Posted 11 July 2005 - 07:10 AM
Is poker gambling? On the face of it, this seems to be a simple question with a simple answer. you are placing bets on an outcome which cannot be determined before the event. you are gambling. However, if we attempt to provide a logical defense for this answer, the question becomes much murkier. The dictionary provides several definitions for gambling, none of which are very clear. The first, and most commonly associated definition, is To bet on an uncertain outcome. Given this definition, poker is certainly gambling. However, so is just about anything else we do in life. Crossing the street is gambling. you are betting your life that you can make it across before a car strikes you. Eating is gambling. You are betting that the food you eat is not poisoned. "But these things dont involve money!" Well, lets look at education. When you attend college, you pay tuition. You are paying based on the expectation that with your degree will come some job with an expected range of starting salaries. You are BETTING that the education you are paying for will yield future income. This is no sure bet, as Im sure some of you can attest. When you buy stocks, you are BETTING that the value of said stocks will increase, yielding you a positive return on your money. And yet no one, to my knowledge, has ever been to a GA meeting for an addiction to the stock market. Those who go broke on the markets are not 'gambling degenerates', but rather 'unsavvy investors'. Despite this, we can all agree that betting on sports, and games like blackjack and roulette are most definitely gambling. So, it is clear that the textbook definition of gambling is incomplete. With that in mind, let me pose a new question to you all: Can you give me a definition of gambling which encompasses poker as well as casino games like blackjack, while excluding socially and morally acceptable, and seemingly mundane actions like attending university, or buying a sandwhich?