Blackjack is most often considered to be a game based purely on luck, while poker is considered by many to be a game of a bit more finesse and skill. Though they are both played using cards, their aims are very different.
Blackjack’s only aim is to reach or get as close to 21 as possible while beating the dealers hand, while poker has a variety of options available but usually it’s main aim is to have the highest hand of cards available with which to beat other players.
House vs Player
Blackjack revolves around a single player or multiple players betting against the dealer directly and it doesn’t matter too much what the other players at the table are doing – what matters is what hand you’re using. Poker on the other hand put you directly in opposition to all the other players at the table – and if someone has a better skill set than you along with better cards, then the odds are pretty stacked against you.
Blackjack is a pretty standard game wherever you go – and it’s unlikely to vary much beyond having to reach as close to 21 as you can without going bust and having a higher hand than the dealer. With poker, there are a large variety of spin-offs on the traditional game, with each alternate game having slightly different rules to follow. You have varieties such as Texas Hold’em, Three, Five or Seven Card Stud, Let It Ride, Draw Poker, Chinese Poker, Omaha Hold’em, to name but a few variations.
Land-based VS Online
In regard to land-based games, blackjack is a game where the casino (also called the house) will closely monitor their repeat customers – since they don’t like it when people win continuously against them and will often try and deter the winners from returning too frequently. This leads to skilled blackjack players having to move around quite often to avoid being blacklisted, which makes it harder for them to hone their skill set at a place close to home.
Going online however, negates this. With poker players playing at physical casinos, there are numerous tables available, so your odds of playing against the same people every week is slim to none, and the house is unlikely to care too much if a poker player keeps winning big, since players go up against each other, and not the house.
Card Counting and Tracking
Blackjack is a popular game for card counters, as there are a variety of systems which allow sharp players to track what cards have been played and allow them to then calculate their odds of winning at each step – such as with Red Seven, Zen, Hi-Opt or Halves to name a few.
In poker however, the only way to calculate if you’re winning is to check the amount of chips you’ve won so far, and how many you have left to play with. Or to put it another way, it’s far harder to apply a card tracking system in a poker game against numerous players, many of whom may fold without ever revealing their cards.