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Is Poker More Skill Than Chance?

423 Views Comments on 22/10/20

How much of poker do we owe to pure chance?

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Poker is not usually the most engaging or exciting game to watch. Poker players around the world have different strategies for winning the match against all the odds. While the game certainly requires a great deal of strategic thinking and ability, the question that begs to be asked is, how much of poker do we owe to pure chance?

Chess, in comparison, required skill and a particular way of logistical thinking. In roulette, most will say it is the chance that determines the victory or loss of a player. Even on live blackjack sites, most will say it is a skill that dominates over chance.


What Do the Experts Say?

Any player worth their word will choose the side of skill when it comes to the game of poker, especially since the game involves money. Heidelberg University recently published a study with this question at the center of it all. According to the results of the study, researched by Dr. Jorg Oechssler, skill prevails over luck.

These results are expected and agree with most of the general population. Poker is commonly played in casinos and other games such as roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. However, poker requires a different level of understanding and, of course, skill.

Because poker is a game that is played against other people, not the house, it does need a higher skill set. Everybody knows that the house always wins in the end. Whether they are amateurs or not, the opponents are bound to make mistakes, and any player with the right amount of skills should capitalize on them.

Winning the poker game is all about applying one rule: put more money in at a statistical advantage and less cash in at a statistical disadvantage. More than just chance and luck, many rules and strategies go into the game of poker. While chance and luck certainly play a role in the ultimate win, it boils down to how well the player knows the rules and how well they apply themselves.

In theory, this may sound simple. But realistically, a great deal of poker losses stem from the fact that most players cannot correctly do the math. The player’s skill set will ultimately win over the small chance of luck they have of getting it right in one try.


Why Skill Will Always Dominate

In the long run, poker is a game of skill logic over chance and luck. Eventually, all the math, odds, and statistics will stack up in the player’s favor, assuming they have the required mathematical edge.

Not much about the game of poker is simple. However, if one player plays better than their opponent, they will win. It is a logistical and straightforward fact. Going into a poker game with only luck as a way to win will result in a rapid loss.

Poker players need to understand the rules, even the unsaid ones, to capitalize on the game. 

Having good cards does not automatically equal a win. Poker is entirely a mind game, and calling another player’s bluff is half the battle. It’s not just about the cards that the player is dealt with, but rather about how they play their opponents to win. Chance has hardly any role in this aspect of the game.

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