Playing poker has become a favorite past time of many people. People gather together in one house for poker nights or poker parties. Casinos have poker tournaments and poker tables available for anyone who wants to participate. There are also tournaments sponsored by major sports networks like ESPN that feature the best poker players from around the world. They also sponsor celebrity poker tournaments where whoever wins will donate the winning pot to their charity of choice.
There have been many debates asking one question: is poker gambling? People have been debating over this question for ages now and it has yet to receive a proper answer. Some professional poker players say that if poker is gambling then why are they able to do it professionally. They claim that playing poker is like a sport and is an actual game. Other people argue that whatever event that involves betting and wagers should and is considered gambling. Taking a risk by playing a card game is gambling. These are two polar opposites in terms of reasoning and no one has been winning this debate.
Playing poker for fun with friends is very different from playing in casinos and in tournaments. Poker with friends can be played even without serious bets involved. This is so different from playing poker in tournaments and in casinos where some monetary investment is needed. Some people prefer playing poker for fun instead of going to casinos because playing without real money is not really gambling. Poker for fun is just a nice relaxed game among friends. This is usually played over a few beers, good food and great company.
Poker tables in casinos can have bets that are as small or as big as you can imagine. Some people even lose the shirt on their backs, figuratively speaking of course. This is how high the risk is when playing in casinos. This is also the reason why casinos take good care of their poker players, especially big rollers. Do they consider what they’re doing as gambling?
So the question remains: is poker gambling? There is even a saying out there that states: I don’t gamble, I play poker. Many poker players still use this saying until today saying that poker is completely different from gambling. All we have to remember is that poker is a card games based on some skills, a bit of strategy and a lot of luck. We’ll just need to leave the question hanging and allow each one to have an opinion.