Is poker a game of chance? Studies & expert opinions

While in Germany generally only state casinos are allowed to offer real money poker games, in Switzerland at least tournament poker is considered to be a game of skill and it's legal to play tournaments for money outside of casinos as well. In Russia poker is actually accepted as a sport and it is therefore officially uncoupled from the games of chance. In most countries the situation is like in Germany. In politics and jurisdiction poker ranks among the games of chance, which are subject to state control.

 

The decisive question is whether the outcome of a poker game depends predominantly on luck (chance) or on the ability (skills) of the players. Expert opinions and studies on this issue already exist, but it's not clear if and when the responsible courts will deal with this issue.

 

In order to give you an overview, we offer you a selection of studies on the topic "Is poker a game of chance?" which can be downloaded below.

1 Poker is a skill

2 BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE THE POKERPLAYER ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT URGING REVERSAL

 


1 Poker is a Skill

  • by Michael DeDonno, Ph.D. student of the Case Western Reserve University, and Douglas K. Detterman, Professor of the Case Western Reverse University in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • published in the magazine "Gaming Law Review", Volume 12, Number 1, 2008
  • Content: The DeDonno-Detterman study emphasizes that training and practice will significantly improve the skills of the invidual. This statement is proofed by two studies with students, who had almost no experience with the game. In both studies the students were divided into two groups. The first group received  hand values and strategy tips, the second group merely got information on the historical background of poker. Afterwards they played poker and the first group achieved much better results. In addition the study found that with increasing practice the results of all players improved considerably.
  • Language: English

 


2 BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE THE POKERPLAYER ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT URGING REVERSAL

  • Expert opinion of the organization Poker Players Alliance (PPA)
  • published in the framework of a court hearing on the fiscal treatment of winnings and losses that originate from poker tournaments in front of the "United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit".
  • Content: This expert opinion deals with the question whether entrance fees (buy-ins) of  poker tournaments have to be considered as stakes, since taxation depends on that. It comes to the conclusion that tournament poker is not a game of chance, but a game of skill. Accordingly poker tournaments aren't games of chance, but competitions where the most skilled player wins in the end. An important point of the expert opinion is the comparison of poker and golf. Concerning the skill factor both games are even put on the same level and golf is definitely not among the games of luck.
  • Language: English