Blackjack and poker are two of the most popular card games in online and land-based casinos. They can both be relatively easy to understand and can be potentially profitable. So, it's only natural that casino game players may wonder which one may payout more.
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question. Although both casino games are essentially based on chance and random outcomes, one requires a bit more skill and understanding to maximise your chances of potentially winning, while the other may not require as much.
Continue reading this Wizard Slots blog post to find out if blackjack or poker offers better odds and which card game can potentially pay more.
What Has Better Odds, Blackjack Or Poker?
Due to its relatively straightforward gameplay, blackjack can offer players better odds than poker. For example, in blackjack, you only have to beat the house to win, whereas in poker, your opponents are the other players.
Additionally, with blackjack, your odds of potentially winning can go as high as 42%, while poker can have anything ranging between 8% and up to 30% or more, depending on your hand. The more players in the pool for poker, the more the odds are stacked against you.
In blackjack, if you are an experienced player, or have a basic understanding of the rules and strategy, you can potentially drop the house edge to around 0.5%. However, with poker, to even slightly drop the house edge, you may need not only a basic understanding of the rules, but also be able to predict the possible behaviour or moves of your opponents.
Moreover, as we have mentioned, blackjack can be somewhat straightforward to play. Your goal is to try and beat the dealer by getting a hand as close as possible to 21 without going over.
In poker, however, you could have one of the highest-ranking hands and still lose because another player had an even better hand, something called a bad beat.
Does Blackjack Pay More Than Poker?
In the grander scheme of things, neither pays more. If anything, you are more likely to lose money than make it on both games. However, generally speaking, poker may be slightly more profitable than blackjack over time, while blackjack can have marginally more potential payouts short term.
In addition, how much you may potentially win depends on various things for both poker and blackjack. These can be the rules, the number of decks used, the level of skill, and the number of players in each game. Most importantly, both games have different payout structures, so their potential payouts cannot be compared fairly.
Remember that both games can be unpredictable and random. Additionally, all casino games are designed to favour the casino, hence the saying, "the house always wins". Take, for example, the skilled Canadian poker champion Daniel Negreanu. This chap has won over £4 million from poker tournaments, but he has also lost over £4 million.
Blackjack vs Poker - Which Is Better?
This is a difficult question to answer because, technically, neither game is better. It all boils down to your own preference. However, a few things may help you determine which game, between poker and blackjack, may be a better fit for you.
The first important thing to understand is that both games offer different gameplay, rules and possible strategies. Secondly, both games are highly unpredictable and random.
Therefore, to help you decide, we will discuss some factors that make the games stand out.
Level of Skill and Strategy
Poker generally requires a lot more skill and strategy to try and increase your chances of success compared to blackjack. As a result, it can prove to be slightly more challenging to play than blackjack.
Therefore, if you are a person who enjoys playing games that require a certain level of skill, then poker might be better. However, if you like to keep things relatively simple and straightforward, then you might enjoy blackjack more.
Some people may enjoy playing a game that can be somewhat straightforward, and blackjack has the potential to be that game. In blackjack, you only have one person to worry about beating: the dealer. The dealer usually has a set of rules they have to follow, so you may know which move they may make depending on the rules and hand values.
However, predictability goes out the window with poker, especially when the table has more players. You cannot really predict their moves and behaviours, or tell what cards they could play or what may happen next. But this tends to be a reason why most poker players enjoy it.
If you enjoy social games, then you may prefer poker. For example, you may limit your socialisation in blackjack since your opponent is the house. However, poker can often be a lot more social, so there is a lot of interaction during a game.
Many poker players tend to believe they can "read" people through their interactions and predict their actions. That is perhaps where the term poker face stems from.
However, every table can be different, and some may have more player interaction than others.
Odds of Winning
Blackjack offers a 4% house edge, which you can potentially lower to 0.5% with basic strategy. However, poker has various house edges depending on your hand and the type of poker you are playing, with some games having a 5% house edge.
While these may not seem that different, it generally takes much more for a poker player to reduce the house edge. This may even include years and years of honing the skill.
However, once you have mastered the skill, you may have the potential to dramatically reduce the house edge, but the downside is that learning the skill may take years.
So, saying one game is superior to the other is not an entirely accurate deduction. You can, however, choose which game to play based on what you are looking for in a casino game. For example, if you want a set of rules that can be relatively easy to follow and fewer opponents to deal with, then you could consider playing blackjack.
Otherwise, try poker if you enjoy a potentially more challenging game that requires a bit more skill and understanding. As always, gamble responsibly and play within your limits.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins, etc.) mentioned in relation to these games are subject to change at any time.