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Home > Strategy > Why play poker?

Why Play Poker?

Why play poker? It seems like a simple question, but the answer is complex and personal. There are many different reasons to play or not play poker. The reasons a person chooses to play poker will shed some light on what type of player that person is and what styles of games he or she should play.

Reasons to Play Poker:
Social Rewards. This is how the traditional home games came about. Many friends like to hang out and play cards, and many people become friends over the card table. If this is one of the big reasons you wish to play, stick with the lower stakes games, they're more fun and friendly.

Entertainment. Poker is a competitive game. To win, one needs the skills and the bit of luck the game involves. Many find this enjoyable and compare poker playing to a sport. Make sure you do not get swept up in the "sensational nature" of poker though because it is possible to lose a lot of money at the game.

Education. The skills necessary to become a good poker player apply well to other aspects of life. Poker will help you to improve your judgment skills (reading people) and sharpen your logic & strategic skills (ways to play your hand, odds, etc.).

To Make Money. Most people play poker for fun, but some make large sums of money at it. Of course, these players are few and far between. Not everyone can make a lot of money at poker. Nevertheless, the desire to win more is definitely a reason to improve your poker skills.

Poker is one of the few forms of wagering where you can actually win in the long-run. Casino-style betting is no doubt rigged against you (it's impossible to win in the long-run at craps/roulette/etc. no matter what anyone says. The only exception is blackjack if your a card counter, which is so extremely arduous). Sports betting is also nearly impossible to beat without "insider" information. Thus, poker is one of the few forms of gambling where you can actually win money in the long run simply by being a good player.

Reasons NOT to Play Poker:
You Have A Gambling Problem. When anyone plays poker, he or she risks losing money. One should never play poker with money that he or she cannot afford to lose. Poker winnings should not be viewed as a method to "get rich quick" and losses should not be viewed as money that needs to be 'won back again.' If you are inclined to a gambling problem, do not play poker.

Disclaimer: Most jurisdictions view poker as gambling; in some jurisdictions, playing poker for money is illegal. The information contained here should not be construed as legal advice. Many people have become addicted to poker and lost considerable sums of money. Full Disclaimer