POSTED BY: | August 5, 2009

Is poker a game of skill or luck?

Two studies that tapped the vast amounts of data available from online casinos have provided some of the best evidence yet that poker is skill-based. Many hope that the results will help to roll back laws and court decisions that consider poker gambling, and therefore illegal in certain contexts.

Most players insist that poker is predominantly skill.

“I depended solely on that skill for my food and rent,” says Darse Billings, a former professional player who co-founded the Computer Poker Research Group at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

In many jurisdictions, however, poker websites and organized games are heavily regulated or even banned under gambling laws, partly because chance is considered the dominant factor.

Ingo Fiedler and Jan-Philipp Rock at the University of Hamburg’s Institute of Law and Economics in Germany recorded the outcomes of 55,000 online players playing millions of hands of poker’s most popular variant, “no-limit Texas hold ‘em”.

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