I’ve often heard from friends and family that I have the right personality to take on risk. Obviously their perception was based on what they can see from me externally. I always felt like I trained myself to not get too high and not get too low because those swings are in my mind what will drive you crazy.
As humans, we are programmed to view losses at a much higher scale than we do gains. I believe the reason for this is evolutionary. Throughout our history, our forefathers struggled just to put food on the table. Whether hunter-gatherers or agriculturalists, life was not easy for almost all humans until recent times. With that in mind, it would make sense that losing resources would be more painful than acquiring them.
But I wondered what type of personality would make the best gambler and perhaps different personalities may lend themselves to different types of gambling. Some of you may be familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality test.
The below is taken from Wikipedia
The test is scored by evaluating each answer in terms of what it reveals about the taker. Each question is relevant to one of the following cognitive learning styles. Each is not a polar opposite, but a gradual continuum.
The extraverted types learn best by talking and interacting with others. By interacting with the physical world, extraverts can process and make sense of new information. The introverted types prefer quiet reflection and privacy. Information processing occurs for introverts as they explore ideas and concepts internally.
The second continuum reflects what people focus their attention on. Sensing types are good at concrete and tangible things. Intuitive types are good at abstract things and ideas. Sensing types might enjoy a learning environment in which the material is presented in a detailed and sequential manner. Sensing types often attend to what is occurring in the present, and can move to the abstract after they have established a concrete experience. Intuitive types might prefer a learning atmosphere in which an emphasis is placed on meaning and associations. Insight is valued higher than careful observation, and pattern recognition occurs naturally for intuitive types.
The third continuum reflects a person’s decision preferences. Thinking types desire objective truth and logical principles and are natural at deductive reasoning. Feeling types place an emphasis on issues and causes that can be personalized while they consider other people’s motives.
The fourth continuum reflects how a person regards complexity. Judging types tend to have a structured way or theory to approach the world. Perceiving types tend to be unstructured and keep options open. Judging types will always try to make accommodation between new information and their structured world, which might only be changed with discretion. Perceiving types will be more willing to change without having a prior structured world.
After taking the test here, I found out that I am an ENTP. Being an NT probably lends itself best to someone who has been in trading and professional gambling most of his adult life. Let’s go over each of the 16 possible personality types. Take the test above to see where you fit.
Type – Frequency in Population
ISFJ – 13.8%
ESFJ – 12.3%
ISTJ – 11.6%
ISFP – 8.8%
ESTJ – 8.7%
ESFP – 8.5%
ENFP – 8.1%
ISTP – 5.4%
INFP – 4.4%
ESTP – 4.3%
INTP – 3.3%
ENTP – 3.2%
ENFJ – 2.5%
INTJ – 2.1%
ENTJ – 1.8%
INFJ – 1.5%
ISFJs are industrious caretakers, loyal to traditions and organizations. They are practical, compassionate, and caring, and are motivated to provide for others and protect them from the perils of life.
ESFJs are conscientious helpers, sensitive to the needs of others and energetically dedicated to their responsibilities. They are highly attuned to their emotional environment and attentive to both the feelings of others and the perception others have of them.
ISTJs are responsible organizers, driven to create and enforce order within systems and institutions. They are neat and orderly, inside and out, and tend to have a procedure for everything they do.
ISFPs are gentle caretakers who live in the present moment and enjoy their surroundings with cheerful, low-key enthusiasm. They are flexible and spontaneous, and like to go with the flow to enjoy what life has to offer.
ESTJs are hardworking traditionalists, eager to take charge in organizing projects and people. Orderly, rule-abiding, and conscientious, ESTJs like to get things done, and tend to go about projects in a systematic, methodical way.
ESFPs are vivacious entertainers who charm and engage those around them. They are spontaneous, energetic, and fun-loving, and take pleasure in the things around them: food, clothes, nature, animals, and especially people.
ENFPs are people-centered creators with a focus on possibilities and a contagious enthusiasm for new ideas, people and activities. Energetic, warm, and passionate, ENFPs love to help other people explore their creative potential.
ISTPs are observant artisans with an understanding of mechanics and an interest in troubleshooting. They approach their environments with a flexible logic, looking for practical solutions to the problems at hand.
