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Current status: Former featured article

Introduction Section[edit]

The article begins with a very poor definition of what poker is by stating:

"Poker is a popular type of card game in which players gamble on the superior value of the card combination ("hand") in their possession, by placing a bet into a central pot."

Besides the fact that the sentence and usage of the phrase "superior value of the card combination" is awkward, good poker players do not consider themselves to be "gambling" on most of the hands they play. Good poker players make bets/wagers and more often than not know the exact outcome of their actions (i.e., they know the opponent will fold or if they're not sure, they know that either the opponent will fold and they'll win $X, or the opponent will not fold and they'll lose $Y). It is also possible in poker to know that you have the best possible hand that no one can beat, and therefore you cannot be considered "gambling" at this point. Furthermore, you aren't simply placing bets on the value of your hand. Sometimes you disregard the value of your hand because you know your opponent will fold 90% of the time if you place a particular bet/raise. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

I agree the intro is clumsy, but gambling is a required mention if only because most players are not "good poker players" as you say. 2005 14:48, 12 September 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Poker is not gambling and I wish uneducated people would stop describing it as such. A gambling activity is one where people stake money at unfavourable odds - such as on a horse race at a bookmakers. Other activities involve risking money, but not at unfavourable odds. For example, people invest money in shares, but they are not gambling because the odds are in their favour - they can reasonably expect to make a profit in the long run. In poker, the idea is to place "bets" when the odds are in your favour - that's the whole point of the game!

Your contrast with sports betting is not accurate. In fact there is a close similarity. In both cases the odds are unfavourable for the bettors as a whole (assuming the poker table has a rake), but a skilful player, like knowledgeable sports bettors, will beat the odds and profit from the other players' losses. (talk) 04:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Is it pointless to describe poker as gambling when the very object of the game is not to gamble! Some people playing badly doesn't change the point of the game! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Not pointless, accurate in fact. Better players beat the odds by applying skill just as knowledgeable sports bettors do. Both cases comprise gambling, though skilful individuals can by understanding the odds win more often. Even they, however, can have wild up and down swings. Gambling is the large element of chance in the individual outcomes. The chance is still there even though the odds can be calculated. You do not know your opponents' cards, and even if you did you could go all-in with the best hand and lose. I know that we sometimes use the term "gambler" to describe a loose player who just takes a punt, but this is a variant use of the word. In the sense in which it is used here, a gambling game is one in which money is staked and there is an element of luck. It does not have to be pure luck (as in roulette) any more than sports or political betting are. Your point is correct but it just uses "gambling" in a different sense. All the poker writers I have read describe what they do as "making a living from gambling". (talk) 04:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Since I posted the above (my IP address has been changed but it's still me!), I have had a little more insight into the subject. Most people, myself included until I looked more closely, just tend to assume that if you are a break-even player (i.e. your results are similar to flipping a coin) you would expect over time your losses and wins will roughly even out, which is the basis of the argument that "It's not gambling". This is not so. They are as or more likely to swing wildly one way or the other. For a mathematical angle on this look at the first paragraph of "Random walk" and the accompanying diagram. Then go to the Random Walk Generator at [1]and run it a few times. More times than not the line swings well away from the central axis. In fact the most likely number of returns to the axis in a finite number of plays is 0! [2]. Once you are $1000 down you are equally likely to pull back or to lose a further $1000. (talk) 10:06, 28 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
This comes up from time to time, but it's really simple. Whether or not the odds are in your favor, if you're placing wagers, that's gambling. Having a positive or negative expectation doesn't affect whether or not it's gambling. Casinos gamble every time someone places a roulette bet. But the odds are in their favor. Doesn't mean the casino isn't gambling. Rray (talk) 17:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
If I may throw in my two cents, according to the American Oxford Dictionary, gambling is an enterprise undertaken or attempted with risk of loss and chance or profit or success. Since the object of poker is to win all the chips, this means that at least one other person, who "is not gambling" according to the aforementioned descriptions of the game above, lost all of their the chips. Maybe gambling involves a game which continues on the premise that all players believe they may win, but do no KNOW it. Even if a player has received a hand which he or she can be sure is a winning hand, it does not usually guarantee that that person will win the game. To say that only the bad players gamble would seem to suggest that all the people in the world who have ever lost a poker game were bad players because they gambled. And in cases when the player is said to KNOW that he or she WILL win constitute what most players would call cheating, i.e. not gambling at all. (EarnestyEternity (talk) 19:19, 31 October 2008 (UTC))[reply]

Poker is a game of skill[edit]

It is NOT gambling. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:23, 26 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

