Transferrable skills – how to use your poker talent to succeed at blackjack

By Julia Krotova
October 21, 2020

There can be no doubt that successful poker players are talented, and practised, in their field. However, players also tend to stick to the one game that they feel confident with. While the range of each type of game is large and still growing, that subtotal is nothing in comparison to the grand total of all casino games. Numerous poker professionals enjoy time i n the pit playing table games against dealers in the casinos. As a matter of fact, after notching a big win, it’s quite common for a poker player to “celebrate” by taking some of those winning and just splurge a bit at gaming tables. Fortunately, the skills required to play poker are extremely transferrable, so here’s how to utilise them when turning your hand to a different type of game, such as blackjack or baccarat.


Emotional Control

Betting and gaming can be an extremely high-stress situation because the outcomes are unpredictable. The phrase ‘poker-face’ is famous for a reason, and players often spend as much time learning psychological strategy as they do gaming strategy, which means that they can control the effect that their emotions have on the way they play. Blackjack, especially when played in a bricks-and-mortar casino against a real dealer, can be a game of nerves, and being able to trust your own judgement and knowledge is an extremely important ability that poker players are known for. If you are entering into a new type of game and feel nervous, use the poker face that you’ve perfected to hold your own against the dealer and give yourself the confidence that can help your game.

Mathematical Counting

A good poker player knows their probabilities. They know that hitting a set with a pocket pair is about a 1 in 8.5 chance, how to figure out their pot odds, and how to count their outs to figure out their shot at hitting. These maths skills are extremely transferrable to betting in general, but particularly to blackjack games where you of course need to know the right combinations to achieve close to but not over 21 and have an idea of what probability you have of getting them given what’s likely to remain in the deck.

Poker players can use analytical skills to their advantage here and succeed at a game they may never have played before. You need these mathematical skills online as well as in a land-based game, which means that it can be practised on lower-stakes games, in order to improve your skill. JackpotCity online casino offers different types of games so you can ‘master the art of blackjack, rather than going in completely unprepared.

Observation Skills

Poker (in a live setting, specifically) relies heavily on understanding your opponents and watching them closely to understand how their choices will affect yours and what chance they have of beating you. This is also important in blackjack. For example, you can stand on weaker totals if you’ve observed that the dealer is showing weaker cards. However, it’s important to keep this skill in reverse as you will also be observed by other players, so learn from many professionals and try to keep yourself anonymous as possible when playing.

So whether you want a change or perhaps feel the need to refresh your skills, poker fans should consider turning to blackjack.



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Julia Krotova poker author
Written By.

Julia Krotova

Julia is a freelance writer with an affinity for poker. She plays in the occasional home game in the UK with her gal pals for low stakes and is an avid fan of free-to-play online poker games.

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