poker.... Luck or Skill ?

  • Poll
    • Where does poker fit in the Skill to Luck range?

      • 23
        Skill 70%, Luck 30%
        47%
      • 16
        All Skill
        33%
      • 4
        Luck 70%, Skill 30%
        8%
      • 3
        All Luck
        6%
      • 3
        50-50
        6%
      Total: 49 Votes
    • gonzales1981
      gonzales1981
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.03.2008 Posts: 168
      ausschliesslich mit solider begründung basiert auf wissen und nicht auf glauben ...egal ob die antwort ja oder nein ist ...lasse mich gerne entweder von dem einen oder dem anderen überzeugen ....aber halt überzeugen mit rationalen argumenten und nicht mit glauben ...und keine prozent bitte ...denn glück kann man nicht messen auch nicht in prozent ...auch keine erfolgsstorys des letzen ups oder niedergangsszenarien a la mega downswing...

      Translation: only answer if you have a solid argument based on knowledge, not faith, please ...no matter if the answer is yes or no ...I'm happy to let anyone convince me either way ...but please actually convince me with rational arguments, not mere beliefs …and no percentages, please …luck cannot be measured, not even in percentages ...and no success stories of your last upswing or downfall scenarios à la mega downswing...
  • 23 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,207
      Hi, gonzales1981,
      I'm guessing this was meant for the German Forum?
      I tried Google Translate, but it made a salad out of it.

      All the best,
      VS
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,207
      Hi again, gonzales1981,
      One of our mods who actually speaks German tells me you want to hear rational arguments whether Poker is a game of luck or a game of skill.

      There is no simple answer.

      A simple test is: "Can you deliberately lose?"
      If the answer is yes, then decisions on the part of the player have an influence on the game's outcome.
      If the answer is no, then the game is pure luck.

      Roulette, for example is pure luck -- assuming the wheel is not rigged.
      There are no games of pure skill. Luck plays a part in all -- even something like chess can possibly influenced by random events causing a player to miss a move.

      Thus All games are on a spectrum from pure luck to (almost) pure skill.

      Where does poker fit on that spectrum.

      The luck comes from the cards you are given.
      But the best cards can lose -- look at my last Hand of the Day post.

      The skill comes in the following areas:
      :diamond:   Knowing the mathematics behind the game. This includes not only the ability to calculate your equity roughly, but includes the ability to understand and take advantage of favourable odds, and get out of the way when the odds turn against you.
      :diamond:   The ability to read people and make decisions based on how they play the game, and thus exploit their tendencies. Daniel Negraneu is a master at this. He is often wrong, but is is right far more often.
      :diamond:   The ability to recognize your own tendencies and to shift your style of play from TAG to LAG to passive as the situation demands. Doyle Brunson called this "switching gears".

      I'm sure I missed some.

      Good question -- thanks for posting,
      VS
    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
      Moderator
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      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 1,858
      Hi gonzales1981,

      I got the same result as VorpalF2F.
      exclusively with sound reasoning based on knowledge and not believe in ... no matter if the answer is yes or no ... let myself be happy to convince either the one or the other .... but just convince with rational arguments and not believe with ... and no percent when you ... because happiness can not be measured in percent ... no success stories of recent ups or decline scenarios a la mega downswing you ...
      To answer your question in the title 'poker.... Luck or Skill ?'
      I think it is 70/30. 70% skill 30% luck. and that of course can change depending on what game you play ie. hyper turbo, all in shoot outs....

      Um Ihre Frage zu beantworten in der Titel ' Poker .... Glück oder Geschicklichkeit ? '
      Ich denke, es ist 70/30 . 70% Geschicklichkeit 30% Glück. und das ist natürlich abhängig davon, welche Spiel spielen Sie also ändern können. Hyper -Turbo , die alle in Schießen ....

      Regards

      Matt
    • Harrier88
      Harrier88
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      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 1,986
      I have translated the original post for those who are interested. Feel free to discuss this.
    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
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      Joined: 15.08.2013 Posts: 1,858
      VorpalF2F Hit the nail on the head there.
      What a bad beat though!
      :spit:
      'That's Poker!'
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      It's skill, there is no other answer. Of course, there is the "luck" factor, but let's be honest, is there a competitive sport/game where this factor doesn't count? Right now the only game I can think where there is zero luck involved is Chess. Anyway, in the long run the luck factor becomes almost irrelevant, since optimal playing will always count for that.

      So basically we could say poker is a game of skill, but having a little luck won't hurt anyone :f_tongue: :f_tongue: :f_tongue:
    • Lazza61
      Lazza61
      Headadmin
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      Joined: 23.03.2011 Posts: 9,888
      Poll started.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
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      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 9,207
      Originally posted by metalmonkey80
      VorpalF2F Hit the nail on the head there.
      What a bad beat though!
      :spit:
      'That's Poker!'
      That is the neat thing, though...
      It all comes out in the wash.

      Sometimes you just get lucky....

      Peace,
      VS
    • 8runo
      8runo
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2015 Posts: 653
      For me, its all about timescale, and without a timescale its IMPOSSIBLE to distinguish percentage luck and percentage skill.

