Poker: Game of Skill or Chance?

Sarita Dawn (CC BY-NC 2.0)

It’s time to settle the debate once and for all–and a study just released by “Freakonomics”  co-author Steven D. Levitt of the University of Chicago and Thomas J. Miles of the University of Chicago Law School provides brand new data that may just tip us off.

According to “The Role of Skill Versus Luck in Poker: Evidence From the World Series of Poker,” published on June 22, 2012 in the Journal of Sports Economics (JSE):

In determining the legality of online poker—a multibillion dollar industry—courts have relied heavily on the issue of whether or not poker is a game of skill. Using newly available data, the authors analyze that question by examining the performance in the 2010 World Series of Poker of a group of poker players identified as being highly skilled prior to the start of the events. Those players identified a priori as being highly skilled achieved an average return on investment of over 30%, compared to a _15% for all other players. This large gap in returns is strong evidence in support of the idea that poker is a game of skill.

Read more in JSE. To learn more about the Journal of Sports Economics, please follow this link.

Are you interested in receiving email alerts whenever a new article or issue becomes available online? Then click here!

Business & Management INK

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.