-yard in that year. Zero had been intercepted. The most likely outcomes were TD or incompletion, which would have stopped the clock allowing Seattle to an additional play since incompletions stop the clock while the clock runs after running plays. Duke is clear. Carroll calling a pass here was 100% rational when seen in the above light, but the play was among the worst OUTCOMES of any decisive play in Superbowl history. She calls this focusing on the result instead of a decision made under uncertainty "resulting." And resulting is a cognitive bias that all of us suffer from, and from which we can free ourselves with some hard inner-work and dogged persistence. Duke then goes on to use poker as a metaphor for making sound decisions under uncertainty to counteract "resulting." Along the way, she tackles numerous mental biases, though replete with strategies to combat them. Using her group of other serious players who analyzed each other's decisions after games ruthlessly as a guide, she provides a common-sense approach for attacking biases that anyone could use. Four stars. A nice book with ideas applicable to everyone's private or professional (or poker-playing) life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kushal

    Good Book but if you are already aware of the common human cognitive biases (Influence by Caldini / Charlie Munger's psychology of human misjudgement speech - are good starts) then it might be repetitive. Good Book but if you are already aware of the common human cognitive biases (Influence by Caldini / Charlie Munger's psychology of human misjudgement speech - are good starts) then it might be repetitive.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Manaf

    Th author discusses the topic of decision making and the probabilistic mindset that should be adopted. The unnecessary repetitiveness made this book boring and longer than it should be.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hien Le

    The book is a very shallow literature review of behavioral economics. Sprinkled throughout are references to recent events (Pete Carroll Superbowl moment) and glimpses into the author's career as a Poker player (discussions of outcomes with peers and player support network) but neither in any sufficient depth to be meaningful anecdotes. The referenced literature is paraphrased and summarized poorly, but repeated or elaborated in an unhelpful manner meant obviously to fulfill a word-count quota. T The book is a very shallow literature review of behavioral economics. Sprinkled throughout are references to recent events (Pete Carroll Superbowl moment) and glimpses into the author's career as a Poker player (discussions of outcomes with peers and player support network) but neither in any sufficient depth to be meaningful anecdotes. The referenced literature is paraphrased and summarized poorly, but repeated or elaborated in an unhelpful manner meant obviously to fulfill a word-count quota. Trudged through 60% thinking there'd finally be some applicable advice on employing mental frameworks to decision-making only to realize the remaining 40% were notes and references. On the one hand I was annoyed I'd suffered for nothing, on the other hand I was glad to be done with such a horror.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    The most important insights are right there in the intro or even in every other book about decision making--the central takeaway for me was that you have to make decisions with the facts you have and even if the outcome is bad, the decision could have been good given what you know. Like in poker. Oh and we all have biases, but you know that if you're the type of person who reads books like this all the time The most important insights are right there in the intro or even in every other book about decision making--the central takeaway for me was that you have to make decisions with the facts you have and even if the outcome is bad, the decision could have been good given what you know. Like in poker. Oh and we all have biases, but you know that if you're the type of person who reads books like this all the time

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Rollins

    My husband wanted me to listen to this on our trip to see grand baby Claire. I ended up loving it. Annie Duke narrates her own book delightfully. The premise is how she learned to think by playing poker. I loved her emphasis on results not being an indication of good or bad decision making. Sometimes things don’t work out even when due diligence is done. So many great takeaways from this book. I am sure I will reread it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ScienceOfSuccess

    This supposed to be a nice book about poker, with some science behind. But Author just pointed out that poker is mixed luck and skill, and you should focus on skill part. That's all, honestly. There was a lot of smart things from over 100 self-help books, but reading them all put together and tide to poker was painful. This supposed to be a nice book about poker, with some science behind. But Author just pointed out that poker is mixed luck and skill, and you should focus on skill part. That's all, honestly. There was a lot of smart things from over 100 self-help books, but reading them all put together and tide to poker was painful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    Great book on statistical thinking in business by a woman with a poker background and only a moderate ego, compared to a certain trader with a massive ego who has written about low probability high impact events. The first part of the book is more general statistical thinking, but presented well, and the last is more self-help about working around inherent cognitive biases and limitations.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Graeme Newell

