Poker: Game of chance or game of skill?
9stacks is a skill based online poker platform and is in complete accordance with Indian laws and regulations.
Know more about our legal compliance here.
Games can be broadly classified into two types: games of chance (or luck, in common lingo) and games of skill. Let’s understand the difference.
Games of chance
The winner is determined entirely by luck. The end result or outcome is wholly uncertain. No human being can apply his/her mind to estimate the result or his/her efforts to influence the result.
Because of their unpredictability and general unscientific nature, such games, if played with real money, are illegal by law and are categorised as gambling.
Games of skill
These are games where you play by exercising your knowledge, training, attention, experience, or expertise, and where the final outcome is influenced by one or more of these factors. While games of skill may have an element of luck or chance, as long as they are predominantly influenced by skills, they are not deemed ‘gambling’ and do not flout the laws prohibiting gambling.
How does this apply in the Indian context?
The Indian law clearly states that for a game to be considered as a game of skill, the factors affecting the results should be predominantly based on the element of skill. Accordingly, games such as rummy, chess, and bridge have been recognised by courts in India as games of skill.
Poker too, has been recognised as a game of skill by several High Courts in India. The West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competitions Act of 1957 very clearly excludes bridge, poker, rummy, and nap from the definition of gambling or gambling. Placing reliance on exemption of the game of poker from the definition of gambling in West Bengal and decisions of the Supreme Court of India, we can conclude that playing poker and other similar card games for the legitimate forms of consideration would be permitted due to the overt element of skill involved in these games.
According to the Indian Constitution, gambling comes under the purview of the state and specific state laws apply. The central act stands in all states that do not have specific gambling laws.
The laws in the states of Odisha, Assam, Telangana, Sikkim and Nagaland, however, state that playing card games and games like poker is to be deemed as a punishable offence. 9stacks reserves the right to immediately debar any user registering on the platform from Odisha, Assam, Telangana, Sikkim and Nagaland on discovery, without prior notice, and confiscate any winnings made on the account.
Is it legal to play online Poker on 9stacks?
At 9stacks we have taken several measures to ensure that we remain legal and that all the games we offer on the platform rely on skill used to play the game by a user. The structure of the games offered on the 9stacks platform are our intellectual property and are duly supported by legislations and judicial pronouncements currently prevailing in India.
Have questions? Feel free to write to us: email@example.com.