Blackjack and poker are two very popular card games enjoyed by millions all over the world, both online and offline. Of course, there are numerous differences between the two games. Most notably, unlike poker, blackjack sees you going up against the dealer, as opposed to your fellow players. So what skills could a blackjack player bring to the poker table? Despite the differences, there are a number of skills shared by players of each game.

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Flickr image, by Kwoman32

Mathematics

Blackjack and poker are both games that involve mathematics. While you don’t need to be a mathematical whiz, knowing the basics certainly helps. Certainly, the application of math may be more of an obvious need in blackjack, but when playing poker, you still need to run the numbers, as well as possess an understanding of probability. The math most often applied to poker is calculating odds. In any given situation, you need to have an ability to calculate the odds, both yours and your opponent’s, so you can evaluate yours and their probability of winning the hand.

Decision Making

Smart decision making is crucial when playing blackjack, to ensure that your card value won’t exceed 21. It’s also important in poker, so as not to give an advantage to your opponents. Players who have proven to be good at their game of choice have demonstrated an ability to remain calm under pressure, which helps them to both make balanced decisions and consider their strategy, carefully.

If you have decided to give blackjack a try, the next decision, of course, is where to play it. There are a number of online casinos that offer the game, such as supercasino.com/games/online-blackjack and of course you can find the table game spread at pretty much any established brick and mortar casino around the world. One of the main benefits of giving blackjack a go at online casinos is that they offer a 100% first deposit, which will give you ample ammunition with which to work on your decision making, as well as the other skills mentioned here.

In poker, of course, you’re always making decisions, whether to fold, bet, bluff, check, raise, call or go all in. These decisions depend on multiple factors, including your cards, the community cards, stack sizes, whether it’s a tournament or cash game, your position at the table, who your opponents are, and much more. Hone your math skills at blackjack and at least the numbers part of poker will be somewhat easier for you to master.

Concentration

Even the very best blackjack players can lose concentration, at times. However, long-term players have mastered the art of focus at the most crucial points in the game. This is also an important trait to adopt in poker, as players are required to maintain high levels of concentration, in order to continually monitor their position, as well as the position of their opponents.

This isn’t just true in poker tournaments, where one needs to be able to concentrate for hours and hours at a time, often multiple days in a row. In a cash game, even a minor slip in concentration could end up costing you a huge amount of money!

Dedication

To succeed at blackjack, you need to be dedicated. That starts with a dedication to learning the rules, as well as dedication to sticking with strategies, and dedication to sticking with the game, even when on the occasional losing streak. By bringing that dedication to poker, you can increase your ability to analyze your moves, as well as that of your opponent. This will allow you to see where you or they went wrong, and learn from those moves before the next hand is played.

If you REALLY want to dedicate yourself to poker, you ought to consider buying some poker books to learn from or, better still, signing up for a poker course to help you improve your game.

Many players will have already decided that they have found their gambling game of choice, be it blackjack or poker, and wish to stick with it. However, whether to improve skills or for sheer variety, there’s value to be had in taking what you know from one game and applying it to another.

Can you think of any other ways in which playing blackjack can help you hone your poker skills? Let us know in the comments below.

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