Gambling games at Home

Gambling: Pure Luck or Total Skill?
September 13, 2012 – 01:19 pm
Gambling games at home

BetsHere are three different scenarios; see if you can spot the difference.

It’s the final of the World Series of Poker. Player A has bet all his chips with a made straight. He is all-in and is waiting for his opponent, Player B, to make a decision. Player B, meanwhile, is sitting with a nut flush draw with two cards to go.

Player B knows he has only a handful of potential cards in the deck that can improve his hand, and figures that his ‘hand odds’ are about 4/1. However, if he bets and wins the hand, his pot odds – ie. the amount of chips he stands to gain – is roughly 8/1. Statistically, then, does he gamble and play the favorable odds, or fold, wait for another good spot, and avoid the gamble altogether?

Here’s our next scenario: it’s a soccer qualifier for the World Cup. With a matter of seconds remaining, and the home team needing to score to win the match and qualify for the finals, needs to go all-out.Blind-Bet With virtually the last kick of the match, the home team’s striker launches a speculative ball into the opposing team’s penalty area, it ricochets off the goalpost, back off a defender, and into the goal. The winning team celebrate their outrageous luck wildly.

Finally, a gambler in a Vegas casino walks up to a roulette table, closes his eyes and throws a large stack of $100 chips onto no. 36, then waits for the ball to come to a rest. The ball duly hits 36, he picks up his $3, 500 winnings and walks off.

So, of those scenarios, which are games of skill and which luck?

If you listen to the lawmakers, depending where you are, soccer is the sport, poker the game of skill and chance, and roulette the game of complete skill. That’s why soccer will be played out in a stadium, not a casino, poker a casino (and in some jurisdictions, nowhere at all) and roulette casinos only.

But why? What part did luck play in those three games, and how much skill really features in classic games of chance?

Poker as a Game of Skill

Let’s take a look at poker first, as more than any other games, poker is the one most fiercely debated as regards to its skill vs. Gamble elements.

The ongoing fight in the US and elsewhere to get poker recognized as a game of skill is key to it leaving the confines of the casino with its strict gambling laws.

Interesting facts

The 1877 Louisville Grays were the victim of Major League Baseball's first gambling scandal. Pitcher Jim Devlin, outfielder George Hall, utility player Al Nichols and shortstop Bill Craver were accused of throwing games at the end of the season. All four were banned from baseball for life. The team was unable to continue and folded after the...

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Popular Q&A
what is the best gambling game to play at home with friends with small cash?

Poker can be a very successful home gambling game. Most people know at least the basic concepts, and with the success of World Series of Poker, this game is becoming increasingly socially acceptable.

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