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How Gaming Helps You To Become An Entrepreneur

Ruby Fortune: From the card table to the conference table
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Many people might think of blackjack as a simple game of chance, but anyone who has spent time playing the game knows that strategy is essential. The same goes for becoming an entrepreneur or starting your own business: it may seem easy at first, but there’s a lot more to it. The good news is many of the skills that make a sharp blackjack player in a mobile casino can translate to business smarts, giving strategic players a competitive edge when it comes to new opportunities.

From Gamer to Successful Businessman

There’s no better example of using gaming skills for business advantage than Jeff Ma, the famed member of the MIT blackjack team, who is also a successful entrepreneur. His skill in blackjack was inspiration for both the book Bringing Down The House and the 2018 film drama 21. He built on his skills at the table to launch, and later sell, various businesses: his productivity start-up tenXer was sold to Twitter and the sports website he co-founded, Citizen Sports, was acquired by Yahoo.

Jeff Ma never played blackjack on luck alone, and he didn’t run his businesses that way either. He wrote about this connection his 2010 book The House Advantage: Playing the Odds to Win Big In Business.  As it turns out, a lot of the same skills that can make you a great entrepreneur can be learned at the blackjack table.

Lesson 1: Play Strategically And Pay Attention

Ruby Fortune: You can turn your blackjack strategy into a business strategy
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While you certainly could play a game of blackjack without thinking too hard, you probably wouldn’t be too happy with the results. To really win at blackjack, you have to pay attention and play strategically. A lot of the strategy is based on being aware of other players and thinking through how your hand might play out against theirs. In blackjack, you can learn to read other players’ expressions, while in business you need to rely a lot on research and analysis to know where things stand. In both business and blackjack, it’s important to gather as much information as possible. Whether you’re calculating the probability on being dealt a winning hand or watching the market for the perfect chance to launch a new product, paying close attention is the best way to stay on top of your game.

Lesson 2: Stay Cool

Every small decision you make at the blackjack table will influence how the game plays out. But it doesn’t help your game to get so caught up in the calculations that you let it affect your decision-making. The same goes for business: you’ll always make better business choices if you keep your cool and consider your options. Playing blackjack can teach you the valuable skill of performing when you’re under pressure—when there’s money on the line or when you’re in a competition. This skill is very valuable in the business world, too, where a cool head can put you ahead of your rivals.

Lesson 3: Know Where You Shine

In business, it’s important to know what differentiates you from your competitors. Is your idea completely unique, or are you able to do something better than anyone else? Knowing what makes you stand out lets you invest in that aspect of your business to come out ahead. Think about doubling down a bet in blackjack. If you are confident in your hand, you can double your bet for a bigger return. Being able to identify good odds and knowing when you have a hard-to-beat hand gives you the chance to bet bigger…and win bigger, too.

Lesson 4: Knowing When To Walk Away

Ruby Fortune: It’s important to know when to walk away
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Finally, of course, one of the most important skills for any gambler or gamer is knowing when to walk away. Once you’ve ridden out your winning streak, it might be time to call it a night. Learning when to recognize a downward turn or a threat can also help in the business world, whether it means abandoning a strategy, eliminating an unprofitable line, or selling a start-up. Timing is everything for this: a start-up sold too early might not have had the chance to mature enough to attract a high-profile buyer. Knowing when to walk away can also help you as you’re looking for your next best opportunity: sometimes the next table over, or the next big business idea, will be where you perform best.

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