Poker versus BlackJack

Discussion in 'Sidewalk Cafe' started by fgk42, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    Wild ramblings/musings

    Poker versus Blackjack.

    This past weekend I had the opportunity to play online poker, multi-table tourney style. It was very eye opening to me and it makes me wonder/ponder a few things. First some observations:
    1. You can play a long-time for a little amount of money with poker.
    2. Poker players are either very chatty or very quite and irritable – very little in between
    3. It’s not possible to count cards in poker (here I’m admitting my ignorance – I haven’t studied poker and if it is possible then forgive me – I’m comparing it to BJ)
    4. You can actually talk/bluff yourself into winning with poker
    5. Lots of people, and I mean lots, play poker and at all times – probably 24/7
    6. Interaction with other players can be fun or in the case of a person who “has your number” very irritating.

    There are probably many, many more observations but for now that will suffice. As an avid BJ player, going to the casinos for over 10 years but really only playing for the thrill and comps, I turned to more seriously BJ playing during the past 12 months. By that actually keeping tract of money made vs. lost and actually having to pay taxes on winnings.

    I don’t know when I came across BJ tourneys but suffice it to say it was recently. I had played in the past in an accumulation tourney and didn’t really like it so I assumed all BJ tourneys were the same. Since coming across this site I have come to realize how little I know about the gaming world of BJ tourney’s – and now poker.

    Sit-n-go, mano-mano, Elimination tourney, accumulation tourney, hybrid, now forced elimination (in the near future UBT) tourney. Where will it end or will it? With my limited knowledge I only know of two BJ tourney sites – Global and Jacky has posted and I’ve run across has promised elimination style (UBT format) gaming but all I see is a jumping silhouette and a promise for more information (hearing that since I initially registered in June!)

    There seem to be over 5,000 registered users on – quite a large number, at least in my mind. Of that number I can recognize posts from around 50 “regulars”. Having played at both Global and BJ21 I recognize around 40-50 names, however as I recently learned there are many alias’s in the online world (meow…meow). But I digress….

    Why are there so many online poker players? This is something that I just haven’t figured out. Poker is relatively cheap but I get bored – usually to the point of playing hands that I really shouldn’t play but I get impatient (my fault/my problem). There really isn’t a lot of “camaraderie” at least at the tables I played and since people just randomly get thrown into the mix I don’t see how.

    From what I’ve seen on UB and the little that I’ve seen with UBT it is my guess that they are desperately trying to get the poker players to expand into the BJ world. In fact, all the evidence that I’ve seen points to UB essentially is expanding their products to their existing clientele. It’s almost like UBT is an “add-on” bonus – something to be tried for fun but definitely the red-headed stepchild.

    Can someone please explain the attraction of Poker – besides the huge amount of money that can be made? (12 million for WSOB winner is just disgusting) Until then I’ll sit and watch the birds and ponder the meaning of life…..
  2. BJFAN4

    BJFAN4 New Member

    Poker vs BJ

    Remember that in poker, you get to bet AFTER you have seen your cards. Gives you more control as to when you make your bigger bet.
  3. pokernut

    pokernut New Member

    With BJ you have to bet before you see your cards and you have to make your hand then beat the dealers hand with poker you bet after seeing your cards and you can win with a sh*t hand just by bluffing. Try to bluff the BJ dealer. It is far easier to make a living playing poker than Bj.
  4. The GameMaster

    The GameMaster New Member

    I play a lot of both and think that poker is much more appealing to the masses because your "hole" cards are never revealed unless you want to show them. BJ is intimidating to a lot of people because of the misperception that it's a team sport; one player's mistake can cause the entire table to lose, etc., etc.

    Newbies are afraid of the game because you really can look stupid while playing it. Of course, there are far more stupid poker players, but they just quietly fold the vast majority of their hands and only show winning hands, so their ignorance is pretty much kept secret.

    This raises an interesting idea. What if all BJ tournaments were to deal the players' two starting cards face down? By doing that, the newbie might feel more comfortable, because his or her hand would be revealed only if s/he chose to double or split and/or if s/he stands and the dealer checks the hand before paying off. If the player busted, the hole cards would be shown, but by then it wouldn't matter.

    So, there's a thought: Deal BJ tournaments from a single-deck, face down and use those little cameras to show who has what, if it's a televised match. It would not only be nice for all of us, but even newbies know single deck BJ is better than multi-deck BJ - else why the acceptance of the 6 to 5 game - and more players might participate. I have maintained all along that the more BJ tournaments resemble poker tournaments, the more people will participate.

