Moving from blackjack to poker

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As a poker pro on 888poker then one of the things that I have learned with regards to gambling is in the massive amounts of overlap that there are with each form of risk. Blackjack has many similarities with poker and one of the biggest is in how important a positional advantage is. In blackjack then it is impossible to beat the dealer unless you are either card counting or cheating. The indisputable house edge means that the dealer will always have a long term edge of around half of one per cent at worst depending on how well you play.

For example just like with the basic strategy chart (pictured), there is a basic strategy for poker as well and one such strategy is the basic positional strategy. Another strategy is your default strategy and this is the way that you play against players that you have no data on. Many inexperienced punters believe that the house cheats but it has no reason to. The dealer in blackjack acts last and this is something that I have mentioned in the past on my blog from time to time.

The dealer wins despite playing to a very simple system. Every time the player busts and the dealer busts then the dealer has already taken the players’ money. Also the player will be taking cards or standing without knowing what hand the dealer will make. Despite having to draw to rigid rules this is an advantage that the player cannot overcome despite the dealer always having to draw to at least 17.

Also in poker and blackjack there are players that play more aggressively or more passively than others and this reflects in their betting strategy. Some card counters for example are very aggressive when they bet and do what is called “back counting” or “Wonging” as it is also known. However this is akin to the poker style of “tight-aggressive” if you think about it for a minute.

The players that get an edge in blackjack are the ones that either sit out and won’t play for long periods and then bet big or the ones that only bet the table minimum and then bet big. So there are distinct styles in both poker and blackjack. Another factor that influences them both is money management and emotional control. These factors are important in any risk environment and so this ultimately means that both poker and blackjack are very similar games in so many ways other than just being card games which of course is blatantly obvious to a blind man. This is why it is often the case that true expertise in one field leads to expertise in another after a period of study.

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