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auCL-Ed
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3 June 2010 - 1:03pm

Poker - skill or luck? What do you think?

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There have been quite a few cases in the news lately of poker players going to court claiming that poker is predominantly a game of skill. Court cases in South Carolina, Colorado, and Pennsylvania all ruled it a game of skill but almost all are still under appeal. Switzerland recently ruled it a game of chance.

I think you can look at it a few different ways. For an unskilled player the game is more of a game of chance. But that by very definition implies that there is skill involved. It isn't enough to be dealt the best cards - you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em.

The fact that there are the same professionals who consistently appear in the later stages of big money tournaments, and make a great living off the game to me is the clearest evidence of the importance of skill in the game. Logically that would not be possible if the game was purely chance. That is not to deny though that there is obviously a large element of chance in the game in terms of the shuffle and cards dealt.

But is it more chance or skill? What do you think?

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usUsne
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4 June 2010 - 12:48am
#1

Hiya Ed,

Without a doubt i think it is a matter of both skill and luck. As you said, there has been some professional poker players who have been at the final table more than once. This in itself should prove it is more than luck.

On the other hand there is a element of luck involved. Get a fish in the game with absolutely no skill what so ever and your holding Rockets and he goes all in with you with nothing more than a 7 2 off suit, and wins! That is pure DUMB luck.

I really think that playing in a mix with experienced players and newbie players can really throw the game off. I can recall being in some poker games at home and thinking i am going to mop up against these people who have hardly ever played before. WRONG!!!! To be quite honest i got my arse kicked. Why? Because they didn't know a good hand from a bad hand and never folded! Luck in those instances prevailed!

I love the game of poker........any poker. My fav of course is Texas Hold em. I tend to play in spurts online. No game gets my passion more heated or my anger so high is a game of good ole Texas Hold em!

To be honest i am not much of a foul mouth when it comes to cussing.......but let me lose a good hand up against someone who has a lousy hand and i find myself out swearing a drunken sailor!

Usne

auCL-Ed
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4 June 2010 - 1:12am
#2

I feel ya there Usne. Poker is a weird game where you can totally outplay someone and trick them into making a stupid bet, and everyone at the table can see you made them look like a fool, they know it and you know it ... and then they still beat you. Part of the charm I guess.

But if you play better over the long run you will finish ahead of the chumps. Just gotta keep telling yourself that heheh Wink

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auCL-Ed
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6 June 2010 - 1:31pm
#3

Some interesting studies at the International Federation of Poker website on the skill vs luck debate in poker:

http://www.ifpoker.org/skill-vs-luck

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