Blackjack and poker are probably the most popular card games in both online and offline gambling sectors. What’s more, both games are really profitable if you stick to the right strategy.
Let’s do a quick research and find out how much money they can bring. Upon googling, you will see that the biggest poker winning is $18 million, while the biggest blackjack cashout is $20 million. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
Still, you may ask which game is better — poker or blackjack? In fact, there's no clear answer as your profits will fully depend on your skills, your awareness of the game specifics, basic rules, and strategies. So, it’s reasonable to observe the features of poker and blackjack for you to decide which game is ‘yours’.
Poker vs Blackjack: How are they different?
Obviously, the main difference between poker and blackjack is in the way they are played. In blackjack, you play against the house (or casino), so you need to have a solid plan or luck to get the upper hand and cut the house edge. In poker, the players compete with each other. Here, gamblers should generate a higher edge than a casino rake.
In blackjack, each card has a specific value. In order to win, your hand value needs to exceed the value of the dealer’s hand and be as close to 21 as possible (but not more). Just like that. When it comes to poker, things are getting more complicated. Here, the win depends on the hand ranking, but not the value itself. The hand is ranked in terms of card sequence, suit, pair, etc. Poker is largely based on level of experience, skills, and psychology.
As we have mentioned above, blackjack is luck-based, but you can still learn to count cards and work out strategies using this skill. However, there’s one aspect here. If you will be caught counting cards, you can be banned from the casino. Mastering poker is challenging enough. What’s more, it will be a good idea to get into the art of bluffing. Once you become a pro player, you can participate in tournaments and compete with poker celebrities.
The great thing about these games is that they provide gamblers with numerous betting options. In blackjack, you’re allowed to ‘double down’, ‘split’, ‘surrender’, and ‘insure’. Each case influences the odds of winning. The same is true for poker — you can ‘raise’ your bets, ‘check’, ‘call’, ‘fold’, etc.
Another piece of good news for those who only start gambling is that these games are available online for free and in different variations. So, you can practice, try different tactics and methods before entering games for real money. You can always increase your winning odds by improving skills, learning the rules, and applying various strategies.
How to play and win?
Since we’ve touched on the basics of poker and blackjack, it’s time to focus on profitability — namely, a house edge. Many gamblers don’t take this indicator into account but they actually should.
House edge is the percentage of the wagered money that a casino will get from the gaming process. Interestingly, the house edge in both poker and blackjack differs depending on the game variation. For example, blackjack’s house edge varies from 0.2% to 2%, while poker comes with a 0.5%-5% advantage. As you can see, blackjack looks more attractive than poker although the difference is very small. Still, knowing these crucial factors is only half the battle. We have mentioned earlier that it’s also vital to comprehend the basic rules and strategies as they can increase your odds of winning and minimize the house edge in these games.
How to do that?
In blackjack, your card draw actually determines your odds of winning. For example, the possibility to draw a card of any value stands at 7.69% and comes with 13 various options. 10s, Jacks, Kings, and Queens are all valued at 10, so the odds to draw such cards are 4 in 13. And this is the chance of 30.7%.
Thus, to minimize the house edge you're required to understand your odds of drawing particular cards, learn the key blackjack strategy and act based on it. The strategy is usually presented in the form of a chart where you can see how to act after each deal.
Additionally, you can apply more specific strategies that may reduce the house edge. They are called composition-dependent strategies. The main idea is that you act depending on your hand. You can combine these strategies with the basic blackjack strategy, which may reduce the house edge to as low as 0.18%!
Speaking about poker, it gives you an opportunity to use your skills (in wagering and bluffing) and outplay other gamblers. To do that, you should know how to estimate outs and determine odds based on them.
Learning outs means understanding each poker hand and its value against one another. And counting the outs will help you determine the chances of winning.
For example, you have 2 clubs and get 2 on the flop, but there are still 9 clubs in the deck meaning that you have 9 outs. Once you’ve learned your outs, you can count the odds of winning in an easy way — (out × 3) + 8 = %, or (9 × 3) + 8 = 20%. Now, you need to know what to do next — call, check, raise, or fold. Here are a few rules in the case of “an emergency”:
So, what’s the result?
It’s quite difficult to say which game is better and more profitable. When it comes to the house edge, blackjack seems to bring more profits than poker. Still, poker tournaments offer huge prize pools, so you could win a hefty sum of money. Obviously, that’s because blackjack is more luck-based, while poker is skill-based. Nevertheless, both games require that you know basic strategies and have certain gambling experience.
To learn which game is a better fit, you need to play both blackjack and poker and analyze them. Still, we hope that the information given above will help you understand yourself as a gambler and your gambling ambitions.
by julia-beyers on 2019-10-17 08:19:20