Why Some Players Prefer Blackjack Vs. Poker

The debate continues as casino players continue to argue which is the better, blackjack or poker? There will never be a consensus, as both games posses different elements that simply make them great games for serious gamblers. Its all about a matter of taste and personal preferences.


All casinos games are ruled by a spectrum of random chance. Some games allow zero skill like slots, while at the other end you have blackjack or poker, games of complex skill that require strategy to win.

In blackjack, the basic strategy can take a regular player to win some consistent money without being a proficient card counter. There is no competition against other players and strategy decisions focuses on what to do with the cards in play. Follow a given set of choices depending on the cards being dealt and the odds of winning will always be the same for that specific hand.

The best way to learn blackjack is using a strategy charts. This is a guideline cheat sheet that use probability to define which call will give you the best chance of winning depending on your hand and the dealers face-up card. Most players dont even memorize these charts at first, but through constant play they manage to remember the moves. Friendly play at home and online is probably the best way to dominate them.

The odds of winning at blackjack are the highest amongst all casino table games. The House Edge, or house advantage, refers to how likely the house wins over time. The lower the house edge, the better chances a player has to take some money home. It is essential to understand the house edge does not relate to each hand, but to the entire game. The casino will always more edge as that is how they guarantee a profit, but the percentage of varies from game to game and even by your betting strategy. Slot machines have a house edge ranging from 3% to 20%. Craps have a house edge of 1.4% is you play the pass and come bets. Other table games posses a house edge between 5% to 17%. In blackjack, the edge varies quite a lot depending of the hand in play between .2% to 2%.

One of the biggest differences vs. poker is the social aspect of the game. Blackjack is mostly a solo game were the player is facing the hands from the dealer. Despite this fact there is way more talk between the players sitting beside you compared to a poker table. Poker players are usually silent and buried beneath their dark glasses, caps and earphones to maintain their cool and hide any facial features that might tip their thoughts.

This game is by essence the most chillout game in all of the casino with the best edge for the player. It is also a fast-paced game that can shift the stack size of chips tremendously fast, with dozens of hands being played in a matter of minutes. Hand signs between the player and the dealer makes it even quicker. Poker is more similar to fishing in this aspect, as players need to stay quiet and wait for the perfect scenario to make their move with only a couple of smart hands during hours of play.


Poker would be the only casino game were players can rely mostly on their skill, since they are competing against other players and their decision making. The house does not have any implication here as it plays the role of the dealer and does not get involved in the pot. Instead they charge a rake, a small commission per player for each hand. This is the only casino game were players rely mostly on their personal skill and some factor of luck.

There is more to a mental sport to poker that there might be to blackjack. Although both games are in some way a competition, Holdem Poker and other styles have been featured on the Mental Mind Sports Olympiad, an annual competition for mind games like chess and complex table games. This is why players looking for more of a challenge than just winning hands might have a preference to poker.

There are basic strategies a new player can quickly learn to gain an edge over other rookies. Higher skills can continuously be applied like Game Theory or heuristics. In flop games like no limit Holdem and pot limit Omaha, a well known heuristic is the rule of four and two. You multiply your total number of outs by four during the flop or two on the turn to get an approximate percentage of your chances of hitting draw. Add 5% to your chances if you have a backdoor flush draw. Subtract that number from 100 to know if you have the best hand right now. This will allow a player to know his odds of winning. Heuristics simply allows to better decision making during the course of the game. Define your optimal range, when to call, and what bet size to use based on the information in front of you.

So it is a matter of preference. Are you a fast-paced solo player? Blackjack is for you. Do you prefer slow mind challenging games were your decision making skills are all that matter? Take poker.