      For example, over a very short timescale, perhaps 1 hand, and with very short stacks, then its almost entirely luck, whether you win or lose.
      Whereas if you measure the level of skill required to play winning poker over millions of hands, and a lifetime of poker, then its almost entirely skill.
      Between the two extremes, there are varying degrees of skill and luck.
    • rompas
      rompas
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      Joined: 12.02.2014 Posts: 2,798
      for me its skill, since its a game where we make choices, bet , call, fold , and you need make a good strategy, you need be good reading people and the better you get at those skills,, to make this post short , i agree with Vorpal :f_thumbsup:
    • hoagy
      hoagy
      Silver
      Joined: 21.10.2014 Posts: 81
      Poker luck or skill? I don't think it is one or the other but a mix of both how much of each depends upon the situation.

      It is possible to play a hand without using any skill but luck will always play some part in every hand you play. Skilled players will win far more than un-skilled players that is certain, and most games will contain a mix of players with varying skill, so in that sense skill is the overall most dominant factor. But if players of exactly equal skill were to oppose each other luck will then become the more dominant deciding factor.

      Therefore in a game of all good players luck is predominant, in a game of all poor players luck is predominant, and in a game with a mix of good and poor players skill predominates.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
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      Originally posted by 8runo
      For me, its all about timescale, and without a timescale its IMPOSSIBLE to distinguish percentage luck and percentage skill.
      Excellent point. I had this argument about backgammon one time against a guy I (almost) always beat.
      In such a game, if it was pure luck, it would always be a long-run 50/50 between two players.

      Even in a 4-handed card game like bridge there is a skill element -- but it doesn't show up for a long time.

      I agree with OP that it is not possible to put a percentage on the level of luck or skill, because it depends on the player and how they play long-term.

      Let's use the example pocket pairs. If you play them to "set mine" -- just flat an open raiser, then fold if you miss, then you are playing the luck component. However if you look for a good opportunity to take the pot post-flop with a bluff, or perhaps a value bet on a very low board, you are using the skill component. But even recognizing the situation where set mining is profitable is in itself partly skill.


      VS
    • GoOnCal1
      GoOnCal1
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      Joined: 22.01.2015 Posts: 581
      If luck is undefined it can never be calculated, it is purely conceptual. If it is defined as "the element of chance" it becomes qualitatively quantifiable, if further refined to "variance about means", it becomes explicitly calculative and expressively numerlicious.

      If Skill = 0 equates to a monkey tapping keys and skill = 1 equates to expert knowledge, then the application of random chance is vanishingly small in poker (imo:-)
    • tieppofer
      tieppofer
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.01.2009 Posts: 282
      I totally agree with GoOnCal1, if you can't define luck you cannot calculate it, but considering you consider luck "the element of chance" I must say it has little to no influence on a successful poker player's career. Yes, of course you cannot ignore chance, but you don't bet on chance, you don't make your decisions o chance, you calculate the proability of you having the best hand and you used that as a base to make your decisions profitable. I see poker just like the stock market, you cannot predict de future, you cannot say what's going to happen, but based on the info you have you can make your decisions profitable.
    • NutzAreOk
      NutzAreOk
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      Joined: 28.01.2011 Posts: 7,409
      Every time I explain to someone that poker is a game of skill I use a very simple argument. Lets take a most simple situation, AA vs KK preflop all-in. AA wins this roughly 80% of the time. When opponent hits the K many players usually say opponent got lucky. Wrong. That has nothing to do with luck. It`s a mathematical fact that opponent will win it 20% of the time. For me, this is enough to explain that poker is game of skill.
    • 8runo
      8runo
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      Joined: 17.05.2015 Posts: 653
      I can't remember who this quote is attributed to, but it goes something like this - "AA v KK is a coin flip, I either have AA or I don't, but the moneys going in anyway"
    • Volrath89
      Volrath89
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.07.2008 Posts: 2,171
      Ich weiß nicht ob du noch hier liest, aber sowieso... mein englisch ist besser als mein deutsch hehe:

      It all comes down to the time frame you are thinking of:

      1 hand = All Luck
      1.000 hands = 70% Luck 30% Skill
      100.000 hands = 70% Skill 30% Luck
      1 Million hands = All Skill

      Before the internet I think almost no one in the world could have played 1 million hands - or even 100k hands - in his entire life, hence the "poker is all luck" philosophy ingrained in mainstream society. Poker is a 200+ years game (I guess, i'm lazy to google it up) and internet poker has been around less than 20 years, it will be hard to change that philosophy.

      But even with the advent of internet poker... most casual players won't ever play 100.000 hands in their entire life, they are casual players so I'd be surprised they have enough bankroll and mental stamina to play that long and keep losing. So, for them poker might seem like it's all luck (and they are not that wrong from their POV).

      If you consider most players in the poker system are losing-breakeven players (I myself made an analysis in 2011 with my database of over 500k hands, results: discounting rakeback, 90%+ players were losing money) it is no surprise that even after 20 years of data this "poker is all luck myth" is still around, even in a forum of an online poker school ?(

      But the final proof is too see a the graph of a player who has a lot of volume:


      Does he never have a downswing? Sure he does, but after 3 million hands, all you see is a graph almost as straight as his.

      I voted for: "All Skill" by the way
    • metalmonkey80
      metalmonkey80
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      I do not know if you read more here , but anyway ... My English is better than my German hehe :
      Nice one Volrath89:appl:

      This is turning into a good tread.
    • ExternalUseOnly
      ExternalUseOnly
      Silver
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 3,373
      You can ride on luck for so long, but there's a reason that the guys who work hard on their games seem to keep getting luckier
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