Poker is a game of skill. In the long run, the good players win and the not-so-good players lose. If you want to know whether someone is skilled at poker, all you have to do is look at their long-term results.
In addition to skill, there is an element of chance involved. Anyone can win a hand or go on a heater. This short-term luck can make it feel like everything is random, especially when you’re running bad. Most players seem to think that their wins are due to skill and their losses are due to bad luck.
The truth is that short-term results, good and bad, are heavily affected by luck, whereas long-term results are determined largely by skill. If you get all in preflop with pocket aces against my pocket jacks, I’m going to win that pot 19% of the time. That’s a bad bet for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t win it. I might even crack your aces three times in a single session. But in the long run, if you keep getting your money in as a favorite, you’re going to make money playing poker.
We want you to understand that poker is a skill, and we want you to remember that fact while you’re playing. This knowledge can’t make you into a winner, but it can keep you on the right path. Understanding the interplay between skill and luck can help you put your results into context and reinforce your ability to play well, no matter what the cards say.
Whether you play primarily as a hobby or for a living, we are here to help you improve your poker skills. We’ll help you go from the ABCs through the DEFs and XYZs of poker. We can’t do the work for you. That’s up to you. But we will provide the tools to help you get the most out of your effort.
Our bread and butter is our collection of instructional books and booklets. Our debut series, Critical Concepts, is available in our store now. Coming soon: A guide to thrashing $1/$2 Live No Limit Holdem.