Poker's (false?) Stigma

I think most of us can agree that there is a definite stigma around gambling and that to many people the word “gambling” raises a few red flags. The reasons for which gambling has a negative stigma are common knowledge so I will not spend time talking about it.

However, the point I am going to make is that I think that this negative stigma associated with gambling is carried over to the game of poker way too much. I’m definitely not saying that poker isn’t a form of gambling but what I’m trying to convey is that anyone that doesn’t have any experiencing with poker is likely to think that poker is just another casino game where you gamble away all your money, I’m not saying that people don’t or can’t gamble away their money on poker but anyone who’s actually played poker knows that the game is about 70% skill 30% luck which is what makes poker such a good game and also what makes it different to other gambling games which are based mainly on luck.

In conclusion what I’m really trying to say is that I think that it’s a shame because poker’s image and it’s community’s image are damaged by this common misunderstanding of the game and the gambling aspect of it.

tbh I’m wondering if this is a valid argument so i’d like to hear people’s opinions on this.


I have to disagree with your whole thread . Poker doesn’t have a stigma associated with gambling. Poker was founded as a game in the 19th century in the United States. It is also certainly not associated with or have the stigma of a casino game as there were no casinos at that time and the majority of poker games are played from homes and social clubs all over the world .

If someone wants to combine the game of poker with winning hands receiving goods, services or money so be it.

I associate the word stigma with something bad/negative .

Poker and gambling is not a bad thing. I’m fact I think people of legal age should participate in it weekly and classes should be taught in school as it stimulates the mind.

It’s therapeutic properties are world renowned!!!

What a great past time Poker is and always will. No stigma associated with gambling all the time as far as I’m concerned.

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sadly enough there are several people who don’t know much about poker who seeing it as gambling. and because of that they only seeing things like “when you play it for money you can get addicted” or “when you play it you can lose all your money” and because of this people can see this like it is a bad thing to do.

of course as all of us here know there are several things that are very good at it too: it learns you math, knowing people, patience, discipline, bankroll management. all kinds of stuff that’s good for you outside of poker too, and when you play it well it can also get you good money. and obviously it’s also a great way to enjoy yourself especcialy if you love the game.

the problem is that the people who are believing poker is a bad thing because it’s “gambling”. they only see those very few people who got so badly addicted they lost their stuff and homes by playing it, and thinking only that this might happen to you if you want to play it seriously. even while they are just the very few exceptions. which makes it very hard to convince them playing poker it’s also a good thing.

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That’s where the part about education comes in that I was talking about.

I guess some of these people should stop living in the Wild West days of Cowboys, guns, saloons, whiskey and poker and join the real world of Poker positives.

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fully agreed.

also have to say that several of those people are probably scared about those doom scenario’s i talked about about becoming addicted and losing everything.
i agree that it happens, but they are really the exceptions. but if you play it well, the only risks you take is losing money you can afford to lose which you can get back later because of BRM, while the good things it gives i talked about does still apply. which is also often something that don’t get understood or believed by people believing it’s all gambling and bad.
hopefully they will understand it sometime.

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Hopefully brother, hopefully :+1:t2:

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this is a perfect description of what i was trying to get at. thank you.
And I hope that in the future poker is not misunderstood as much so that more people can experience the great game that it is.

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“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. even his chips”

The Bible make it pretty clear that what we are doing is wrong…

What percentage of people do you feel misunderstand Poker ?

What is misunderstood?

How would you educate the masses on the game of poker ?




The perception of poker as gambling is one of the reasons online poker in the US is so difficult to legalize. I have had the luck vs. skill discussion so many times, and even people who have experience playing still seem to overestimate the value of luck.

In my opinion, 1 hand of poker is 70% luck, 100 hands is 30% luck, 10,000 hands is 10% luck, and 100,000+ hands is <1% luck. Poker is gambling because luck is involved and it is potentially addictive so people go broke and get hurt, but bankroll management is just another element of the skill of the game, just another math problem to solve.

Your question about how to educate people is really interesting. Bringing new people into the game (and taking their chips so they can see how much skill is involved lol) would obviously help. It seems like many novice players are bored by the strategy elements of the game, so they just want to see flops and make hands rather than understand the game. I think trying to start with strategy and introduce the game as a skill game more similar to chess that just so happens to involve cards and bets would be a good place to start with people unfamiliar with the game.


Well said and I agree that education is the key and some people believe everything negative about the game.

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Amen Joe… lets hire the lawyers that got Fantasy Footbal classified as “skill”… let them get poker classified the same way… roflmao


Fantasy football skills needed…uhhhhhhh???..have relationships with agents, front office staff, trainers, players, etc. or work for the sites and take advantage of true inside information. Why anyone not in the above categories plays online is a mystery that I can’t solve.

The last time I did it friendly, at the mid season point 8 of the top twenty points producing running backs had been undrafted in a 12 player league. These guys have been doing it as a group for twenty plus years, so not exactly novices. Some reflection of skill that is…

Bring poker back online nationwide!!!

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Wife is Having Fun and Luck in Replay League play Lately. She just mentioned that Her friends can’t fully understand Her enjoying Playing Poker. I guess Having Fun with Free Poker doesn’t add up for many people. Maybe it will lead down a Slippery Path. Replay is a Great site on Solid Ground.


When I play on this site, I Needed to reassure my family that it is free. The correlation between poker and gambling with money is real to me. I sell this site to my friends and they fall into three catagories: don’t play, play and might join, or play REAL poker at a Casino for Money. The same is true for the pub poker games I play here in Florida. Players divide into Real players who know how different our free chips’ game is and those who fancy themselves gamblers just because they tip $5.00, get chips and say all in with pocket Queens losing to a King on the river. Would they have made that bet if all in meant $5,000?

to me the stigma is real, the red flags are not waving loud and bright since my family knows i’m not in financial woes from gambling, and the first category above that doesn’t play will have some opinion / correlation to gambling. Since I mostly play in pub league or here (and I have no casino stories worth sharing without disgrace) I will help deminish that faux image by my selling the great game to those around me.


When I tell family and friends that I love playing poker online, they look at me sideways with worried expressions. In my circles, comprised of fairly normal people in Australia and Thailand, there is a direct association between gambling and poker. Gambling is stigmatized and by association, so is poker. People assume money from my pocket is going out there an never coming back.
I visited a casino in Singapore last weekend and was amazed by the number of people “throwing away” their hard-earned. Participating in such games is not my choice, but each to their own. I was disappointed to find only 3 Texas Holdem tables with big blind at $20 in the smoking area. Even that was too much for me. I’ll stick to the free stuff for now. I’m not much of a gambler, but I love poker.


Great to have you here :+1:t2:

NL Holdem
Blinds Bankroll
5c/10c $200
10c/20c $400
25c/50c $1,000
$0.50/$1 $2,000
$1/$2 $4,000
$2/$4 $8,000
$5/$10 $16,000
$10/$20 $40,000
$25/$50 $100,000
$50/$100 $200,000

you’d need a hefty bankroll for a table with $20 blinds…