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Why is Poker a skill-based mind game? What are the top reasons?

19 Apr

Is Poker a game of skill or luck? Today, in this digitalised world we can say without a doubt poker is a game of skill and not a game of luck. As a professional poker player an individual would never accept that poker is a game of luck. If we see from a brighter perspective, when someone plays a game for a short period of time, mostly it depends on luck and when someone plays a game for a longer period of time like professional players do, it’s more of skill implementation rather than luck. Here are some of the top reasons we will discuss that proves poker is a game of skill.

Top 5 reasons why poker is a game of skill:  

  1. Poker is a game of Math & Odds

If you have played poker, then you know how much difference it does with the cards you have compared to the opponent. If cards can affect the game to a certain degree, then it is not luck anymore. Yes, there still leaves a small amount of luck in the short run. But probability always stays correct in the longest run of the game. For a short game in poker, you might need luck but for the same hand in the long run you will earn huge profits. What this means is, any game that involves probability and odds is not luck anymore.

  1. Poker is a game of skill in the long run

Poker is a game of skill in the long run, we have already discussed this before. But is the meaning of this exactly? It’s really simple. The more poker hands you play the more skill-based the game becomes. As the number of hands played reaches infinity, the skill required to win these hands would reach  100%. Logically speaking this is not possible. But you get the point because, eventually the math, statistics, and the odds are going to stack up in your favor in the long run.

  1. Playing against good and bad players

Now, talking in general, any game that involves luck doesn’t involve good or bad players. Any player without any skill should be able to win the game. But, in poker the game involves good players and bad players. The decision they take in the game matters a lot on the outcome of the game. A player that can make better decisions is indeed a better player than others. In the long run, the decisions taken by the good players are always helpful and they usually end up in profits. Similarly, when a player doesn’t make good decisions ends up in loss. When making important decisions while playing the game is the key to win in poker how can we say it’s a luck-based game? No, we can’t. Poker is a skill-based game and making important decisions proves that.

  1. Expected Values

As we have discussed earlier poker is a game involving probability and odds. Every hand and decision you have at poker can use maths to help improve your results. Expected value is how much a situation or hand is worth on average over time. Expected value can be negative or positive. When you consider expected value, it doesn’t matter what the result of the current hand is. The only thing that matters is the average value of the situation. And thus, over an extent of time, a player with skills will end up winning a particular situation if he didn’t in the beginning. This is also a good indicator that poker is a game of skill and not luck.

  1. Specific Rules

As you know poker involves certain rules that need to be followed. Without the rules, the game is unplayable. Also, when rules are present, it is applicable to all the players playing the game. Since every player has to play by the rules, there are limited variables that affect the game. With limited variables, probability can be calculated in mind. And a player that does this better has a better chance of winning the game. Also, with limited variables every possible outcome can be calculated and can be played accordingly. Again this proves that poker is a skill-based game and not a luck-based game.


Well, how many times have you played poker? Not yet? You should start playing this game at least once in your life and see how so many skills are implemented along with maths and odds. So, is poker a luck-based game? Not at all, it is a game of skill. Anyways, what is Rummy? Why is Rummy a skill-based game?

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Alpesh Vaghasiya

The Founder & CEO of Artoon Solutions Pvt. Ltd. who has experience of more than fifteen years in the mobile app development industry. With his exclusive strategies and team leading skills, he has been helping his fellow people for their business growth digitally. Being an integral part of the the industry and contributing to the small & large businesses for developing their online presence, he is a true inspiration.

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