A couple of days before the Gujarat High Court gave its final verdict by stating that poker is a game of luck, and it should be treated as one in the eye of the law. As a game of chance falls under the category of gambling, it cannot be allowed in city clubs. In their earlier verdict in mid-November, the same decision was given away by the Gujarat High Court.
In an important judgment, Gujarat high court regarded that Poker is a game of chance and does not require a substantial degree of skill, and hence falls in the description of gambling.
Declining petitions by the Indian Association of Poker and several gaming zones, Justice R H Shukla said the history of poker implies that it is a game of chance.
The HC also ruled out the possibility of granting a license for poker in confined space, as the USA does for gambling, on the basis that the statute here forbids gambling and the state of Gujarat has a claim to make legislation, though the game is permitted in West Bengal and parts of North-East.
The HC addressed judgments of foreign countries and various reports to say that Poker dawned from the game of Flash, which is regarded as ‘Teen Patti’ in India. The Supreme Court has also concluded that Brag, Flash and Teen Patti are games of chance.
“Therefore, as a basic corollary, Poker as its alternative must also come in the section of a game of chance,” the HC mandate states. “Even if it is a game of skill, but needed to be played with stakes, it will be considered as gambling.” Thus there are deductions why the terms ‘bad luck’, ‘bad beat’ and ‘unlucky streak’ exist,” the court said.
Making a comparison between the Rummy and Poker, the HC said Rummy is a game of skill which has got nothing to do with stakes, while Poker is a game of gambling with cards, which necessarily requires betting as it is an integral part of the game. “Inducing others to bet or misguiding them with a poker face cannot be considered a skill,” the court said.