Betting on Brains: Is Poker Gambling?

Betting on Brains: Is Poker Gambling?

Looking through the lens of legal rules, you might ask yourself, “Is Poker gambling or not?” This question remains one of the most discussed in the United States. Many believe that poker is a game that requires being skillful; therefore, it should not be considered gambling. According to a federal judge who cited that poker is not gambling, “Studies have found that skilled players defeated unskilled players in the game’s simulation and real-world play.” 

However, the most consistent statement from one state to another in the US is that playing poker is a form of gambling. Many believe that engaging in an activity with the primary motive of obtaining something more valuable than you put in, which is not an investment but a chance-determined outcome, is gambling.

Two different options or perspectives are in play here. But really, is poker gambling? In today’s casino news, we will look into this question to find some fact-based answers.

Is Poker Gambling? A Strategic Game of Chances

According to USlegal, Gambling is any activity involving the collection or registration of bets on policy games, lottery, or any game of chance in return for money or any other valuables. Following this definition, the question remains: Is poker gambling? The answer is yes. The basics of poker highlight that a player must wager chips on the outcome of cards to win more chips (real money.) However, some disagree with this answer. 

Below are some reasons why many believe playing poker should not be translated as gambling. 

Shuffle Up and Deal: Explore the Exciting World of Poker!

The Classification of Poker

Poker is one of the few casino games that requires skill more than luck. It is not a chance-based game. Several studies have shown that some elements of skill are needed to be a good poker player. Most times, you cannot win in poker without having some level of knowledge or experience. The only way to step into the path of winning is to learn how to play the game, which can be attained by reading the best poker books and practicing regularly to hone the skill. A weak player is often easy to spot, and therefore, beat.

Tournaments and Professional Status

Poker is the only casino game with several tournaments for all the games provided by casinos, including the online casino setting. Poker is the only game with competitions that are as tight as that of esports games. Hundreds and thousands of players compete to get the best hand, and only a few will win to ascend to the heights of being a professional player. These professionals often make a career out of poker gaming. Some become mentors to other aspiring poker players. 

For example, a Ph.D. researcher, Maria Konniknova, began her poker journey for academic purposes. She wanted to know more about the poker players’ psychology and game. One of the first things she did was get a mentor, Erik Seidel. Seidel, who has won about $5 million playing poker, also introduced her to other top players. They taught her the game’s strategy, composure, and etiquette.

After some months of training, Konniknova also began to win some money. This example shows that poker is more than gambling on a chance of winning. 

The Ever Evolving Game of Poker 

Poker is not a static game like many others. Learning never ends, and new games are released. However, new variants like Oasis Poker take time to churn out. Therefore, players often take their time staying updated. You can only fly high in poker by staying informed. 

If poker is not very important, there will be little research on how to beat the game. Now, we have tools that use Game theory optimal (GTO) to find the best ways to handle some poker gaming situations, and multiple casino guides that teach you how to dominate the game in different scenarios. This sends a message: People are eager to know more about the game

The Verdict: Is Poker Gambling or Not? 

Is poker gambling? Our answer will be Yes and No. Yes, if you only want to focus on the definition of gambling and the making-money part. And No, because you cannot thrive or randomly win without some poker knowledge or applied strategy. We will say poker is about making the right decisions. We will leave you to decide your final answer as well. 

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