What, prey tell, do think characterizes gambling? --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 17:31, 26 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Well, the 'prey' may indeed tell you it is gambling. LOL :D Zchais (talk) 18:58, 1 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Exactly! Poker is not gambling and I wish uneducated people would stop describing it as such. A gambling activity is one where people stake money at unfavourable odds - such as on a horse race at a bookmakers. Other activities involve risking money, but not at unfavourable odds. For example, people invest money in shares, but they are not gambling because the odds are in their favour - they can reasonably expect to make a profit in the long run. In poker, the idea is to place "bets" when the odds are in your favour - that's the whole point of the game! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 15 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Since when are the two concepts "game of skill" and "gambling" exclusive? Poker is certainly both. I don't know of any dictionary that lists "unfavorable odds" in its definition of "gamble". To gamble is simply to risk money on an event whose outcome is largely due to random chance, even if you have the odds heavily in your favor. The casino is gambling just as much as its patrons, so long as its results are based largely on random things like shuffled cards and dice rolls. We don't generally say that a businessman or a stock trader are gambling, because their outcomes are based on things like good marketing, good business decisions and such, even though there is certainly some random chance involved as well. We would say that a trader is gambling if he were investing heavily in things that were dependent on, say, the weather or local politics or speculative research or similar random things. I have been playing poker for 30 years, professionally for many, and I never had any illusion that I wasn't gambling. I may have the best of it, and win in the long run, and have never missed my mortgage payment; but there have definitely been times where the turn of a card made the difference in whether I bought the new TV now or a month or two later. --LDC (talk) 16:58, 8 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
"Gambling" just means that wagering is involved. Being a game of skill has nothing to do with it being a gambling game. Rray (talk) 17:19, 8 January 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Not true in some places. "Gambling" is illegal in some places, and the legal definition of "gambling" generally involves an element of chance. People get all worked up about whether poker is gambling because if it is, it's illegal in lots of places; and if it isn't, it's legal in those places. Tempshill (talk) 16:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Illegality is irrelevant here, and what you mention is not an issue anyway. Legal arguments generally focus on a skill thresholds and a propenderance of chance. No one suggests poker doesn't have chance, and no one has ever argued poker is not gambling. 2005 (talk) 21:32, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]
I was pondering whether the stock market would be considered gambling according to the definition that has been offered. I think the reason that it's not, is that over the long term stock investments outpace inflation, and even after commissions paid, the net of all combined investments have a positive return. Not only the good investors make money, which is the case in poker, since any money made in poker has to come at the loss of another player. I think of investing as more like farming. Many people can plant crops, some will grow better than others, but generally the activity has a positive outcome. There is skill involved in investing, farming, and poker, but I think the distinction lies in whether things are being produced, or if it's just a zero sum game. The insurance business I would argue is gambling (and is not even fun) and should be accordingly outlawed. :) KenFehling (talk) 04:15, 28 February 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Gambling vs Skill. This is probably an endless debate. What is gambling? What is skill? Simply put gambling is when you put money at risk. Skill is generally viewed as years of practice and execution at a particular endeavor until one reaches expert/mastery status. It has been suggested that the stock market/investing is gambling. Well, isn't it? The previous poster says no it isn't, but it can be. Any general search via Google will find many a millionaire gone bust due to bad investments. Ever hear of Barry Manilow? He lost a lot of money, went back to work, hired new investors, and recouped his massive losses. Evander Hollyfield? Ed McMahon? The names are endless. The fact is, if you can lose money in the stock market, then it can be gambling, and one can certainly, without a doubt, lose money in the stock market. So how do people like Warren Buffet succeed? Is he luckier than others, or a skilled investor? My limited knowledge of his success lays in the fact that he understood the fundamentals of a successful business, and invested in companies he found met those fundamentals. The next question is: "Does that represent skill?". Simply put, yes. Luck would be throwing your money around without reason, and if you just happen to pick up Microsoft stock in it's early days because you liked the name, then viola you were lucky and became rich. Warren Buffet uses logic, reasoning, and his own experience/knowledge of business to make sound decisions, which in the end equates to skill. This does not mean that every stock he picks will succeed, but rather he gives himself a mathematical edge when picking stocks. Thus we return to poker. Can one throw his money in with any two cards and win? Yes. Is this luck? Sure is. Can one understand the sound reasoning behind the mathematics of the game, make decisions based on those numbers, and put himself in a favorable position to win/earn money? Based on numerous books on the market today that can be cited to prove this as fact, the answer is yes. We can even ask a successful poker player about how they make decisions and if you listen closely you'll find that there is a lot of thought involved before throwing money around foolishly. There is no doubt that there is skill to poker, and utilizing that skill effectively can have a long term financial reward, just like investing in the stock market. There is also no doubt that there is gambling in poker, whereas if someone wants to play any two cards for a few hours, they can do it. More often then not they lose their money, but sometimes they get lucky and walk away a winner. This same person could play the so called penny stocks in the market, which according to numerous investing books is considered gambling, but it can be done. So is it gambling or is it skill? It depends on who you are. The long term poker player, who knows when it's best to enter a pot, stay in to the end, or wisely lay down a hand due to years of experience is clearly skilled, and reaping long term rewards. The person who walks in on a Saturday night with friends looking for a few hours of a good time is going to be lucky, or unlucky; i.e. gambling.--YouHaveAChoice (talk) 19:45, 9 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Mark Twain wrote a short story in which there was a trial to determine whether poker was a game of chance. The jury retired and couldn't reach a verdict; half the jury thought it was, and half thought it wasn't. They then played an actual game of poker back in the jury room, and the non-poker players, who happened to be those who thought it was a game of chance, all went bust; and in this way the matter was decided. Tempshill (talk) 16:35, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Well, uhh Tempshill, I think that needs a big [citation needed]. But anyway, I think we all agree that Poker is a game that is dependent on both luck and skill, but that the fact that it contains even a single element of luck makes it by definition--gambling. Its hard to say the same about something like chess. I do understand your view, but we all want Wikipedia to be technically academically correct, no matter what the cost. Even so, Poker is still a game that can be calculated and contrived using statistics, probability, and game theory; and is by definition "gambling", which is what an encyclopaedia is for. — Kortaggio Proclamations Declarations 02:49, 27 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Should be included[edit]

Charles Harrelson

Poker is a game of skill II[edit]

Online Poker has a "legality" section, why doesn't "poker"?