    I really enjoyed this book. The author, Annie Duke, is a famous professional poker player. She has spent her life sitting around a poker table attempting to predict how chance and human behavior will coalesce to influence outcomes. This has given her a delightfully refreshing vantage point on the fallibilities of decision making. Most of us vastly underestimate the role that good and bad luck play in the outcomes of our daily lives. Duke points out that we want to believe we are firmly in contro I really enjoyed this book. The author, Annie Duke, is a famous professional poker player. She has spent her life sitting around a poker table attempting to predict how chance and human behavior will coalesce to influence outcomes. This has given her a delightfully refreshing vantage point on the fallibilities of decision making. Most of us vastly underestimate the role that good and bad luck play in the outcomes of our daily lives. Duke points out that we want to believe we are firmly in control of our own destinies; however, there is a huge amount of luck in most of the major decisions of our lives. When things go our way, we attribute the win to our own prowess; however, when things go wrong, we typically blame others or bad luck. For example, we start a new business and succeed wonderfully. We will attribute it to our entrepreneurial mastery, when in fact it might have just been good timing, when a competitor happened to stumble at that very moment. Someone makes the decision to drive drunk and happens to make the journey when few cars are on the road. He ends up getting home just fine because fate smiled on him. Just as in poker, Duke shows us that sometimes we make very smart, capable decisions, but we still lose. A smart poker player should bet big on a good hand because the odds are in her favor. However, this does not change the fact that she can still lose because luck may give her competitor better cards. The same is true in our own lives. When decisions don’t go as we hope, we tend to lament the choice me made. In fact, the choice may have been a very good one, but luck wasn’t on our side, and we still lost. That doesn’t change the fact that we made the right choice at that time. Hindsight tends to make us doubt our judgment despite the fact that our thinking may have been quite sound. It is important to remember that a 90% probability of success means we still lose 10% of the time. Humans tend to minimize this losing chance. Pundits pummeled the pollsters after the 2016 election of Donald Trump. They decried that the pollsters were completely wrong. The pollsters actually got it right. Donald Trump had a 30% chance of winning and his number just came up. All pollsters’ predictions are a bell curve, not a black or white choice. The same is true of the decisions in our own lives. In this book Duke teaches us to escape the win/lose mindset and think in percentages of success. She shows how to minimize our own very natural inclination to blame others and the fates for our failures. Duke lays out a step-by-step plan to nurture our ability to see the downside of risk BEFORE we make our bet. She shows us how to optimize our assessment of the odds, thus better anticipating future obstacles and increasing our chance at success in the end. This is a very well written book with an approachable, conversational style. Duke introduces us to some great new thinking and a vantage point that is refreshingly insightful. I learned a lot.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marc Sims

    Really helpful. Main points: - You should speak less dogmatically when you don’t know all the facts - You rarely know all the facts - Don’t confuse a good decision that led to poor results with a bad decision. Sometimes you just get unlucky. - Confirmation bias predisposes you to interpret data in unreliable ways and the more intelligent you are the worse that problem is. - Don’t make decisions based on immediate gratification—redefine happiness in light of a lifetime goal rather than the immediate Really helpful. Main points: - You should speak less dogmatically when you don’t know all the facts - You rarely know all the facts - Don’t confuse a good decision that led to poor results with a bad decision. Sometimes you just get unlucky. - Confirmation bias predisposes you to interpret data in unreliable ways and the more intelligent you are the worse that problem is. - Don’t make decisions based on immediate gratification—redefine happiness in light of a lifetime goal rather than the immediate. - Have a community of people to help keep you from making impulsive decisions. - Before you make a decision, ask yourself how you will feel in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years if you made it. Lots of practically helpful things in here. Replace “luck” with God’s providence, and you’re good to go. The main premise is that all of life is similar to betting. In a bet you are forced to make a decision on an uncertain outcome with monetary consequences. Start to view all your decisions in life in this way and it makes you more cautious and contemplative.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carl Rannaberg

    Really good book about the fundamentals of making smarter decisions. It's just simple and accessible advice backed up with interesting stories and examples and plenty of references to other books the read more. The main point in this book is that the world is almost never black and white. Nothing is 100% certain. Instead of being confident about something you should start thinking about how confident you are about it. Resulters only concentrate on results and doesn’t think that the decisions mig Really good book about the fundamentals of making smarter decisions. It's just simple and accessible advice backed up with interesting stories and examples and plenty of references to other books the read more. The main point in this book is that the world is almost never black and white. Nothing is 100% certain. Instead of being confident about something you should start thinking about how confident you are about it. Resulters only concentrate on results and doesn’t think that the decisions might have been the correct one based on the odds. They confuse the result with correctness of the decision. When you get a result from your decision you have to first understand whether the reason for the result was skill or luck. After that you can start learning from your experience.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cristian Strat

