Is Poker a Matter of Luck or Skill?

There is a decades-old debate revolving around poker and whether it is a game of skill or luck. In essence, it is a little of both, and this article explains why.

There are Variables

Unlike many of the more traditional casino games, poker is filled with variables that the player can control. For instance, if a player throws away pocket Aces in an attempt to close an open-ended 10-high straight, this is a poor choice and will likely result in a loss; that player just threw what luck he had out of the proverbial window. Thus, it can be said that poker players must possess a certain amount of knowledge and skill to be successful.

What about Luck?

People who say that luck plays absolutely no part in a game of poker are obviously incorrect. While being able to read opponents and bluff one's way to victory is a very important part of the game, luck also plays a very important role. As an example, a player cannot build a Royal Flush and go all-in to win a tournament on pure skill alone. Being dealt a hand like this at an opportune moment is a stroke of luck that players should always welcome.

The Conclusion

In conclusion, every poker player in the world would do well to remember that neither skill nor luck alone will bring them to victory. They must execute each and every hand with skill and precision, all the while hoping that Lady Luck will make her presence known. It is pure skill to hold onto pocket Aces before the flop, but the only thing that could be responsible for two more Aces showing up at the Turn and the River is luck.

The argument over whether poker is a game of skill or luck is a frivolous one, to say the least. All of the best poker players know that their skill will only take them so far when they face off against extraordinarily lucky players.

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