Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bluffing

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bluffing

Article excerpt

Business expert and author Albert Carr once said, "We can learn a good deal about the nature of business by comparing it with poker." Carr explained his analogy like this: In business, as in poker, ultimate victory requires intimate knowledge of the rules, insight about your opponents, a bold front, a considerable amount of self- discipline and the opportunity to respond quickly and effectively to opportunity.

Carr believed while both business and poker have an element of chance, the winner in both games is the person who plays with "steady skill." An important skill to acquire is the ability to bluff.

"Bluffing" is defined as the effort to mislead through a false show of strength. In a marriage or personal relationship "bluffing" is counter-productive, but in poker and in business, bluffing is part of the rules of the game. "No one expects poker to be played on the ethical principles preached in churches," explained Carr. Game calls for distrust Poker has its own set of rules. Some poker table behavior is clearly improper: e.g. hiding cards up your sleeve or marking them. Poker players who do such things are called "cheats" and they are either drummed out of the game or, in some regions, shot. Other behaviors don't violate a specific poker rule but are frowned upon by proper poker players: e.g. talking loudly to unnerve an opponent, playing in cahoots with someone else or trying to get an opponent to drink too much. These players may not be shot but they will probably not be invited back to a respectable game. The same kind of behavior goes on in business. Some business people play the game out of parameters. They "mark the cards." They steal trade secrets from competitors. They will, ultimately, be drummed out of the game. There are also business people who play in cahoots or try to get their opposition drunk. They abide by the letter of the law but their ethical code leaves much to be desired. Those who live on the ethical edge may enjoy temporary success but their profit taking will be short lived. Then there are poker players (and business people) to be admired. They abide by the letter and spirit of the rules. They never cheat or use underhanded tactics. And as part of their "by the rules" approach they have learned how to bluff. As Carr observes, "Poker's own brand of ethics is different from the ethical ideals of civilized human relationships. "The game calls for distrust of the other fellow. It ignores the claim of friendship. Concealment of one's strength and intentions, not kindness and open-heartedness, are vital in poker. No one thinks any worse of poker on that account. And no one should think any worse of the game of business because its standards of right and wrong differ from the prevailing traditions of morality in our society. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.