Thinking in bets


2 min read

Book Information

Book Cover

Author: Annie Duke

Title: Thinking in bets: Making smarter decision when you don't have all the fact

Published: 2018


  • Thinking in bets starts with recognizing that there are exactly two things that determine how our lives turn out: the quality of our decisions and luck. Learning to recognize the difference between the two is what thinking in bets is all about.
  • Life is poker, not chess. We don't have all the information. And there is always an element of luck involved.
  • Be comfortable with uncertainty.
  • All decisions are bets.
  • Our bets are only as good as our beliefs. And our beliefs are shaped by our biases, culture, race, etc.
  • The advantages of looking at decisions as bets
    • Makes you take a closer look at the problem at hand. You ask questions about what you know or don't know.
    • It triggers perspective-taking, leveraging the difference between how we field our outcomes versus others' outcomes to get closer to the objective truth.
    • It makes it easier to learn from our past decisions. You no longer judge your decisions solely from the result. Outcomes are just another form of feedback. You want to improve the quality of our decisions.
    • You are more generous toward yourself and others when the outcomes do not match your expectation.