All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Is poker a game of chance or skill?

Do you need luck or wits to win at poker?

 Is poker a game of chance luck or skill?

We’re always being asked: Is poker just a game of chance? The answer is definitely NO! Certainly there is a large element of chance in any card game but if poker was purely down to chance why would the same big professional names keep cropping up every year winning millions of dollars at tables all around the world? Ask Johnny Chan or Phil Ivey or Chris Moneymaker or our own Helen Chamberlain if it’s JUST a game of chance. Clearly, skill is involved or success wouldn’t be repeated consistently. Chance evens out over the long run. Our job is to suggest ways of improving your skills.



We live in a short-attention-span world. We flick between television channels, we’re on the phone while we’re driving. Most people can read a paper, eat, talk and watch TV at the same time. This is not a talent. It’s a disease. You have to overcome this fact to become a good poker player. If you are distracted by smells coming from the kitchen or have one eye on Baywatch while you’re playing online poker, you’re a loser in the making. Poker is a game of long term focus. You need to be watching the whole environment of the game, evaluating your opposing players and taking care to give nothing away about the development of your own hand. If you can adopt the discipline of focus, you’re already more likely a winner than a loser.


Take a chance and put your poker skills to the test at:



Joe Hachem’s victory at the 2005 WSOP received lots of coverage due to the $7,500,000 he took away with him in a wheelbarrow with armed guards but we’ve seen very little written about the actual cards he played. Can you even begin to imagine what you would have done had you been dealt (almost the worst hand possible in poker) 7-3 off suit, as Joe was, against Steve Dannemann’s A-3 unsuited hole cards? Joe stumped up a $300,000 big blind to which Steve replied with a $700,000 pre-flop raise. Who would’ve imagined the flop would bring 6-5-4, giving Joe Hachem a 7-6-5-4-3 straight and the world’s most valuable wheelbarrow?



Two cannibals are making their way to Britain by ship to claim asylum and are enjoying a game of poker.

“Wonder what they serve in restaurants in England?” queries the first cannibal.


“Sounds to me like we’re not just lucky at cards.” answers the second cannibal.


 “According to the Captain most meals are about £8 per head!”


ALL THE ACES poker column:
October 20, 2005: 
Is poker a game of chance or skill?