Differences Between Poker and Blackjack Players

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A King and an Ace on a table with chips and a player’s hand with cards in the background
BetMGM Dec 19, 2021, 3:48 AM

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, then 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 their players. Poker is a bit more psychological and creative, while blackjack relies on a lot of strategy and a bit of luck.

We thought it would be a good idea to showcase the distinct differences between people who play poker and those who play blackjack to help people better understand how these games differ.

Blackjack players stick to strict rules

When it comes to blackjack and poker, one of the biggest differences can be seen in the strategies of each game. Poker players can use a number of different strategic approaches, whereas blackjack is a little stricter in the methods you can use to improve your odds of winning.

When you play casino games like blackjack, you need to play by the book. There is a little wiggle room when it comes to some specific hands, but the most successful 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 need to be more creative

Whether playing online poker or in-person poker tournaments, players simply have the license to be a lot more creative than blackjack players. In fact, they have to be if they want to be successful. The more creative, versatile, and adaptable a poker player is, the more chances there are of them 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’ll 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, poker players who are creative are more likely to get through what may seem like unwinnable hands than other players are.

Competition is fiercer in poker than in blackjack

The best poker players 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 from that of poker players.

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 put them up against each other.

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

Blackjack players don’t need to be as social as poker players

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, 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 skill levels. Poker players need to figure out the different personality types at the table in order to read their cues and methods.

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

There’s more 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 is definitely pressure in blackjack games, there are simply fewer variables than in poker 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.

Blackjack lacks a human element when compared to poker, and this makes it a little more predictable. Poker players never know what they will get from the players around them and will constantly feel under pressure to understand the other players’ methods and strategies.

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, they are both games that involve a delicate balance of luck and skill. This is why they are two of the most popular casino games in the world.

At BetMGM, we have a variety of blackjack and poker games for you to play. Some of the games we offer include:


  • 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

Play casino games with BetMGM

At BetMGM, you don’t have to choose between poker or blackjack, as we’ve got all the online casino games that you could possibly want. From live dealer games to online slots, table games and much more.

Register with BetMGM.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.