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The Swedish Supreme Court Got it Right About Poker

10 April 2011, By: compncards
Poker Law 430x231
Poker Law 430x231

The Swedish Supreme Court recently ruled that poker is BOTH a game of skill and luck, basing its decision dependent on the type of poker being played.

The court ruled that tournaments are skill games and that cash games are more random chance because players can come and go as they please and bet whatever they wish.

Finally, someone gets it right.

Let me clarify that I do not view cash games as random chance or poker tournaments as skill games only. Both forms of poker games involve elements of both luck and chance. As such, I think the Swedish Supreme Court got it right.

There are many that disagree with my way of thinking, but the ruling by the Swedish Supreme Court is essentially right.

Poker is indeed both a game of skill and luck. Those that disagree with this are essentially deluding themselves. You cannot say that poker is not at least a small part luck.

If it wasn't, then many weak players would play a while, get their teeth kicked in, and never return. It is the luck factor that keeps the fish biting.

Anyone that really knows poker knows that, over the long term, a skillful player will win much more than a player relying on luck. However, short term luck does make an impact on every game of poker.

It can be a random hand where pocket kings outrun pocket aces, or a hand where someone hits his 45 to 1 long shot on the river. Luck impacts EVERY poker game in some aspect.

There is no possible way that any poker game can be ruled as ONLY a game of skill.

Poker is not chess. You cannot luck your way into a win in chess. It involves executing a strategy better than your opponent and taking advantage of his or her mistakes. A queen will not fall at random when you are behind in a chess game to give you an advantage.

So why do poker players keep trying to insist that poker is a skill game only? Obviously it is to try and get it legalized, but their insistence that the game is only a game of skill is insulting to everyone's intelligence.

Poker will always involve an element of luck. As such, it will never be a true game of skill.

The Swedish Supreme Court ruling isn't controversial or misguided. It is correct.

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  • compncards 12/04/2011 11:45pm (10 years ago)

    Yes, but there a lot more random elements in poker and any card game than in a sport.

  • Tour Leader 12/04/2011 6:37pm (10 years ago)

    Hmmm. Yes it is luck and skill game. But every game with random elements have luck as a part of the game. Lucky bounce of any ball - golf, baseball and footbal - all have lucky bounces. Chess has no random elements so is total skill game.

  • Charlie 11/04/2011 7:10pm (10 years ago)