    Decision frameworks and mental models from a professional poker player The book makes a compelling case for decisions as bets and predictions as continuous probability distributions instead of black or white, or max-likelihood discrete choices. It draws on poker stories to illustrate these concepts convincingly. The author is having difficulties situating these lessons in a business setting. Only a few examples are explored, but they're rather thin and unconvincing. More examples, and tactics on h Decision frameworks and mental models from a professional poker player The book makes a compelling case for decisions as bets and predictions as continuous probability distributions instead of black or white, or max-likelihood discrete choices. It draws on poker stories to illustrate these concepts convincingly. The author is having difficulties situating these lessons in a business setting. Only a few examples are explored, but they're rather thin and unconvincing. More examples, and tactics on how to apply them in world that routinely engages in "resulting" would've made this book a 4/5 to me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Kubal

    One of my most recommended non-fiction books of the year -- frames a way of thinking that I think is severely undervalued, and combats our culture's increasing tendency to retroactively call decisions good or bad solely based on result, and assess ideas based on their source versus their merit. Quick read with a high ratio of value to length -- highly recommend it. One of my most recommended non-fiction books of the year -- frames a way of thinking that I think is severely undervalued, and combats our culture's increasing tendency to retroactively call decisions good or bad solely based on result, and assess ideas based on their source versus their merit. Quick read with a high ratio of value to length -- highly recommend it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul Weidinger

    The mindset of approaching decisions as if you had to bet on them, and realizing there are no absolutes, is very valuable. However, this book suffers from a lot of the same ailments as others in the genre: it's an insightful 30-page idea in a 230-page package. There's too much pop-science fluff and meandering anecdotes. The mindset of approaching decisions as if you had to bet on them, and realizing there are no absolutes, is very valuable. However, this book suffers from a lot of the same ailments as others in the genre: it's an insightful 30-page idea in a 230-page package. There's too much pop-science fluff and meandering anecdotes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Camelia Rose

    Annie Duke is a world-class poker player and a researcher and educator in decision making. Thinking In Bests is a book about how to make better decisions. It is a nod to other behavior psychology books such as Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. "Life is poker, not chess." In poker, luck plays a much more important role than in chess. Unlike the popular saying, not everything happens for a reason. The randomness of the world "makes it impossible to predict exactly how things will turn out Annie Duke is a world-class poker player and a researcher and educator in decision making. Thinking In Bests is a book about how to make better decisions. It is a nod to other behavior psychology books such as Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. "Life is poker, not chess." In poker, luck plays a much more important role than in chess. Unlike the popular saying, not everything happens for a reason. The randomness of the world "makes it impossible to predict exactly how things will turn out and all the hidden information makes it even worse. " Annie Duke wants her readers to understand life's uncertainty, even if it is against our nature. "If we can find ways to become more comfortable with uncertainty, we can see the world more accurately and be better for it", she says. A better decision is not necessarily the one that turns out to be correct. When you automatically assume you've made a good decision because it has turned out correct and a bad one because it has turned out wrong, you are "resulting", a form of hindsight bias. Some tips of decision making: 1. Bring up the image of the future you, what would your future version think about your current decision? Think about the outcome you want to achieve, and then how to achieve it. Or better, think about the worst outcome you want to avoid, and how to avoid it. 2. When making a decision, you should rely on facts. Be a better judge of your own emotions, as they could sway you and block you see things objectively and accurately. I can not stop noticing that an objective view of oneself is so against the lopsided optimism I often see in the American public life. According to Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, the more one attributes the good outcome to oneself and bad outcome to others (including bad luck), the more one is optimistic. And being optimistic is one of the most desired national traits! In one chapter the author tells the importance of maintaining diversity within a group to avoid bias and echo chamber effect. "Diversity" here refers to diverse opinions, i.e. liberals vs conservatives, political left vs political right. This can work in a civil society where arguments from all parties are based on logic and facts. In today's polarized America, such a setup is more and more like a beautiful dream. How do you have a conversation with someone who believes conspiracy theories and ignores all the known facts? And with those who deny the existence of objective truth?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Narilka

