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Is Poker a Game of Skill?

, 2005-03-13, by TwoGun

Texas holdem is sweeping the world. In less than a couple of years, the popularity of the game has led to an explosion of home, casino, and online poker games.

North Carolina is no exception. There have been many poker games played in North Carolina, most of which have gone unnoticed. Recently, Christopher Dietz, who runs a texas holdem game was given a citation for illegal gambling. While the fine was only $50, Dietz is angered that he was harassed for what he views as hosting a game of skill. More on this story can be found in this Hickory Daily Record Article.

Some North Carolinians are fed up with poker being classified as a game of "chance" instead of a game of "skill." Because of this, a group called The Joker Club is asking a judge to find that poker is in fact a game of skill. This would allow the group to hold poker games without the threat of police raids. A professional poker player, a poker writer, and a casino operator will testify in this case. More about this can be found in this Heard Sun Article.

While people enjoy debating the luck/skill nature of poker, there really is only one right answer. Poker is a gambling game that involves skill. While anyone may win a given hand, the skilled players end up winning money from the less-skilled players over the long run. The Expected Value of poker games for skilled poker players is positive, while it is negative for less-skilled players.

This concept relates to many other fields as well. Professional stock market investors understand that any given day may involve a lot of chance, but people who are more skilled end up making more money in the long run.

Hopefully, as poker becomes more popular, more and more people will understand of how chance and skill relate to poker.

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