Playing Professional Poker and Such Games

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Ilyas Patel

My question is regarding making money or a living by playing professional sports, including “Professional Poker” – in which, you do not put down any money to participate and you can make a great deal of money by winning (so you do not lose any money at all, as a “Professional” card player)?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

n the name of Allah Most Compassionate Merciful

I hope you are fine and in the best of health and iman.

All the various types of poker games are considered to be haram.

I would like more details to your question of how you play without waging any money and yet win. But if it is as you have mentioned, in your case, that you do not put down any money, and not lose at all too, then it would be considered permissible, with a great level of cynicism and doubt, as there is always a hidden stake. There are people who must have waged money and now they have lost it and you gained. This would have brought about hurt to them, so it would be like making money by hurting other people.

Also taking into consideration the time that is consumed in playing these type of games without waging any money it is like wasting time without any great gain; mentally, or in the case of spiritually, not at all. There are many ways of pure halal money and entertainment. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, ‘be avid doing things that benefit you.’

And Allah alone knows best

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