Why Poker Isn’t Gambling (Even Though It Still Is)

Is Poker Gambling or Skill?

Is poker a game of skill? This is an argument that feels as though it’s been raging since time immemorial. Whether it’s legislators trying to determine how to control the game, anti-gambling activists trying to ban it, or poker players trying to fight for its legitimacy (and their livelihood), sides have been drawn.

Look, we’re a poker blog; I doubt many will be surprised to see which side of the debate we fall on. That said, I’ll do my objective best to break down the arguments for why poker isn’t a form of gambling. Continued Success of Pros

One argument in favor of poker’s status as a game of skill is the continued success of top players. Like sports or other competitive games, the professionals consistently win and put up big numbers. This is not something you see anywhere else in the gambling world. Despite what people tell you, there is no way of finding consistent success playing online slots or spinning the roulette wheel. The only way you’ll do this is through pure luck.

Those who study the game of poker and work on their strategy and skillset are rewarded with success, just like the athlete who trains will improve their performance. There are plenty out there that would argue that poker should be considered a sport itself, although that discussion is for an entirely different article.

On a related note, the obvious skill gap between a pro poker player and a rec fish is another argument point for the skill side. Suppose this is your first time playing poker, and you’re sitting at a table full of experienced sharks. In that case, you’ll need to sunrun like Apollo himself to expect to leave with any of your money. On the other hand, if you have never played a slot game before, you would still have just as much chance of winning as someone who has been playing the one-armed bandit for years. All you really need to be able to do is hit the spin button and cross your fingers. An Evolving Game

To be […]

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