Many novice poker players ask themselves "why play poker?" time after time and the answer is quite simple: people play poker not only because it is fun but also due to the challenge it presents, an intellectual test. It is a game of mental stimulation and skills where there is no ceiling of achievement with no-limits games and numerous competitions where poker players may earn thousands of dollars. Above all it's entertainment and a way to make money.
The first answer for "why play poker?" is money, I agree that this game is fun but let's face the truth - poker is a game which is stirred by money, which draws many people to start playing poker from the beginning. Though a poker player may fold many times in a single game in the end of each poker session a patient player would go home with a pure profit, there's no doubt about it.
Poker is not a gambling game and with sufficient practice and knowledge any player can make money from poker. You can either devote few hours every week for poker and earn a couple of bucks as a half time job or you can give poker your full time, become a pro and make poker as your main income, it all depends on you and your determination.
Of course that making money from poker isn't quite simple and one needs skills and patience as well, but it's achievable if you decide to learn the rules of poker and strategies, which are the foundations for making money from poker.
The second possible answer for "why play poker?" is the intellectual challenge that poker presents. As I have already mentioned - poker is not a gambling game, though an element of chance is present, it is more an intellectual challenge where one must put his full mental capabilities in order to win.
The intellectual challenge in poker varies from player to player: for some bluffing is the hard core of the game, the real challenge, while for others the intellectual challenge lays in reading opponents' hands. Successful poker players are gaining their joy from learning how a system works and breaking it.
Apart from the intellectual challenge and the money that may be made by playing poker, this game has another attribute and that's the social aspect of it. Poker is a social game - players sit around a card table and play and talk for hours which strengthen their friendship. Poker offers you a chance to meet new people and make friends while playing your favorite game.
In many TV shows you can see the traditional "boys' night" where few guys sit around a table and play poker into the small hours of the night, that's a typical example for a poker game which symbolizes the social aspect of poker - not only do you get a chance to earn few bucks but you can talk and get to know other card players in the same time.
Another great reason to play poker is that there's no ceiling of achievement to this game – there's always bigger tables with more money in them, another competition to attend, more players to compete and more fame to gain. There are no limits to poker and only you set them according to your preferences.
You can choose to play "home games" with little risk but much fun or you can go "all the way" and never stop until you reached the biggest poker competitions such as the World Series of Poker or The World Poker Tour, where millions of dollars are presented as first-prize.
Every game that surrounds money is thrilling on its own, but poker presents a greater thrill since it is not only a game of chance, but it is a game where the most skilled and knowledgeable player wins and not the lucky ones. basically this game is a tensed competition between people, a nerve-racking event that brings out the best and worst in people and releases adrenaline in players all along the game.
The unique aspect of competition in poker is manifested in the many form of tournaments. Here are just few examples:
Another answer for the "why play poker" question is concerning casinos, or actually the lack of them. Unlike many card games where money is involved, in poker there is no intervene from casinos in the course of the game so in fact you don’t need to "beat the house", only other players.
In poker there's no fixed house edge and all you can do in order to improve your game is permitted, as long as your not cheating. The benefit of poker not being another casino game is clear – you have the full freedom to play and win, it all depends on you – your skills, knowledge, experience, bluffing ability and so on.
In poker you do not need to beat the house, just everyone else in it and this is very possible if you have the right strategies. Unlike in other casino games poker allows you to win and gain money in the long run.
In order to conclude the subject of Why Play Poker I can simply state that above all poker is entertainment, a way to enjoy our time and have some fun – you can play live poker in casinos or play online poker, it really doesn't matter as long as you're enjoying yourself, which is the best reason to play poker.
Daniel Jenkins, Editorial Staff. 2006-02–20