Texas Hold' em Poker was found not to be gambling under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code by Judge Thomas A. James Jr. in the case of Commonwealth of PA v. Watkins. [1]

The case involved a $1/$2 table stakes Texas Hold 'em Poker game with a dealer making tips. The organizers were charged with 20 counts of violating Section 5513 sections (a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(4), related to "unlawful gambling", and had materials related to the games confiscated by police as "gambling devices". [1]

Section 5513 of the Pennsylvania Code makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree for a person to invite or allows other people to gather in a place of his control for the purpose of "unlawful gambling".

In his decision, Judge Thomas A. James Jr. stated, "[T]here are three elements of gambling: consideration, chance and reward." The judge found through a four pronged test that skill predominates over chance, and that Texas Hold' em is a game of skill, therefore not gambling. [1]

Specifically, the decision states:

The court finds that Texas Hold 'em poker is a game where skill predominates over chance. Thus, it is not "unlawful gambling' under the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.

Section 5512(d), which provides definitions, states:

As used in this section the term "unlawful" means not specifically authorized by law.

Texas Hold 'em is NOT "specifically authorized by law", therefore, the argument is that Texas Hold 'em is not gambling to begin with.

Section 5513 states: (emphasis added)

§ 5513. Gambling devices, gambling, etc.

(a) Offense defined.--A person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree if he:

(1) intentionally or knowingly makes, assembles, sets up, maintains, sells, lends, leases, gives away, or offers for sale, loan, lease or gift, any punch board, drawing card, slot machine or any device to be used for gambling purposes, except playing cards; (2) allows persons to collect and assemble for the purpose of unlawful gambling at any place under his control; (3) solicits or invites any person to visit any unlawful gambling place for the purpose of gambling; or (4) being the owner, tenant, lessee or occupant of any premises, knowingly permits or suffers the same, or any part thereof, to be used for the purpose of unlawful gambling.

Herb Riede (talk) 17:21, 20 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

In answer, I provide another of the 50 states' laws on gambling:

Texas Penal Code Sec. 47.02. GAMBLING. (a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) makes a bet on the partial or final result of a game or contest or on the performance of a participant in a game or contest; (2) makes a bet on the result of any political nomination, appointment, or election or on the degree of success of any nominee, appointee, or candidate; or (3) plays and bets for money or other thing of value at any game played with cards, dice, balls, or any other gambling device. (b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that: (1) the actor engaged in gambling in a private place; (2) no person received any economic benefit other than personal winnings; and

(3) except for the advantage of skill or luck, the risks of losing and the chances of winning were the same for all participants.

Poker is a game played with cards, at which players bet for money or other things of value. So Texas thinks it's gambling. We're back to even. In fact, since Texas thinks it's gambling, and there are twice as many Texans as Pennsylvanians, then it's easy to see that it's a gambling game because twice as many people live under that definition of the term as do not.

Note clause B. The Texas law basically excludes friendly private games. Case law in Texas further states that if the host is simply compensated for food, drink, decks of cards and other necessities supplied at the game, that is not "economic benefit". Basically, the case law in Pennsylvania you cited protects the collection of "tips", which could be counted as going toward such expenses anyway. The case was decided the way it was because the person was not doing anything "wrong"; he held a friendly game of cards with a freewill donation to cover expenses.

My point is that the legal world is full of such twisted interpretations of the way things really are. I will not deny that poker requires considerable skill and strategy. However, poker is not chess. A large element of chance is involved. In chess, a player about to be checkmated cannot simply take the opponent's queen and start using it as his own. Yet, the equivalent happens many times in poker; a player on the ropes hits the river card and doubles up, and all of a sudden it's a game again.

Liko81 (talk) 22:44, 21 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

"Legal" definitions vary from place to place, but encyclopedic definitions can be more clear. Poker is gambling because it involves wagering. Saying that it's not gambling because a skilled player has an edge over the player is like saying that a casino isn't gambling when they run a roulette game. They're still gambling; they just have a mathematical edge. Rray (talk) 00:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Well, that depends on what your definition of "is" is. You use a metaphor about roulette, I can use one about stock brokers, backgammon, darts, bowling and billiards tournaments, golf and bridge tournaments. They all have significant elements of "chance", some more so than Texas Hold 'em and some less. Yet in many states, it's considered acceptable to lay money down as it's considered wagering on skill.

Yes, wagering on skill can be called "gambling" if you consider yourself a "professional gambler" or believe in such an oxymoronic term.

However, states such as Pennsylvania define gambling the word as specifically having three elements; (requirement of) consideration, (predominance of) chance and (potential of) reward.

A "professional gambler" would never, in their right mind, lay money into a situation where their Expected Value is negative, since they make a living "gambling".

They would not make a living gambling, then, and would soon run out of money. They have to beat the house and/or rake and/or other players consistently through skill.

