Out Of The Box Learning: 4 Things the Game of Blackjack Can Teach You About Business


There are many sources of business know how that budding entrepreneurs, seasoned experts, and even business leaders can tap into to get some insight into a particular problem. Some claim that reading books by those more successful can provide inspiration and act as a roadmap for your own success. Others say that the industry itself provides you with enough information to be able to succeed within it, if you are observant enough, while some say that simply sleeping well at night gives them time to mull over any issues. But, there are also ways to gain business know how that are less conventional. For instance, any form of gaming acts as a strategic way to solve problems. But is it possible that blackjack can actually teach you how to succeed in business?


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Risky Business

The first thing that blackjack teaches you about business is that sometimes it’s good to take some risks, as a LivePlan article points out. Business experts cite the ability to take a risk that may benefit your business as a strong characteristic to succeed, and blackjack certainly features plenty of risks if you want them. Learning how and when to take risks is a critical feature of being strong in business. While Lord Sugar claims that risks should be taken only if you are confident in the area, this also applies to blackjack in that you wouldn’t take a risk unless you were confident enough in the game – and the cards you’ve been dealt. This ties into knowledge about the game and good, strategic thinking and as to whether or not the risk would be too risky or not.

Strategic Thinking

Blackjack involves strategic thinking – and what is business but a long game of thinking strategically?. Not only do you need to know what moves to make, but if the stakes are high, you need to think about when to make them and what the repercussions of each move may be. As Betway Casino outlines, blackjack strategy can help give you a better idea of what to do in the game. The same works for business. Thinking strategically about your business – planning three months, six months, one year in advance – could help you know what moves to make on a more short-term basis. The need to understand the strategy of blackjack – reading up on it and watching professionals – gives us an indication about how we should tackle business. We should become an expert in our field and follow the teachings and mistakes made by the greats who have gone before us.


Act Cool Under Pressure

One other key aspect of succeeding in business is being able to handle everything that is thrown at you and not let on how much you may be panicked by it. You especially need to stay calm if working with others. Strong businesspeople are able to take every setback demurely and react accordingly, never losing the grasp of their ultimate plan or goal, as analysis on Forbes confirms. Being a regular blackjack player teaches you that while everything might not always go your way, you still need to be able to react calmly and collectedly and never fly off the handle. Learning to react in a positive way to negative news can set anyone up to be a strong person in the world of business, where things won’t always go your way.

Know When to Fold ‘Em

In blackjack, you need to know when to hit or stand, when to double down, split pairs, and surrender your hand. This last point is critical in business. If something isn’t working, you need to be able to stop or change strategy, and knowing “when to fold” is a key lesson learned through blackjack. Sometimes a product might not be working or a client relationship may have soured, and it’s important to address this logically in order to either rectify it or to admit defeat and perhaps even abandon the effort (which takes up precious resources) and move onto the next one. Playing cards can definitely teach you the important skill of killing your darlings.

Blackjack may not be the most typical indicator of business success, but some of the lessons you learn while playing blackjack can certainly help you when it comes to the world of business. Being able to apply lessons learned in one discipline to others is, after all, very helpful. Twitter worker Sid Patil learned the key aspects of data science from playing blackjack, by taking what happened previously in the game and applying it to the future of the game – much like how data science informs future events.

From thinking about what you’re doing by planning ahead and understanding the game (in both business and blackjack) to knowing when to take risks and when not to, to knowing how to act under pressure, and knowing what to keep to yourself or when to call it quits, playing blackjack can offer transferable skills to the world of business and industry.

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