🃏 Do People Consider Poker A Sport

While it may not seem like one at first glance, some people would consider poker a sport. In fact, based on the dictionary definition of the word, there’s a strong argument to be made that it is. Sport is described as an activity of skill and physical exertion in which an individual or team competes against another. Poker might be missing physical exertion, but it ticks all the other boxes. 

Similarities Between Poker and Sport

As a game of skill, poker has a lot in common with major sports like football or basketball, as only an elite few can ever rise to the top and become pros. Online poker may have made the game more accessible, but becoming a pro and making big money is more challenging than ever, thanks to the increasing level of competition. There are plenty of other similarities between poker and sport too.

Televised Games

Watching sports on TV is one of the biggest pastimes of any sports fan. Whether it’s at home or in a bar, you can almost always find some live sport to watch, and there’s nothing more exciting than watching your favorite team win. Televised sport has helped make sports bigger than ever, giving fans all over the world the chance to watch and enjoy their favorite teams and athletes. 

Just as you can watch sports on TV, you can also watch poker. Although it’s not live, many of the biggest poker tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, are televised and broadcast on cable as well as online streaming sites. The reason why it’s not live is that most broadcasts include the player’s cards, allowing the viewer to have more information about the game and what’s happening. This makes it much more exciting, as you can see when someone has a great hand and when players are bluffing. 

Skill and Technique

Everyone knows that sports like football are skill-based, with the best players requiring many years of practice and training to play at the top level. In addition, it’s thought that many athletes are naturally gifted at their sport of choice, whether because they have the ideal body shape or because their hand-eye coordination is simply better than a regular person.

Skill and technique are a major part of playing poker too. Although it’s legally considered a game of chance in many places, poker is far more about the most skillful than the luckiest. You can tell this because the top players win year after year. If it was a game of luck, different players would win all the time, as there’s no way to be consistently lucky. 


Even if they’re naturally gifted, all athletes need to train regularly to stay sharp and stay ahead of the competition. When competing against others, it’s important to be prepared and to train as much as possible. Most athletes spend countless hours a year on the training ground, developing their technique, analyzing their mistakes, and improving. Those who don’t will soon get replaced in the rankings by the ones who do.

Like athletes, poker players must practice their craft to perfect it. They don’t have their physical strength or speed to improve, but they can always get better at reading situations, planning, and problem-solving to get better at the game. Additionally, they can make use of software to track their play and improve on their mistakes. 


Competition against others is the foundation of all sports. It’s most likely one of the main reasons why sports were created, and it’s something that has driven humans to improve and develop our skills over millennia. Sport provides a way for people to fulfill their natural instinct to compete in a safe and controlled way. Whether it’s a team sport or individual, the ultimate goal is to compete against and beat your opponent.

Poker, much like sports, is all about beating your opponents. However, instead of beating them to a trophy or points, you’re beating them and taking their money, increasing the stakes and making it even more exciting. Unlike other gambling games that are played against a casino, it’s just you versus the other players, and to win, you’ll need to outsmart your opponents. 

Differences Between Poker and Sport

While there are many similarities between poker and sport, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are lots of differences too. 


In all major sports, fans will happily fill up stadiums and arenas to cheer on their favorite team or player, hoping to witness them winning glory on the biggest stage. Many of these fans are literal fanatics, following their team everywhere, chanting the names of the players, and wearing all the merch.

In comparison, poker doesn’t really have that, at least not yet. Who knows what the future could hold, but it’s unlike that thousands of fans would crow into a stadium to watch a live poker game between even the biggest stars.  

Physical Exertion

One of the main aspects of sport is that it includes physical exertion. Players must be running, jumping, or otherwise using their bodies in a way that requires effort and force. For this reason, being good at sports doesn’t just require an understanding of the rules and being able to read your opponent, but you also need to be fast, strong, and agile

Poker doesn’t really require any kind of physical exertion, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. Players will frequently grind and play multiple tables at once online, mentally exerting themselves and putting long hours into the game just to get better.