U.K. jury to decide skill or chance question of poker

A jury will get poker lessons in order to decide if poker is a game of skill or chance in a case involving poker in the United Kingdom. Derek Kelly is accused of hosting illegal poker games, which are currently considered games of chance, at his Gutshot Private Members' Club.

Authorities conducted a year-long investigation of Kelly's club before charging him with running an illegal gambling establishment. During the investigation, they found he was running more than 20 poker games with a rake each week without a license.

According to the 1968 Gambling Act, establishments must have a license to offer games of chance where any prize is awarded and a rake is taken.

Kelly is arguing that poker is a game of skill which makes it exempt from the Gaming Act and the need for a license to host games at his club.

The jury will be taught the basic rules of Texas Hold'em, the game that was being played at the Gutshot, and will be asked to decide if it is a game of skill, a game of chance, or a mixture of both.

The prosecutor in the case has argued that once the cards are shuffled there is an element of chance, making it a mix of skill and chance. If it is a mix, then it falls under the Gambling Act.

Related Article: U.K. Pub Owner Faces Jail for Poker Games

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