|According to a recent piece in online magazine Science Daily, results from two studies have revealed that skill is more important than luck when it comes to being a successful poker player.|
The magazine quotes Michael DeDonno, a doctoral student from Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, who carried out two poker-related studies with students that found skill winning out over luck.
'This article provides empirical evidence that it is skill and not luck,' said DeDonno.
In the first study, DeDonno had 41 university students play eight games totalling 200 hands of turbo Texas Hold'em, a computerised simulation of ten-player hold'em poker. DeDonno stated that most of the students had little experience playing poker but half of the students were given charts ranking two-card combinations from best to the worst and were told that professional poker players typically play only about 15 percent of the hands they are dealt.
The other half was given background on the history of poker but with no strategies and did not fare as well as the group who were given strategies. Before starting the study, 64 percent of the students stated that winning at poker was 50 percent luck.
'If it had been pure luck in winning, then the strategies would not have made a difference for the two groups,' said DeDonno.
To statistically verify the results, DeDonno conducted a second study with students playing 720 hands. Again the group was divided and while all students improved their playing with practice, it was the section given strategies that continued to do better.
DeDonno stated that students also reduced the average number of hands they played from 27 at the beginning to 15 after they were given strategies, which improved their games and validated that ‘fewer hands does result in improved performance’.