Playing Poker With Kids -- For Money?

kids and gamblingMy father is addicted to scratch-off lottery tickets, and since he has health issues and can't get around, he loves sitting in his recliner playing Bingo or Cash 5 with my 6 year old.

My son is getting pretty addicted, too.

Every Sunday when we visit, the first thing he does is jump in Grandpa's chair so he can "play the tickets."

I'm conflicted about this, for obvious reasons. This is one of the few things my dad can share with his grandchild. Yet my son is just starting to ask about currency and the value of things, and I don't want him to think that the lottery is the way you make money. Luckily (or unluckily?) my Dad rarely wins big, so perhaps my son will get the hint.


Because I can see how these games of chance light my son's fire, I'm pretty sure we're not going to be playing poker with money anytime soon. We did this all the time growing up, and I loved it. We'd play late into the night sometimes ... using spare change from the jar on the counter to sub for chips. There were no keepers; it was all returned at the end of the game.

Then again, my kids also play Bingo at birthday parties ... for prizes. Is there a difference?

A number of CafeMoms say that poker, blackjack and other card games commonly found in casinos is a great way to teach math to youngsters. In a poll, moms say 9-10 is a good age to teach the game. But many moms play with their kids at a much earlier age; one said that poker is the reason her second grader knows her numbers at a fifth grade level.

How do you feel about playing poker with your big kids -- with money? How about lottery tickets. Do you let your kids play scratch-off tickets?


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