Increasing amounts of skill removes the element of chance - i.e. the reduction of number of hands showndown.

But this isn't the place for this argument.

MY POINT is not about defining gambling, but rather that poker isn't necessarily legal in some places, and is in others. There is a plethora of information about the legality of online poker, but none about the legality of it's more respectable older cousin, live home games and real down home B&M.

So let me rephrase: Why isn't there information about whether or not the local senior center will be closed down over the penny ante game? Herb Riede (talk) 22:17, 26 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]

There could be a section on that, but I suspect there isn't one because beyond one sentence it becomes redundant -- poker is legal in some jurisdictions and not others. The fine lines of that could take thousands of words to go into, and this is just an encyclopedia article. A couple paragraph summary could be great if written well, but when discussing the entire world, it has to be light on specifics. 2005 (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Absolute Poker cheating issue[edit]

I removed the section on the Absolute Poker cheating scandal. That info belongs in Absolute Poker and Cheating in poker, where it is already covered. SmartGuy 21:22, 5 November 2007 (UTC)[reply] a personal webpage?[edit]

Just out of curiousity, is a website written a by a professional historian, without any biographical content, and focuses on a single topic (card games) a personal webpage? I'm just asking because I'm trying to figure out what constitutes a personal webpage, because I don't think fits the profile. ( I also apologize for my serial edit earlier. I am new to the wiki edit and have just discovered the history. I had no idea that certain sources could not be mentioned.) -- (talk) 08:15, 24 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Yeah that comment was nonsense. The pagat link is obviously a reliable source, and a pagat link that is Parlett article is even more obviously a reliable source. I restored the refs. 2005 (talk) 08:27, 24 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

--Thanks! I thought I was going nuts for a second. --Jtd00123 (talk) 15:47, 24 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

As Nas[edit]

Unfortunately a lot of claims relating As Nas to poker on the net come from poker journalists without any sources. The only source I found on poker history that came from an actual historian was found below:

Abridged version of the As Nas discussion Lately I have been going back and forth with an editor on the importance of As Nas in relation to poker. I know my explanation of the lack of evidence of As Nas's relation to poker is a bit bloated, so I will clean it out and give an abriged version of my argument

I'm not the only historian that doesn't buy the poque/primero origins of poker (see Alvarez, for example). If poque were the ancestor of poker, then it would have used the 52-card deck and had the flush, as poque did at the time. It is quite clearly documented that early poker used a 20-card deck and had no flush, exactly like As Nas. The flush and the 52-card deck were later additions (along with the straight and others). As far as the historical origins of this article are concerned, you can blame me--I created it, and I edited it based on my own views of the rather spotty historical evidence involved. I'd be happy to see references to better scholarship on the issue, but I haven't found them. --LDC (talk) 16:03, 27 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Facts supporting As Nas as the direct ancestor of poker and not Poque: 1) While poque is very similar to poker, in terms of hand rankings and deck count, As Nas, remarkably, is even MORE similar to poker then poque. Both poker and As Nas used 20 cards, and both had the addition of two pair and full house. Interpretation: but, as Parlett worded it, the only evidence is a strong resemblence, which makes it at least just as likely that Poker influenced As Nas (read below for explanation) 2) The Ganjifeh deck, the Persian deck used for As Nas, was invented in the 1700s, making it older then the poker deck. However, the Ganjifeh deck is a 90 card deck, not a 20 card deck, which brings us to...

Facts supporting that As Nas has nothing to do with poker: 1) The Ganjifeh deck was obviously not created for As Nas, which makes it less probable the game was invented during the deck's 18th century origin. 2) While there is plenty of evidence that other "poker-like" games around the region and time of the birthplace of poker, such as Brag, Boulliotte, and Poque, there is absolutely no evidence of As Nas being anywhere at that time or place, In fact, - There is no evidence of its existence prior to 1890, anywhere, in Persia, America, Europe, Antartica. None. 3) the only source descibing the rules of As-Nas comes from an American in 1895, from the hearsay of another American, not a Persian. Credibility issue anyone? 4) The desciption of game leaves open the possibility that betting can continue after all bets are equal. If this is the case, then the betting structure of poker has more in common with poque then As Nas 5) And here is the big one: The fact that the As in As Nas is not a Persian word but a French word, meaning Ace. And thus, 6) It is more likey that As Nas comes from a French bluffing game rather then the other way around, perhaps even poker itself. (assuming the game even existed) 7) From the 15th century till the 20th century, Poque/Pochspiel has left clear evidence of its origins, its spread across Europe, and even to America. There is a definite lineage there, it left breadcrumbs everywhere it went. It became brag in England, Mus in Spain, and Primero in Italy. It could have even have became As Nas in Persia. With As Nas, we don't have any lineage, no evidence that it spreaded throughout the middle east, and made its way to America like Poque did. Hell, we barely have any "evidence" that is started in Persia, other then the musings of an American general.

More analysis on the origin of poker: -We must also consider the fact that the 2nd version of poker, poker we think of today, used the draw (the first one didn't), and used a 52 card deck, and thus: a) the high possibility that the 2nd version of poker was influenced by the game Brag, which also used a 52 card deck and used a draw, and thus b) it is logical to assume that poker, as we think of today, doesn't have one ancestor, but at least two.

