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Thinking in Bets

Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
Narrated by: Annie Duke
Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

Non-member price: $35.89

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Publisher's Summary

Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result. 

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 handing 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 percent on the strategy that works 90 percent 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. 

Includes a bonus PDF of charts and graphs.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 Annie Duke (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Thinking in Bets

Average Customer Ratings
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I like challenges

A very enjoyable books that provided challenges to some of the conventional wisdoms. It is always great to find a book that challenges the way you think and yet does so in a very enjoyable manner. This will be a book at goes on the 're-read' list as well since it truely provides a wealth of high quality information. The use of real world examples added interest and readability. For anyone looking to grow through challenging their own preconceptions, this is highly recommended.

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Great Book

I enjoyed this book a lot. It didn't contribute much to my way of thinking but it had some good insights and there are several people I would recommend it to. Very well written and stories were interesting and relevant

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thoughtful concepts but dragged on a little

definitely made me think critically about the way I make decisions. Although the core concepts probably could have been summarised into half the length

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Thoroughly enjoyed this book

This book read by the author is both entertaining and thought provoking. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in making more objective, better quality decisions in a world of uncertainty.

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Deeper than the title suggests

Cohesively, parts of the book don't run together as well as they should, however the overall content, insights and methodologies are clear and practical. Challenging perspective but easy to understand, there is a depth to the overall narrative of thinking in bets that is quite clear and the author provides some great ways to think about decision theory with a lens of probability. Annie delivers the performance well. Can recommend.

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Extraordinary!!

This is one of the best books I've consumed in years. He ideas are enlightening and challenging. Annie has an engaging style and has filed this book with relatable anecdotes and quality research. Highly recommended.

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Very light content from disgraced pro

Very surface level understanding of the top. Great bluff, much like her Pro status. A more interesting book, and one she'd be very capable of writing, 'Fake it, until you make it' how I stole millions. Search Ultimate Bet and EPL.

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Great Thinking Book

I thought this book was fantastic! I've been grappling with some of the concepts in this book for some time but this really help me to solidify my thinking.

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  • Marcus Bircher
  • 09-02-2018

Great insights on improving decision making

Found out about this book via Michael Mauboussin discussing it on twitter - a highly credible source on decision making material - and the book did not disappoint.

'Think like a bettor. Think less about whether we are confident or not and more about how confident we are.'

Few key concepts that I think this book nailed:

Importance of accurate outcome analysis rather than 'resulting' and drawing too tight of a relationship between outcome quality and decision quality in a very uncertain world in which almost everything is a result of a combination of both luck and skill.

Biases she explains greatly - motivated reasoning, hindsight bias, self serving bias, internal conflicts of interest, knowing outcome when analyzing decision, temporal discounting + more.

Making decisions via explicit bets - thinking through wanna bet lens to better recognize there is always a level of uncertainty. Leads to tempering our statements as we stop to quantify the level of risk in our statements/beliefs which ultimately leads us closer to the truth.

Short term vs long term thinking - overestimating impact of momentary events on our happiness leads to irrational and emotional thinking which can degrade the quality of our bets and increase chance of bad outcome. Love the insight on the importance of this concept as she touches on temporal discounting, emotional decision making, and importance of accessing our past and future selves to put in the moment events in better perspective.

-Marcus



39 people found this helpful

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  • ❤️One.Cool.Family❤️
  • 04-09-2018

Wasn't For Me

3 hours and it's nothing new if you're familiar with behavioral economics. For a more interesting listen I'd recommend Charles Duhigg's "Smarter Faster Better" which briefly touches on Annie Duke's story while driving home many of the key points of probabilistic thinking better.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-2018

A meeting that could have been an email

This is a really important and interesting book but it's unnecessarily long. The concepts in this book would make an amazing ten-minute video or a really long blog post but as a book, it's stretching things out for the sake of it.

14 people found this helpful

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  • H. Miller
  • 05-08-2018

Great book for people looking to challenge the way they think

If you like to convince yourself you're right most of the time, you need this book... And you won't like it. Great book looking at the ways we delude ourselves into bad decisions, and shows ways you can get better at that. Some good stories and anecdotes, and thoughtful discussion of ways to teach yourself how to make better decisions. Tied in very well with another book I'm reading on behavioral economics. Would have liked a few more concrete examples tied into the discussion, but I really enjoyed and thought was valuable. You should read it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick Britton
  • 14-04-2018

would have been 5 stars but too much poker

in short, the book is fantastic and definitely worth the read. I was a little put off by the massive number of Poker references and quite frankly, almost called it quits after the first few chapters. If you power through all of that stuff, it gets particularly good towards the end. In fact, the two last chapters are by far the very best. I realize the author was a professional poker player but she Begins the book stating that it is not about poker. you will question the statement as you go through the first few chapters. I've read a lot of books similar to this and I have to say that this one has thus far had the greatest impact on my day-to-day decision-making by a long shot.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 22-02-2018

Want to bet you will enjoy this book.

