Professional gambler has always been a moniker that makes me twinge. As a card counter, I have never considered myself a gambler. Investor is a much more fitting title for a professional card counter. Some may say that this is an insignificant matter of semantics. After all, both gamblers & investors put their money on the line with the goal of making a profit. However, there is a big difference between the approaches & outcomes of a gambler as compared to an investor.
These are the traits of a gambler:
1) A gambler does little or no research & preparation before taking on risk.
2) A gambler hopes to win despite unfavorable odds.
3) A gambler acts based on hunches, misinformation & unproven systems.
4) A gambler is affected by the emotions of greed & fear.
5) A gambler’s motivation is largely driven by thrill seeking & entertainment.
6) A gambler loses.
Conversely, these are the traits of an investor:
1) An investor completes thorough research & preparation before taking on risk.
2) An investor knows he/she has a high probability of winning (making money) because the odds are in his/her favor.
3) An investor utilizes a rational & proven model or system.
4) An investor does not allow emotions to influence his/her decisions.
5) An investor’s motivation is not risk seeking & entertainment.
6) An investor wins.
These characteristics hold true not only in blackjack, but in just about any potential gamble/investment, whether it’s the stock market, poker, real estate or buying a fast food franchise. Gamblers tend to have a narrow, short-term view of risk versus reward, focusing primarily on the upside. On the other hand, investors see the big picture & factor in risk when evaluating the long-term prospect of an investment. Of course even the savviest investment has an element of chance. But, if you have the right mindset & implement a rational, proven approach, you will maximize your odds of success.