(everything said here can be found on the source above, or on the site containing the source) --Jtd00123 (talk) 07:45, 24 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]


I have only found two sources so far that seem reliable. One is from an actual Oxford historian The other, while I'm not sure if it is written by a historian or a journalist, is a published author. At least had the decency to write where he got his information from. Most of the the quotes are from historians regarding the history of poker, or paraphrased information taken from scholarly sources.

(If anyone finds anymore scholarly sources on the issue, I would love to see them if you have the time to send them to me)

The first half of the source from cardplayer is pretty much about the debate on the history of poker over the course of 80 years. Of the historians cited in the article, most in the last 20 years seemed in favor of poque being the direct ancestor of poker. The rest viewed poque as being one of its major ancestors (see Al Alverez's theory)

Down below is a collection of facts that I gathered from pagat's article on Poque's rules, and the two other sources shown above.

Facts supporting Poque as the direct ancestor of poker: 1) The birthplace of poker was settled by French. Evidence shows that the game poque was played in the birthplace of poker, a French game very similar to Poker. 5 cards were dealt. The betting method is almost exactly like poker at the 2nd stage, where The betting continues around the table until bet by the players who have stayed in are equal, or until everyone but one has folded. 2) Poque is only missing two of the original poker's hand rankings. The biggest differnce is the deck count, some extra, admittingly odd, betting rules before the 2nd stage(especially before), and two missing hand rankings. Interpretion: However, poker would not at all groundbreaking or radical in comparison to poque. In fact, it is really just a simplified version of poque. The poker method of betting is a simplified version of the poque method, and the deck is smaller. In fact, I can make an argument that poque and original poker are more similar to each other then original poker and many of today's poker variants 3) Bouillotte, a French game also similar to poker, used a 20 card deck, much like the original poker deck 4) If you played Poque using a Bouillotte deck, you will play a game almost exactly like poker, minus two pair and full house Interpretation: Poker is likely just the result of someone wanting to play poque but only having a Bouilotte deck. 5)Last but not least, the word poker is obviously the result of an anglicized southern butchering of the pronunciation of the word poque. Interpretaion: Thus, it is obvious that the people of the time felt that they were continuing the tradition, or actually playing, a game called poque. The rules changed slightly, but the game was still there. --Jtd00123 (talk) 16:59, 28 March 2008 (UTC)[reply]

User Doesluch[edit]

Stop deleting the fact that As Nas has no evidence of its existence prior to 1890. It is a relevant fact that needs to be mentioned, and is not meant to show a personal point of view. If you want I can add historian's debate if you wish, but the 1890 date needs to be mentioned. To this day, you have still not mentioned why you continue to delete it. The rules mention that you should take it to the discussion page. You have yet to respond, on the discussion page or your talk page. Does you continuance to delete it reflect your personal views? If this countinues this will have to be settled with an admin. Please discuss why you continue to delete before reverting. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtd00123 (talkcontribs) 09:07, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Update: I have added your "facts". But I have a quick question:

Is it neccesary to put disagreements of historians on the relation between As Nas and poker on the history page? Especially the view of historians 60 years apart?

Doesluch seems to think it is. I feel that it is unncessary clutter, and that the facts of the of the game itself only need to be mentioned, not the disagreements of historians over a 60 year time period. I still think that a) As Nas resembles poker, and b) there is no evidence of its existence prior to 1890, is sufficient enough. Are there any other opinions on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtd00123 (talkcontribs) 09:34, 11 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Here is the comment I aded of Doesluch's talk page that he has yet to respond to:

My small edit on As Nas was at least factual, there was no need for it to be deleted. In addition, your source's intention to include Foster's statement in the article was to illustrate the contrasting beliefs of the origin of poker from the 30s to now. Your source's author did not intend the statement to be factual. However, even if you may not have intended it, since you only showed Foster's statement, then added that a group of historians are "challenging" it, it is implied that Foster's statement is heavily supported by evidence (it is supported by no evidence), and a group of radical thinkers are somehow opposed to the dominant theory. (when in fact, every modern historian cited in your own source seems to disagree with that statement).

Of course, the discrepencies between historians over the course of 70 years is fine to include in a jouranlistic article, but for an encyclopedia, it is not appropriate. An encyclopedia is meant to report that facts, and Fact: 1) As Nas is very similar to poker, and 2) As Nas has no evidence of its existence until 1890, is sufficient enough. The disagreements between historians 60 years apart is clutter, and has no need in the history section. However, it would be appopriate to include the debate in a seperate section on the poker article, but it should be clarified that most of the debate is pure speculation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jtd00123 (talkcontribs) 09:39, 11 April 2008 (UTC) [reply]

Pochspiel and as nas[edit]

One of the earliest known games to incorporate betting, hand rankings, and bluffing was the 15th century German game Pochspiel. It closely resembles the Persian game of as nas, though there is no evidence of its existence prior to 1890.

