Games of Skill

Klein Moynihan Turco LLP gives us a legal analysis of games of chance vs. games of skill. (August 2018)


Fantasy Football

Akron Legal News reports (January 2013) that fantasy football is a game of skill.

 “Chance is the element of unpredictability. Chance requires that the result of the game is not controlled by personal judgment, practice or skill, but by factors outside of the participant’s control. Skill, in contrast, requires an intellectual and thoughtful decision that reflects the personal judgment of the participant. For reasons that are not entirely clear, gambling on a single football team is chance, but gambling on a fantasy football team composed of football players is skill.”

Poker in Brazil

The Brazilian Ministry of Sport officially endorsed poker as a game of skill. It is understood that an agreement was made in with the poker advocacy group the Brazilian Conferederação Texas Hold’em (CBTH), the governing body of poker in Brazil.

Poker is now listed on the Ministry website as a sport, noting that it requires a player to develop a broad mix of skills to succeed.

“Poker is a competitive practice in which the participant requires intelligence, ability and intellectual and behavioral skills to succeed,” it states on the Ministry site. Read more about Poker in Brazil.

Poker in Germany

A German court recently determined that Poker is a  game of skill (November, 2012). This is based on the argument of professional poker player Eduard Scharf.  Read more about this decision.

A Short Introduction to Poker for Beginner

While the game of poker may be confusing in the beginning, the game grows more enjoyable as you acquire new skills and strategies. If you are interested in learning more about the game, here’s a brief introduction to poker for beginners.

Like others, this is a game of skill. Mastery of the different strategies establishes how you are going to fare in the game. Be aware that although there are different tactics, it is still a card game.  Learn more about Poker

Sports Betting

Famed Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters shared his opinion on the issue of legalizing both poker and sports betting.

“I used to be a professional poker player,” Walters said, “and, they’re right, if you’re a good poker player, it’s a game of skill. Well, betting sports is much more of a game of skill than poker. I’m living proof that betting sports is a game of skill. I’ve won 37 years in a row. If that’s not a skill, then I don’t know what is.”

Read the full interview from Covers.


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“…the fact that you are consistently losing to your friend at chess has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with his superior skill at the game. There are two ways for you to prove yourself a worthy opponent in such a situation. The first, most obvious solution is to improve your own skill at the game, and this would involve a lot of careful study of various openings and defenses, and intense practice, against yourself or a computer, or a different opponent.”  Read more


Check out “Backgammon and the Law: The Legal Status of Backgammon in America”

Is Horse Racing Handicapping a game of skill? Ask the Indian Supreme Court.

The current gambling laws in India are ambiguous. The Gambling Act, 1867, prohibits gambling and the setting up of gaming houses. However, it does not apply to “games of skill.”  Several court judgments have discussed the difference between “games of chance” and “games of skill”. In 1996, the Supreme Court ruled that betting on horse races is a game of skill, and not just luck. Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu allow betting on horse-racing, provided it is conducted on race courses and through licensed bookies. Gambling on rummy is also allowed.

“In a similar fashion, a game of cricket involves skills of players,” says FICCI’s Singh.

Read the rest from Business Today (India)


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