Black Sheep In The White House – The US Presidents who loved Poker

A year into his presidency, US Chief Executive, Joe Biden, has been accused of taking a huge gamble with his $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which has been opposed by many. Whether or not Biden’s gamble pays off remains to be seen, however, some of his predecessors enjoyed a different kind of gambling – Poker. In this article, we’ll take a look at four US Presidents who loved the game – including one who allegedly gambled away the White House china!

George Washington


Known as the first President of the United States, George Washington was in the top job between 1798 and 1797 and was known for presiding over the convention which led to the US Constitution. Despite having a lot on his plate, Washington enjoyed a number of extracurricular activities including Bingo, horse racing and Poker – so much so that it’s said that he kept a personal accounting book for his gambling endeavours.

Abraham Lincoln

Probably one of the most famous American President, Lincoln was a lawyer, statesman and the 16th person to hold the title of POTUS. It’s thought that Abraham Lincoln’s love for Poker began when he was working on the riverboats as a young man and continued until his death by assassination in 1865. In honour of the popular President, several betting companies issued playing cards bearing his image.

Richard Nixon


Famous for all the wrong reasons, Richard Nixon was President of the United states between 1969 and 1974 when he resigned rather than face impeachment. Richard Nixon’s Poker game of choice was Stud and, rumour has it that he actually funded his presidential campaign with $3000 which he won during a game. Nixon would regularly hold Poker tournaments in the White House during his presidency.

Warren Harding

The 29th POTUS, Warren Harding has the dubious honour of being known as the worst President to ever set foot in the White House. No stranger to scandal, Harding was once cheated by a gang of thugs during a game of Poker on a train but that’s not the worst of it – legend has it that Warren Harding also gambled – and lost – an expensive set of White House china during a particularly disastrous game of Poker.


Gambling responsibly

These are by no means the only US Presidents who enjoyed a flutter; in fact, it’s rumoured that Barack Obama was also a fan of Poker but, thankfully, he only played for fun – leaving the White House fixtures and fittings intact. With the popularity of the online kaszinó way of gambling, checking which politician is involved in excessive gambling is  harder.