High school implements poker club to teach math

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Nov 30, 2010 Posted in Poker News | No Comments »

Winning poker players are well aware of the role math plays in poker, and it seems that a Virginia High School is also well aware of the connection between poker and math. The Washington Post ran an article today about George Mason High School where a school-sponsored poker club has been added to the school’s extra-curricular activities.

The poker club uses the popular card game to help students with math and logical reasoning skills. No money is involved, and the game is stripped down to its barest mathematical essentials. George Mason High School Principal Tyrone Byrd told the WaPo: “We know the kids could play outside of school, but when they’re here, we have the opportunity to show them how to play responsibly and to show them how the game relates to their education,” When the poker club was approved Byrd wanted to make the club’s value explicitly known: ‘Real money could not be used, and the game’s educational relevance must be made explicit’ were Byrd’s rules.

Obviously the club has drawn fire from anti-gambling advocates with Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling telling the WaPo: “We’re playing with fire here. Poker can be a teaching tool, but it can also lead to abuse and addiction… The excitement that a win produces, whether or not it’s for money, can have profound effects on decision-making in a young brain.” suggesting it would lead to students playing Online Casino Games.

I highly recommend you read the entire story in the Washington Post by Kevin Seiff: Falls Church school gambles on poker as an educational tool.

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