Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Poker – Game Of Chance Or Game Of Skills

The big question – whether poker (especially online poker) is a game of chance or a game of skill has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. The legitimacy issue of playing poker online has been dragged far too long and a lot has been said as well as done to both encourage and dissuade poker-fans. Instead of going deeper into these issues, we will here limit our discussions how from time to time poker enthusiasts and loyalists have tried (in their own different ways) to reason why online poker should be grouped with other skill-based games and sports.

Drawing parallels with life, poker-aficionados have said that just like life is not ruled entirely by destiny/fate, a game of poker too is not entirely a game of chance. Chance plays a part in what cards are dealt to a player; however, the outcome depends a lot on the way a player plays those cards. Thus, it is not always the player with the best hand who wins in a game of poker; even a player with a poor hand has as much chances of winning the pot.

Poker-authorities have likened (rather linked) poker with other games and sports. Voicing their opinions they have indicated that chance/luck is a common factor in each and every type of game/sport. Just as a poker player cannot choose the cards that will be dealt to him/her, a cricketer or a tennis player is not free to choose when he/she will be batting/bowling or serving.

Again, like other games and sports, a number of rules and strategies have been formulated for the various poker games. No wonder it has been proved time and again that the player who is skillful enough and makes use of the right poker strategies to get others fold their cards emerges the winner in a poker game.

There is just another point I would like to make on my own – even as the big debate surrounding poker continues and any clear verdict eludes us, poker mania shows no signs of receding; in fact, many are taking it up as a livelihood. This, I feel, is a good indication that poker is much more than a game of chance for not many will take the risk of gambling with future prospects and financial security.

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