Would it not be better to say that

Career poker is about skill

instead of

Poker is about skill

because poker itself, that one game you play on one table against a bunch of people, is almost entirely luck-based, after you of course acquire some basic strategic knowledge (which is easily available to everyone).

Your edge based on skill in that one particular poker game is tiny. It only accumulates over the long haul, i.e. when you play "career poker". So, no, poker is not a game of skill you donkies, career poker is.

  • You registered an account to rant and call us donkies?
    – paparazzo
    Jul 17, 2017 at 12:21
  • debate will always be, it's primarly opinion-based... some people/players say that skills reduce the luck part of the game down to 30%, and studies can't prove them right/wrong. Many articles have been written about that -> HERE and HERE and many others... pros and cons...
    – OldPadawan
    Jul 17, 2017 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Well, yes and no. Poker is in fact a game of skill, mainly you get money by outplaying/outwitting your opponent. It is like a mental battle. You need to reveal his strategy before he reveals yours. You need to set traps for him and try not to fall in his traps. It is very similar to chess actually or very popular online multiplayer games, judging by the amount of info you need to . very quickly.

The interesting part is that in poker, unlike chess, all this battle is set upon a very unstable ground, VARIANCE. So skill will determine the winner in the long run, but for the current hand(s), there is a large parameter entirely based on luck, which can either work on your side and multiply your winnings or favor the opponent and make you lose. It is similar to football, Manchester united will win 99% of the times when playing with your local neighborhood team, but 1 every 100 matches, it will lose,despite the fact that its skill is better.

The cure to make this parameter (luck) disappear is duration, i.e. volume of hands. If you play against a weaker opponent, the more you play the less the variance is affecting you. You don't need to be a prof poker pro, just play many sessions. You will end up understanding that poker is in fact based on skill.

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