Is Poker holdem a game of chance


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Thibault de Vassal    (2009-11-05)
Is Poker holdem a game of chance ?

I'm always surprised when a poker player tells me that (in brief) Poker holdem is a game of chance...

You probably know that quotes (in FICGS file) saying that "Statistics are often overestimated", "98% of statistics are made up", "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. (Mark Twain)", it is often used as an argument.

So the question : Do you think that Poker holdem is a game of chance (in what measure & why) ?

William Taylor    (2009-11-05 14:10:51)

Of course hold'em is a game of chance to some degree. I think it's also obvious that there is some skill involved. Now that I've stated the obvious, I will leave the rest of you to discuss how much chance is involved... ;)

Michel van der Kemp    (2009-11-05 16:19:28)

Luck does not explain why the same poker players are always at the end tables of the poker tours. So there is definitely skill involved. I think the draw of the cards is more important than skill though, anyone can beat anyone.

Lazaro Munoz    (2009-11-06 05:09:02)
Is Poker holdem a game of chance ?

The "luck" factor bears no part in the long run since good and bad hands will eventually equally one's "luck".

As a programmer myself I see hold'em poker as a state game as opposed to a stateless game such as roulette where the next roll is independent of the previous. The state is important in the past history of cards having been played. Of course too much knowledge of state in Blackjack will get you booted out of the casino :)

There are two sets of skills that a player possesses, probability and human nature assessment, it terms of detecting patterns of bluffing. In hold'em as opposed to other types of poker where there is less shared information, knowledge of probability becomes the more prominent skill as opposed to other types of blind pokers.

So "chance" is a part of the game but the open nature of hold'em brings more skill to table than other poker games.

Daniel Parmet    (2009-11-06 06:05:32)

As someone who made well over 100,000 dollars playing poker professionally over the board... I cannot deny its luck. Everyone will argue with you how much is luck but only a fool will deny there is any luck. Skill plays a factor but is significantly reduced by playing poker online as opposed to over the board.

The litmus test of luck: Can you still lose the game after having made all the right moves?

In poker, no doubt! The river can screw you completely even if you played all the right moves and the odds were always in your favor.

Ask the same question of Go or Chess and you will get a different answer. If you make all the right moves you could never lose a game of chess.