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“In Poker, Bets are Moves” <- Good One
People think of poker as a form of gambling. One reason could be the ambivalence of language.
Gambling involves betting. You bet money on the outcome of an unpredictable event. Your betting has no influence on the outcome.
That’s how gambling works. In poker, “betting” means something else.
Part of the game mechanism
Placing a bet in poker is a way to influence the game. By well balanced betting you can make opponents behave in ways that suit your strategic plan.
With a strong bet you can make an opponent give up the pot, even though he holds the best hand.
PPA says it well
Or, in the words of the Poker Players’ Association, PPA:
“What is called a bet in poker is really a move, like a move in any other game: it is a strategic maneuver designed to provoke a desired reaction from an opponent.”
That’s a very good distinction. Making a deliberate move in a game of strategy certainly has very little resemblance to buying a lottery ticket and hope to get lucky.
The quote is from a paper written by the PPA in connection with one of the many court trials where the PPA has been active to help courts understand what it’s all about.
I’m not saying poker players should start calling bets “moves”. But I think the distinction between bet and move is a key to the understanding why poker is not gambling.
Well put, PPA.