Poker: Is it a Sport or Just a Casino Game? | Explained

Poker: Is it a Sport or Just a Casino Game? | Explained

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Is Poker a sport or Just a Game on the Casino Table?

If you’re familiar with online gambling, you may very well know about the 2 major components. Sports betting and casino games. While sports betting is an older trait when compared to casino games, it’s in no way less competent than its counterpart.

In an online casino or an offline casino, there are 2 major distinctions of games. The slots and the table games. For online casinos, the table games paradigm is further divided into RNG titles and live dealer titles.

But that’s not our discussion of focus today. Rather, we’re focusing on one of the casino online games real money, Poker. It’s one of the most popular games all over the world if not the most popular. The term “poker face” which means a face that can hide any emotions has been derived from this game.

Did you know that many people consider poker a sport too? Although there are no fields or players running around, it’s a very valid argument. If you’re wondering why, we’re too. So, let’s try to figure it out together.

What’s the Definition of Sports?

According to the Oxford dictionary, the term “sport” refers to “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or a team competes against another or others for entertainment”.

Now, what happens in casino games? If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, you may check out before you move forward.

In online slots, you play against no one. You just sit in front of the machine and start pulling the lever or pressing the button to play. No dealers or any other individuals are not involved in this process. So, it doesn’t qualify as a sport.

Then, we have the table games. Let’s start with Blackjack. There is more than 1 player on the table but all of them are playing against the house. Not against each other. So, it doesn’t qualify as a sport as well.

When it comes to Roulette, no one is playing against any of the players. All players are relying on the wheel to stop on the number they’ve chosen. You get the pattern, right?

Then comes Poker. This is the only online casino online games real money where players play against each other. So, according to the Oxford dictionary definition, Poker is a sport. But at the same time, it’s a casino game as well. You don’t come across such a game ever. Maybe that’s why it’s so popular in Ireland as well as in the rest of the world.

To answer your question about whether Poker is a sport or just a game at the table, the answer is it’s both.

But if you want to put Poker in sports betting context, it’s not going to work. Because sports betting means betting on the games other people are playing. If you’re a casino player, you’re going for the casino game only.

How to Play Poker: A Short Guide

Most experts agree that poker is a very easy game to learn but very hard to master. It’s very much like driving. You can learn the basics within a few hours but it may take years before you become a solid driver.

Another thing with Poker is that there are tons of them with varying rules and confusing names. For example, video poker sounds like regular poker to the average person. But only a casino player will know that video poker is a slot-like rendition of the 5-card draw poker.

Then there’s Texas Hold’em that sounds like only cowboys from Texas might play it. But it’s a 5-card poker as well. Similarly, there are Straight Poker, 5-card Stud, 7-card Stud, Lowball, Pineapple, Dr. Pepper, Crazy Pineapple, Omaha, and whatnot.

From what we’ve seen, 5-card poker variations are most commonly played. So, it’s safe to assume that if you play real money casino games, this is what you’re going to play.
The first thing you need to do in your Poker adventures is learn about the hand values. A hand consists of 5 cards and it’s the combination that can make or break the deal for you.

Here goes the hand ranking in most of the poker games.

  • Royal Flush
    The Royal Flush is the highest paying hand as well as ranks at the top position. It’s when you have the top 5 cards in a sequence from the same suit. So, if you have 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace from the same suit, that’s a Royal Flush right there. The usual payout is 50:1.

  • Straight Flush
    The next best hand you can get in Poker is the straight flush. It’s basically 5 cards in a row from the same suit. So, the difference here with the Royal Flush is that you don’t need the top 5 cards.

  • 4 of Kind
    The name itself explains it all, don’t you think? You need 4 identical cards from the 4 suits. The other card can be anything so don’t worry about it.

  • Full House
    A full house is when you 3 get three cards from the same and the other 2 cards are from the same rank as well.

  • Flush
    Unlike a Royal Flush, you don’t need the cards to be in sequence. As long as they’re from the same suit, you’re golden.

  • Straight
    A straight hand in poker is you get 5 consecutive cards from different suits.

  • 3 of a Kind, 2 Pair, Pair
    If you’ve been following the other hands, you should already know what these hands are all about.

Actions You Can Take in Poker

After you’ve received your hand, you can either bet, call, or raise it according to what you get. This casino games real money starts with the dealer dealing with 2 cards. Every time you get an additional card, you can make changes to your bet by raising. A “call” refers to matching another player’s bet if they raise. You can also “fold” if you’re not confident with your hand.

Final Words

So, if you had confusion regarding poker, it should be cleared by now. Now you know that it can be both a sport and a casino game. However, you can only play poker at casinos, whether online or offline.