Are Card Games a Sport?

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By Monica Bates

Card games have been around for centuries and have become a popular form of entertainment worldwide. But, the question remains – are card games a sport?

What is a sport?

Before we delve into whether card games can be considered a sport or not, we must first understand what the term “sport” means. According to Oxford Languages, a sport is defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Physical Exertion

One of the key factors that determine whether an activity can be considered a sport is physical exertion. Most traditional sports involve some level of physical effort, such as running, jumping, throwing, or hitting. However, not all sports require athletes to exhibit high levels of physical exertion.

Card games typically do not involve any significant physical exertion. While shuffling cards and holding them may require some degree of dexterity and hand-eye coordination, it does not qualify as physical exertion in the same way that running or weightlifting does.


Another important aspect of sports is skill. Sports require athletes to develop and hone their skills over time through practice and training. These skills may include hand-eye coordination, reaction time, strategy development, decision-making ability, and more.

Card games undoubtedly require players to develop their skills to succeed. Mastering various techniques like bluffing or reading opponents’ body language takes years of practice and experience.

However, while card games may require skill development on par with some traditional sports like chess or billiards – they don’t necessarily require the same level of athleticism.

The Debate

With these considerations in mind – it’s understandable why there’s an ongoing debate about whether card games can be considered a sport.

On one hand – there are those who argue that if activities such as chess and billiards can be classified as sports, then why not card games?

On the other hand – there are those who argue that while card games may require skill, they do not meet the physical exertion requirement of a sport and therefore cannot be considered one.

Ultimately, whether or not card games can be considered a sport is subjective. It depends on how you define “sport” and what criteria you use to evaluate it.


In conclusion, while there may be some debate about whether card games can be considered a sport – it’s clear that they require skill and strategy development. However, the lack of physical exertion involved in playing them may preclude them from being considered a traditional sport.

Regardless of their classification – card games remain a popular form of entertainment enjoyed by millions around the world.