Why Poker is a Game of Skill and Not Just Luck

By Julia Krotova
January 18, 2022

You’ve probably heard it before. Someone who doesn’t know a thing about poker, or card games in general, speaks the words: “Poker is just a game of luck”. You get two cards, and the dealer gives you five cards from which you can choose three to build your hand. That must be about luck, right? You get good cards and then you win ­- you get bad cards you lose. But there are a lot of reasons why it isn’t necessarily so.

royal flush

Winning with bad cards

In the above-mentioned case, they are missing the whole betting process, which is the key in poker. Yes, the cards are dealt randomly but afterwards it is all about strategy. You will wager on the strength of your hand without knowing what anyone else has.

With a combination of skill, practice, reading your opponents (and a tiny bit of luck) you can win the hand. Not because you have the highest cards (unless you do) but because players holding worse hands than you will continue and/or players holding better hands than yours will fold.

In fact, we have already reported that winning a game of poker takes skill – which is why you can actually study how to play poker properly. Playing your cards strategically and practicing your poker face are just a few examples of how one can improve their card-playing skills.

Practice makes perfect

Of course, beginner’s luck plays a part at times. However, the best poker players have often played for many years. An artificial intelligence program has actually been developed with a focus on playing perfectly and beating all the best human poker players because it has played billions of hands of poker, and it is designed to remember every decision that did not lead to the optimum outcome. This means it has now perfected its way of playing. Therefore, it is safe to say that practice makes, if not perfect, then at least a very skilled player. And less than trillions of hands can also do it.

Many of the same systems play a part in other gaming systems, too. For example, some casino games feature similar outcome results. Of course, some casino games are based more on luck than others, but some can certainly be outsmarted by dedicated players. If you are interested in trying your hand at beating the systems in casino games and winning big you can find the best casinos with Yggdrasil Casino.


As mentioned, playing poker is also about reading your opponents. Unskilled players will perhaps give away with their poker face (or lack thereof) whether they are pleased or displeased with the cards dealt. It takes skills to hide sweaty palms when going all in. And it takes even more skills to read other players who bring their poker face to the table.

This also makes it a bit easier to play poker in a live setting. However, there are lots of other advantages with playing online. You can’t see your opponents, but you can play from anywhere at any time. Similarly, the online casino games also offer endless options and often you can try them for free. You can also advise your friends to do so, and soon they will also realize how poker is a game of skill.

Why not bring up some of the other arguments presented here, the next time you win at poker, and someone blames it on nothing more than pure luck.



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Julia Krotova poker author
Written By.

Julia Krotova

Julia is a freelance writer with an affinity for poker. She plays in the occasional home game in the UK with her gal pals for low stakes and is an avid fan of free-to-play online poker games.

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