3 Reasons Why Poker is a Skill Based Game

Key Reasons to Believe Poker is a Game of Skill

Poker has been quite high on the list of games in recent times based on how much its popularity has grown. People often have this misconception that luck or chance plays a big role in winning a poker game, but is it really so? Well, no, because the aptitude of the player is a very crucial factor. You need to improve math skills to be able to deduce probable outcomes – certainly not something luck would help you do, would it? You need the knowledge of mathematical permutations, and that means developing your skill set. This article will explore various reasons that all point to the same conclusion – poker is not a game of luck but skill.

Poker Involves Math and Odds

If you know how to play poker, you are already aware that the cards you hold have a significant role in the game when compared to those your opponent has. And any game where the cards can tip the scale in your favor is no longer about luck but skill. It can be argued that in the short run, luck does play a minor role, but if you see the long run, you will be convinced that knowledge about probability and how it works always stands out and helps you win the game. So, there are a lot of calculated risks that you will have to take throughout the game, and your ability to do that will determine whether you will win or lose. This is a skill built over the years and does not happen overnight.

It Depends on What Type of Player You Are Up Against

Generally speaking, if poker were utterly dependent on the luck factor, then it would not matter whether a person was up against a good player or a bad one. Irrespective of the skill of the person, they would have won the game. But in poker, that’s not how things work. Poker has both good players and bad players. The outcome of the game is heavily influenced by the decisions that are being taken. Any player who is better at making these decisions will have a better chance of winning the game than the other person.

If you think about it in the long run, players who hone their decision-making skills always make more profits in poker. But at the same time, if your ability to make decisions is not that good, you will stand the chance of losing a considerable amount of money. So, if you want to improve your poker game, making the right choices is an absolute necessity.

In the short term, sometimes the minds of even the most experienced players get messed up because of some variance leading to mistakes and consequent loss of the game. However, those same players will make profits in the long run because of their skills.

Expected Values Play a Role

As we mentioned earlier, poker is all about probability. So, every hand you have at the poker table should play a role in the decisions you make and the calculated risks that are taken to improve your results. Now, the expected value is a term used to define the value of your hand or situation on average over time. This value can be negative or positive.

It does not matter what the result of your current hand is if you are considering the expected value in your risk calculation. What matters is the average value of that specific situation. So, over a certain period of time, a person who has gained skills will always end up winning a game even if he had started the game off on the wrong foot. This is also proof that skilled players earn more profits in the long run, owing to the betterment of their techniques.


In this article, you came across three solid reasons why poker is a game of skill and not luck. At that same time, you should also keep in mind that even if you have a good hand that has a 90% chance of winning, there is a 10% chance that you might lose, and this may be for a variety of reasons. But does skill dominate chance? Well, yes, because it has been found that skilled players perform way better at poker than unskilled ones.

Josh Linus
Josh Linus
Josh can talk films for hours on end, discussing the really good cinema, the really bad, and anything in between. He enjoys everything - from epic fantasies to horror, from rom-coms to crime and action thrillers, from sci-fi to musical dramas.

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