Blackjack vs Texas Holdem'

Discussion in 'General' started by tribute, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. tribute

    tribute Well-Known Member

    After playing blackjack for many years, I am considering taking some time off to play some casino poker. Lately my Friday nights have centered around poker and pizza with friends at home which is fueling my desire to play for "real". My question is this: Regarding winning expectations, do I stand a better chance at poker than blackjack? I know that, for the experienced player, blackjack ranks above all other games when house advantage is calculated. Will a good poker player have more success than a good BJ player?
  2. Sucker

    Sucker Well-Known Member

    A GOOD poker player will usually have pretty close to the same degree of success as a GOOD card counter.

    An EXPERT poker player will usually have a MUCH higher success rate than even an EXPERT card counter.
  3. Guynoire

    Guynoire Well-Known Member

    Why not play both?
  4. 1357111317

    1357111317 Well-Known Member

    It is kind of like this. Blackjack is a tough game that isn't too hard to get good at. Poker is an easy game that is tough to get good at.

    When it comes to comparing risk and reward, Poker is a much better game but the learning curve is a lot steeper.

    The one good thing about poker though, No heat.
  5. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member

    My Understanding

    From a lot of blackjack experience I know bj is like assembly line work, you put in the time and you earn $.:joker::whip:

    My limited poker experience suggests poker is more like chess, it is a learned skill that takes time.

    One can play poker online and sit at home. Multiple tables can add to the EV.

    For the most part bj you must travel.
  6. blackjack avenger

    blackjack avenger Well-Known Member

    Opportunity Costs

    If one is already making money playing game A and are considering learning game B there are opportunity costs to consider.

    Is there time taken away from your money making game while you learn the new game?

    Do you lose money while you learn the new game?

    Does losing money hurt your ability to survive in the money making game?

    An example:
    A counter is making $20 an hour
    He decides to take up poker
    He will probably play low stakes while learning and he may lose slightly while learning.
    If he now splits his time between poker and bj his EV is cut by half not counting any poker losses.:joker::whip:

    Of course if he does not lose time playing his money making game then things are quite different, but why not just play the money making game more if possible.:joker::whip:

    If the money making game is not always available then free time could be used to pursue other investments.

    Things to consider
  7. Canceler

    Canceler Well-Known Member

    I can be a little slow sometimes...

    I, too, thought this would a good idea. So I didn't play any BJ at all for 15 months, to give my full attention to poker. Recently it occurred to me that I could use BJ winnings to offset my poker losses, so I started playing BJ again. I wish I would have thought of that much sooner. :(
  8. fubster

    fubster Well-Known Member

    this is HIGHLY dependent on a huge number of different factors. generally this is probably correct, but mostly because you have the opportunity to wager more money with an edge than you do at BJ (mostly)
  9. fubster

    fubster Well-Known Member

    my honest advice? you guys (i assume) are already winning at blackjack... stick with that.

    poker is a very different beast. the learning curve (especially today) is VERY steep, and i would honestly not recommend it as a way to generate income. this is coming from someone who earns >80% of his income from poker.

    live poker can be lots of fun (unless you're me, every time i play live i want to take a drill press to my skull). if you really want to get better at the game, go for it! it's a helluva lot of fun and can definitely be profitable. i've played live for years, it's how i got my start in gambling after i realized i sucked at pool (no money pool hustling everyone's solid*). it took me a long long time of brutal breakeven stretches, horrible downswings, and talented players shouting at me and telling me how ****ing horrible at poker i was before i became a solid winner.

    i play almost exclusively online now, and in all my (winning) career i have yet to see a 2/5 live game that i can't absolutely crush. the money's there, but it's not easy to figure out how to grip on all dem pretty little chips.

    if you REALLY want to learn poker, you'd better be ready to buckle the **** down and accept the fact that (sorry, but it's probably true) you suck at poker right now. but hey, that's okay. it's a very hard game to master. i mean VERY hard.

    truth be told, i only realized how tough it is to have a proper logical framework for approaching the game after i started (kinda) coaching lonesome gambler at poker. he's got a sick good mindset and he's definitely able to beat the games that he's playing now. no doubt he could have easily done that without my help, but honestly -- and i'm not trying to be a dick or anything -- without a leg-up from someone who has already established themselves as a solid +EV poker player, the learning curve is astonishing.

    now with all that said, i've come to this forum because i want to expand my horizons. i need the whole "yelling at me and telling me how much of a retard" thing with AP that i was lucky enough to have as a fledgling poker player.

    if there's anyone who wants help with their poker game, by all means ask me. i'm not the best player in the world by any stretch of the imagination, but i do well for myself, and i'd like to think that i'm able to help others.

    so please, if anyone really wants help with poker, PM me or start a thread or something.

    would be nice if people opened up a bit to me in terms of AP that goes a bit, dare i say, "beyond" in exchange... a man can dream, right?