Would you listen to Thinking in Bets again? Why?

Yes, because I want to hear the many ideas and suggestions by Ms. Duke I missed the first time.

What did you like best about this story?

Ms. Duke takes complex areas of behavior science, decision making processes, and the pursuit of truth and couples those principles of sciences to the methods used by a professional poker player.

What about Annie Duke’s performance did you like?

Calm, upbeat, friendly narration.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I immediately locked into the theme of the book because of my experience as a professional and an amateur card player.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-02-2020

Worthless

Taught me nothing and have no idea what the point if the book was . It was all over the place and had no direction

5 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 20-08-2018

AHHHG this book is so crazy good.

It's narrated by the author who knows what she's talking about, doesn't pull punches, backs up her positions and does it all concisely with excellent examples and detailed discussions about how to analyze potential decisions. It should be required reading for anyone who ever has to decide anything.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Soheil
  • 04-07-2018

Required reading for all traders

Of all the books I have read, this book has made the most impact on my trading results. It takes a concept presented by Mark Douglas in Trading in the Zone and crystallizes it. For everyone who seeks certainty in trading and investing, this is a must read.

5 people found this helpful

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  • C. Veloso
  • 21-08-2018

The functional version of Thinking Fast And Slow

Easily digestible. Immediately applicable. Information was not sacrificed for brevity. Not too long like Kahneman’s book.

10 people found this helpful

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  • WG
  • 16-04-2018

Actionable advice between some awkward padding

Thinking in Bets contains a multitude of actionable advice with which to make real changes to the ways we think about decisions and future planning. It makes very clear the benefits to be gained from acknowledging the way your mind works, through a comprehensive review of several concepts within the fields of behavioural psychology and decision economics. By simply taking the view of life as a game of poker, decisions can be made in more robust, rational, and healthy ways. Between the many useful pointers however there were a few areas where the same points were repeated or longer was spent on a particular topic than perhaps was necessary for concision. This detracted slightly from an otherwise very useful book. Recommended for those looking for useful ways to restructure the way we think about decisions

3 people found this helpful

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  • Spiky Potplant
  • 08-12-2019

Make decisions by thinking in bets

This isn't a bad business book but it isn't a great one either. It's well written, the narration is easy on the ear (unlike many), it isn't too dry or boring, and suitable evidence is presented. However, it's too long for the material covered/audiobook format. If you've read a lot of business strategy or decision making books, or done scenario planning or imagine the future type activities then this way of thinking won't be new but the book does frame things very nicely. I think this is one of those books where I would try a podcast/interview with the author because that's probably going to give you the main points of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-2018

Excellent

Excellent book with a ground breaking thought process, already using it for my day trading.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-04-2018

Simply stated meaningful guidance

Whilst much of the advice in this book looks obvious with hindsight bias, the level of self knowledge needed to get the most out of this excellent book will tell you that it isn’t. Thinking in bets is a great way to narrow the uncertainty window we know we can never elongate in a dynamic world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Cox
  • 15-03-2018

Absolutely dire, avoid at all costs.

I downloaded Thinking in Bets expecting to listen to an interesting take on decision making in the personal and professional world from the perspective of a high stakes poker player. If you’re thinking the same let me save you seven hours and an Audible credit. Uncertainty is a thing. Sometimes things work out. Sometimes things don’t work out. Complete and utter bilge. Avoid at all costs.

6 people found this helpful

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  • MGS
  • 13-08-2020

A different perspective on how to think!

Fabulous book (audiobook) talking about the psychology of a poker player and the things learnt that equate to the real world.

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  • Elom
  • 10-07-2020

Absolutely brilliant!

Practical, insightful and enlightening. Such an awesome book. I'll be reading it again soon!

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  • Pavell
  • 01-04-2020

brilliant

One of the best non fiction books I've listened or read. I will definitely listen to it again

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-03-2020

Annie Duke is a brilliant Mind!

if you're interested in better decision making and seeing reality clearly through better and holistic lenses. read this

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  • Soma Konijeti
  • 14-02-2020

One of the best books I have ever read.

It's all about navigating through uncertainties in life as well as in trading or decision making.