Life is a Game of Poker
1 min read

Life is a Game of Poker

Lessons from Thinking in Bets.

Life is more akin to poker than chess. Behavioural economics show that we think of the world as a place of order and we have control of it.

Like the book Thinking Fast and Slow suggests, our brains have two ways of processing and making decisions:

  1. Instinctual and automatic actions. We make decisions based on our guts and past experience, these are shortcuts that have high chances of error. We do this because we want speed rather than quality.
  2. Conscious and thoughtful decisions. We evaluate a situation with more care, and we focus on the quality of our thinking. This allows for better decisions but takes more time.

However, reality doesn’t always allow us for choosing either way of making decisions. More often than not, we have to make quick and quality decisions on the spot, which is very much like poker.

The author of Theory of Game and Economic Behaviour proposed that chess is not a real game because it depends on the player’s knowledge to make smart moves. On the other hand, a good decision in poker can end badly by luck. This is similar to life. No matter the level of intelligence, amateurs with a better hand can beat champions.