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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

In the theme of all things gambleSteve Pavlina on blackjack:

Novices miss golden opportunities.

“Novice blackjack players will almost invariably play their hands too conservatively. They’ll stand too often when they should hit, and they’ll fail to double down and split pairs as often as they should … They give up a lot more to the house by playing defensively, trying not to bust. But expert players exploit every opportunity to maximize their wins, meaning that they’ll double and split far more often when the odds favor doing so. Expert players will bust more often, but they’ll also hit their big hands more often.”

“You see a similar pattern in life too. High achievers will bust more often, while underachievers play too conservatively, afraid to take calculated risks for fear of losing what they have. In blackjack, it’s those splits and double down hands where you make your real money. Novice players think it’s the ten-ace blackjack hand that’s the best — the guaranteed win.”

Novices don’t put in the time to fully understand the game.

“Expert players understand the game inside and out because they’ve invested many long hours studying it. Experts work harder. Novices have a strong understanding of certain parts, but their knowledge is very fuzzy in other areas. They often get confused on how to handle situations that arise infrequently. But eventually those situations do arise, and that’s where novices lose. … aside from a lack of understanding, novices also have some false understanding.”

“It’s the same with life. Novices don’t take the time to master the basics, like goal-setting, time management, motivation, and self-discipline. They do OK most days, but whenever an exception occurs such as the loss of a job, they’re thrown completely out of whack, and it takes them a long time to recover.”

Experts are more disciplined.

“Novice players tend to play their hands inconsistently. When the same situation arises, they often make different decisions with no rhyme or reason. They exhibit poor discipline … Experts understand that you can make the correct decision and still lose, but they focus on making correct decisions, not on trying to force a particular outcome. Experts have the patience to know that making correct decisions is all it takes to win in the long run.”

“You see this in real life too, don’t you? Achievers tend to be more consistent in making decisions and taking action; they focus their energy. Underachievers, however, waste their energy, never applying enough force in a consistent direction to bring about a breakthrough.”

(via Business Opportunities Weblog)

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