Study shows Skill determines Online Poker Profits

Posted on by RTR Rachel

The skill vs. chance argument is one of the oldest debates in the online poker world. On one side, you have the obvious evidence of pros who make a very good living off of online poker. The other side of the coin is normally taken by government stiffs who think that poker is just a typical form of gambling. In any case, you can’t deny that there are a fair amount of facts that support online poker being a game of skill. And the latest evidence comes from a poker study done by Citigal Inc.

The poker study, which was authored by Paco Hope (technical manager), Sean McCulloch (professor at Ohio Wesleyan University) and Brian Mizelle (managing principal), examined thousands of poker games to measure one critical aspect: staying in hands until the showdown vs. folding or winning a hand early. The three authors took to studying micro stakes poker games ranging from $0.05/$0.10 to $0.25/$0.50 holdem poker to prove the game is not just gambling.

After examining over 100 million online poker hands, the authors discovered that only 12% of hands are won by the player with the top preflop hand. In most cases, holdem winners either make their hand post flop, or by forcing another player to fold.

To put these percentages into a statistical measure, the poker study showed that 12% of the hands were won at the showdown by somebody who had a weaker hand before the flop, and 76% of online poker hand winners take the pot without a showdown.

In any case, the Citigal poker study is very important in regards to showing that the top preflop holdem hands rarely win. Instead, 88% of those who win in poker games are doing so through skill and solid betting strategies.

Tip of the Day: If you are dealt AA, KK or QQ, your goal should be to isolate a single opponent preflop. To do this, you’ll need to understand the poker table you’re at, and make a bet large enough so two or more players won’t call, yet small enough that at least one player will call.

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