Online Poker – Game of Skill

Over the recent years online poker has become a popular entertainment for players worldwide. Global poker audience is now enhanced due to the emergence of social poker networks that provide for not only playing poker games, but also offer players diverse socializing means of interaction. Furthermore, it is now in the center of major debates regarding the legalization of online poker in Europe and North America.

Online poker today is one of the most promising industries in terms of investment. Starting to rise up with only $1.4 Billion in 2004 the industry reached $5.9 Billion in 2008 and keeps growing steadily. The peculiarity of online gambling industry in general and online poker in particular consists in the fact that they are very little affected during tough times of crisis.

One of the major controversial issues regarding poker legislation involves the decision making whether poker is a game of chance or skill. Consequently, two different methods for determining the role of chance in the game of poker were elaborated in state courts to analyze the issue. The first method is based on analyzing the game structure and rules. If they provide for sufficient room for a player to exercise the skills to overcome the element of chance in the game, the game is considered the one of skill and the gambling laws do not apply.

The second approach is empirical and is aimed to prove that experienced and skillful players perform better than the beginners.

To make sure that poker is definitely a skill game, the entire course of poker game must be analyzed. When playing poker it is making the right decisions what really makes a difference. Each deal in poker is followed by the player’s decision, whether to bet, raise or fold. During a single poker session, a player is to make hundreds of such decisions that are influenced by a variety of factors. According to the statistical analysis, it’s the player’s decision alone rather than the cards dealt result in 76% of winning poker hands.

The right decision making means a range of skills which are not limited to knowledge of sophisticated odds. Good poker playing skills involve both intellectual and psychological skills that help players develop the ability to directly influence the individual hand outcome and winning the pot in the end.

A game of poker consists of a variety of player moves – strategic steps undertaken to provoke a desired reaction from the opponents. Each round in a poker game is based around multi-stage moves. Basically while playing Texas Hold’em each poker player has four critical decisionmaking opportunities: the first one – upon receiving the first two cards face-down and three other ones – after revealing the community cards in three turns.

Poker decisions may vary depending on the type of the game played. Thus, the so called ‘draw’ games involve three principal decisions: “bet” after the initial draw; the decision about exchanging cards and the number of cards to exchange; and finally – one more “bet” once the cards are exchanged.

Stud poker games played with the initially dealt two cards followed by dealing additional cards one at a time until each player has a total of five or seven cards (depending of the stud poker variation) require four or six moves accordingly. The first move is made upon player’s receiving the first two cards and the rest follow dealing each additional card. Each stage of decision making offers players plenty of various courses of action to consider by evaluating the risks of losing additional chips in comparison to the chance of winning the pot in the hand played. Player moves on the basis of the decisions made may significantly reduce the element of chance in the game and help players to get a higher degree of control over the course of action.

Poker players use their moves to communicate with and manipulate their opponents. When players select to bluff while betting, they don’t usually hope that their cards turn out to be better than those of their opponents. Indeed, they hope to win the pot by convincing their opponents to fold a better hand. As it transpires from the poker games analysis about 88% of hands played to a showdown win not because of strong poker hands but due to the players’ ability to convince the opponent to fold. When playing poker you cannot turn your deuce into an ace but you can make your competitors believe you have an ace and you’ll join those 75% of lucky players who win simply by remaining in the game after all the rest have folded.

When playing poker online a player doesn’t have a chance to watch the opponent’s facial expression, however, poker players tend to exchange messages while playing, and experienced players learn to make deductions about a player’s style and hand judging by these messages. All these require a great deal of skills and experience to become a really good poker player.

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About Viaden Gaming

Viaden Gaming is an acknowledged online gaming software company fully licensed by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and offering optimal online gaming solutions from development through to delivery and maintenance.

The company delivers its i-gaming solutions backed up by deep technical expertise, quality-driven service delivery model and customer-oriented approach. The range of company products involves online casino, online poker, and sportsbook software, mobile casino and social poker.

To help online gambling operators unleash the full potential of online gambling industry, Viaden Gaming provides a variety of white papers based on the latest research and analysis of the current trends in the online gambling market.

Since starting an online casino is a great business challenge it is particularly important for the operators to be aware of their target audience, the most popular gambling habits and preferences. That is exactly why Viaden Gaming launched a series of white papers that touch upon socio-demographic data of typical gamblers, differences in male in female gambling activity, evolving market trends, the comparative analysis of different gambling opportunities, the latest updates in the gambling legislation worldwide and a variety of other industry related facts.

Viaden Gaming white papers are aimed at delivering timely industry-related information that sheds light on the competitive industry advantages and the peculiarities of online gambling business development. For more information about Viaden Gaming, visit