There is no difference between online and offline card games: IIT Delhi report

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The Department of Electrical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have released their latest study on the degree of cognitive skills required for online card games of rummy and poker.

The debate regarding the same has been ongoing for quite some time now. While some believe that online rummy and poker amounts to gambling, others call it a skill-based game that requires knowledge to win.

IIT Delhi’s report compared both online and offline variants of rummy and poker to test key elements like shuffling of cards, card deck randomness, and seating of players.

Analysing various reports and experiments, it quickly became clear that poker and rummy had both skill and chance factors. The outcome depended on the skill level of the player and the hand they are dealt.

Let us have a brief look at what the report says-

Skill requirement

While on a performance level, most of the time, an average and professional player who both know how to play poker displayed similar result, the professional made better use of bluffing skill which is an important aspect in card games.

However, during an online game, bluffing does not work as effectively as there is no social interaction. In this case, players need to make use of real-time decision-making skills according to the cards available to them.

Furthermore, playing challenging card games can also help to improve the cognitive ability and help to improve player performance with time.

In order to properly find differentiate between online and offline card games, the team compared different aspects. These included shuffling, player seating, identities of the players, time constraints and card deck.

Comparing the two, online card games that have proper certifications were on par with offline games and in some cases even more secure for new players as it ensures that cards cannot be revealed to other players along with providing cards randomly to all players.

The experts were provided data by the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) using which, the research was conducted. A thorough analysis was done on skill variables for both online poker and rummy.



The experts at IIT Delhi took 30 games played by a person and compared them. The win rate in games of chance are independent to the amount of games played in a time-period, while in a game of skill there will be a positive correlation.

Analysing the games, the experts found a positive correlation in poker, proving that the game is more dependent on skill rather than luck. It also proves that mastering the nuances and strategies of the game can also improve performance.

Engaging more in games gradually increase the win rate for players. Losses are also diminished with experience, and the win percentage rises.


Rummy also saw similar results, as the data was taken from 10,000 users that have played at least 30/100 games. By playing more games, players gain skills for discarding or using cards properly, which leads to an increased win rate.

Further, an experienced player can use skills to minimize losses in case of a wrong move. In terms of profitability, new users always saw a dip in win rate, which then increases as the player gains experience and remains constant afterward.

Report Conclusion

The analysis concludes that as players play more and more games, skill improves in both poker and rummy, which in turn leads to an increased win rate. This applies to both online and offline versions of the card games, thus concluding that there is no difference between online and offline card games.

In fact, in online gaming there are no preference factors of social involvement which makes using skill a priority. Compared to an offline game, playing online indirectly requires improvement of skills to succeed.