Teen Poker Games Are a Safe Gamble

DISCLAIMER: Gambling with money or valuables is illegal in the state of California

When parents see their children crowded, wearing stone poker faces and calling each other’s bets, they generally panic at the sight of this unruly money-exchange. Is it bad to enjoy a friendly poker game between friends?

Other than being a way for many teenagers to socialize, poker makes a person think and weigh out consequences. Rather than shunning the practice, poker should be embraced as an acceptable recreational game.

The school seems to have no problem with poker. At club day, two poker clubs made an appearance and were chartered. Merging into one club, the Applied Statistics club seeks to give its members a new insight into the game and analyze the probability of poker.

“Now that we are chartered, we can start having meetings where we can help people understand the mathematical aspects of poker while also learning how to better play the game,” said officier of the Applied Statistics Club sophomore Connor Anderson.

With a group like this to help teens to find a hobby that is devoid of other risky behaviors, who can complain?

“If you really want to get good at [poker], it requires serious math. Probability is a very difficult aspect of math, and when put onto something [teens] care about, it forces them to think,” math teacher Carol Evans said.

Poker is a game of strategy, probability and luck. Its origins and overall strategy lie in mathematics. A game that stimulates the brain is more beneficial than the mind melting video games that most teens binge on.

Poker also relies on the process of understanding other people’s styles of play. When looking at odds and simultaneously trying to understand other players’ strategies of play, it gives the mind a serious workout.

It is obvious that poker should be the least of many worries, and people should not immediately dismiss the idea.

Additionally, what is poker but a social event between teenagers? The game urges interaction between individuals. Poker is not all about raking in chips and winning hands, but also enjoying the company of the people playing.

Gathering to see some friends and talk is all part of the game. The addition of individual strategy and luck also brings into play a complex social interaction of players each round.

Teens enjoy the game for recreation and the thrill of chance.

“For me, [poker] is more of a social event,” Senior Taylor Daw said. “It’s something to do with people.”

The view is shared with many other avid poker players that have joined the Applied Statistics Club to become better at the game. The whole game is not about winning, but about enjoying the people playing and the experience.

Teens can either sit in front of a television watching a re-run of “Seinfeld” or sit down at a table and enjoy the company of lady luck.