  5. noman

    noman Top Member

    More random mumblings and disconnected thought:


    Mount Kilamanjaro jumper!

    to stay away from the unknown variations in BJ I've played Holdem for precisely your point (1). Man you can't get into the infinity numbers and plop yourself in a moment in time. When there's been a decent or good bj run where ever, you are either there, or your not, even with your preperation and knowledge.

    Your Point 3: There are unrefutable odds.

    Your point 4: Yeah ass.

    Your point 5: Yeah ass and a lot of donkey asses.

    Point 6: Do you really crave that?
    How little we all know, even if we think we know. But someone who jumps out of a perfectly good plane, probably knows more than most.

    I "love Yoda" and swogmiester, but, I'm beginning to believe the registered BJT members are quads.

    You haven't listened to the poker guest on the "Be In Action" radio show with KennyE and Joe for poker tips. Patience. Self Discipline and Self Control.
    It's your money. How do you utilize it! Give it away or be a mizer!

    Don't worry about the poker mouths on line. Most are young "punks" regurgitating book knowledge to sound impressive.

    Wrong on UBT. No need to expand on poker. It's in the stratosphere. But BJ and BJ tournaments have been languishing and fraught with casino(dare I say it) fraud. UBT saw a niche and is going to fill it as any smart entrenuepenuaurereereer(sic) would.


    (1) BJ is still the most popular American game.


    (3)Conventionaire newbees don't give a crap how they look playing 6-5 BJ.
  6. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    more rantings

    Asses and Donkey's asses? I was musing about Poker and get a wildlife review! Watching an old episode of Animal Kingdom? I haven't seen that show in ages. I'd love to see it again just to make PETA pissed off - but I digress.

    Craving interaction while playing a "boring game" like poker is necessary for me not to fall asleep. Lets face it in the "average" hold-em game unless you've got something it's difficult to bluff until the pots get to the point of all-in. When people are playing for lunch money they'll stand with 3/9 off suit and flop 3, 9, A, hid low until the end betting against the A, K. I've seen it happen - heck I've done that myself! :eek: In fact the guy busted out and went ballastic against me - ranting and raving about how stupid I am la la la lala and I just wrote "how's got all the chips NOW buddy?" That just pissed him off even more.

    I mean heck with $5 and $5 re-buys I was doing it until the Mrs was ready to leave for dinner and it takes her 60 minutes to do her hair. Actually it takes me longer to get ready myself now that I'm using a pre-shave moisterizer, triple blades and non-alcohol prep - oops that's another thread :laugh:

    The thought about not really betting until AFTER getting the first two cards intrigues me and MAYBE that explains the attraction in Poker. The scarey part is that dealing the first two cards in BJ down - like in single or DD would definately add to the mystic of BJ ( at least for TV viewing)

    I like playing BJ because I find it challenging - not the basic strategy but trying to count, keeping up with the bets, figuring out the odds, etc. I feel that it's the perfect game for those with hyperactive minds or maybe ADD!

    What will the new "UBT" produce? So far lots of promises and teases only. Well I'll be down for awhile, we're got everything ready for Ernesto, should he arrive, hopefully her takes a turn to the East.

    Time to turn off the machine, take out a relaxing book, sit back and think about the mysteries of the universe.
  7. Reachy

    Reachy New Member

    Everybody wants to be a cowboy...

    ...except tex who already is :D

    We've all seen the westerns, in the saloon, poker game going on, bad guys kick the table over and accuse the good guy of cheating but he ain't, he's just better than they are, gun fight, brawl, beating of chests!!!!!

    Poker has a romantic image, slightly rough around the edges but romantic all the same. We all want to be able to bluff, to beat another human being in a duel, it's combat! We want to think we can get one over another person. We may even think it impresses the opposite sex.

    And there's all the stories, the Johnny Moss vs. Nick the Greek, you couldn't make it up, and the stories you can tell, "I got him to fold AK when I had nothing", or even better the bad beat stories.

    And there's the money of course. Don't we all dream of winning $12M at the WSOB? Of course we do, and we think we can do it as well, with a little bit of luck, careful play, getting a read on the players, we can do it! Right!

    Blackjack is more suruptitious. APs need to stay under/off the radar else they don't play, camoflage their play, it's more bookish, strategies need to be memorised and practiced for days, months, years. Most people think they can't actually win at BJ and that you need to be rainman to stand a chance. You don't know whether you are winning at BJ because it's a long haul. Most people don't understand the subtlties of tournament BJ.

    Just some thoughts....


