Labeling poker as a skill game is not the best defense against a world of misunderstandings. Several other facts are more persuasive. They make poker stand out from all other games.
Poker is a game of people
Some properties of poker make it a very special game, separated by worlds from games like craps, roulette and even blackjack – games often mentioned in the same context as poker, as if they had something in common.
Poker is a skill game, but more importantly it’s a social game. You play poker with people. There’s no house involved, unlike a game like blackjack.
This fact, more than anything else, makes poker stand out among games.
The social, or interactive, aspect is completely absent in all casino games, as it is absent in lotteries, bingo, blackjack, sports betting etc. where each player is on his or her own against the house.
Player interaction is what makes poker a fine and edifying game, rather than just a brainless divertissement. And this is usually ignored in the discussion with its unfortunate tendency to circle solely around questions of skill vs. chance. (more…)