Everything after the comma in this 2nd sentence is confusing. There's no evidence of what's existence? Pochspiel? As nas? If the former, why is it a 15th century game? Tempshill (talk) 16:36, 22 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The confusion is probably due the fact that there have been multiple editors involved in the history section. The paragraph is simply a listing of games that may have had a possible ancestor with poker, including poque, pochspiel, As Nas, brelan, brag, primero, etc. "It's" is referencing As Nas, and I orignally wanted "no evidence of As Nas' existence prior to 1890", but I thought repeating the subject without using a pronoun would have sounded repetitive. If the sentence is unclear, then perhaps it needs to be reedited. --Jtd00123 (talk) 03:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

EDIT: Another reason for the confusion is that a user decided to add two sentences that describe the disagreements between multiple historians on As Nas' relation to poker, on a paragraph that was clearly designed to only list games that have possible ancestory with poker. The user insisted that these sentences stay in for some wierd reason, so I decided to let him keep it. Because of this, it looks like the paragraph is implying that As Nas and Pochispiel are the same game. Also, I think it is clear that "the German game Pochspiel", and the "Persian game As Nas", are two seperate games, so I think changing the 'its' to 'As Nas' is sufficient enough. --Jtd00123 (talk) 03:41, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]

There is another "article", Bluff (game), that states a different predecessor to poker. This is a content fork. The article has no references, so probably should be deleted rather than integrated and redirected here, but if anyone wants to save it and try and ref the claim, go ahead. 2005 (talk) 06:27, 23 April 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Instead of Late Night Poker, how about a link to World Poker Tour[3]? World Poker Tour is both a bigger show, and arguably the show that started the whole TV poker craze. --Horkyborky (talk) 18:15, 5 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

The article links to the World Poker Tour article already. 2005 (talk) 22:19, 5 June 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal to keep Pochispiel listed in the article[edit]

Another "new user" wants to delete Pochspiel's existence and the fact that As Nas has no evidence of its existence prior to 1890? It always seems to happen when someone is adding new information in the history section. This is starting to get old.--Jtd00123 (talk) 07:04, 6 July 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Clunky phrase[edit]

"The game and jargon of poker have become important parts of American culture and English culture" - does this literally mean what it says (ie that Wales and Scotland are excluded?), or does it mean "American and British", or does it mean "North American and British" (ie including Canada), or does it mean "the English-speaking world's", or... well, you see my point. It looks uncomfortably as though someone has used "English" to mean "British", and if so that needs changing. (talk) 18:30, 24 September 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Regarding the above 'clunky phrase': while it wan't written properly in the first place, this sentence is now a little less current. Considering that poker is played on an increasingly global scale, by that I mean it really is being promoted into ever remoter areas and overtaking their own cultural gambling distractions, then this observation is fast becoming redundant except from an historical perspective. In terms of poker jargon integrating into 'the English language' we could mention "the buck stops here", "poker face", and the metaphors of the game that are applied in reference to parallels of everyday-life decisions and strategies, though this is not necessarily restricted to the culture of English-speaing nations. Therefore I would omit, for example, using any analogy of deciding whether to "hold'em or fold'em" as strictly to the lives of British or Americans. ;-) Zchais (talk) 23:27, 1 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

"Poker face": To deceive with a face expressing superiority, owed to the knowledge of the cards played by everybody. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:08, 31 July 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion of poker versus gambling[edit]

I admit I'm new at Wikipedia editing, so I might have done something wrong. However, I'm uncomfortable with Lee Daniel Crocker's editing of my paragraph discussing poker versus gambling. He eliminated the sources, which makes the remaining paragraph appear to be unsupported assertion. Of course, we cannot put the citations back in, because the new paragraph is not what the books said. Who is vouching for the edited paragraph?

Wouldn't it make more sense to leave the original paragraph, and have Mr. Crocker provide the counterpoint? In that case, it obviously shouldn't be in the summary section at the top, but in another section entitled, perhaps, Poker versus Gambling.

To me, as a serious poker player, this is an important point that belongs in the article. The cited books, as well as other sources, have argument and data supporting the idea that the outcome of each hand has more to do with the choices of the players than the luck of the cards. Of course, the cards determine who would have have the best hand if everyone stayed in until showdown. But they don't determine who wins how much money. It is the betting and folding decisions which determine that. If the poker hands were dealt out and a fixed sum awarded to the best one, it would clearly be a pure gambling game. But that is not poker.

I think there is a big difference between a gambling game and a strategic game with random elements. I'm not sure of the nature of Mr. Crocker's disagreement ("ridiculous" is not very specific, thus hard to refute). Is it that any game with random elements must be a gambling game? Or that the random elements of poker so dominate the strategy and psychology that it is no different from roulette? Are these beliefs based on empirical evidence or general principles? If so, are there citations for them? Then let's get them into the article, as they clearly touch on the nature of poker.

I don't want to turn this into an argument, there are other places for that. I just think we've ended up with an unsatisfactory middle ground. I don't think the edited paragraph represents anyone's opinion. When I wrote it, I was not aware there was informed objection to the claim, or I would have noted those objections and placed it further down in the article. I also don't know of any credible source for the half-and-half version that is left. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AaCBrown (talkcontribs) 02:27, 13 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]


Has anyone heard of Gloucestershire Hold 'em? I've seen it played a few times in the West Country, as far as I can tell it's a lot like Texas Hold 'Em but with some important differences and slightly different hands. However i can't find many sources about it. Is this notable enough to warrant creating a page about it? If so I reckon i know enough about the game to create one Jimjom (talk) 18:13, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

In Agreement with Variant[edit]