  8. Barney Stone

    Barney Stone New Member

    Poker ingrained in American culture

    Like Reachy said(I dont know how much of a historical impact poker has been in UK), in our Pioneer days the cowboys played it in the saloons or on the dusty trail to the west. It was a way of passing time and getting a fix from gambling. The game itself is an easy start up. All you need is two opponents with some change. Blackjack you need a house to compete against, even in tournament play. You need a dealer and a supplier to pay out wins at take in losses. Because poker is so easy it is played by many. For example, last Halloween while taking my kids from house to house I saw two home poker games between teenagers. I dont think Blackjack will ever become a good home game because you need the dealer to not only deal but manage payouts.

    Interesting side story. I know a guy in my area who owns a beautiful avocado ranch in a high dollar town. Well, way back when the town was nothing but a farming community, 1940s, his grandpa won 50 acres in a poker game. It was junk land all sage and sumac. Its now worth about $5 million.
  9. pokernut

    pokernut New Member

    I don't understand how you can say poker "boring game". Then again I play in either $2-5 (minimum buy-in $200) or $5-10 (minimum buy-in $500) no-limit games where pre-flop bets can be $50 and up with one or more callers and you can lose all your chips on one hand if you make a mistake, if you think poker is boring you are not figuring the odds, watching for other player tells, keeping track of the number of "outs" you or your opponents have to make a hand, sizing your bets according to your opponents chip stack, keeping track of who can be pushed around, who bluffs, who are rocks, and watching for team play etc. If you are going to play in tourneys stick to freeze-outs with $100 or more buy-ins and you won't find that many playing 3-9 off suits. And last poker is a game of patience, discipline and self control waiting for opportunity to set the hook. But I will agree that internet poker is boring unless you are playing at 3 or 4 tables at one time but I don't play on the net very often as I prefer to force myself to get dressed and drive 15 minutes.
  10. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member


    My statement that poker (Texas Hold Em) is boring is based on my VERY VERY limited exposure over the net at very low tables. I was playing $10 buy in with unlimited re-buys for first hour and add-on for $10. The winners went on to the $300 Aruba satellite. Heck for $10 why not "gamble"

    As far as your other statements like, looking for other players tells, keeping track of other players stacks, team play, etc... Over the net does it really matter? I mean it's hard to "bluff" when you typing to no one ....

    I found on-line poker a means to pass the time. In fact I mostly used the sit-out button until the rebuys were over. The problem is that I was being out played due to my lack of experience.

    Does it require patience and discipline? ABSOLUTELY and THAT's what I found difficult. I normally like to play 2 or 3 games at once so that it keeps me going, thinking fast. When I get bored I get sloppy and well that's not discipline - guilty as charged.

    I'm just not sure how much tourney BJ is gonna "take off". I once thought it would rise like a space shuttle launch. Now I'm more worried that online BJ tourney's are gonna be like the space shuttle Columbia up...up...up and KABOM!

    I saw that because I find it extrememly disheartening when you can only scrounge up 24 people on a Monday night for a $22 tourney!
  11. pokernut

    pokernut New Member

    I for one do not trust the internet for BJ or poker, in poker I know for a fact that some people are using 3 or more computers (different isp's, netteller accounts, etc.) talk about great team play. And I want my money cashed at once without having to jump threw hoops to get it, they don't make it hard to deposit so why make it hard to withdraw?
  12. noman

    noman Top Member


    Thought you were hunkered down with a good book in anticipation of ernesto's esitemint.

    Yes, we can discuss animal planet and male attempts at hygiene or delve into the mysteries of gaming. Or contemplate the mysteries of the universe.

    The one thing certain is WE can no more comprehend the mysteries of the universe than an ant is aware of our existence.

    BUT, what fools mortals be, we keep tryin.

    And for those of us of a certain ilk, we keep trying in the gaming world. Many as "advantage, or wanna be advantage players."

    We've recently seen a couple examples of truly advantage play recorded on this site. Not all have the bankroll, connections or ability to achieve it. But, it's out there.

    For blackjack, in the apparent world, there is great info to achieve a mediocre level. For the few truly informed, patient opportunists, there is a comfortable living.

    And as to a Pokernut. There's a playa, who probably recognizes an advantage game when he sits down. And if it ain't he gets up and goes to another table or cross town or saves his stake for a better opportunity.

    No one ever said you had to always fight the champ to make a living or a name.

    And aside for the other very good points Pokernut makes about on-line, I add my current dilema of being in the hunt in a game, BJ or poker and having my internet provider decide to service its system or introduce some other service to disconnect me. Not only is there the opportunity for delay of transfering winnings, but an outside factor, preventing a win.

    And so it goes.
  13. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    Here's another thought

    I wonder how the casinos would react if the TV also showed a graphic of the players' expectations and the probabilities of various outcomes, based on the current deck composition, like the sort of thing you see in poker.