    *pretty sure only one person here will get that reference
  10. callipygian

    callipygian Well-Known Member

    I disagree.

    If you play a very basic game of blackjack, let's say one that someone reasonably intelligent could pick up in a few hours, EV = +0.01, SD = 2.5, your SCORE is 16.

    If you play a very basic game of limit Hold'Em SSHE-style, EV = +0.03 (1 BB/hr), SD = 2.5 (15 BB/hr). Accounting for the fact that you only get 1/3 the number of hands in at poker that you would at blackjack, the equivalent SCORE is 59. Even if you can only win 0.5 BB/hr (EV = +0.017), the equivalent SCORE is still 15, with none of the stress of heat.

    Now, the big advantage of blackjack is in the scaling. When you move up from $5 units to $50 units in blackjack, the basic play is exactly the same. You'll need to be more discreet, but basically whatever you do in the lower level can be scaled up to the higher level. In poker, that is most certainly not the case - when you move up from $3/$6 to $30/$60, there's a huge skill jump, and very few people can manage +1 BB/hr win rates at the higher levels.
  11. Lonesome Gambler

    Lonesome Gambler Well-Known Member

    My $0.02:

    - Lower bankroll requirements
    - Lower variance (unless you're me)
    - Beatable games everywhere, including online
    - No heat
    - Much steeper learning curve to beat the game for any reasonable amount of money

    - Can be beaten handily without thousands of hands worth of experience and many hundreds of hours worth of studying
    - Beating the game at higher limits is primarily a function of bankroll and not increased skill
    - Some skills used to beat some blackjack games can be translated to beating other games, increasing profit potential
    - Is more fun, in my opinion

    If I lived in or near a casino city or if I played on a team, I would likely never play poker. As it is, I spend quite a bit of time making poker a viable weapon in my arsenal. I feel that there's ultimately more profit to be made there, but I honestly get more satisfaction out of taking money from the casinos than I do from poor (in a skill sense) gamblers. And yes, there's heat, but that's one of the things that keeps blackjack interesting for me. The subterfuge aspect helps keep me awake during low counts!
  12. I agree

    My poker playing days were before holdem, we played 7 card stud.

    It always bothered me taking money from other players when I did it through bluffs, but it sure was fun. Hard to top a fine BJ game though.

  13. fubster

    fubster Well-Known Member

    you aren't taking into account that most people lose at poker and it take a LOT of time and effort to become a winning player at any stakes that actually make a difference.

    blackjack math and poker math just don't mesh. the best i can do is provide really awkward "it's kinda like blackjack because..." examples
  14. fubster

    fubster Well-Known Member

    agree 100% with this
  15. fubster

    fubster Well-Known Member

    why did it bother you when bluffing, specifically? you take wayyyyy more money from people when you valuebet than when you bluff. you're still taking money from retards no matter how you do it.
  16. 1357111317

    1357111317 Well-Known Member

    To be honest I find poker more fun. There is a lot more thinkign involved and you can outthink the other players to beat them. Blackjack you can't really outthink the dealer (Ok maybe some of you can manipulate them a little bit but still). Also blackjack you can see winrates that are wayyy higher than poker in terms of live play. In poker if you are a really good player you can probably make about 15bb/100 at a 5/10 game (That is crushing it), that equates to roughly 50 dollars an hour. Blackjack you can make upwards of 200$ an hour with a good game without too many skills. Now granted that blackjack game might not always be there and the poker game will but my point is that as people have stated before me, the learning curve on poker is huge compared to blackjack.
  17. Lonesome Gambler

    Lonesome Gambler Well-Known Member

    Sure, I've played games with a WR of about $75 an hour at the nickel tables! I enjoy live poker, but I honestly prefer being at the 21 table. It's not that blackjack is incredibly exciting, but the pace is faster and you (hopefully) get to extract some of that filthy casino money in the process.
  18. fub


    Think about that statement for awhile.:(

  19. 135

    My transition to Poker was fast and very easy, compared to AP BJ I thought it a breeze.

    7 card stud was far harder to play than holdem, imho.:)


  20. Lonesome Gambler

    Lonesome Gambler Well-Known Member

    Let me apologize for Fubster, who is generally a very polite guy in real life. These young guns get a little over-excited on the internet sometimes... ;)

    CP, at the next Bash (fingers crossed), what do you say about getting a friendly 7-stud game going?

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