Gambling: Is it all luck or is it all skill?


See if you can notice the differences between these three scenarios.

The World Series of Poker final has arrived. With a made straight, Player A has bet all of his chips. He has put everything on the line and is waiting for his opponent, Player B, to make a move. Player B, on the other hand, has a nut flush draw with two cards remaining.

Player B recognizes that he only has a few cards in the deck that can help him enhance his hand, and estimates that his ‘hand odds’ are around 4/1. If he stakes and wins the hand, his pot odds – or the amount of money he stands to earn – are around 8 to 1. So, does he take a chance and play the better odds, or does he fold, wait for a better opportunity, and avoid the risk altogether?

Our next scenario is a World Cup qualifying match for soccer. With seconds to go and the home team needing to score to win the match and qualify for the finals, the home team must go all-out.


Poker as a Skill-Based Game

Let’s start with poker, because it is, more than any other game, the one that is most hotly contested in terms of skill vs. gambling factors.

The ongoing effort in the United States and worldwide to acknowledge poker as a skill game is critical to it breaking free from the restrictions of the casino and its harsh gambling rules.

In essence, a distinction must be drawn between poker skills and pure gambling in casino games such as roulette. While the cliche says that poker is 30 percent skill and 70 percent luck for recreational players, it is the opposite for professionals.



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