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Poker is a Game of Chance


Poker is a game largely dependent on luck, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

I\’ve a vague feeling (based on nothing more substantial than a dimly remembered novel) that thisquestion has been asked a number of times in English law, and that the answer has varied over the years.  Different Gaming Acts and court rulings have placed the game on one side or the other of the dividing line between game of chance and game of skill.

What amuses though is that poker is indeed a game of chance: if you\’re bad at it. If you actually have any skill at it then, umm, it becomes a game of skills. The chance part is indeed what cards you get: the skill is what you get others to bet given the cards you have.

3 thoughts on “Poker is a Game of Chance”

  1. The classic W.C. Fields poker scene is:
    Sucker: “Is this a game of chance?”
    W.C.: “Not the way I play it.”

  2. Mark Twain wrote a great short story on exactly this question, built around a gent who was being prosecuted for playing a game of chance. I think it was titled “Luck or Skill?” The court ruled in favor of “skill” after accepting defense counsel’s motion to set up a demonstration game of poker between some court officers and a few “professors” brought in by the defendant. Look it up, it’s an amusing story.

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