Blackjack vs. Poker: Do These Classic Games Have a Competition?

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Almost every second American aged 18 to 29 played blackjack, poker, roulette, or other casino game during the last 12 month – the statistics prove that Americans are eager gamblers, and even more so during the COVID-19 pandemics when most countries have implemented mass quarantines to slow down the spread of the virus.

While millions of people are locked down in their homes around the world, those who have long dreamed of trying themselves at blackjack or poker have now more than enough time to indulge in one of these games. While the best poker and blackjack casinos are competing for new COVID-driven clients, thousands of novices are thinking about which game – blackjack or poker – is better and worth trying in the first place.

And though there’s no universal truth on the matter of choice between poker and blackjack, these the competitive features of these games that, we believe, will assist you in making your thoughtful pick. So, without further ado, let’s talk these features through…and believe us – once we finish, you will have no doubt which table – poker or blackjack – belongs to you.

Winnings Odds

The first thing that comes to mind when you are determined to evaluate the profitability of a casino game is the winning odds, so we should probably start from there, although experienced poker and blackjack regulars would likely accuse us of comparing the incomparable (and will certainly be right). The trick is that blackjack and poker are different at the very core: in blackjack, you are playing against the dealer; in poker, you are playing against the rest at the table.

Speaking of the winnings odds, the house edge in blackjack depends on the executed strategy and can be lowered to about 0.5% or so. There are even so-called card counter players, who execute a special mathematically justified technique to outplay casinos. As for poker, the casino just takes the rake – the scaled commission fee of 2.5% to 10% of the pot in each poker hand, up to some predetermined maximum amount – and lives off it, caring about a constant influx of players at its poker tables rather than anything else (size of wins, number of winners and losers, etc. – nothing of a kind matters to the casino when it comes to poker).

Possibility to Become a Professional Player

It’s no surprise that most casino games nullify your possibility to stay in profits in the long run. The math just doesn’t work. Slots, craps, roulette, etc. – all these games have the odds against you, but blackjack and poker are a bit different. And while it’s totally understandable with the latter – after all, poker is a game of skill and casino works here as an exchange, taking a certain percentage of each deal for providing the table and keeping it clean and safe – the obvious that every aspiring blackjack enthusiast faces is, “How is it possible to outplay the casino in the game provided by the casino?!”

Well, truth be told, most blackjack players lose. Even though online blackjack has loads and loads of devoted fans, the absolute majority of those, probably close to 99.9%, are not professional players and will never become ones for two reasons: first of all (the minor reason), the only way to win at a blackjack table is to count cards – it is quite hard to master and required good mathematical knowledge, memory, and utmost poise; second of all (the major reason), most casinos eradicate educated play by reducing the payout ratios (what was once paid 3:2 is now paid 6:5, and so on) and banning card counter players, forcing the latter to switch to poker and other games of skill.

The Bottom Line

Chances are you’ve already made the decision, but if you’re still in doubt, feel free to read this comprehensive post about the differences and similarities of professional poker and blackjack, written by a professional blackjack card counter. And one more thing: no matter which game you’ve chosen – poker or blackjack – don’t forget that the only one who casinos are not ready to lose to is you, the player. Therefore, gamble consciously.

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