Poker and Rummy are Games of Skill: IIT- Delhi Research

Poker and Rummy are Games of Skill: IIT- Delhi Research

Distinguished IIT-Delhi professor Tapan K. Gandhi, Cadence Chair Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Automation along with his team recently conducted an extensive study affirming that Poker and Rummy are games of skill. The study “Online Poker and Rummy- Game of Skill or Chance?” reinforces the importance of cognitive and other skills required for success in Poker and Rummy. It further analysed the impact of experience and learnable skills in the game and the role it plays in the player’s long-term success in the Sport.  

Commenting on the report, Tapan K. Gandhi, Associate Professor in the Dept. of Electrical Engineering, Cadence Chair Professor of AI and Automation, IIT Delhi said, “Amidst ongoing conversations around online gaming and biased perception terming it as a taboo owing to preconceived notions, the exhaustive study examines the gameplay of various players to understand if the game in reality focuses on skill or element of luck prevails. Throughout our research, we were presented with compelling cases that made it clear that these sports indeed require a level of innate understanding that  aided in building the cognitive abilities of the players. Not just limiting the skill aspect to the sport, we also noticed that the player’s softer skills like that of understanding social cues, taking decisions under high pressure situations, memory retention amongst others advancing throughout the time they were playing consistently.” 

“We are elated to share our study, ‘Online Poker and Rummy- Game of Skill or Chance?,” that will debunk the yesteryear myth of the games being driven by luck and highlight the skill required in order to be successful.” Added Tapan Gandhi.  

Deepak Dhayanithy, Associate Professor, Strategic Management, IIM Kozhikode who was instrumental in publishing an earlier report verifying Poker as game of skill shared his views on the research, "In the realm of online card games like Poker and Rummy, the analysis leaves no room for doubt: skill, not chance, is the driving force behind long-term success. The non-linear trends in skill variables and winning percentages defy randomness, pointing unmistakably to players' expertise and patience. Both online and offline, skill reigns supreme, reducing variability like in other sports such as Cricket, Golf, etc., as players rise to the challenge. The research establishes that skill prevails, enriching our comprehension of cognitive prowess in the gaming arena."

The IIT study provides a quantitative analysis using mathematical tools to determine whether long-term success in online poker and rummy can be attributed to skill. The data was analysed covering  larger set of user data who had played between 30 to 100 games in 2-player, 3-player, and 6-player formats. The findings indicated that in both poker and rummy, skill variables improve as users play more games. Furthermore, the measured correlation between users' win rates was 0.904, indicating a positive relationship and emphasizing the persistence of skill in the game. This highlights the significance of skill over mere chance in shaping outcomes over consecutive period of time. The consistency in win rates highlights the fact that mastering the game's nuances and strategies can significantly enhance one's performance. Such a strong correlation suggests that players who invest time and effort in understanding the game's intricacies have better chances of maintaining a higher win rate.

Therefore, the study concluded that: 1) there is no difference in online and offline versions of rummy and poker from the perspective of requirement of skills and 2) In rummy and poker, there is preponderance of skills over chance to succeed.

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