Why is Poker a Game of Skill?

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Why is Poker a Game of Skill?

If you ask any normal person out there, they would confidently say that poker is purely a game of luck. And they aren’t at fault either. We know that poker is generally played in casinos along with other games of chance. But people who play poker seriously and professionally know the difference between the amount of luck and skill involved in poker. If you are a serious poker player, you would know that poker is completely a game of skill in a longer span. It’s not that short term luck isn’t involved, but it takes a skillfully superior player to make the right decisions, keeping in mind the probabilities so that luck works out in their favour. To put it simply,  when poker is played for a small span of time, it mostly depends on luck. But, here is a catch: the more you play, the more it becomes a skill-based game. The majority of the people play poker for only a short duration and then give up when their luck stops supporting them, but professional players are the ones who spend years and smartly play the game. Since they have already played this game and spent hours, they are now familiar with this game, they would undoubtedly tell you that this game is completely a skill and knowledge-based game and luck will not help you in this.. Poker is one of the most popular money earning games in India, let’s find out why it requires a lot more than dumb luck to be successful at it.

#1: Poker Games Online are based on Mathematics and Probabilities

Once in a while if you have played poker games online then you must know that the cards which you have compared with your opponents make a huge difference to the output of the game. If your cards can hit the whole game to a level, then luck is not involved. Yet there is still a tiny bit of luck in the short span. The probability of winning always holds right in the longer duration. One of the underestimated poker game rules is to get more money when you are at a statistical edge and put barely any money in the pot when you are at a statistical pitfall. Bluffing is also one of the skills that can give an edge to a poker player. It’s a plus point when you are able to read your opponent’s moves, as it helps you in understanding when they are weak and influences them to fold a much better hand. 

Consider this, if a person has A-A as his initial hands and his opponent has Q-Q as his initial hand, Then the person having  A-A will win the maximum number of times. Yes, it might be possible that the person having Q-Q can win. In the short span, the opponent with Q-Q will win but a skilled poker player knows that this luck will not last long. Whereas even if the person with A-A loses once, they left with profit in the long duration for the same hand. This tells us that the game is based on probability and odds rather than luck.

#2: The Skill Pays Out in the Logger span

Poker is a skill-based game in the long run. This is the reason seasoned poker players do not play single hands or even single sessions. They play thousands of hands in their entire career because they know that ultimately the skill is going to work in their favour. If you let the opponent with Q-Q win for 1 out of 5 times, it isn’t much of a loss for you, but it is enough for him to keep criticizing his losses and keep coming back and giving their money away! This is what makes poker a game of skill. It does not work to stay ignorant and just rely on your temporary luck. Look at it this way, the more hands you play in poker, the more skill-based the game it becomes. Because, in the end, maths,  your stats, and the odds will boost your game in your favour in the long run.

#3: The Game Involves both bad and good players Players

If you want to win online poker, you need to know these basic rules. Generally, a game that has luck doesn’t mean it involves good or bad players. Players with zero skill and knowledge should win the game. Decisions they will take means a lot in deciding the final output of the game. A player who can make a good decision is much better and skilful than a player who doesn’t make a better decision, and that’s a reason why the poker game is controlled by the same players. This proves that in poker one-time luck can give you short term benefits, but only skill guarantees long term success.

#4: The Importance of Expected or Average Value of Hand

Anticipated value or rate is how much a hand or situation deserves on average over time. When you understand this concept of anticipated rate or value, it doesn’t even matter what is the result of the present hand. What matters is the value of the circumstance. And over a period of time, a player with knowledge and skills ends up winning even if he did not at the beginning of the game. This again reflects that over a longer duration of time skilled and knowledgeable players will always end up in gaining. 

#5: Poker is always the Game of Rules

It is a fact that poker games have many rules to play. Without following any rules your chances of winning are less. Since these rules are applied to all,  there are very limited resources that can hit the game. With bounded resources, the ratio can be easily figured out in the mind. And the player who does this better always has a better chance of winning the game. This again proves that poker is completely a skill and knowledge base game.

There is enough evidence to support that cash games like poker may have an element of luck in the beginning, but ultimately depend on the skill of the player. No doubt, poker is not an easy game and that is why there are very few who become successful at it in the long run. But if you keep applying your statistical advantages and skill advantage, you are sure to gain profits at last!

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