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How our brains decide whether to hold ’em or to fold ’em

Picture yourself at a Las Vegas poker table, holding a bad hand—one with a very low chance of winning. Even so, the sight of the large stack of chips that piled up during a recent lucky streak nudges you to place a large bet anyway. Why do people make high-risk decisions—not only in casinos, but also in other aspects of their lives—even when they know the odds are stacked against them?

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