The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Gambling

1 Question: Is betting allowed on horse race?
Answer: Betting is only allowed between those who take part in the horse race, and not for the onlookers and owners of the horses.
2 Question: What games are forbidden (Haram) to play?
Answer: Playing chess and backgammon is absolutely forbidden, (with or without betting).
As for playing other games, then playing them with the condition of betting (gambling) is forbidden (Haram), and one should avoid playing these games (known as games of gambling), dominoes, billiard, and card games even without betting (Obligatory Precaution).
Any other game which is not considered a game of gambling, and no betting is involved, is permissible to play.
3 Question: Is buying and selling chess, backgammon, dominoes, billiard, and card games allowed?
Answer: Buying and selling gambling tools and instruments mentioned are forbidden (Haram).
4 Question: Is it permissible to play with a dice on its own?
Answer: If it is used on its own without gambling it is permissible.
5 Question: Is it permissible to play games of chance, such as dominoes, billiard, and card games, on electronic machines (computers / online) with betting or without betting?
Answer: It is not permissible, and it is treated the same as normal [non-electronic] gambling instruments, if played without betting (obligatory precaution), and it is not permissible any game that involves betting.
6 Question: Some people play with gambling instruments other than chess and backgammon for enjoyment and without placing a bet.
Answer: It is prohibited to play with all that is considered a gambling instrument even without placing a bet.
7 Question: Is it permissible to play games without betting, with those games which are not known as gambling games, such as Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly, and others which a dice is used?
Answer: There is no problem in playing with those games which are not known for gambling, even with the use of a dice,
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