    Actually, the concept of expectation doesn't make much sense in a tournament, but they could show the probability of winning a hand, winning a double, and maybe getting a BJ, before any cards are dealt, and then revised after each card appears.

    I can hear the commentary now - "He's taken the low, but with the deck as it is the players are more likely to win their hands than lose."

    The show could be a lesson in the value of card counting.
  14. The GameMaster

    The GameMaster New Member

    Hello, Colin.

    Naturally, being a numbers person, I think you're right about showing the "outs" or EV a player has adds to the action. Thanks to Tivo (one of the great inventions of humankind, IMHO), I also watch a lot of poker, besides playing a lot and it really all comes down to the commentary. Nothing against the guys who did the WSOB - or some of the poker shows out there -but "color" commentary really does need to be done by an expert if the audience is to understand what's happening. Of course, an expert can make it sound overly complicated and that must be avoided, but the more certain plays and moves are explained *correctly*, the more an average viewer will see this stuff isn't nuclear physics, thus encouraging them to participate.

    Unfortunately, it's not like commercial television to offer events that offer a lesson - sex sells so much more - but one can always hope. With any luck, the UBT will have worthwhile commentary, even if the person doing it isn't gorgeous to look at or hasn't written a book, thus making them an instant "expert."

    A side comment to Noman: You emphatically stated that BJ is "still the most popular American game", but I question if that's indeed the case. What's your measuring device? Casino revenue? Then maybe it's true, but if you go by the number of tables available, considering that the average BJ table has, say, 4 players and the average poker table probably has 8 or 9, plus if you add in all of the online poker, which far outstrips online BJ, I think it has changed.

    Yes, there are other poker games besides no-limit hold'em, but no poker room, online or otherwise, is making big $$$ from them. For the moment, at least, NLHE is the king. Long live the king!

  15. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    Hey GM,

    Actually, what I meant was that if that sort of information were displayed as part of the entertainment, an inadvertent side-effect would be to demonstrate to the masses how BJ can be beaten.

    The casinos might well be delighted by this, expecting to be inundated by ill-prepared would-be counters, or they might panic at the prospect of an army of experts flocking to the tables! :D
  16. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    I agree with Colin

    As far as casino table games, I would say that blackjack is still far ahead of poker as the number one table game.

    Most "FULL" casinos I go to may have maybe a 1/4 of the poker tables compared to blackjack tables. Also from every casino manager I have talked to they all tell me that blackjack is still the number one table game.

    Now their are some casinos, like in Florida that don't offer blackjack, but do offer a poker room, the illegal home games and online poker sites. Plus you add in all th epoker tournaments on TV and I can see where you might think that poker is more popular and it maybe, just not in the casinos.
  17. pokernut

    pokernut New Member

    Any idea which has the most people who make their living playing, don't count anyone who has other income (retirement, self-employment, etc.) but money from BJ or Poker as their only income?
  18. LVHCM

    LVHCM Banned User

    Poker, not even close.
  19. The GameMaster

    The GameMaster New Member

    Poker Tables vs. BJ Tables

    Howdy, Tex.

    I just finished reading an article that states: "As of February, the number of poker tables on the Las Vegas Strip was 370; the number of BJ tables was 1450." If all of those tables were filled to capacity (an unlikely event, of course), there would be 10 x 370 = 3700 poker players at the most and 7 x 1450 = 10,150 BJ players at the most. Let's double that last number to include Atlantic City BJ and double it again to include Connecticut, Tunica and Gulf Coast BJ, which puts it in the neighborhood of 40,000 BJ "seats".

    Now, let's see how many are playing at Poker Stars at this very moment...34,757 and probably half of them are U.S. citizens, so 17,000, but I'm not checking Party Poker, the Prima Network, etc., etc. Sure, BJ revenue is 10 times that of poker for the Nevada casinos, but since BJ revenue is total customer losses and poker is the rake and/or tournament entry fees, it's comparing apples with oranges.

    I think the conclusion is obvious: poker is far, far bigger than Blackjack in terms of number of participants, at least today.

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2006
  20. noman

    noman Top Member

    Poker v BJ

    Gamemaster, if you, the numbers fella you are, are going to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges, don't cross pollinate them, at least not in the same post two sentences away.

    In the long run, it don't really matter. But, without any Indian casinos you guestimated an approximately 3-1 BJ table to poker table in land casinos.

    Filling the tables(10 for poker) 6-7 for BJ is kind of a red herring.

    But to then throw in the online sites is really a weighted weight.

    One might as well state that the most popular gambling venture is SPORTS BETTING(of all kinds.)

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