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Does Playing Poker Require Skill?

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Some people believe that poker is a game that doesn’t require any skill. However, if you want some of the poker tournaments on television, you will notice the same players advancing to the final table over and over again. If poker was based only on luck, this would not happen. The people who advanced to the final round would be completely random, and they would not be likely to be the same group of people each time.

If you watch the poker games in the poker room at your local casino, you will notice the same thing. Many times, the same people win over and over again. That is because these players are more skillful than many of the people they are playing against. True, there is some luck involved. Obviously, everyone doesn’t receive the same cards. But skill is more important than luck in poker.

Luck plays a larger part in tournament games than in cash games. One bad bet can put a good player out of a tournament. It is not uncommon for a really good river card to beat out a professional player’s good starting hand. But even though a lower level player might get through one round on luck, it is unlikely they will make it all the way through to the final round of the tournament without some skill.

Many states that do not allow gambling have debated whether to allow poker rooms. Most of these states have decided that since poker requires skill, it does not qualify as gambling. If you are still not convinced, try watching a beginning player play against more advanced players. The beginner will have trouble winning unless they have a really good start hand or get really lucky. They have a hard time deciding which hands to play and when to bluff.

Experienced players are able to determine the best move without any trouble at all. The don’t make the mistakes that beginning players do. Poker is a game in which knowledge of the game is usually rewarded. One reason that cash games rely more on skill than tournament games is that it is possible to buy back into cash games. In tournament games, you are out of the tournament once you lose your starting stack.

Online tournament play often seems to rely more on luck than live cash games or even live tournaments. Internet players are often more aggressive, bidding up the hands right at the beginning of the round. The level of betting in the game also affects the level of skill in the game. When the limit is high, the games usually attract more highly skilled played. In games with low limits, the outcome of the games often depends more on luck just because the players do not have much skill. Beginning players should stick to games with low limits until they have a chance to develop their skills.

Skilled played seem to have no trouble getting their opponents to put in as much money as possible before they win their hands. This is something that requires a lot of skill. Beginning players are not able to consistently do this.

Luck varies from one game to the next, but a player who has developed the skills needed to win regularly will always have those skills. That is why the same players end up at the top of one tournament after another. It is hard to win in poker if you are relying on luck to win out against skill.


Most experienced poker players will tell you that skill is much more important in poker than luck. When a player is learning to play, luck is more important, but that is only because they don’t have the skills. Once a player is able to learn to determine which hands to play and when to bluff, the player will notice that he starts winning a lot more often. The more he develops his skill, the more frequently he will win.

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Sarah Harrigan has been involved as a player and researcher on online casinos and online gambling since 1996. She has created this site as a safe haven for all gamblers, new and old. With over 2500 online casinos to choose from, the majority being unreputable she felt compelled to use her experience as a player to give back in terms of online gambling tips and strategies. Because of her research background you will find her reviews very honest and refreshing and we hope you will find this site very useful.
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