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South Carolina Case Will Turn on Whether Poker Is a Game of Luck or Skill

Poker Yesterday, the South Carolina Supreme Court heard oral argument on an issue that my empty wallet and I already know the answer to: Is poker a game of luck or skill?

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (via How Appealing) that if the answer is "skill," then South Carolina residents will be permitted to hold poker games in their own homes without violating the state's anti-gambling laws. This was the view taken by Charleston Circuit Judge Markley Dennis last year, who ruled that the poker game Texas Hold 'em was a game of skill, not chance. The state's attorney general, Henry McMaster, is now challenging that ruling.

According to The Post and Courier, in April 2006 police raided a South Carolina home and arrested dozens of people after authorities discovered that two Texas Hold 'em tables were operating inside. Some of those arrested challenged the charge, and Judge Dennis' ruling led to the cases being thrown out. Dennis found that the game of poker is determined more by "the relative skill of the player" than anything else and also that, as I have learned the hard way myself, "a more skilled player will consistently beat a less skilled player." 

In his appeal, McMaster argued that "In the General Assembly's view, the ills resulting from games played for money does not depend upon the particular game or the nature in which it was played." He added that if the case in question "does not violate (state law), few would."

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)


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