Local News

Court: Poker Game of Chance, not Skill

Posted May 1, 2007

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that poker is a game of chance, not skill.

Howard Fierman wanted to open a poker parlor at a house in Durham. Under North Carolina law, betting on games of chance is illegal, but Fierman argued poker is a game of skill.

A Durham County judge disagreed and rejected the club.

The state Appeals Court ruled that while skill can enhance a player’s chance of winning, the luck of the draw means poker is ultimately a game of chance.


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  • aguy2no May 1, 2007

    Who are they kidding? While the judges and our elected officals tell us how to run our lives, I would place a large wager (oooops that word again) that they have their own cash poker games that they play in.
    If I had $1 for every cash poker game that people host each day and night in North Carolina, I would have an income that people would call rich. Since they also have declared that it is illegal to gamble online as well, we just have to play it like the military, don't ask and don't tell.
    The reason the lottery is not "gambling" is because it's a sucker play that our government gets to keep the proceeds.
    Maybe all this is our fault because we elect those hipocrites.
    As gomer Pyle says, "fool me once, shame on you -- fool me twice, shame on me".
    Ooooops my online tourney is starting, time to go.

  • Travised May 1, 2007

    Who is going to challange the lotto now based on this case?

    Poker players tend to know the odds of potential for upcomming cards, if they are holding high cards they know they have a better chance of winning compared to lower cards, etc. Run scenarios like that through your head with outomes that MAY happen when you watch poker on TV. They tend to know best time to throw, and best time to bait to earn more, but not always.

  • FormerDA May 1, 2007

    If there were no skill in poker, there could not be professional poker players. It would be impossible for someone to be professionally lucky.

  • yacs May 1, 2007

    nc lover: "There is no more skill in Poker as there is in Slot Machines."

    The cards are based on chance, but it takes skill to rank your hands and track your odds; also, when playing against other human beings (as opposed to video poker), bluffing and other skills come into play.

    It's not pure skill, but it's a good mix. Slots are pure chance, so I'd say there is some difference. Probably the reason I do better at slots than I do at poker!

  • yacs May 1, 2007

    Thanks, historian. I've been asking for a while now, and you're the first to answer. I enjoy gambling occasionally and playing the lottery about once a week, but it's not for love of money -- I'd just want to go debt-free, be secure, and give away the excess!

    Thanks for the passages -- I'll go and read them. And you're right about the state's double standard.

  • nc lover May 1, 2007

    Don't understand. What skill is there in Poker? You sit there with cards in hand and pray the right cards you need are dealt to you. The only skills in Poker are to know what beats what and how to hold a Poker Face when you Bluffing. Don't get me wrong - I do like to gamble. I'm not a heavy duty gambler but we do like to go to the Casino's once a year to have some fund.
    There is no more skill in Poker as there is in Slot Machines.

  • historian1 May 1, 2007

    The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to "get rich quick" (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.

  • yacs May 1, 2007

    Are the anti-gambling laws really based on scripture? I've heard that before, and heard people say gambling is a sin. Does anyone know? If so, what's the scripture? Thanks!

  • historian1 May 1, 2007

    I think most games/sports are a combination of luck/chance and skill. No matter what game you are playing, where the problem lies is in the gambling, and that also applies to most if not all games/sports. I also think that gambling should either be legal or not legal, making it legal for just a certain ethnic group or just for the State of NC. is unethical. Personally I'm not a gambler, but it doesn't take a mental heavyweight to realize that they are playing by two sets of rules !

  • spiritwarriorwoman May 1, 2007

    sillsbury_keith - "This judge is wrong. Beach bingo is a game of chance and should be stopped now. poker takes skill to win."

    AMEN!!! I could have all the luck in the world, but if I'm not smart (skilled) enough to hold on to 4 aces, it's all for naught.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB