Quality gambling decision making can be learned with practice

April 24, 2012 3:00 AM

Making quality decisions in the gaming world isn’t a natural-born skill that comes easily to every gambler. Sometimes, we all make disastrous decisions based on hunches, bad advice or poor timing. However, you can eliminate costly errors at the green felt or the sports book by recognizing and avoiding three major barriers to quality decision-making.

• Deciding too quickly. Heed the edict of the ages: "Haste makes waste."

Instead of rushing into the pot in poker or dashing to the window seconds before post time to lay down a bet, put on the brakes. Do you have enough information to make an informed decision? Is something or somebody forcing you to rush your decision? Are you angry, depressed or bored? If so, hold off making your decision. Timing is everything – be sure it’s in your favor.

• Deciding too slowly. Here’s another axiom from ages past: "Procrastination is the thief of time."

Don’t put off making an important decision that may dramatically affect your livelihood. Worried about upsetting the status quo? Got too many people involved in making your decision? Concerned about making a mistake? Remind yourself that if you keep on doing what you’ve been doing – with bad results – you’ll keep on getting what you’ve been getting.

• Turning a deaf ear to good advice. Let the smart people around you challenge your ideas without feeling intimidated or insulted by their advice. It’s amazing how much you can learn by opening your ears and your heart to a contrary viewpoint.

"Great decision makers have several things in common," says Roger Dawson, author of "Confident Decision Making." To overcome

these three drawbacks to making good decisions, he suggests adopting these five winning attitudes:

• Have a high tolerance for ambiguity.

• Define your priorities by seeing the big picture and thinking independently.

• Avoid stereotypes in your thinking.

• Don’t blindly trust the advice of an expert.

• Be resilient enough to change your mind if you need to.

You can dodge the darts of defeat by tearing down the three barriers to reaching your goals in gaming and life – acting too fast, procrastinating, and blocking out opposite points of view.

If you can erase these mistakes and adjust your attitude, you’ll have "The Gambler’s Edge" in every life-molding decision you make.