Poker as an Intellectual Sport

It is very difficult to adjust poker to any classification since poker has strongly located on the numerous television channels declaring exclusively sports orientation. Nowadays, poker receives large distribution around its supporters so that each poker enthusiast knows the basics of the game. Can we treat poker as a real sporting event like football or baseball? Let us address the dictionary definition of the word sport:


1. Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.2. An active pastime or recreation.

From this characterization, we understand that sports should meet some basic requirements. Any kind of sports consists of physical activity, skills, rules and a competitive element. Since the aspect of physical activity conveys the basic obstacle in our question, we shall leave its discussion for the end.

Does poker encompass a clear set of rules?Without any doubt, the concept of poker is guided by precise rules and ranging. Acceptable regulations define a true course of the game, and some actions are under an interdiction. Infringement of rules can cause terrible consequences. Public reprimand and disqualification are the unique measures of punishment applied by a sports management.Sport is a competition of skills, and poker is a competition of skills too?

The ability to understand what is a good hand and when it is necessary to leave the game defines the creditable player. However, players can make similar decisions based on probabilities knowledge or correct strategies. The magnificent poker player is the player capable intuitively to feel a bluff, who is able to analyze and systematize tendencies of other players and the one who is capable to bluff convincingly with a hopeless combination on hands. Poker is a competition of cunning, a deceit and intuition, which, in my opinion, are the same skills, as dexterity, force and accuracy.


Can poker game be competitive?In any display, poker bears on surface dark human emotions because when money is involved, there is no place for compassion. There will always be people, who cannot lose the game with dignity, but when they lose money, they are not capable to control themselves; therefore, strong feeling of rivalry is required very much in poker. It is necessary to forget about morals; in fact, your purpose is to win.

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Is physical strength involved in poker competitions?While poker demands certain intellectual force, its physical component equals the “Achilles’ heel”. Certainly, players should strain all muscles of a back and a back part of a body to remain sitting in a soft armchair sometimes more than 10 hours, but I doubt that any medical association will define this condition as “active”.

Can we define poker as a sport?Proceeding from our definition of sports, poker includes many of its components. Poker is a competition with a variety of strategy and tactics, which the skilled player will use on a way to success with much greater efficiency. Poker is not competition of physical strength, and, in my opinion, this is a sufficient evidence not to consider poker as a high-grade kind of sports. It is wonderful game, which everybody can enjoy in land based casinos or poker rooms and online poker rooms as well. At the best, poker resembles the best intellectual sport I know.