What Do Poker and Blackjack Have In Common?

Poker and blackjack each have legions of fans across the world who enjoy playing these classic games on anywhere from an infrequent to a daily basis. Top land-based and online casinos around the world proudly offer numerous different versions of these games, with Texas Hold’em the most popular variety of poker and classic 21 the most popular type of blackjack variant. Have you ever thought about what skills make the games so similar to each other? Both can be challenging to play and certainly require plenty of know how and insight to master. Yet, despite the commonalities, the games could not be more different. which of these games, blackjack or poker, is more difficult to play?

poker blackjack

A “dual” poker and blackjack table top

Blackjack, on the whole, is a relatively simple game. The objective is to have a hand with numerical values that add up to 21, or that at the very least beat the dealer’s holdings by being valued at a higher amount. Having been dealt two cards, the players then take turns hitting (i.e., requesting additional cards) or standing (standing pat with their cards.

If at any point the value of a player’s cards exceeds 21, they go bust, and the dealer (house) takes the wagered money. A more complex game, poker (Texas Hold’em) sees players dealt two cards each. They combine these cards with five ‘community cards’, trying to attain the best five-card poker hand. Put simply, players bet against one another n successive wagering rounds to compete for the pot. The best hand isn’t necessary to win the money; you just need to be the last player standing in the hand (i.e., get all other players to fold).

Blackjack: The skills you need

In blackjack, the cards you’re dealt are really the key variable. A bad hand is almost impossible to “come back” from and, ultimately, you are likely to lose overall to the house if you play the game for long enough. That’s because the game is designed to give the casino a mathematical advantage against the player.

Blackjack Cards

The main skill that most good blackjack players rely on is card counting, but even this won’t lift your game to a higher level if the cards in your hand are weak. In blackjack, since you’re playing against the house, the actions of the other players have little impact on you. The only real difference they make is how many of them there are.

Make sure you take all factors and variables into account to ensure you have the best odds at winning big while playing your next blackjack hand. There are multiple different “systems” that players try to use in order to win at the game, each with it’s own distinct advantages. Depending on the way you want to play blackjack, you will alter the approach and “system” you use. Naturally, it’s possible to try several styles out to find the one that suits you.

Poker: The skills you need

When a poker games takes place, the players are playing against one another rather than against the house. This fact alone means that although luck plays a part, and the hand you are dealt has some bearing on your chances of winning, a weak hand can be well played by a skilled participant.

In poker, winning every individual hand isn’t the primary objective. It is more important to consider the long-term win and to work out using both mathematics and human psychology when to bet higher amounts, when to raise, when to call, and when to fold.



It’s almost impossible to say which game, poker or blackjack, is the most difficult to play. To do so would be an inaccurate comparison. What certain, though, is that each certainly attracts different types of people. Nonetheless, many do make the transition from playing one game to the other. At the end of the day, both are enjoyable gambling pastimes.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]


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