Marshall McLuhan on poker

Games…can provide many varieties of satisfaction. Here we are looking at their role as media of communication in society as a whole. Thus, poker is a game that has often been cited as the expression of all the complex attitudes and unspoken values of a competitive society. It calls for shrewdness, aggression, trickery, and unflattering appraisals of character. It is said women cannot play poker well because it stimulates their curiosity, and curiosity is fatal in poker. Poker is intensely individualist, allowing no place for kindness or consideration, but only for the greatest good of the greatest number—the number one. It is in this perspective that it is easy to see why war has been called the sport of kings. For kingdoms are to monarchs what patrimonies and private income are to the private citizen. Kings can play poker with kingdoms, as the generals of their armies do with troops. They can bluff and deceive the opponent about their resources and their intentions. What disqualifies war from being a true game is probably what also disqualifies the stock market and business—the rules are not fully known nor accepted by all the players.

-McLuhan, Understanding Media, p. 240