Games of Skill & Chance
To me, poker is a perfect blend of skill and chance. And although I may not sing this song when my aces are cracked, chance is good. Chance makes the game accessible. A complete newbie has a chance to beat a seasoned pro in the short run. This is good for the newbie obviously, but also good for the pro as it draws in a new player to the game for him to teach the hard lessons.
What games can compare to the skill/luck ratio of poker? Well there are games like tic-tac-toe, checkers and chess on one end of the spectrum. These are all skill based and at varying levels of difficulty. The flaw in not involving chance is that each aforementioned game can be won with a predetermined best move in every situation. We all should know how to play tic-tac-toe to either a win or a draw by now. Checkers and chess are the same only at a much more complex level–as proven by computers ability to overcome the best of us.
The other side of the spectrum? Keno is devoid of skill and a good example of how chance can quickly go too far. (Despite what Bizarro Grundy might have to say.)
So if poker is a middle ground, what other games can compare? Well, there are other card games of course…bridge, canasta, gin rummy to name a few. I am not too experienced in most of these, but without the opportunity to bluff it takes away some of the psychological element that I love so much. Of course you can bluff in “BS,” but that game lacks the gentlemanly quality.
Backgammon is a popular gateway game into poker. The introduction of dice bring chance to an otherwise skillful game. Stratego is another favorite of mine. It involves neither cards nor dice, but the mystery of the placement of your opponents pieces allow for lucky guesses at times. Man, I miss that game.
What else? Are there any other games that achieve the balance of skill and chance?
This entry was posted on Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 3:00 am and is filed under Rants & Ravings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.