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Old 03-10-2011, 04:01 AM   #1
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Islam and Poker

Hey,

In Islam, in the holy Qu'ran, it states that all gambling is strictly forbidden and haram.

My question is, does poker lay outside of general gambling? Gambling is forbidden in Islam due to the fact that there is too much chance and it is better to have a stable job, so to speak, and not to be filtering your money away.

But poker, for me, is an 100% skill game, and I approach it in a way that allows it to be skill. I don't practise any other form of gambling. I'm confused right now because everything is saying it's haram, but I just feel that it's being looked at like poker is looked at in most courts - a game more dominated by luck rather than skill.

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Islam and Poker

Poker didn't exist when the Qur'an was written so I doubt it came up when Allah and Muhammad were chatting.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by EeeTeeKid View Post
Any thoughts?
Even the stock market is a form of gambling, and thus forbidden.

Remember that poker is still gambling. It doesn't matter if you have a 51/49 edge, the element of chance is still there. Same thing if it's 99/1.
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:56 PM   #4
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Re: Islam and Poker

Change your religion buddy
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:56 PM   #5
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by Hardball47 View Post
Even the stock market is a form of gambling, and thus forbidden.

Remember that poker is still gambling. It doesn't matter if you have a 51/49 edge, the element of chance is still there. Same thing if it's 99/1.
This feels awkward because whatever we do in life, we cannot escape chance.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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Re: Islam and Poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by EeeTeeKid View Post
But poker, for me, is an 100% skill game, and I approach it in a way that allows it to be skill. I don't practise any other form of gambling. I'm confused right now because everything is saying it's haram, but I just feel that it's being looked at like poker is looked at in most courts - a game more dominated by luck rather than skill.

Any thoughts?
Roulette and craps can be reduced to 100% skill as well. The only difference is that in poker your expectation can be positive and in other casino games it cannot.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:34 PM   #7
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Re: Islam and Poker

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This feels awkward because whatever we do in life, we cannot escape chance.
In most jobs you are not wagering your own money. You get paid regardless of the outcome of your employer.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Islam and Poker

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In most jobs you are not wagering your own money. You get paid regardless of the outcome of your employer.
True, but does that mean Muslims cannot be entrepreneurs?
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Old 03-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #9
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by Jerok View Post
True, but does that mean Muslims cannot be entrepreneurs?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki
Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods. Typically, the outcome of the wager is evident within a short period.
The fact that poker is played in a casino should be a good indicator that it is closer to "gambling" (as used in the Quran) than starting a business.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:05 PM   #10
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by Deorum View Post
In most jobs you are not wagering your own money. You get paid regardless of the outcome of your employer.
But the amount you get paid is dependent on the outcome of your employer to some extent - certainly in the long term there is an element of chance in all jobs and in some (eg commission based jobs) that element is active on a day-to-day basis.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:14 PM   #11
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Re: Islam and Poker

I think this illustrates a common problem for religions - that books written a long time ago clearly have no concept of the world we live in today. Thus trying to apply moral codes to current day issues is problematic. For example, when "Thou shall not kill" was written, the concept of when exactly life begins was not made clear leading to the entire abortion debate. With foresight, maybe God could have been a bit more definitive in books he relies on to be the basis of faith for thousands of years.

As stated, whether poker is "gambling", depends on your definition of "gambling". If this is determined by the chance of losing your money, I think entrepreneurs fit the definition much better than decent poker professionals. However, if this is a moral stance that it is bad to take money from others "unearned", I think poker is gambling, but entrepreneurship is not.

If you are concerned, I suggest you pray to your God and say that you believe poker is allowed, but if he disagrees to appear before you and tell you otherwise - problem solved!
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:27 PM   #12
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by Hardball47 View Post
Even the stock market is a form of gambling, and thus forbidden.

Remember that poker is still gambling. It doesn't matter if you have a 51/49 edge, the element of chance is still there. Same thing if it's 99/1.
When you go to sleep you might not ever wake up. Remember, going to sleep is gambling, even if you have a 99.9999999 to 0.00000001 edge. Better stay awake, or you're violating the Holy Qu'ran.
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:28 PM   #13
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by Deorum View Post
In most jobs you are not wagering your own money. You get paid regardless of the outcome of your employer.
Wat?

You get paid as a result of the outcomes of your employer. Not regardless of them. MANY people have sales jobs where their paycheck is a direct result of their sales, and their sales can in turn, by dictated by huge luck factors.

If you go to work and nobody comes in your store today (by sheer chance) yeah, you're probably going to be paid for your work that night, but you're going to be out of a job by next week.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:07 PM   #14
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Re: Islam and Poker

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Originally Posted by rizeagainst View Post
When you go to sleep you might not ever wake up. Remember, going to sleep is gambling, even if you have a 99.9999999 to 0.00000001 edge. Better stay awake, or you're violating the Holy Qu'ran.
That's be a ratio of 1:1,000,000,000?

If you assume that you go to bed once a day, that'd be roughly 2.75 million years. I doubt that anyone so far (besides God of course and the angels) lived so far, especially given that the Earth and the Universe are only 6,000 years old.

I think poker is only gambling if you go all-in with AKs and expect to flop a Royal Flush.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:51 PM   #15
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Re: Islam and Poker

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But the amount you get paid is dependent on the outcome of your employer to some extent - certainly in the long term there is an element of chance in all jobs and in some (eg commission based jobs) that element is active on a day-to-day basis.
This is not the same thing as risking losing your own money for a chance to gain more. Risking failure is not the same as wagering your money in a game of chance.
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