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Luck vs Skill Summery of. the Robertie statement.

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Sunday, 10 June 2012, at 8:00 p.m.

In Response To: Luck vs Skill Summery of. the Robertie statement. (Stick)

Ref. r.g.bg discussion in July 2007 and in August 1995.

In comparing the games in the Inside Backgammon article, for chess Robertie meant one game with professional time controlsm, for backgammon, a 25-point match, and for poker, 4 to 5 hours of poker. But I don't believe he specified any particular kind of poker -- not NLHE (multi- or heads-up), or any other kind -- discussioneers made note of that.

In the 2007 thread I wrote:

"Frigo's article refers to one by Bill Robertie that appeared in Inside Backgammon in 1992. That's where the 25-point match length comes from.

"Robertie was attempting to quantify the complexity of various games: Go, Chess, Scrabble, Poker, Backgammon, Draughts, Blackjack, Craps, Lotteries, Roulette. He took chess as an example: take the best player in the world; find someone who beats the best player in the world 25% of the time; find someone else who beats that second player 25% of the time; and so on until you reach the bottom of the barrel -- an absolute beginner. The number of skill differentials between best in the world and absolute beginner is what Robertie called a "Complexity Number." The more skill differentials, the greater the Complexity Number, the more complex the game. Robertie's list:

Go 40

Chess 14

Scrabble 10

Poker 10

Backgammon 8

Draughts 8

Blackjack 2

Craps 0.001

Lotteries 0.0000001

Roulette 0

"Why a 25-point match? Because that's what Robertie thought would make for a meaningful comparison to chess and other games. He explained: "We can now apply this process to any game, although we may have to give some thought as to what constitutes a meaningful contest. In chess, a single tournament game of four to five hours seems reasonable. In backgammon it would probably be a 25-point match, in scrabble perhaps a best of five series, and so on." A 25-point backgammon match should also take about 4 to 5 hours. See David Montgomery in the rec.games.backgammon thread "Which is greater: luck or skill" beginning Aug 29 1995.

"In chess, I believe, a players with a 200 rating point advantage has an expected score of 0.75. Similarly in backgammon, the player with a 200 point advantage rates to win 75% of the time -- in a long 25-point match, that is, not a 1-point quickie.

> The article as well made mention of a professional
: environment, a 25-point match, while for poker,
: that lassitude isn't given.

"Feel free to suggest some other format for a poker contest, lasting 4-5 hours, that you believe would be approximately comparable in the amount of skill required by one professional game of chess, or one 25- point backgammon match, or a game of Go."

Link to 1995: TinyURL.com/2a3g7b

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