INFPs are imaginative idealists, guided by their own core values and beliefs. To a Healer, possibilities are paramount; the reality of the moment is only of passing concern. They see potential for a better future, and pursue truth and meaning with their own flair.
ESTPs are energetic thrillseekers who are at their best when putting out fires, whether literal or metaphorical. They bring a sense of dynamic energy to their interactions with others and the world around them.
INTPs are philosophical innovators, fascinated by logical analysis, systems, and design. They are preoccupied with theory, and search for the universal law behind everything they see. They want to understand the unifying themes of life, in all their complexity.
ENTPs are inspired innovators, motivated to find new solutions to intellectually challenging problems. They are curious and clever, and seek to comprehend the people, systems, and principles that surround them.
ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity. They often act as catalysts for human growth because of their ability to see potential in other people and their charisma in persuading others to their ideas.
INTJs are analytical problem-solvers, eager to improve systems and processes with their innovative ideas. They have a talent for seeing possibilities for improvement, whether at work, at home, or in themselves.
ENTJs are strategic leaders, motivated to organize change. They are quick to see inefficiency and conceptualize new solutions, and enjoy developing long-range plans to accomplish their vision. They excel at logical reasoning and are usually articulate and quick-witted.
INFJs are creative nurturers with a strong sense of personal integrity and a drive to help others realize their potential. Creative and dedicated, they have a talent for helping others with original solutions to their personal challenges.
I have been researching a bit on personality types and gambling. One of the better articles I came across was by Kristen Moodie here
INFJs can often become annoyed with gambling, and dislike the letdown feeling when things don’t go their way. INFJs prefer to focus on their intuition and the things they can predict clearly. They have such powerful intuitive abilities that they can often become accustomed to following paths that they can predict and understand easily. Gambling can leave the INFJs intuition feelings frustrated and a bit off, which is not a comfortable feeling for them.
ENFJs don’t usually enjoy gambling because it can be a stressful way to fail at something. ENFJs would rather focus on things they can control and maintain properly using their intuitive abilities. They are the person their loved ones rely on and they dislike doing anything that can leave them feeling like a disappointment. Even smaller situations that involve gambling can annoy the ENFJ, since they prefer things they can be excellent at by using their skills, instead of just taking a chance with luck.
INFPs can sometimes enjoy gambling, since it can pull them outside of their comfort zone. They enjoy the excitement when they score or do well when they take a risk. INFPs might not enjoy gambling on higher levels, but in smaller ways it can be exciting for them. INFPs simply dislike when they are stagnant for too long and want to live a life that has some sort of challenges and progress. In big casinos and larger scale situations the INFP might be opposed to gambling, but just hanging out with their friends playing a game of cards can be enjoyable for them.
ENFPs do enjoy gambling in some situations, since it has a certain thrill that they enjoy. For the ENFP it is exciting to take risks and reap rewards from them. They really enjoy that feeling of adrenaline and the intensity of the experience. ENFPs might become frustrated with gambling long term, and might be more interested in gambling that yields lower risks. They do enjoy challenging themselves and finding new ways to experience the world around them. Gambling is just something ENFPs enjoy as a new experience and something to push themselves.
For the INTJ gambling that rests only on luck is not often enjoyable or exciting. They will however enjoy gambling that involves skill and is something that can be learned. If the INTJ sees a challenge within gambling they might enjoy taking time to learn this skill so that they can excel at it. INTJs enjoy things that push them and help them grow and improve. For them gambling can certainly be something to learn and become skilled at, since they enjoy being good at just about everything.
ENTJs enjoy pushing themselves to improve, and might enjoy gambling that involves more than just luck. They might enjoy something that they can learn and become great at, and will also combine their intuition to make themselves even better at it. Gambling can certainly be exciting for the ENTJ, as long as it does not rest solely on luck. For the ENTJ tasks are more enjoyable when it is something they can do efficiently and maintain control of in some ways.
INTPs enjoy gambling where there are ways for them to logically figure it out. If it is simply a game of luck they might not enjoy it quite so much. INTPs want a puzzle that they can solve in order to challenge themselves. They like something that they can really learn to navigate in order to improve and become impressive. INTPs do enjoy the excitement of gambling since they despise being stagnant for too long. This offers them a new challenge and something to push themselves outside of their comfort zone.
