Why don’t you always need an edge? It’s simple. Suppose someone challenges you to tennis. You know the challenger is no athlete, but neither are you. Fine. You might turn out to have the worst of this bet. But here’s the big secret. It’s often worth finding out! If the challenger is not a sophisticated gambler and seems to have a lot of funds to lose, you should risk taking the worst of it. Ideally, if you find out you’re the poorer tennis player, you’ll back off or just make small sociable bets for an hour to be polite. If you find out you’re the favorite, you’ll keep playing and try to increase the stakes.
The same is true at poker, when you have the opportunity to play against unfamiliar opponents or to participate in a wild-card game you haven’t analyzed. This tactic is used by most all-around successful gamblers worldwide, whether they have reasoned it out or just do it instinctively. The point is that you don’t always need to have the best of it. If it turns out that you don’t, you might lose a little. If it turns out that you do, you’ll probably win a lot.