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Texas Holdem Poker is a skill game Casino

January 24, 2008

Play free casino games like slots, video poker, online roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and more.

In a ruling made on Friday by Pennsylvania Judge Thomas A. James Jr. in Columbia County , it was ruled that Texas Holdem is a game of skill and therefore not gambling under state law. The ruling sets an 'excellent bar' for future poker litigation, according to Poker Players Alliance Executive Director John Pappas.

The basic question, according to Judge James' ruling, is whether poker is managed by chance or skill. He commented 'Simply, if chance predominates, Texas Holdem is gambling. If skill predominates, it is not gambling.

In Pennsylvania, video poker machines are not allowed because their outcomes are primarily due to chance, not skill. In the case of Texas Holdem poker, however, Judge James explained that extensive literature exists that describes winning strategies to play the game. He even cited Mike Caro's 'Secrets of Winning Poker' by saying, 'the money flows from the bad players to the b players.

Judge James explains in the ruling, that the 'dominant factor test' has traditionally applied to games of skill and cites multiple mathematical studies that prove it, including one linking 'poker and economics.' An included study even explained that players receive equal amounts of premier and lackluster starting hands. However, 'Beginning poker players rely on big hands and lucky draws. Expert poker players use their skills to minimize their losses on their bad hands and maximize their profits on their big hands.

At the end, Judge James concluded, 'It is apparent that skill predominates over chance in Texas Holdem poker...'

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