ENTPs enjoy challenges and love anything that is new and exciting. They might enjoy gambling as a new experience that they can explore and dive into. Gambling can often be a fun hobby for the ENTP to take on and challenge themselves in new ways. They dislike remaining stagnant for too long and want things in their live to keep them feeling inspired. For ENTPs the thrill and adrenaline that comes from gambling can be really fun and enjoyable. ENTPs also enjoy certain gambling that possesses skill rather than just luck, and enjoy having something to figure out.
ISTJs might enjoy gambling if it is something they can learn to do well, and not just the type of gambling that rests purely on luck. They might enjoy playing cards with their friends and enjoy the time to silently think through their actions. ISTJs usually dislike gambling that is all about luck and find this type to be a bit wasteful and frustrating. ISTJs are not reckless people so they don’t enjoy doing too much that isn’t based on effort and efficiency.
ESTJs value efficiency and don’t like taking risks that don’t involve logic and reason. They do enjoy gambling when it is something that requires skill and not just luck alone. ESTJs might enjoy playing cards in a social setting and enjoy being able to share this with others. They don’t mind gambling when it is something they learn to do efficiently and requires skills, rather than something that simply requires luck in order to win.
ISFJs rarely enjoy gambling and might find it to be a bit reckless. They have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders and don’t usually enjoy things that can fail. ISFJs work hard to maintain harmony in their environment, and gambling can often feel a bit too intense for them. They are so focused on caring for their loved ones, that they dislike anything that could jeopardize their happiness. They dislike the negative emotions that can come from gambling, and would rather focus on something that requires skill and is a bit more practical.
For the ESFJ gambling can be a bit stressful, since they don’t enjoy anything that feels reckless. ESFJs can see gambling as a way to lose money and end up feeling unhappy in the end. They prefer to focus on taking care of their loved ones and providing for their needs. ESFJs can be perfectionists oftentimes, and prefer to focus on things they can control and ensure that it gets done well. Gambling can leave the ESFJ feeling like a failure in some ways, so they rarely enjoy this side of it.
ISTPs often enjoy gambling since they like anything that is exciting and gives them a bit of a thrill. The risk involved in gambling can be something that excites the ISTP and leaves them feeling challenged. They can sometimes be adrenaline junkies, and seek out anything that pulls them outside of their comfort zone. For the ISTP gambling is something they can attempt to solve, but it is also an enjoyable and thrilling experience.
ESTPs often enjoy gambling since it feels exciting and pulls them outside of their comfort zone. They enjoy things that challenge them and leave them feeling like they have received a thrill. ESTPs can sometimes be adrenaline junkies, which is why gambling is often a hobby that they can enjoy. While ESTPs might take it hard when they lose, they often enjoy being able to learn from the experience and move forward.
ISFPs might enjoy gambling because of the thrill and excitement, but they often take losing rather hard. They might not enjoy gambling as something they do often, but like it in smaller doses. ISFPs don’t like being stagnant so anything that challenges them is something they might enjoy. They want to try new things and aren’t going to avoid gambling if it is a new hobby they can take on.
ESFPs enjoy anything that is thrilling and a bit intense, so gambling can be a fun hobby for them. For ESFPs it is fun to take on something new, and even something that feels like a bit of a risk. They want their lives to be filled with excitement and really hate feeling stagnant for too long. Gambling can really boost their adrenaline, which is something ESFP often enjoy.
I talk often about being self-aware. Knowing what you are good at, what you are bad at, and what type of personality you have will help you in becoming more successful and happy in life. If you understand your personality type better you can use that information to make yourself a better gambler.
Perhaps your personality is one that is looking for a thrill like an ISTP. Know that about yourself and understand why you may be betting. You may be the type that wants the action more than wants the win. Having that knowledge can help you become more disciplined by either lowering your unit sizes or trying to follow a more disciplined approach. Perhaps just playing games advised by the coaches at SBA in our slack chats.
For those with an NT type of personality you likely enjoy trying to figure out how to beat the games and the books. Interacting with the coaches in the SBA slack chats as well as other members will give you ideas you will want to try and build upon to perhaps make models of your own. If you are like me, you will take something like a stat that you hear on TV or twitter and try and build a model around it. The figuring out the game and beating it is where the thrill is for you.
I would be curious to see what kind of personality traits our readers are and how that stacks up to the general population.