Is Poker a Sport?: The Big Debate 

is poker a sport or a game

What is your opinion on whether poker is a sport or game? Some people say it’s a game because you can’t call yourself an athlete if you don’t have to work out. Others say that poker requires skill, strategy, and quick thinking which makes it more of a sport than just sitting around gambling like other games. I want to write this article looking at both sides of the argument before coming up with my own verdict! 

Definition of a Sport 

A sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. When you think of sports, what comes to mind? Perhaps you imagine marathons, triathlons, or football. Sports bring people together and provide us with entertainment that can be shared by all ages. 

On the other hand… 

Definition of a Game 

A game is an activity involving one or more sets of rules in which players engage in competition for amusement. Games can be physical or mental and often involve chance. Board games, card games, and video games are all types of games. 

Arguments For Poker Being a Sport 

  • Physicality: There is some physicality required in poker. You have to be able to sit at a table for hours on end and you need good hand-eye coordination to make the right moves. 
  • Strategy: Poker is all about strategy. You need to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em! If you don’t have a good strategy, you’re not going to win very often. 
  • Quick Thinking: In order to be successful in poker, you need to be able to think on your feet. You can’t take too long deciding what move to make or you’ll lose out on the hand. 

Arguments For Poker Being a Game 

  • No Set Rules: Poker has become increasingly popular over the years but one thing that hasn’t changed is how different every poker hand can be even though they all seem to follow the same rules. A game is something that has a set of guidelines and you need to know them to be successful, but poker doesn’t fit into this mold because it’s constantly changing. 
  • Gambling: As a game, people are playing poker to have fun and gamble. It’s not an official sport that you can join the Olympics with. That being said, there are global poker competitions that people compete in for money. 

My Verdict: 

After looking at both sides of the argument, I think it’s fair to say that poker is more of a sport than a game. There are some definite similarities between the two but I think the skills required to be successful in poker make it more of a sport. What do you think? Let me know in the comments! 


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