Should Hold’em Players be Honing Their Blackjack Skills in order to Excel at Poker?

Written by Super User. Posted in Poker

In the cutthroat world of Texas Hold’em poker where the number of players increases by the year, players need to do everything they can to take their game to the next level. The World Series of Poker figures say it all - at the start of the poker boom, when Robert Varkonyi won the main event in 2002 there were 631 entrants; last year when Scott Blumstein emerged victorious, there were 7,221. Professional poker players will attest that the game is getting more difficult as a greater number of skilled players have risen up through the ranks, and now many people are turning to new strategies to improve their poker abilities. One way to get better is to master another hugely popular card game - blackjack.

Blackjack and Poker – the Similarities

While both blackjack and Texas Hold’em involve the player being dealt two cards, the games differ greatly from there. Poker requires a lot of skill and pits players against the others at the table. Blackjack features a slightly greater amount of chance - but still quite a lot of skill - and the player only faces off against one person – the dealer. Despite this variation in gameplay, there are some strong similarities between the two card games. To become adept at either game, players need to have a strong understanding of probability. They also have to put their quick-fire maths skills to good use in both games.

In poker, some players excel by reading their opponents and bluffing, while others use math to calculate their chances of winning. In blackjack, it is imperative that players know what their chances of winning are when they decide whether they should hit or stand. When playing at 32Red mobile casino, players have access to fast-paced blackjack games like Classic Blackjack Multihand. Playing games like this can train players to think quickly and hone their mental arithmetic skills. They can then take these new attributes to the poker table and use them there.

How to take Blackjack Skills to the Poker Table

The good news for players who want to get their fill of both of these card games is the fact that it has never been easier to switch between games easily. The 32Red mobile offering has all of its games in one location, and from the home screen, players can find blackjack, roulette, poker, or slots. Other online casinos and poker sites like mFortune and Pacific Poker, which started off with desktop versions, now also have mobile offerings. People who really want to test their mathematical ability could even play one game on their mobile, and another on the desktop.

Once you’ve found a good blackjack site to play at, you need to start getting some practice in and referring to probability charts when deciding what to do with your hand. For example, expert players will know that if the dealer’s up card is a 5, then their odds of busting are 42.89 percent and the player’s advantage is close to its highest at 23.2 percent. They should also know the probability that they will go bust depending on their own starting hands. A starting hand of 12 has a 31 percent chance of going bust, while a starting hand of 17 has a 69 percent chance of going bust if the player chooses to hit.

This kind of knowledge of probability and remembering what the chances of certain outcomes are can be applied to the poker table. Proficient poker players know that if they are dealt a starting hand of pocket aces, they have around an 80 percent chance of winning the hand pre-flop. Pocket kings would give them roughly a 70 percent chance of prevailing. Knowing things like this can help with betting decisions, and in tournaments, many players feel like these hands should be taken to an all-in scenario.

For people who are playing a lot of poker and fancy a break, switching to a few games of blackjack every now and then can be beneficial. Playing other mind games like chess could also help when it comes to thinking a few moves ahead and trying to predict what other players will do. There is no doubt that in the cutthroat world of modern poker, players need to do all they can to take their game to higher levels.