Poker has boomed in popularity over the past five years. What started as a game played on the fringes of American society has now become a worldwide phenomenon. There are a variety of reasons people play poker.
Financial: Poker is one of the few gambling games where players can actually win money in the long-term. This is because players play against each other instead of the house. A superior player is able to win over time by making skilled moves against his opponents.
However, making money isn’t the only financial reason players opt to play poker. In fact, most people who play poker do not play for money; rather, they play for ‘fake chips’ which are not worth anything. Since poker is a skill-based game, it can be very entertaining without having to risk money. Poker is one of the few forms of entertainment that can be played for hours without paying a nickel.
Educational: Poker is a great method to brush up on math skills. Since much of the strategy in poker revolves around odds, players quickly become experts at calculating expected value and other mathematical principles. It is for this reason that some teachers are now employing poker in schools as a method for teaching expected value.
Social: A great way to kick back and relax is playing poker with friends. Poker facilitates conversation and a calm atmosphere especially when played for low-stakes or no money at all. Poker has been featured on multiple TV shows as a weekly social gathering, such as on Desperate Housewives, where the main characters have a revolving poker game each week.