It’s not fair to mislead or deceive, and it’s shameful to lie. But knowing psychology, having nerves of steel, and believing in your luck are necessary for success. Knowledge about how to bluff, which is irreplaceable when doing serious business, is honed at the poker table.
Business is a competition where you might not have an advantage in power, money or smarts.
Sun Tzu, author of the old Chinese treatise The Art of War, said that deceit is the way of war. Show your opponent that you are strong when you are weak, and when you are strong, pretend to be weak – and you will win.
This strategy is useful during poker games – and you don’t even need to kill anyone. If your hand isn’t great, but you know that your first opponent at the table is skittish, the second one has been convinced during the game that you don't like to take risks, and the third one is a novice who knows little about poker, you can still give it a shot.
Hoping that you will get a good card or that your opponents will fold because they think your hand is strong, you raise the stakes. Some fold, and now it is just you and the novice. You open – and you lose.
Poker teaches you to read your opponents, keep calm, and deliberately plan your success. Poker teaches that even the cleverest combinations are no guarantee when you play with beginners.
Poker teaches that losing is a part of the game, same as winning. The important thing is to have more wins than losses.
The Art of War also says that wins in a war are achieved by keeping calm. Poker…business…they’re similar to war, aren't they?