The magic power of risk intelligence in gamblers

18 Oct 2022blog_dynamic:Casino
The magic power of risk intelligence in gamblers

Risk intelligence, what sets professional gamblers apart

Published: October 2022

By: Sarah Zaneti


Risk intelligence is the new concept that the famous psychologist and philosopher Dylan Evans surprised the audience with within TED Talks 2012.  He showed a perspective on the professional gambler’s psyche that contradicts the previous psychologists’ studies about Gambling.


He expressed that studying how expert gamblers think teaches us how to make the right decision under risky circumstances. He believes that what we can learn from expert gamblers is their good level of risk intelligence, and that is by learning how to think more wisely in making risky decisions.


Interestingly, while every one of us is likely to be more focused on the disadvantages of Gambling rather than its advantages, today, experts in social sciences like Dylan Evans shed light on the magic power of expert gamblers: their level of risk intelligence. 

İn this article, we share our experts’ report on this new form of intelligence. 

TED Talks : Risk intelligence


  1. Risk intelligence, what sets professional gamblers apart
  2. What is risk intelligence?
  3. How to measure risk intelligence
  4. How to benefit from risk intelligence in Gambling?
  5. What can we learn from professional gamblers to enhance our lifestyle quality?


 What is risk intelligence?

Most people probably have never heard about risk intelligence. Moreover, most expert gamblers have this talent but are unaware simply because they have never learned what this form of intelligence might be. 

İn simple terms, it is a form of intelligence based on the ability to accurately estimate probabilities in various life areas. İt is the competence of wisely making a decision under uncertain and risky circumstances.  


How to measure risk intelligence?

measurement of RQ in professional gamblers

Dylan Evans spent a few years interviewing the most successful gamblers from all over the world. He concluded that these people have exceptional talent in thinking about risk and uncertainty, not only while betting but also in their day-to-day life. 


He has created an online test to measure people’s Risk Quotient (RQ). İt does not measure your knowledge in general, but your self-knowledge in risky situations and İt assesses your own degree of certainty and uncertainty in different life situations. This test is available for free over the internet. When you finish responding to its items, you will get a score from 0 to 100. Men and women will notice differences when it comes to RQ in gambling.


While low scores indicate an under-confidence, high scores indicate an over-confidence. Of course, both extremes are not healthy because the aim of a good level of RQ is not to exaggerate in one or another but to have the right amount of confidence in a specific situation, depending on how much you know and don’t know about it. İt discloses your ability to make good probabilities under uncertain information, a competence that all human-beings lack by nature. 

How to benefit from risk intelligence in Gambling?

To paraphrase Dylan Evans, “Surely Gambling is just a matter of luck, but that’s not totally true. Slot machines and roulette are our games of pure chance, so there is no room for expertise there, but certain games like blackjack and poker and all kinds of sports betting offer up the opportunity to exercise skill and expertise that we can observe in expert gamblers”


He thinks that professional gamblers have the talent of risk intelligence which allows them to outperform beginners in Gambling and that their expertise can make them rich. These gamblers’ ability to make money is based on their good scores in risk quotient. 


İt seems that blackjack, poker and sports betting players are more prone to show a high RQ score. They are known as ‘focused systems’ players. İn other terms, this ability seems to be practised, especially in these gambling areas. 


İn sports betting, expert gamblers use this talent to predict matches’ scores by gathering necessary information from various sources (ex: previous match scores, available players, stadium, etc. ). They mull it over in their head and come over with an estimated probability which is always likely to be close to reality. That is why poker, blackjack and sports betting players seem to always be the gamblers more likely to win and get profits constantly. 


You want to know how to benefit from this skill to gamble and win. Or you probably want to become a professional gambler with good confidence and self-knowledge to succeed in your decision-making while betting. 


Benefitting from your RQ in Gambling is based crucially on making good enough initial estimates about the value of potential wins and losses and the probabilities of each. You should know how to make and use these probabilities at this step. Setting thresholds is the best way to make decisions based on probability estimates. You can, for example, control your bet sizing. Here comes your art of knowing how much money you should wager on any given bet respecting your limits and expectations. You can gamble by keeping the bet to a determined fraction of your capital. İn other words, you always opt for making the size of your bet proportional to your confidence level.  

sports betting


What can we learn from professional gamblers to enhance our lifestyle quality?

First, let’s make things clear! By nature, people are not programmed to be good at making decisions under uncertainty, that is why the majority of us don’t have a good level in it. 


Many psychologists have concluded that we are very bad at estimating probabilities, and that is why people face tricky situations regarding judgment and making decisions. We are generally unable to make wise decisions based on uncertain information. 


So the challenge with risk intelligence is learning to live with uncertainty and succeed. For this reason, we should develop this ability, which in turn helps us make better decisions. Yes, it is an ability that can be improved, and it is about a skill we can enhance. 


You should know how to benefit from using the right probabilities in making your decisions. According to Dylan Evans, 3 simple ways can be used in your probabilities.


  1. set a threshold 
  2. use bet sizing 
  3. opt for the expected value 


By developing your risk intelligence in one area, things that you learn spill over to the rest of your life areas. Many expert gamblers have already learnt from taking the risk of over-confidence and generated it in their business life. That is why it is not rare to find a professional poker player who is highly successful in his management strategies at work. 


Now you want to develop your RQ in your daily life, right?

You need to play a personal prediction game every time you can. In every available opportunity, try to bet against yourself and try to estimate the probabilities of anything. When you control your probabilities with reality, work on weighting and adjusting them according to the circumstances. For example, you would bet against yourself whether it will rain this evening or not and always keep track of them. 


We see this exercise in every professional gambler’s daily life. That is why some of them may seem over-confident. It is because they know their weaknesses and limits according to the probabilities that they constantly estimate in their day-to-today life. So, clearly, having a good RQ is related to good self-knowledge, and self-knowledge is built by practice and experience. İn addition, having a good RQ is closely related to learning from mistakes. The more mistakes you make in betting on a specific result, the better you learn your weakness and the more able you will make a wise decision in the following risky situation.


Published: October 2022

By: Sarah Zaneti

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