    Annie Duke offers up the idea that life is more like poker than chess. You can play the perfect hand, make all the right decisions and still get unlucky. Given the presence of uncertainty in every decision we make, even those decisions we feel fairly certain about, it's time to recognize that every decision is basically a bet and how thinking in this manner can give us a better process to make great decisions. What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the Annie Duke offers up the idea that life is more like poker than chess. You can play the perfect hand, make all the right decisions and still get unlucky. Given the presence of uncertainty in every decision we make, even those decisions we feel fairly certain about, it's time to recognize that every decision is basically a bet and how thinking in this manner can give us a better process to make great decisions. What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge. That state of knowledge, in turn, is some variation of "I'm not sure." Duke uses the idea to lay out a framework to help us make better decisions on a daily basis. Ideas covered include: Understanding the concept "resulting" and how to decouple that from the decisions we make; how we form beliefs; the innate biases in our current decision making process based off our beliefs; how to adopt new habits in our decision making process; and how to be more truth seeking instead of just confirming our biases. Duke outlines these ideas in an easy to understand manner and uses examples from her own career as a professional poker player often. I found this book thought provoking and plan to try out a few of her examples. It's also a case where I wish I had a print copy of the book instead of the audio so I could make notes more easily. I think I also need to add Predictably Irrational to my TBR.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Klaus Leopold

    The content has little to do with the title. If the book was called" Introduction to probabilistic thinking", it would be more appropriate and I would not have bought it. It really got off to a good start. A bad result does not have to be the result of a bad decision. The world is not like playing chess, where there is practically no randomness involved. At that time I thought to myself, the writer would introduce me to the subject and then go deeper. Unfortunately, there is not much more depth. The content has little to do with the title. If the book was called" Introduction to probabilistic thinking", it would be more appropriate and I would not have bought it. It really got off to a good start. A bad result does not have to be the result of a bad decision. The world is not like playing chess, where there is practically no randomness involved. At that time I thought to myself, the writer would introduce me to the subject and then go deeper. Unfortunately, there is not much more depth. Yes, if A has a possible value of 500, but the probability of occurrence is only 10%, it makes more sense to choose B, although the value is only 100, but the probability of occurrence is 90%. The book is written in an easy way and if you've never read anything on the subject, it's probably a good introduction. But those who have already read Savage, Silver or Kahneman will be disappointed. 2-3 stars seems appropriate.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Abhishek Kona

    The book spends a lot of time setting up the premise and very little explaining the techniques. There is not much content here to be a book. The analogies are based a lot on pop culture and football. They might be based on research but I could not connect to all the examples / metaphors provided in the book. Skip it IMHO

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cedric Chin

    I’m surprised that I’m rating this book so highly. In many ways this is a rehash of the ideas from Thinking: Fast and Slow. But Duke presents a good collection of applied ideas from the field of judgment and decision making, seen through the eyes of a poker player. I found this a lot more useful than I expected. Five stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This is a combined review of the following books: Gary Smith, "What the Luck?" Dan Ariely, "Predictably Irrational" Annie Duke, "Thinking in Bets" Gary Smith, "Standard Deviations" I'm a big believer that statistics and behavioral economics are much under-appreciated fields. As a booster shot, to recharge my thinking in these areas, I picked up these books. They pretty much did the job; they are well-written in the language of the common person. Ms. Duke's work uses her experience as a gambler to shed This is a combined review of the following books: Gary Smith, "What the Luck?" Dan Ariely, "Predictably Irrational" Annie Duke, "Thinking in Bets" Gary Smith, "Standard Deviations" I'm a big believer that statistics and behavioral economics are much under-appreciated fields. As a booster shot, to recharge my thinking in these areas, I picked up these books. They pretty much did the job; they are well-written in the language of the common person. Ms. Duke's work uses her experience as a gambler to shed light on ways to better thinking. Mr. Ariely takes a slightly more academic approach, yet creates a very readable work. Mr. Smith's first work, "Standard Deviations" is also quite useful. With respect to Mr. Smith's second work, "What the Luck?" I must take issue. Much of this volume is nearly a direct cut-and-paste from his first volume; yet, he provides no admission. In fact, the bibliography doesn't list his first book, though the earlier work is referenced on the book jacket. This situation seems a bit odd to me, perhaps a bit sly? Would Julia Child have been so bold to repeat recipes without acknowledgment? I'm left with the thought that for all our wonderment for the human brain, for all its capabilities, it is an organ with many, many flaws. Because influential agents understand these flaws, we are susceptible to both gross manipulation and errors in personal and group judgement; I know I sure have contributed more than my fair share, worse, I know I will continue to do so.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Gottshalk

