Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

In games of chance, like poker for example, you are dealt a hand. You have no control over the hand you are dealt. In fact, you don’t have any real influence over the cards you are given. The randomness is fundamentally unfair in that the outcomes can be widely different for the individuals playing the game.

But there is something more than chance at work in these games. How you play the hand you are given matters a great deal. Those who endeavor to learn the rules of the game and play it well do better than those who ignore the rules of success.

Some people, through luck of the draw, are born holding a royal flush. Through no effort of their own, they have been dealt a winning hand, as unfair as that might seem. Some of them will play their hand brilliantly, being grateful that they were given a gift and appreciating it enough to do something with it. However, it’s just as likely that those who are given a winning hand will take it for granted and play the game so poorly that they squander the gift that luck and circumstances provided them.

Others receive a hand that seems worthless when compared to those who received better. Instead of a royal flush, they get a pair of sevens and a King. It’s a much more difficult hand to play well, but it is the only hand they have. More than a few of them will play their hand so well, grateful that they are starting with a pair, that they will win a hand that should have gone to someone who had a better start.

The hand you are dealt may not be the hand you wanted, and it may not be as good a hand as others around you. But it is your hand, and you have no choice but to play that hand to best of your ability. It’s an absolute certainty that others have been dealt hands far worse than yours and succeed in spite of their poor luck. It’s also certain that others were dealt better hands and ended up in a worse position despite their initial lucky draw.

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