Poker vs Blackjack: What Are the Differences?

By Sarah Thomas
January 03, 2023

While poker and blackjack are popular gambling games played at casinos, there are some key differences between them. In blackjack, the aim is to get your hand to as close to 21 as possible while beating the dealer. In poker, however, you’re playing against other players, trying to make the best five-card combination possible.

poker blackjack

Figuring out the next move

As the games are so different, figuring out your next move in poker and blackjack is approached differently. In blackjack, you need to decide whether you should take a card or stick with the hand you have. You can do this by comparing your hand against the dealer’s and counting the cards you have already seen to determine what’s likely to come next. However, in poker, you have to decide whether to bet, raise, call, or fold, based on how your opponent played the hand up until that point, how many chips they have, and how strong your hand is.

Who is the Opponent?

Another major difference between the two games is your primary opponent. In blackjack, you’re playing against the dealer at all times. Even when there are other players at the table, like when you’re playing live blackjack UK, the objective is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Though, in poker, the dealer is just there to facilitate the game, and your opponents are the other players. To make money playing poker, you must beat the other players by making better hands or bluffing them to fold.

What are the Rules?

The rules of blackjack and poker are very different. Even if you know how to play one, you won’t be able to immediately play the other without learning the rules. In blackjack, the goal is to beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 as possible without going over. If you get closer to 21 than the dealer, or if the dealer goes over 21, you win. Poker is a much more complicated game, but the simple aim is to win as many pots as possible. You can do this by having the best hand out of all the players or getting your opponent to fold a better hand by bluffing.

Strategy vs Luck

While both games require skill to be played well, poker relies more on skill than blackjack. Players can play blackjack and even win in the short term without knowing basic strategy or understanding certain fundamental strategies. While these skills are necessary to be a long-term winning player, they’re not an essential part of the game, as most players rely on the luck of the draw to win. However, poker requires much more skill, as you need to identify your hand’s strength, how strong your opponent’s hand is, and when to bet, either for value or a bluff. There are certainly elements of luck in both games, as you can’t control what cards come next, but poker players have much more control over the game than blackjack players.

The Odds

One thing you can easily do in blackjack rather than poker is determine your odds of winning. Given the parameters of most blackjack games, the odds of the player winning a hand is 42.22%, the odds of the dealer winning are 49.1%, and the odds of a tie are 8.48%. The dealer has a built-in advantage due to the rules of the game. However, in poker, as the game is played against other players of varying skill levels, there’s no easy way to determine the odds of winning a hand. So many variables go into determining the winner of a poker hand; it can’t be reduced to a single number as in blackjack.


Both poker and blackjack are fun games to play at the casino and take little time to learn. While there are key differences in how the games are played, for example, who your opponent is, and how much strategy is involved, they both remain extremely popular games to this day. If you want to learn more, plenty of online resources can teach you how to play both games.



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Sarah Thomas poker author
Written By.

Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a content writer for entertainment websites. In her free time she enjoys playing all sorts of games, both live and online.

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