6 Gambling Alternatives That Are Better Than Blackjack

Dealt Blackjack Table

Before getting to the main points of this article, you need to know that blackjack as a whole is a great game. And if you learn the right strategies, it’s one of the few games where you can make a decent profit.

Of course, this requires hard work, and most gamblers aren’t willing to do the work.

This article includes six alternatives to blackjack. Some of them can provide long-term profits with a lot of work, just like blackjack.

A couple of others can provide returns similar to blackjack games. And one alternative has worse returns than blackjack but has two specific benefits that blackjack doesn’t offer.

1 – Gambling on Sports

Most gamblers who handicap and bet on sporting events, lose money. The same is true for most blackjack players. A few blackjack players make money, and a few sports gamblers make money.

Blackjack players who have learned how to make money almost all use advanced advantage methods, like card counting. This requires a massive amount of work and you have to be smart. Sports gamblers that make a profit also need to put in a massive amount of work and be fairly smart.

On the surface, it seems like winning as a blackjack player or as a sports gambler requires a lot of work and some brains. Why would you choose to bet on sports instead of play blackjack?

The truth is that one activity isn’t better than the other. But the truth is also that some gamblers prefer blackjack and some prefer gambling on sports. What all of this means is that this decision needs to be made based on what you prefer.

Both activities require math skills, though these can be learned by just about anyone with enough time and practice. The basic question you need to answer is, “Do you like sports or blackjack better?” If sports are the answer, then real money sports betting might be a better option than blackjack.

2 – Omaha Poker Cash Games

Cash game poker is fun and it can be quite profitable. It’s probably a little harder to win consistently as a cash game poker player than as a blackjack player. But the profits can be just as high and even higher for the best players.

The reason why I list Omaha poker cash games before listing Texas Hold’em is because Omaha is a little bit easier if you learn the best strategies for each game. This doesn’t mean that winning Omaha strategy is easy. It takes a lot of time to master it, and many players never quite figure everything out that they need to know.

The other thing that you need to know about playing poker as an alternative to playing blackjack is that cash games aren’t your only option. You can also play tournaments if that’s where you decide to build your skills.

Las Vegas Poker Game

The main reason why I recommend cash games over tournaments is because you can pick the games you play in when you play cash games, and you can’t pick your opponents in tournaments.

If you decide to focus on Omaha poker cash games, make sure you have a big enough bankroll to ride out the ups and downs and start by learning about starting hand selection. A strong understanding of starting hands is going to help you get started on the right foot.

3 – Texas Hold’em Poker Cash Games

The same reasons why Omaha is a good alternative to blackjack listed in the last section are also true for Texas Hold’em. While Omaha is a little bit easier to master from a strategy standpoint, the benefit of playing Texas Hold’em is the availability of games. This makes it easier to find a game, and it gives you more opportunities to select your opponents.

Starting hand selection is just as important in Texas Hold’em as it is in Omaha. But I’ve already mentioned something that’s at least as important. The people you play poker against have a lot to do with how much money you win or lose.

Playing against bad poker players is more profitable than playing against good poker players. This isn’t something that most poker players ever think about, but it can be the only difference between winning and losing.

Once you master game selection and starting hand play, you’re well on your way to profitable poker play. Keep learning good poker strategy and your profits will continue climbing.

4 – Deuces Wild Video Poker Games

The next two alternatives are video poker games. The problem with video poker games in comparison to blackjack is that most are worse than blackjack in terms of returns. But there are a few video poker games that offer similar or better returns than most blackjack games.

When you look at the return, or possible return, from video poker games you have to consider the base game mechanics and rules, the pay tables on the machine, and if you use strategy or not. Of course, when you play blackjack you have to consider the rules and if you use strategy or not, so there’s not much difference.

Two Casino Video Poker Machines, Deuces Wild Video Poker Logo

When you use strategy and find Deuces Wild video poker with the right paytable, the return can be higher than you can get playing blackjack unless you count cards. If you learn how to count cards, there’s no video poker game or machine that offers higher returns than blackjack.

Video poker strategy is a little easier to master than blackjack strategy, but the truth is there’s not a ton of difference. This means that whether you play blackjack or Deuces Wild is more a matter of what you like than long-term returns because the returns are going to be similar.

5 – Jacks or Better Video Poker Games

Jacks or Better video poker is easier than Deuces Wild, but not by much. And the best return from Jacks or Better with a good paytable is slightly worse than the maximum return you can get from a Deuces Wild machine with a good paytable.

It’s a little easier to find Jacks or Better machines in US land-based casinos because it’s a little more popular. But if you play online, it’s just as easy to find good Deuces Wild machines.

Overall, blackjack offers a better chance to win in the long run than Jacks or Better if you use strategy, and this is even truer if you learn how to count cards. But if you want to try a machine-based game, Jacks or Better is a good place to start.

Find a strategy chart for Jacks or Better and find a machine that pays 9 and 6 for a full house and flush. Then, bet five coins on every hand so you get a bonus when you make a royal flush.

6 – $2 Lottery Tickets

It might seem strange that lottery tickets are on this list of alternatives to blackjack. After all, lottery tickets have some of the lowest returns when comparing return percentages of all gambling games. But the return percentage isn’t the most important thing to every gambler.

Lottery tickets offer two big advantages over blackjack. The first advantage is that you can win millions playing the lottery. The odds of winning aren’t good, but the maximum amount you can win is far higher with lottery tickets than with blackjack. A $2 ticket for the Mega Millions or PowerBall can pay over $100,000,000 at times.

Mega Millions Lottery Tickets

The other big advantage is that your total risk buying lottery tickets is usually much lower than the risk when you play blackjack. This means that your overall losses can be much lower buying lottery tickets than playing blackjack.

If you buy a lottery ticket every day, you risk $14 a week. If you play blackjack for four hours, betting $20 a hand, even if you use the best strategy and play with good rules, you’re probably going to lose more than $14. In fact, your expected loss is probably at least twice as much.


If you want to find an alternative to real money blackjack that offers a higher return, your options are limited. But sports gambling and some poker games can fit the bill. And there are a few video poker games that offer returns that are similar to good blackjack games.

Still, not every gambler has the same goals. Some gamblers want to have a chance to win a lot of money while not losing too much money. If this describes your goals, then a simple $2 lottery ticket is the perfect choice.

No matter what gambling goals you have, the six alternatives to blackjack listed in this article are sure to offer at least one thing you can do.