Losing is better than winning

Losing is better than winning? Yes, perhaps it should have said ‘learning to lose is better than to win’. And not because it might give you a better character. Although that does affect our story.

Winning makes you feel good. Everyone knows that. However, psychologists have found that we experience losing twice as painful as the pleasure of winning. In addition, loss often leads to irrational reactions.

The irrational loser

The loser responds to his loss by betting more, putting more money in, going longer. He or she wants to regain the losses. But the irrational behavior usually only makes things worse, even though the odds of winning remain the same. Ultimately, such behavior can lead to gambling addiction .

Even experienced players react irrationally. With their experience they have an even higher positive expectation. However, when they lose, they too start doubting themselves. That doubt, in turn, is greater than the degree of confidence in a series of winnings.

Losing is better than winning

Losing is as much a part of gambling as winning. Due to the bank margin, the chance of a loss is even greater than of a profit. That is why it is good to learn to lose. And you should master that even sooner than learn how to win.

A sensible parent knows this, perhaps from their own bad experiences. In most cases, however, we learn through trial and error. Then a good mix of profit and especially loss in your youth turns out to bear fruit at a later age.


Psychologists and sociologists sometimes point to people with difficult childhoods. A genius scientist who was born disabled. The virtuoso football player who was bullied a lot in his youth. A talented singer who had problems with his sexual orientation. And so on. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to have limitations to learn to lose.

And you don’t even have to lose yourself to take your lessons. A good example of this is the story of the two young friends, let’s call them Jan and Kees for the sake of convenience. They both enjoyed watching sports on television in their youth and each had their favorite athletes and teams.

Learning to lose through insight

Jan’s favorite athletes and teams regularly won. Then he walked around the house cheering and Kees sat quietly on the couch. When a loss came after a series of wins, Jan found that annoying. He couldn’t handle it. And that gradually got worse, especially when the ratio to winning was less.

Kees looked at it. And unconsciously, through his friend’s behavior, he learned to deal with his own losses. When the boys were older they started to gamble on games , slot machines and roulette . Jan developed, or had already developed, into an irrational loser. While Kees took losses and tried his luck on the next turn in the same way.

Professional losers

Professional players lose on average a little less than they win. They know that losing is part of the game of chance. Even with a long loss series, they will not change their playing behavior. Winning is fun, of course. However, the best players know that you can only win if you can also lose.

You can recognize those players by their constant play. They don’t get distracted by losing and keep their focus on getting ahead of the odds. They may have learned early in life that dealing with losses is better than winning.

Loss probability calculation

After that conscious or unconscious character building, they may have focused on other aspects of the game. If you have learned to lose, say through personality development, there are possible follow-up steps.

For example, you can delve into loss probability calculation. These calculations are similar to the probability of profit calculation. However, the chance of loss gives a more interesting and therefore more realistic picture. It looks like a glass half full or half empty, but in gambling the glass is always slightly more than half empty.


Another next step, after you have learned to deal with loss, is to learn a strategy. With every gambling game there are one or more strategies that help you increase your chances of winning. It is usually important that you continue to apply them consistently.

In general it often goes wrong there. But if you cannot handle losses, the tendency to let go of a strategy that has been deployed is significantly greater. And then the chance of losing usually becomes even lower than that of the game in question itself.

If you have learned to lose, it is time to start winning. You can do this where you prefer, on a slot machine , roulette or blackjack.

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