The difference between Blackjack and Poker

A quick guide to the differences between the two most popular casino games.

If you went to a casino that didn’t offer either Poker or Blackjack tables then you would most likely walk out. These two games have become essential parts of the casino industry over the last 60 years. They have continued to be important, even after the rise of online casinos. Today, we are going to look at what makes these two casino games so popular and how different they really are.

Poker – its history and popularity

The origins of Poker are not agreed on by historians. Some believe that the game is an evolution of the old Persian game As Nas. While others passionately argue that it is more closely related to the Chinese game dominoes. Whichever story is true, we know that Poker is over 1,000 years old and it is still incredibly popular.

Poker is still the most popular game to play at casinos. There are normally way more tables devoted to Poker than there are to Blackjack. But why is Poker so popular? Well, fictional characters like James Bond certainly have a lot to do with it. But Poker is featured heavily throughout popular culture – you can even play the game in video games like Red Dead Redemption 2.

Poker provides the perfect mixture of chance and skill, which means, if you are good at the game there is a chance that you can consistently beat the house. Unlike Blackjack, which relies on a lot of luck or cheating. Being good at Poker means that you are able to calculate your chances of victory and read your opponents. You also have to be good at bluffing.

Blackjack – its history and how to play it

Blackjack was originally called vingt-et-un (which is French for 21).  While the game was made popular in French casinos in the 17th century, it is believed that the game was invented in ancient Rome. There are records of the Romans playing a very similar game with pieces of wood with numbers painted on them.

Hundreds of years later, the game resurfaced in France. It was the favourite game of kings and French revolutionaries alike. French soldiers brought the game with them to America and it took off there as well.

How to play Blackjack

The aim of the game is to score 21 points. At the start of the round, the dealer hands out two cards to everyone at the table. The players are then asked if they want to take another card. They must try and get their score as close to 21 without going over it.

Each number card has the value of its number. All the face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are all worth 10 points. The 4 Aces are worth 1 or 11 points – holders choice. If the player takes another card and their score goes over 21 then they are ‘bust’ and are out for the rest of the round.

If a play has the Jack of Spades and either of the two black Aces then they will win a special jackpot. This hand is called a Blackjack.

The difference between Poker and Blackjack

The major difference between Blackjack and Poker is how you play them and the skills you need to be good at them.

When you play poker, you need to be judging your hand, calculating the likelihood of the deck being in your favor, trying not to give away your hand, and trying to read your opponents. You need to understand the cards and bluff your opponents. In Blackjack, you only need to worry about the next card. Will it make you go bust or will it take you close enough to 21 to beat the dealer. You can do nothing else but hope that luck is on your side.

Apart from the skills required, the two games have different rules. When you play Poker, you are competing with the other people at the table. On the other hand, when you play Blackjack, you are competing with the dealer mostly.

People will often confuse these games because they know they are both played in casinos and use a deck of cards – but they couldn’t be more different.

Photo by Javon Swaby from Pexels

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