Home » Differences Between Poker and Blackjack Players

Differences Between Poker and Blackjack Players

Home » Differences Between Poker and Blackjack Players

Differences Between Poker and Blackjack Players

A King and an Ace on a table with chips and a player’s hand with cards in the background

Poker and blackjack are two of the most recognized and frequently played casino table games in the world. If you’re inexperienced at playing blackjack at a casino or are new to poker, you need to know, like any experienced player, that at a casino, poker games and blackjack are quite different from each other.

When comparing these two in-person and online casino games, it’s easy to see that the games vary when it comes to what is expected from players. Poker is a bit more psychological and creative while blackjack relies on a lot of strategy and a bit of luck.

Read on to discover the distinct differences between these two games through a discussion of the differences between the people who play them. 

Blackjack Players Stick To Strict Rules

When it comes to blackjack and poker, one of the biggest differences is strategy. Poker players can use a number of different strategic approaches, whereas blackjack is a little stricter when it comes to the range of strategies you can employ to improve your odds of winning.

When you play casino games like blackjack, you need to play by the book. Although there’s a little wiggle room when it comes to some specific hands, even professional blackjack players will tell you that playing by the book is the most profitable strategy.

Blackjack is simply not a creative game. It can be complex for beginners to master, but once they have the basic rules under control, it’s easy to stay on track.

Poker Players Have To Be More Creative

A player has two Jacks in their hand with other players in the background.

Whether playing online poker or in-person poker tournaments, players simply have license to be a lot more creative than blackjack players. In fact, they have to be if they want to emulate the most famous poker players. The more creative, versatile and adaptable a poker player is, the better their chances of winning. 

This distinction between the strictness of blackjack and the creativity of poker comes down to one main thing: blackjack players are up against the dealer, while poker players are up against other players.

Dealers in blackjack have a set of rules that they have to adhere to and this removes some of the creative and often strategic play that you see in poker. On the other hand, poker players are not bound by a strict set of strategies if they want to win. More often than not, creative poker players are more likely than other players to get through what may seem like an unwinnable hand. 

Competition Is Fiercer in Poker Than in Blackjack

The best poker players of all time tend to have a killer instinct at the table. Poker is an incredibly competitive game and it’s not unusual to see players get a little hot under the collar. While blackjack players are also competitive, it’s a different form of competitiveness. 

This mainly comes down to the fact that blackjack players are playing against the dealer. Their main goal is to beat the house and every player at the table has the same goal. This fosters quite a bit of camaraderie between the players and it doesn’t pit them against each other.

Poker, on the other hand, is direct competition between the players at the table. Poker players need to outplay and outmaneuver each other in order to be the last one standing. This can create a hyper-competitive environment with a distinct element of tension.

Blackjack Players Don’t Need To Be as Social as Poker Players

A poker player with an 8 and 6 in his hand and other players in the background.

Whether it’s blackjack at an online casino or at a brick-and-mortar establishment, you can generally choose how much you want to socialize with other players at the table. This is because you’re all going up against the house. Obviously, you’re more than welcome to talk to other players if you’d like to, but in general, people who are less social prefer to play blackjack than poker.

Poker is a hugely social game and social skills, as well as the ability to read people, is almost as important as game skill levels. Poker players need to figure out the different personality types at the table in order to read and interpret their cues and strategies. 

For people who aren’t keen on the communal aspects of gambling, blackjack is a much better choice than poker.

There’s a Lot of Pressure on Poker Players

Poker players will undoubtedly find themselves with their backs pressed against the wall more often than blackjack players. This is why the ability to handle and thrive under pressure is much more important for successful poker players.

While there’s definitely pressure in blackjack games, there are simply fewer variables for players to stress about. This means that there are fewer unexpected situations from one hand to the next. As mentioned, dealers must play by the book and this means blackjack players are not going to be at the receiving end of bluffs and strategic tactics.

Compared to poker, blackjack lacks a human element and this makes it a little more predictable. Poker players never know what they’ll get from the players around them and will constantly feel under pressure to understand the other players’ methods and strategies including running it twice or the 10-to-one rule.

Both a Balance of Luck and Skill

Much can be said about the differences between blackjack and poker and their players, but at the end of the day, both games involve a delicate balance of luck and skill. This is why they’re two of the most popular casino games in the world.

BetMGM offers a variety of blackjack and poker games for you to play. 


  • Blackjack Millionaire Pro
  • New York Jets Blackjack
  • Blackjack Pro
  • Platinum Blackjack Pro
  • First Person Blackjack
  • Blackjack Live


  • Game King Video Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Four Card Poker
  • 10s or Better
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

Who Earns More, Poker or Blackjack Players?

When it comes to earnings, professional poker players generally have the potential to make more than professional blackjack players. This is primarily because poker is a skill-based game where players can consistently win by outplaying their opponents and making smart decisions. They can participate in high-stakes tournaments and cash games with big prize pools, offering lucrative earning opportunities.

On the other hand, professional blackjack players face the challenge of playing against the house edge. While some skilled players can gain a slight edge through techniques like card counting, it requires a lot of knowledge, practice and careful bankroll management. In short, the earning potential in blackjack is usually more limited compared to poker.

But keep in mind that individual earnings can vary a lot based on factors including skill level, experience, the games they choose to play, the competition they face and personal circumstances. 

Top Blackjack Players

Some of the top blackjack players in the recorded history of the game include the following individuals.

Edward Thorp

Considered one of the pioneers of card counting, Thorp wrote the iconic book “Beat the Dealer” and made substantial profits through his blackjack strategies.

Ken Uston

Known for his card counting skills, Uston was a successful blackjack player and author who made headlines for his legal battles against casinos.

Don Johnson

Johnson gained fame for his high-stakes blackjack play and reportedly won millions of dollars from various Atlantic City casinos.

Tommy Hyland

Hyland is recognized for being the leader of one of the longest-running and most successful blackjack teams in history, consistently generating profits over a number of years.

Stanford Wong

A well-known blackjack author and expert, Wong developed advanced strategies and techniques that have been widely adopted by professional players.

Top Poker Players

Here are some of the top poker players in the recorded history of the game.

Phil Ivey

Known for his exceptional skill, strategic thinking and calm demeanor, Phil Ivey has won numerous high-profile tournaments and is widely considered one of the greatest poker players of all time.

Daniel Negreanu

A highly charismatic player with a strong presence both on and off the table, Negreanu has an impressive record of tournament successes, multiple WSOP bracelets and is known for his ability to read opponents.

Doyle Brunson

A true legend in the poker world, Doyle Brunson has been a dominant force for decades. His tenacity, strategic thinking and two WSOP Main Event wins solidify his status as one of the all-time greats.

Erik Seidel

With an incredible track record and numerous tournament victories, Erik Seidel is considered one of the most consistent and successful players in the recorded history of the game.

Fedor Holz

Despite his relatively young age, Fedor Holz has quickly risen to prominence with his exceptional skills and remarkable success in high-stakes tournaments. His aggressive style and ability to perform under pressure have earned him a place among the top players in the world.

Play Casino Games With BetMGM

At BetMGM, you don’t have to choose between poker or blackjack, as you’ll have all the online casino games you could possibly want to play, from live dealer games and online slots to table games and much more.

Register with BetMGM.

Comparing poker and blackjack players reveals distinct differences between the world’s most recognized and played casino table games.