Poker and blackjack are a couple of popular games that you can find at almost every casino across the globe. You don’t even have to have ever gone to a casino to have heard of poker and blackjack. They both have a popular presence online for those that like to play online casino games.
It’s definitely a debate that could take us down several rabbit holes, but many players, including myself, would say that poker is a much better game to play than blackjack, especially when it comes to the winning potential that poker has over blackjack.
The truth is that while blackjack is popular (probably because it’s fairly simple and less intimidating to new players or players who are more introverted and don’t really like all the banter and talking that happens at a poker table), poker is hands down more profitable for anyone playing card games in a casino.
The reason for this is simple—when playing blackjack, it’s you against the casino, meaning it’s you against the house edge that the casino has over every single player that sits down to play at the slots, blackjack, and many other games that are designed by default to have the casino win.
Now that doesn’t mean that the casino wins every time. Rather, it means that the casino is going to win a percentage of your money back over the long run. This percentage can be as high as 20% at a game like keno, or it can be as small as a quarter of a percentage point, like you can find in some bets on the craps table.
Why would you want to spend all of your time playing against a system designed to make you lose when you can play against other people who might not be the smartest players? If you are a decent poker player, than you have much more of a chance walking away victorious than someone who spends all their time playing games against the house (which is the case for blackjack).
There is an exception when it comes to blackjack and the house edge, and that is if a player is a skilled card counter. If you can count cards, then that really is your only chance of going on a winning streak playing blackjack.
Unless of course the universe is just working in your favor and you happen to get that lucky. This scenario is very unlikely, but it does happen.
The problem with counting cards is that the casinos typically despise the players who do it. They keep an eye out via the security cameras for players who are winning at the blackjack table. If a player is in fact counting cards, then they run the risk of having to deal with the consequences.
The players who can get away with counting cards are usually very clever and know not to spend too much time sitting at the same table. They often will bounce from table to table, making it more difficult for the casino security to be able to keep track of their actions.
With all of that being said, most people don’t sit around all day practicing card counting. All that being said, there are several reasons why poker is just a better game to play than blackjack.
There are many reasons why this is, so I will touch on a couple basic reasons why you should just stick to poker and not waste your time with blackjack.
1- Poker is Easier to Learn and Play
Poker is an easier game to play and learn over blackjack, and to be honest, most people have a pretty basic understanding of poker from movies and TV shows even if they’ve never actually played.
The rules are quite simple to learn. Heck, I learned how to play around 8 years old, and I remember it being just as easy, if not easier, than any other card game I had learned at that age.
So if an 8 year old can learn how to play, I am pretty sure anyone can. For an adult who is learning how to play poker, everything that they would need to know in order to be a decent poker player can be broken down into basic math.
People end up throwing money away by just throwing chips in the pot and pretty much just hoping for the best.
A seasoned poker player knows that poker is a game of strategy and that certain plays are going to be more or less profitable. Essentially, they know when to hold ‘em, and they know when to fold ‘em.
If a skilled player is playing against opponents who have that luck-inspired mentality, then it’s a definite possibility that the skilled player will completely destroy the rest of the players.
In poker, you have to understand that every situation presents an opportunity that would be the most profitable for you. The key is to be able to make more decisions that are profitable versus making decisions that are going to cause you to lose money.
Every decision you make while playing poker is either going to be for profit or not. You can end up making hundreds of decisions while at the poker table, and a good player will be able to make as many of those decisions as they can correctly.
Once you learn the simple rules and format of the game and can go out and practice, you will notice over time that more and more of your decisions are going to turn out correct. I know that might sound confusing considering you never really know the cards that your opponents are holding, but over time you can simply learn from their actions and behaviors and let them be an indicator of what ranked hand they might be holding.
Poker can be a much easier and more profitable game for a player once they get the hang of it.
2- Poker Has More Variety
If you compare the layout of poker and blackjack side by side, it wouldn’t take a rocket science to be able to determine the straightforward nature of blackjack. You get two cards, the dealer shows you one of theirs, and then you make the decision of what to do with your hand from there.
There is a little more to it, but no matter what blackjack table you decide to play at, it’s gonna be the same thing from table to table. Poker has a much larger array of options that are available across the poker tables at the casino. You could play 5 card draw, Texas Hold ’Em, or 7 card stud, just to name a few.
These games can have a limit or no limit. A player could play games for cash, single or multi-table tournaments, and a wide array of other playing options. There is also a wide array of buy-in levels found at each poker table in casinos nationwide.
Good poker players can play well in all different types of poker games.
Most styles of poker are available online for free, so you can practice that way and not have to worry about losing any money. A downfall of playing online is not getting to see the other player’s facial expressions and behavior. Learning how to read people can be a very beneficial skill for a poker player.
Once you master one style of poker, then you can move on to the next. If you learn how to play 5 card draw and feel like you are ready to move on, learning Texas Hold ’Em would be an easy transition from 5 card draw.
There are so many other formats of poker that are available to learn compared to the simple and basic game of blackjack. This is a huge reason why I think poker is still just a better game all around.
Do you have other reasons why poker is better than blackjack? Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.