Being from the West Country myself, I have indeed heard of Gloucestershire Hold 'em, and am grateful that somebody has finally given it a mention, seeing as it's such a fantastic game to play. With a few hands being slightly altered, it provides a new dimension to the very popular Texas Hold 'em. Very few sources are available on it, and I'm sure a Wikipedia page in its honour would only aid its popularity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by LukeA92 (talkcontribs) 18:32, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Glad to see someone else knows the game. If no-one has any objections I'll create this page then? And LukeA92 can help me with any of the finer details I'm not sure about. It would be useful to have a wikipedia page about it, because as i understand it, as with many West Country traditions, it faces dying out without some way of more young people finding out about it Jimjom (talk) 18:38, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

What published sources are you planning on using? Your memory doesn't count. A whole page sounds like a lot. Could you work a paragraph about it into [[4]] or the corresponding Omaha page? How many people play it? There's a threshold for notability. Good luck; I'm just politely pointing out problems. PhGustaf (talk) 19:13, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah I agree there are some problems, because i can't seem to find many sources about it, but it is a real game, because LukeA seems to know it. I know it is played in the West Country, especially Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, but outside the West Country I'm not sure how widely it is played. I'd really like to see a page made about it. Maybe I could create a page akin to the Omaha one, but I'd be worried that it would get deleted straight away, as i cant source it, apart froma freewebs page i found. Like i say, i know it's played in the West Country, which i think means it should warrant some sort of mention at least, but outside the West Country, I don't know how many people know it. I htink, if LukeA and maybe some other people can help me I ccan create a page like the Omaha one. Jimjom (talk) 19:26, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]
If there are not sources, it can't be mentioned. If you make a page it will just get deleted. There are literally hundreds of "home game" variants that are played and enjoyed by people, but the Wikipedia is not here to promote them. If something fails WP:V, it can't be included. It's all about verifiability and reliable sources. (Also, refer to WP:OR, which basically states that you should not write about something strictly from your personal experience.) 2005 (talk) 23:17, 20 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

ye i am trying to find sources, because i know it is played in a few towns throughout the west country, so i think it deserves a mention, but im struggling for sources, anyone else payed it? Jimjom (talk) 16:44, 24 October 2008 (UTC)[reply]

Singapore Stud[edit]

Could someone familiar with the game "Singapore Stud Poker" make an entry in Wikipedia? Thanks, Yantougas (talk) 19:39, 25 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

I've not heard of "Singapore Stud Poker." Are there any notable instances of the game being played in casinos, on TV or otherwise in the media? I'd probably need a lot of convincing that it needs an article before I agree with its creation. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 21:50, 25 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]
It's an invented casino table game, not a poker game. If it ever achieves notability it could have it's own article, but it isn't on topic here. 2005 (talk) 23:54, 25 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]


In the description's example of stud, it says that seven card stud is played with three cards face down and four cards up.

While this is accurate, it's a bit misleading.

It would be more accurate to describe the hand as it is dealt, two face down, four face up, and the last card face down, wouldn't it? no

BarryD9545-Tampa,FL 18:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by BarryD9545 (talkcontribs) 18:52, 10 April 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Main definition: hand rankings[edit]

The poker article stars by saying that "Poker is a family of card games that share betting rules and usually (but not always) hand rankings" but does not provide any information about the exception it yeilds quickly between parens.

What varitations of Poker DOES NOT involve hand rankings ?

This is important information missing here!

Click the hand rankings link. 2005 (talk) 08:12, 28 September 2009 (UTC)[reply]

All variations of poker involve ranking hands, however not all variations of Poker share the same hand ranking systems. For example, razz is won by the lowest hand, straights and flushes not being consequential (A-2-3-4-5 is the best possible), whereas straights and flushes matter in 2-7 lowball. I believe this is what the (but not always) was shooting at. there might be a better way to state it though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 4 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

The statement is correct, I just beleive you've interpreted it a little differently. What the statement is saying is that most variations of Poker share one set of hand ranks, but there are exceptions (like Razz and Lowball) that have their own set of hands ranks and thus do not share amongst the other variations. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 20:45, 4 August 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Added to Wikipedia Project Poker[edit]

Seeking outside opinions from Wikipedia project poker on whether or not the self-published playwinningpoker links should be included. I do not wish to engage in an edit war with User:2005 and I think User:2005 should cease editing the article until opinions from other editors can be obtained. DegenFarang (talk) 07:53, 24 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Do to the lack of response I have also added this to Project Gambling, Project Software and Project Computing (the last two because of my inclusion of a request for assistance on SNG Wizard DegenFarang (talk) 12:11, 24 January 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Introduction section, revisited[edit]

I would just like to say that I am someone with no knowledge of Poker at all (other than that it is a card game), and that after reading this article, that has not changed in the slightest. The opening paragraph alone uses about three items of jargon per sentence, and never actually touches on how the game is played, only some of its characteristics. An introductory section needs to be written for this article, which will teach people like myself how the game is actually played. If this is not possible, the introductory section should explain why. Gaiacarra (talk) 18:02, 5 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Hi there. It's because "Poker" in itself is not a game with a firm set of rules and strategies. Poker is simply a family of card games. If you want to find out how to play "poker", you need to pick a specific variant of the game. For example, Texas Holdem. --Flamingo85 (talk) 06:11, 18 January 2011 (UTC)[reply]