    A poker friend told me about this book, and his description was intriguing, so I gave it a shot. One of the main stories that is discussed is about when the Seahawks quarterback threw the ball on second and goal from the one yard line with 26 seconds left in the Super Bowl was the right decision. That is where I parted ways with the author. She does not take into account the fact that it’s only second and goal, they have a timeout left, and Marshall Lynch was running well with the football. As a A poker friend told me about this book, and his description was intriguing, so I gave it a shot. One of the main stories that is discussed is about when the Seahawks quarterback threw the ball on second and goal from the one yard line with 26 seconds left in the Super Bowl was the right decision. That is where I parted ways with the author. She does not take into account the fact that it’s only second and goal, they have a timeout left, and Marshall Lynch was running well with the football. As a former coach, you have to have a feel for the game, and no amount of stats will change that. Running the football would have been the better, safer decision. The ball is on the one yard line! Not midfield. Throwing the football takes more precision and didn’t make sense there. Thinking in Bets had some other interesting anecdotes about how we could view the decisions we make each day, but I struggled with this one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ruslan Voronkov

    Annie Duke, originally a psychology major, retired from the professional poker carrier six years ago and has since refashioned herself as a corporate speaker and strategic consultant. This book is not about poker, but about life lessons learned while being in the poker circuit for a long time. Main takeaways: 1. Nothing new or ground-breaking here. Just a compilation of meditations about human psychology, decision making, cognitive biases, system thinking, probabilistic thinking, etc.. 2. Foundatio Annie Duke, originally a psychology major, retired from the professional poker carrier six years ago and has since refashioned herself as a corporate speaker and strategic consultant. This book is not about poker, but about life lessons learned while being in the poker circuit for a long time. Main takeaways: 1. Nothing new or ground-breaking here. Just a compilation of meditations about human psychology, decision making, cognitive biases, system thinking, probabilistic thinking, etc.. 2. Foundation of this books comes from this popular books. - Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - The Believing Brain by Dr. Michael Shermer - Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg - Superforecasting by Philip E. Tetlock, Dan Gardner - Nudge by Richard H. Thaler 3. Be aware that this book is using this principle: "Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them". Could be repetitive for some readers. 4. Playing chess and doing right decisions will guarantee you a winning outcome. Playing poker and making right decisions will only give you better chance to a winning outcome. Luck is a big factor. 5. Life is more like poker than chess. 6. Getting good outcome does not mean good decision was made.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Akshith Rao

    Who knew that the world of poker and behavioral economics had something in common. It was refreshing to read a book that talked about dealing with our biases rather than pointing to the different ways we trip ourselves into irrationality. Although we might not be as lucky as Annie to find a group that accelerates our efforts to tame the irrational mind, Tools like the betting strategy, inviting feedback and 10:10:10 rule can be pretty useful. I felt that the poker and baseball examples were used Who knew that the world of poker and behavioral economics had something in common. It was refreshing to read a book that talked about dealing with our biases rather than pointing to the different ways we trip ourselves into irrationality. Although we might not be as lucky as Annie to find a group that accelerates our efforts to tame the irrational mind, Tools like the betting strategy, inviting feedback and 10:10:10 rule can be pretty useful. I felt that the poker and baseball examples were used a tad too many times. The ending was also abrupt and it felt as if the author just stood up and left abruptly just when the conversation starts to get interesting. This is a great book despite the above mentioned shortcomings and I would definitely recommend this to enthusiasts of Amos and Danny!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bartosz Majewski

    When making a hiring decision I'm making reasoning from this book since I can remember. Since the concept of betting and playing unfair games is close to me I couldn't look away when someone recommended me this book. This is just a solid framework of continuously improving your decisionmaking. Some things (Duhigg and Kahneman or Taleb fragments) repeated other publications I've read, however, a lot of it was fresh, actionable and juicy. Highly recommended since this is a book of a fellow practit When making a hiring decision I'm making reasoning from this book since I can remember. Since the concept of betting and playing unfair games is close to me I couldn't look away when someone recommended me this book. This is just a solid framework of continuously improving your decisionmaking. Some things (Duhigg and Kahneman or Taleb fragments) repeated other publications I've read, however, a lot of it was fresh, actionable and juicy. Highly recommended since this is a book of a fellow practitioner turned consultant.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mario Tomic

    The book started strong, the fundamental idea of viewing life decisions as a poker game where not all factors are known and we have luck at play was great. However, the book itself ended up borrowing a lot of components from other similar books and it wasn't unique enough compared to other books on decision making. If you've been reading a lot about decision making there's probably not much new information here for you. The book started strong, the fundamental idea of viewing life decisions as a poker game where not all factors are known and we have luck at play was great. However, the book itself ended up borrowing a lot of components from other similar books and it wasn't unique enough compared to other books on decision making. If you've been reading a lot about decision making there's probably not much new information here for you.

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