Many people will tell you that poker is a game of chance. Yes, they are not entirely wrong. After all, you can play poker in a casino alongside other luck-based games such as slot machines and blackjacks. But professional poker players know differently. Poker is entirely a game of skill in the long term.

This does not preclude the fact that there is a considerable element of luck in the beginning. The difference between a professional and an amateur is the ability to reduce the luck element by consistently making critical mathematical decisions which improve the win rate in the long term.

Read on to know why poker is a game of skill despite the chance of playing a critical role.

Poker is a Game vs. other people rather than the House

Here is a strong pointer to why poker is a game of skill. Even when you play poker via free poker game apps, you would still be playing against other opponents and not the house. It is no secret that no matter where the game goes, the house is the winner.

Even when you win against the house, you can rest assured thousands of other players are losing their money and turning a good profit for the house. This is what makes poker special. The house is not a factor in the game, only a facilitator.

Although they get their profits through buy-ins as well as cash game pots, Nonetheless, this is only a slice of the pie as the most prominent action remains with the players. Given that you are playing versus other, people there are bound to making mistakes which can be exploited for your gain.

This is why, as a starter, it is important to play for low stakes against other people or play for fun online through a free poker game app or in your home with friends.

Poker Is a Mathematical Game of Odds

So how do you exploit the mistakes of other players and turn a profit for yourself? This is essentially simple. Put more money in the pot when you have a statistical upper hand and less money in the pot when you have a statistically weaker hand.

Bluffing is also a vital skill for becoming a professional poker player. By reading your rivals, you can determine when they have a weak hand and force them to fold, enabling you to win a larger share of the pot.

You cannot beat the math

This is the absolute truth. Even weaker hands have a statistical chance of winning. But in the long term, the more calculative minds win. Players who bank more on their impulse than on critical analytic thinking will lose more.  Emotional players are very prone to bad beats. 

Final thoughts

Most people think poker has a luck element; they are partly right in the little wins. But the fact remains that if you are technically superior to your opponents, you will beat them in the long term.