Is poker a game of skill or chance? This is a question that has been asked as long as people have played the game. The answer, of course, is that it is a fusion of both. Let’s face it, if there was no element of chance involved the bad players would lose all of their money quickly and realise how bad they are and then never come back to play.
That wouldn’t be very good for the game, would it? The losers would all be straight off to play some blackjack or slots.
Why Is Poker a Game of Skill?
The biggest reason that poker is not a real game of chance is that it’s played against other people. The house might take a small percentage of rake, but that doesn’t interfere too much with the fact that one player is winning from another player.
If you’re a keen poker player and fed up with your friends telling you how it’s all about luck then ask them how that can be in a game of decision-making. If one player makes better quality decisions than their opponents consistently then they will win money over the long run. That really shouldn’t be too hard to understand.
Poker is an elaborate mathematical puzzle that uses the cards and chips to track where the puzzle currently is. It can be proven mathematically exactly where the profit comes from.
One of the patterns seen in poker as it evolved over the last 30 years is how new strategies constantly come into the metagame only to quickly meet resistance as counter-strategies are found.
This back-and-forth dynamic is one of the primary reasons why poker is such an interesting game. What we see today is far from what poker was like even five years ago. The poker boom that followed Chris Moneymaker’s victory in the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event changed everything. We are fortunate that this expansion coincided with the internet undergoing it’s own change as broadband revolutionised the world wide web.
In today’s game, GTO solvers show exactly where the money is won and lost, highlighting a player’s mistakes promptly. These programs are the ultimate proof that poker is not a game of chance.
Some people will just not be told when it comes to this argument, but the points examined above prove for sure that poker is a skill game.