Book Review: “Thinking in Bets Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” by Annie Duke

Thinking in Bets Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” by Annie Duke


Thinking in Bets” written by Annie Duke is a thought-provoking book that delves into the world of decision-making under uncertainty. Drawing from her experience as a professional poker player and behavioral science researcher, Duke offers valuable insights and practical strategies to help readers improve their decision-making skills in various aspects of life.

Book Details:

Title: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts

Author: Annie Duke

Publication Year: 2018

Genre: Psychology, Decision-Making, Self-Help

Pages: 288

Goodreads Rating: 4.06/5


 “Thinking in Bets” challenges the traditional notion that decisions should be evaluated solely based on their outcomes. Annie Duke introduces readers to the concept of thinking in bets, emphasizing that decisions are inherently probabilistic and involve uncertainty. She skillfully connects her experiences as a professional poker player, where decisions are made with incomplete information, to real-life scenarios where we often face similar challenges.

Duke explores various cognitive biases that hinder decision-making and provides practical techniques to overcome them. She introduces the idea of resulting, where people judge decisions based on the outcome rather than the quality of the decision-making process itself. By reframing decisions as bets, she encourages readers to focus on making better decisions rather than getting caught up in short-term results.

The book introduces readers to key concepts such as:

Probabilistic Thinking: Duke emphasizes the importance of embracing uncertainty and adopting a probabilistic mindset when making decisions. By assigning probabilities to potential outcomes, individuals can make more informed choices.

Emotional Control: Recognizing the influence of emotions on decision-making, Duke discusses strategies for managing emotional biases and creating a more rational decision-making process.

Decision Quality: Instead of fixating on immediate results, Duke highlights the significance of evaluating decisions based on their quality and the available information at the time they were made.

Feedback and Learning: The book emphasizes the value of feedback and continuous learning, enabling individuals to refine their decision-making skills over time.

By applying concepts from the world of poker, such as hand reading, bluffing, and understanding the role of luck, Duke offers practical insights and actionable advice for improving decision-making in both personal and professional spheres.


Embrace Uncertainty: Recognize that decisions are not binary and involve inherent uncertainty. Adopt a probabilistic mindset and evaluate decisions based on their expected value.

Separate Process from Outcome: Focus on the quality of decision-making rather than being solely outcome-oriented. Learn to assess decisions independently of their immediate results.

Take a Long-Term View: Acknowledge that short-term outcomes can be influenced by luck, but long-term success is driven by decision quality. Prioritize making good decisions consistently.

Learn from Feedback: Actively seek feedback and engage in a process of continuous learning. Evaluate decisions based on the information available at the time and make adjustments for future decisions.

“Thinking in Bets” provides a fresh perspective on decision-making and encourages readers to approach uncertainty with a strategic and rational mindset. Annie Duke’s engaging writing style and practical examples make this book a valuable resource for individuals looking to enhance their decision-making abilities.

Also read:

Mastering the Game of Uncertainty: A Guide to Better Decision-Making

For more information about the book, you can visit the following links:




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