Is poker considered a sport?

Poker ranks as one of the most popular card games both offline and online. Many individuals are attracted to the strategic challenges, social interaction and excitement that accompanies poker games.

Professional poker players play against each other in various competitions. However, is poker considered a sport, a game or both? There is an ongoing debate concerning this question. Join us below as we unpack the poker game by presenting arguments for and against it being considered a sport.

What is sport?

Does poker qualify as a sport? In order to answer this question, we need to start by addressing another question: what is sport? The answer is not completely clear or transparent as there are differences in views. For instance, the Cambridge Dictionary defines sport as “all types of physical activity that people do to keep healthy or for enjoyment.” However, this definition focuses mainly on the physical dimension of sport.

By comparison, the Oxford Dictionary offers a more comprehensive definition of sport as "an activity involving physical exertion and skill, especially (particularly in modern use) one regulated by set rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others."

Is poker a sport?

Should poker be defined as a sport? Let us approach this complex question carefully by presenting arguments for and against defining poker as a sport. It is important to emphasize that the arguments of both sides are complex and open to different interpretations depending on one’s personal views or preferences.

The case against defining poker as a sport

Both the Cambridge and Oxford Dictionaries stress that sports involve a physical activity. This is for instance obvious in sports like soccer, tennis matches, or ice hockey. While poker can be an intense activity, the players are usually sitting still around the table. There are therefore several arguments against defining poker as a sport.

It is not secret that poker involves players sitting without moving. In other words, poker does not entail any physical activity in the conventional sense of the word.

Furthermore, there are no apparent health benefits from playing poker, unlike for instance physically demanding sports such as soccer or tennis.

The case for defining poker as a sport

Many poker players have strong feeling about poker. Needless to say, there are therefore many who argue that poker could and even should be defined as a sport.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines sport as an activity that is pursued for enjoyment. Poker clearly fits this definition as the card game is considered a very enjoyable activity for many poker fans around the world.

While poker might not involve traditional physical activity, it is nevertheless intense and can be physically exhausting for individuals who play it, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary. In other words, poker can indeed be defined as an unconventional physical activity. Since poker can be perceived as a mind sport, it can therefore be argued that poker keeps its players healthy. Professional poker requires a certain level of physical and mental fitness.

Unlike for instance slot games that mainly rely on luck, poker is clearly a skill-based activity, in accordance with the definition of the Oxford Dictionary. Many hours of practice are equally important in poker as it is for instance in conventional sports such as soccer and running.

Furthermore, poker is regulated by specific rules and customs, which is key element in sports, according to the Oxford Dictionary.

Last but not least, poker involves a high degree of competition against other players and teams. Like for example soccer, professional poker involves prestigious competitions with significant prizes. For instance, the World Series of Poker is often considered the World Cup in the world of poker.

Is poker a game or a sport?

Poker is clearly defined as a casino game. In fact, poker is featured prominently in various online casinos. However, at the same time, poker displays features that are characteristic of sports. For that reason, poker could be seen as a hybrid activity that unites the world of games with the world of sports.

Should poker be defined a sport?

Many people appreciate poker as a fund, challenging and social table card game. However, there are different opinions concerning whether poker should be defined as a sport. Poker does not involve a clear physical activity as is the case with for instance soccer and tennis. However, poker does involve physical exhaustion and mental focus, two clear sports components.

Poker is also guided by specific set of rules and customs as one would find in sport activities. Finally, poker is a competitive activity with tournaments where the outcome is usually determined by skills, determination, and perseverance. While poker might not be a sport in the traditional sense, we believe that it should ultimately be seen as a sport activity due to the many overlapping elements.

More Articles