Poker or Blackjack: Which Game Should You be Playing?
While there's nothing to stop you learning and enjoying both, if you're new to the world of card games and only have time to focus on one, then it can be an important decision. Both poker and blackjack are great fun, but there are some major differences between them. We'll take a quick look at each game in brief so you can get a good idea which one might suit you better.
When it comes to classic cool card games, poker has to take the crown. It's widely played all over the world, and the social aspect of the game is what draws many to the tables, just as much as the potential winnings. You can play poker online just as easily as in person these days too, and getting involved in online poker tournaments can sometimes be very lucrative once you have the hang of the game.
The one thing to bear in mind though, is that there are a number of elements to playing poker, and all of them can take time to understand and master. Firstly, there are a lot of different varieties of the game, and they can be quite confusing even if you understand how to play basic poker. A very popular type is Texas Hold 'Em, so this can be a good one to start with if you're looking into playing.
The social aspect is a very important one in poker too, and arguably just as important as knowing the game well. Bluffing can easily shift a hand in your favour, and it is perhaps this that makes the game so appealing – there's a quantifiable skill factor as well as the gamble.
Blackjack is a fairly simple game in principle, and sometimes easier to find online. but there's an underlying layer to it that makes it very interesting for both long term and new gamblers. Compared to poker this is much more a game of raw odds. That said, the skill comes in from knowing when to hit and when to stay.
The premise is a simple one. You're dealt cards until you hit 21, stick, or go bust. It's you against the house in most games and the cards with the closest number to 21 wins the round. The thing to keep in mind about blackjack though, is that whether you play it online or at a casino, it will ultimately be designed for the house to make a profit from it when players play for long enough.
This means that, again, you need to be well aware of your limits when playing.
All About the Odds
In the end, it depends whether you're looking for something you can play easily in short bursts, or a longer game with better odds. Generally, blackjack is better for shorter games, because the longer you play, the more likely you'll lose all those winnings straight back to the house. Poker on the other hand, requires a lot more time investment, but as you're playing against other players only you're in more control of the outcome.
Whichever you choose of course, always play within your means. In the end, both games can be fun and very rewarding (hopefully financially too!), but require different time investments and skills.