What is gambling?

    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      So I recently wrote an article for my website on the topic of what gambling is and how poker and other games fit in with the definition (you can find the full thing here: What is gambling?) and I would like to get a wider opinion.

      The basic premise would be that a lot of things that we see as gambling are actually not. All the casino games are actually not gambling since they have a fixed negative long term result for the player. On the other hand, poker actually is gambling at the beginning, since you can not be sure what the end long term result will be. Also the negative connotation when it comes to gambling is wrong, since it is actually, to quote myself, "a neutral state in which you do not yet know if you are a long term winner or loser at something", and the negativity comes from people thinking that actual long term losing games are a gamble... which they are not, they are just throwing money down the toilet :)

      So what do you think?
  • 9 replies
    • la55i
      la55i
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      I didn't read your article but I think you are wrong.. Poker is not gambling because you do not know how well you play. It is a game where you can play stupidly and gamble but in the end it is a game of skill, if you lose you are just a bad player, not a gambler. And those casino games which have fixed negative long term result are definitely gambling. People pay to get a small chance to win big, which is gambling imo. Everyone knows that the house wins eventually but they do not care as long as they have a little chance to win big?

      What you are saying is black jack, lottery and slot games are not gambling but if you want to be a professional athlete, you really are a gambler, because you do not know yet if you can make it.

      Dictionary meaning of gambling is: to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes.

      All those games that have fixed negative outcome for the player are games of chance because you will win some % of the time. While poker might be a game of chance in the short term, it ultimately becomes a game of skill in the long term.
    • AlvisR
      AlvisR
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      Joined: 27.02.2009 Posts: 656
      If you say this example is gambling:

      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      Hero (SB): $10 (100 bb)
      BB: $10.51 (105.1 bb)
      UTG: $15.32 (153.2 bb)
      MP: $10 (100 bb)
      CO: $35.79 (357.9 bb)
      BTN: $13.16 (131.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is SB with A A
      3 folds, BTN raises to $0.25, Hero raises to $0.80, BB folds, BTN raises to $2.10, Hero raises to $10 and is all-in, BTN calls $7.90

      Flop: ($20.10) 8 7 5 (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      Turn: ($20.10) 2 (2 players, 1 is all-in)
      River: ($20.10) 8 (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:
      $20.10 pot ($1 rake)
      Final Board: 8 7 5 2 8
      Hero showed A A and won $19.10 ($9.10 net)
      BTN showed K K and lost (-$10 net)



      I expect a call from AKs QQ+ where i win 80.44% of the time which in $ would be + 6.24$ every time this hand happens. If you say i just gambled for 10$ then you are totally wrong sir! :sorry:

      I took this example for sake of simplicity. Poker regs are doing this all day just with more marginal hands. and they care their EV only which is far more complicated if added all hands together. But i asure you regs dont gamble.

      :gl:
    • la55i
      la55i
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      OP is saying that poker is a gamble at first because you do not know how to play.. When you learn the game, the nature of the game doesn't change.. It is still the same game. We can draw a conclusion that it never was gambling but we were just bad players..
    • Dippy19
      Dippy19
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      Joined: 04.12.2007 Posts: 1,346
      Originally posted by la55i
      Everyone knows that the house wins eventually but they do not care as long as they have a little chance to win big?
      There are games where you can't actually win big (it kinda depends on your definition of big, I guess), like blackjack. I think most people play either for fun, for adrenaline addiction or because of denial (I was surprised in how much denial people can be about casino games).

      Originally posted by la55i
      What you are saying is black jack, lottery and slot games are not gambling but if you want to be a professional athlete, you really are a gambler, because you do not know yet if you can make it.
      You are kinda gambling, if you are a professional athlete. You don't really know, if you are going to be good enough to win, you just try your best to improve your chances.

      Originally posted by la55iAll those games that have fixed negative outcome for the player are games of chance because you will win some % of the time. While poker might be a game of chance in the short term, it ultimately becomes a game of skill in the long term.
      I agree 100% :)

      Originally posted by la55i
      OP is saying that poker is a gamble at first because you do not know how to play.. When you learn the game, the nature of the game doesn't change.. It is still the same game. We can draw a conclusion that it never was gambling but we were just bad players..
      Kinda... I'm saying that at first you don't know, if you are a winner or loser, so it's a gamble, but with time (and many hands) you find out and then it's not gambling anymore, it's just either earning or losing money. You can of course improve your chances beforehand by studying and be pretty sure you are going to be a winner even before you start :)
    • HoofdVogel
      HoofdVogel
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      Joined: 11.01.2008 Posts: 3,193
      So basicly everything in life is a gamble, except casinogames :D
    • diversfx
      diversfx
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      Joined: 24.12.2010 Posts: 627
      every hand is a gamble until the river. so poker is gambling. aces for example are beat everyday many times.
    • la55i
      la55i
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      Originally posted by diversfx
      every hand is a gamble until the river. so poker is gambling. aces for example are beat everyday many times.
      Do you think that poker is gambling in the long run? Would you call shoving aces preflop gambling if you win 85% of the time? Would you call playing 72o gambling if you are almost sure that you can outplay your enemy and make it +EV?
    • Tomaloc
      Tomaloc
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      Joined: 17.01.2011 Posts: 6,859
      he means like when you move up, you don't know if you are a winning player, so it's "gambling". i like the point but i feel that there must be some other wording here...
    • la55i
      la55i
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      I know exactly what he means but word "gambling" is not good here. I get the point and I sort of agree with it but if you just started to play poker and you don't know if you are yet good enough to make money, it strongly implies that poker is a game of skill not luck, meaning it is not gambling. If doing something but not knowing if you will succeed is gambling -> almost everything in life is gambling.

      Did you read his blog/article? http://www.cardgamesplanet.com/what-is-gambling.html