Texas Holdem – Luck vs Skill

There are games where any good moves you make give you an immediate reward towards winning the game. In a chess match you can compare your move with all other possible moves and you will know if you were right or wrong making that move.

Unlike chess, TEXAS HOLDEM is a decision making game. The goal of the game is to make the right decision at the right time against a certain opponent. And you must understand that once you have made the decision you leave rest to the "POKER GODS" till you face another decision in that very same hand.

Making the right decision takes a lot of skill, like other people have already said "HOLDEM" is a game that takes 5 minutes to learn and a life time to master. Making the right decision is not an easy task to perform or even to measure, the reason for that is that a decision is not based only on your cards but also on the other players, their mentality, their skill and their progress. If we take a heads up game for example:

Suppose I play heads up against player-A and the cards dealt to me are As Kc , flop is Ad 8c 9c and Player A raised my flop bet X5 times then my original flop bet. I now face a decision which depends on my cards and also on how do I think my opponent will act after my move. If I am in the same situation against player-B my correct decision might be totally different than the one I am facing with player-A. This is poker skill, knowing when and against who to make a certain move is the art of poker.

Of course there is the mathematics of the game, pot odds, implied odds etc but that is skill that is easy to learn for most people. The decision making based on a certain situation taking all the data from a certain situation and producing the right decision according to it is very hard to master.

But as I mentioned earlier, that alone will not be enough to win in a poker session, the reason for that is the luck factor. Unlike other people I am not trying to set a "luck rate" and "skill rate" for poker, those vary from one session to another and you might say that in a certain style of game you have more luck and less skill while in another style of game the situation is reversed.

The one thing we must understand is that the luck factor is there, and making the right decision Is not enough because sometimes we are in a situation that there are more cards to come and even though we put all of our chips in the pot when we are most favorite to win there are still cards to come and we might or might not like those cards. This is called LUCK in the poker game.

One thing is sure, if we keep making the right decision and having our opponents chasing after cards we will be profitable in the long run. And if we do happen to get a bad beat from time to time, the best way is to say "NH sir" and move on… thinking about bad luck in poker is considered to bring bad luck…