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Is Poker a Game Of Luck or Skill?

In August of 2012 Federal District Judge Jack B. Weinstein determined that poker is more of a game of skill than chance and followed up his conclusion by saying “the most skillful professionals earn the same celestial salaries as professional ballplayers.”  Even with this ruling however, there is still an ongoing debate as to whether the game is more luck or skill.

Two months ago executive director of the pro-poker group John Pappas said “Ample academic studies and judicial rulings at the state and federal level have concluded that poker is indeed a game of skill.  Period.”

One thing to realize is that in many games of skill there is still an element of luck.  In sports like baseball and basketball there are still many elements of luck but nobody worries about that because it is obviously a game of skill.  This is a good analogy and people who believe poker is a game of skill would argue that poker is no different.

Poker qualifies itself as a decision making game and that is why many people believe it is a game of skill.  If you are better than your opponents at deciding the best possible strategies to use and make better decisions, then you will be more successful in the long run.

CEO of Las Vegas Sands casino Sheldon Adelson argues the other side and says “That skill base, in my opinion, is just a bunch of baloney.  To get a card is not skill base.  I know people say it is skill based, but its just so they can categorize it in a certain segment.”

I believe that durrrchallenge.com sums it up greatly.  Durrrchallenge.com says that ” Much of the popularity of poker is due to the wonderful combination of luck and skill. If it were solely a game of skill, the inexperienced wouldn’t play because they would lose every time. If it were too much about luck, the professional players would give up. With the current balance of luck and skill in poker, on any given day anyone can win a tournament, but over time the skillful players will come out on top. Over time luck evens out and the skill difference will prevail. It is the psychological ramifications of how we deal with the skill and luck components that can prove challenging for many players.”

The site also goes on to say that “Poker constantly puts you to decisions (e.g. bet or check, raise or fold) that require skill to navigate effectively. Each of your decisions impact your ability to win a hand or session. The fact that there are many levels of success in the game only goes to prove that their different skill levels influence their results long term.”

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