As long as there is no specific place inside wikipedia analog at Bridge in fiction, I was adding in good faith yesterday night a short sentence about fiction and poker... but it has been removed without a mere justification. (talk) 04:31, 15 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Adding a random, non-notable book into a section that mentions the key, original poker books is a not good idea. 2005 (talk) 05:28, 15 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
With this arguing I now understand why you've done that revert which is indeed justified ; I hope someone will answer my question above ; do we need a category, a specific section or a full entry such as poker in fiction to mention poker related books already present in wikipedia(s) such as the one about Stud City ? (talk) 06:25, 15 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
No we don't "need" a list of books. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a library. And, there are literally thousands of poker books, nonfiction and fiction. It's not our job to list some or all, and worse, this is not an article where someone could come spam this or that book. And it is also not the place to arbitrate disgreements between people who would like to see this or that book listed. 2005 (talk) 04:57, 17 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Our job is to get a consensus and I'm not quite sure you alone know when a fiction about poker is notable and when it is not... let me only quote what wikipedia already says about Casino Royale, one among the five spam fictions you've just randomly canceled : After preventing a terrorist attack at Miami International Airport, James Bond falls for Vesper Lynd, the treasury employee assigned to provide the money he needs to bankrupt terrorist financier Le Chiffre by beating in a high-stakes poker game. (talk) 08:03, 17 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Don't twist the point. First, there is no consensus to add these random books, and a longstanding consensus to not have a random collection of external links or books that could be spammed every day. Second, it is not up to you alone to decide what is notable, and then what is "more notable" than all the other things out there. As for Casino Royale, c'mon, the article about it can mention poker, but this article can not possibly mention thousands of books, movies and TV shows that similarly have poker as a plot point. (Additionally, your bridge in fiction example is wikilinks in a list article. This is not a list article. List of poker related topics is the parallel place to add wikilinks to poker fiction topics, not here.) 2005 (talk) 18:27, 17 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

To be perfectly honest, 2005 would be the closest to a user who alone can determine something. My opinion of the issue is that despite poker being important to Casino Royale, Casino Royale is not specifically important to poker. Namedropping a single book would be out of place in the article, and namedropping many would turn it into a list of poker fiction, which would be far more appropriate of being a separate article. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 15:51, 17 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Never mind that in the BOOK Casino Royale Bond is NOT playing poker.Intothatdarkness (talk) 18:00, 29 December 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The five books I was suggesting are not that many and a separate article is therefore not needed: I challenge you to find so many significant fiction books dealing with poker. My last argument is that Bridge in fiction is neither a separate entry. (talk) 14:11, 6 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]

There is no need to add five random books to the this article, and there is definitely no reason to make a separate article about five random books. Text about poker in fiction could be a useful entry, here or separately, but that doesn't mean some random books should be promoted in that text. 2005 (talk) 18:03, 6 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]
random random random ... what else ??? (talk) 21:01, 6 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]
That's precisely what they are. JaeDyWolf ~ Baka-San (talk) 10:12, 7 October 2011 (UTC)[reply]

External links[edit]

Ok, we established we hate external links, so I'll suggest it here you consider adding the link It is a print and play set of cards, tokens and rules released under public domain (and thus, free). The site have other traditional games (board games actually) which have links from wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Isacvale (talkcontribs) 20:07, 31 October 2015 (UTC)[reply]

This site does not appear to be a good source for further information, so I do not think we should link to it.-- (talk) 14:52, 1 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Article has been fine without external links for a decade. This one wouldn't qualify as one of the top 100 external links that could be added to the article either. 2005 (talk) 19:07, 1 November 2015 (UTC)[reply]

House edge[edit]

Poker is often played in casinos, but do casinos benefit directly from it? Unlike other change games, the casino can't win the pot. Or maybe it can when two players tie, but that's very rare. So how do they gain from it? Or is it just a game to draw people to the casino and hope they try other games as well and spend quite a lot of money on drinks? (I never go to a casino, you know.) Steinbach (talk) 17:59, 4 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The house doesn't play against the players. They basically charge the players some sort of rent to play at the table. Some ways to do it having a time charge (say $5 a half hour), or they take a percentage of each pot played (say 3% up to some maximum amount, or they take the same set amount from each hand played (say $5). 2005 (talk) 02:00, 5 February 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The poker equipment article is an embarrassing unsourced stub. It's not embarrassing that it's unsourced, it's embarrassing that even a stub about a card game specifically states that cards required equipment as a separate bullet point! Who'd a thunk it?! Seriously, though, there's no need for a piss-poor separate article when what little of value exists can easily be merged into this article. Though I think the listing for "cards" can easily be left off. oknazevad (talk) 04:12, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

That page is mostly definitions of stuff, so it would seem better to merge it into Glossary of poker terms. I agree "cards" (and also "table") don't need to be mentioned as they are. 2005 (talk) 06:34, 29 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed with the above; if there is a merge, the glossary page seems the most apt, considering. --Surv1v4l1st Talk|Contribs 23:49, 29 October 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Changing the profile picture into the cards rather than the people playing it[edit]

Hi everyone. I suggest to change the profile picture into the cards rather than showing the people playing it in order to make it more illustrative of the game and because it suits better. Could someone please do this? Thanks! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 13 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]