Fatwa on the Permissibility of Playing with Gambling Props:

Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from Iran, in:
Religious Authority: 
Mohammad Ebrahim Jannati
Fatwa Question or Essay Title: 
Fatwa on the Permissibility of Playing with Gambling Props:

Absent gambling, playing with cards, backgammon, and chess as a leisure or a mental exercise is permissible, even if they are still considered by the public as gambling tools.

[Note: For differing opinions on this topic see: http://www.islamopediaonline.org/readFatwa.php?fid=1890.]

بازى كردن با آلاتى از قبيل نرد، پاسور و شطرنج در صورتى كه به عنوان ورزش فكرى، تقويت بنيه رياضى و يا سرگرمى باشد و در آن برد و باخت نباشد اشكال ندارد، حتى اگر عنوان آلت قمارى از آنها زايل نشده باش