Is poker a game of chance? Publications

Since the poker boom has arrived in Europe as well, it has become a subject of much discussion whether poker really ranks among the games of chance. This issue has to be viewed differently, of course, since not only the different types of poker such as draw poker or hold'em differ significantly. In addition we have to distinguish between tournaments and cash games.

In this section we offer you different publications, which should help you to classify the game of poker correctly.

1 Is poker a game of skill or chance?

2a Poker tournaments can be legal

2b Poker


1 Is poker a game of skill or chance?

  • written by Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, professor at the university of Münster
  • published in "Multimedia und Recht" (a German legal journal), issue 7/2008
  • Content: In five chapters Holznagel first focuses on the current poker boom and on the traditional classification of poker as a game of luck in Germany. Then he explains the distinction between games of chance and legal parlour games. In the third chapter the author focuses on distinction criteria for games of luck and parlour games as well as on the decision of the imperial court of 1906 that poker is a game of luck. The main part deals with  an assessment of Texas Hold'em on the basis of elements of games of skill and chance and its weighting in tournaments and cash games. In chapter 5 Holznagel finally comes to the conclusion that skill is the decisive factor in tournament poker and that the more hands are played in a cash game, the more success depends on the skills of the players as well.
  • Language: German
  • Language: English
 


2a Poker tournaments can be legal

  • Announcement of the "Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission" (Suisse Gambling Commission/ESBK)
  • published December 13th 2007, www.esbk.admin.ch
  • In this press release the ESBK announced that there are certain types of poker tournaments that are not covered by the suisse gambling law. They can therefore be arranged outside of casinos as well.
  • Language: German

2b Poker

  • Article of the ESBK concerning the classification of poker as a game of skill or luck.
  • published April 21st 2007, www.esbk.admin.ch
  • The ESBK distinguishes between cash games, which are classified as a game of luck and tournaments, which are classified as a game of skill. In the article the relevant test criteria are listed by means of which the ESBK decides whether a poker tournament can be classified as a game of skill.
  • Language: German