Annie Duke Quotes

Who is Annie Duke?

Annie LaBarr Duke is an American professional poker player and the author of the book 'Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts'. The book deals with how to make better decisions when dealing with uncertainty.

Born September 13, 1965

Books by Annie Duke


Best 55 Quotes by Annie Duke | Page 1 of 2

“In rock, paper, scissors the key is, and this is the best piece of advice that I can give you, if you do think that you recognize the pattern from your opponent, it's good to try to throw a tie as opposed to a win. A tie will very often get you a tie or a win, whereas a win will get you a win or a loss. For example, if you think that someone might throw a rock, it's good to throw rock back at them. You should be going for ties. That's actually a really good strategy to win at rock, paper, scissors. There's my rock, paper, scissors advice for you.”

Annie Duke

“My number one tip is always to play tight. From my experience, most new players play about 80% of the hands they are dealt in Texas Hold 'em. In fact, the reverse should be the case: they should only play about 20% of them!”

Annie Duke

“When you're moaning, all you are doing is focusing on things that were not in your control, at least you are not exploring whether they were in your control, which is bad. You're just focusing on the one piece of bad variance that happened. There's nothing productive that comes from it.”

Annie Duke

Thinking in Bets Quotes

“I don't know" is not a failure but a necessary step towards enlightenment.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“A poker player makes hundreds of decisions per session, all of which take place at breakneck speed. The etiquette and rules of the game discourage players from slowing down the game to deliberate, even when huge financial consequences ride on the decision. If a player takes extra time, another player can ‘call the clock’ on them. This gives the deliberating player all of seventy seconds to now make up their mind. That is an eternity in poker time.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Admitting that we don’t know has an undeservedly bad reputation. Of course, we want to encourage acquiring knowledge, but the first step is understanding what we don’t know.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“All decisions are bets.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

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“An expert trial lawyer will be better than a new lawyer at guessing the likelihood of success of different strategies and picking a strategy on this basis. Negotiating against an adversary whom we have previously encountered gives us a better guess at what our strategy should be. An expert in any field will have an advantage over a rookie. But neither the veteran nor the rookie can be sure what the next flip will look like. The veteran will just have a better guess.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Be a better credit-giver than your peers, more willing than others to admit mistakes, more willing to explore possible reasons for an outcome with an open mind, even, and especially, if that might cast you in a bad light or shine a good light on someone else. In this way we can feel that we are doing well by comparison because we are doing something unusual and hard that most people don’t do. That makes us feel exceptional.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Blaming others for their bad results and failing to give them credit for their good ones is under the influence of ego. Taking credit for a win lifts our personal narrative. So too does knocking down a peer by finding them at fault for a loss. That’s schadenfreude: deriving pleasure from someone else’s misfortune. Schadenfreude is basically the opposite of compassion.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“By treating decisions as bets, poker players explicitly recognize that they are deciding on alternative futures, each with benefits and risks.They also recognize there are no simple answers. Some things are unknown or unknowable.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Chess, for all its strategic complexity, isn’t a great model for decision-making in life, where most of our decisions involve hidden information and a much greater influence of luck.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t right or wrong based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration. An unwanted result doesn’t make our decision wrong if we thought about the alternatives and probabilities in advance and allocated our resources accordingly.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Despite the popular wisdom that we achieve success through positive visualization, it turns out that incorporating negative visualization makes us more likely to achieve our goals.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

Products by Annie Duke

“Diversity is the foundation of productive group decision-making, but we can’t underestimate how hard it is to maintain. We all tend to gravitate toward people who are near clones of us. After all, it feels good to hear our ideas echoed back to us.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Experience can be an effective teacher. But, clearly, only some students listen to their teachers. The people who learn from experience improve, advance, and (with a little bit of luck) become experts and leaders in their fields.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

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“Fake news works because people who already hold beliefs consistent with the story generally won’t question the evidence.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“How can we be sure that we are choosing the alternative that is best for us? What if another alternative would bring us more happiness, satisfaction, or money? The answer, of course, is we can’t be sure. Things outside our control (luck) can influence the result. The futures we imagine are merely possible. They haven’t happened yet. We can only make our best guess, given what we know and don’t know, at what the future will look like. If we’ve never lived in Des Moines, how can we possibly be sure how we will like it?”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“If we follow the example of poker players by making explicit that our decisions are bets, we can make better decisions and anticipate (and take protective measures) when irrationality is likely to keep us from acting in our best interest.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“If we misrepresent the world at the extremes of right and wrong, with no shades of grey in between, our ability to make good choices—choices about how we are supposed to be allocating our resources, what kind of decisions we are supposed to be making, and what kind of actions we are supposed to be taking—will suffer. The secret is to make peace with walking around in a world where we recognize that we are not sure and that’s okay. As we learn more about how our brains operate, we recognize that we don’t perceive the world objectively. But our goal should be to try.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Ignoring the risk and uncertainty in every decision might make us feel better in the short run, but the cost to the quality of our decision-making can be immense. If we can find ways to become more comfortable with uncertainty, we can see the world more accurately and be better for it.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Improving decision quality is about increasing our chances of good outcomes, not guaranteeing them.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“In poker, every hand and therefore every decision has immediate financial consequences. In a tournament or a high-stakes game, each decision can be worth more than the cost of an average three-bedroom house, and players have to make those decisions more quickly than we decide what to order in a restaurant. Even at lower stakes, most or all of the money a player has on the table is potentially at stake in every decision. Poker players, as a result, must become adept at in-the-moment decision-making or they won’t survive in the profession.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Instead of altering our beliefs to fit new information, we do the opposite, altering our interpretation of that information to fit our beliefs.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Life looks more like poker, where all that uncertainty gives us the room to deceive ourselves and misinterpret the data. Poker gives us the leeway to make mistakes that we never spot because we win the hand anyway and so don’t go looking for them, or the leeway to do everything right, still lose, and treat the losing result as proof that we made a mistake. Resulting, assuming that our decision-making is good or bad based on a small set of outcomes, is a pretty reasonable strategy for learning in chess. But not in poker—or life.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Making better decisions starts with understanding this: uncertainty can work a lot of mischief.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“No matter how far we get from the familiarity of betting at a poker table or in a casino, our decisions are always bets. We routinely decide among alternatives, put resources at risk, assess the likelihood of different outcomes, and consider what it is that we value. Every decision commits us to some course of action that, by definition, eliminates acting on other alternatives. Not placing a bet on something is, itself, a bet.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

Products by Annie Duke

“Our brains evolved to create certainty and order. We are uncomfortable with the idea that luck plays a significant role in our lives. We recognize the existence of luck, but we resist the idea that, despite our best efforts, things might not work out the way we want.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

“Our default is to believe that what we hear and read is true. Even when that information is clearly presented as being false, we are still likely to process it as true.”

Annie Duke
Thinking in Bets

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