Many poker players dabble in a bit of blackjack, and some blackjack players will occasionally sit down to push over the top with pocket Aces.
So, what are the differences between poker and blackjack and, if you are a poker player, should you ever think of sitting down at a blackjack table? After all, it is considered a “house game” where you generally have a worst chance of walking away with your buy-in intact.
1. Why Poker Outclasses Blackjack
In poker there are so many more facets to the game and the skills needed to win consistently easily overshadow those needed to play Blackjack. Poker may take a minute to learn – like Blackjack – but it takes a lifetime to master.
2. Poker Vs the House
In poker, the House will take a rake from each pot, but the players keep the lion’s share of each pot. In Blackjack, however, when you lose – all the money goes to the house.
3. Good Understanding of Starting Hands
In both Blackjack and Poker, you need to know which hands can win – or make 21 more often. However, in poker there are so many more hand combinations and the ability to bluff can create other opportunities to win with weaker hands.
4. Ability to Read Opponents
In Blackjack, there is no need to “read” opponents. In poker, this skill can help you detect when an opponent is weak or is holding a monster hand.
That said, the ability to “count cards” – which isn’t illegal but can get you possibly removed from a blackjack game – is akin to reading opponents. Counting cards can be very profitable to blackjack players
5. Need to Know How to Calculate Winner
At the Blackjack table, the croupier or dealer will indicate all winning hands. In poker, you need to know if you hold the winner or a possible winner to stay in to the river card.
You can turn your hand face-up on the river and let the dealer declare your hand for you. But this presents an issue when you don’t have the winning hand and it also gives your opponents a lot of information on the types of hands you play.
6. Bluffing the House
Poker and bluffing go hand in hand. In Blackjack, with the cards all face-up, there is no ability, opportunity or necessity to bluff. However, at the poker table, bluffing is a way to make extra money with those non-premium hands. It also allows you to pick up pots which would normally be checked down.
7. The Less the Merrier
Unlike Blackjack where players like to have more people playing at the table because they get to see how many high cards are left in the decks – in online pokies real money, the opposite is true. The probability of your hand winning goes down the more players in a hand.
Therefore, although it’s good to slow play a monster hand on occasion – it is generally accepted that you need to get stragglers to fold as soon as possible. There is nothing worse than having your Aces cracked by a starting hand line 3-2 because you decided not to raise when you had the chance.