Exploring The Casino Universe Beyond A Poker Table

March 1st, 2013 | by Brian Corlisse

casino gamingPoker players, as a group, tend to pride themselves on not being true gamblers, pointing to the skills they have acquired, both in the school of hard knocks as well as by reading and studying the game, to give themselves a winning edge. Yet poke a little further, and you’ll find that many of these players do, in fact, enjoy the variety of games that casinos, both brick-and-mortar and online or mobile, have to offer, if for nothing else than some comic relief, variety and just plain fun. If you’re one of the poker aficionados who’s not yet ventured outside of a casino card room, let’s take a tour of what else might grab your interest the next time you play, and also look at why.

Blackjack vs. Poker

While your win rate for both blackjack and poker can improve with some math skills and strategy, there is one key difference: in blackjack, you are playing against the house, and the house will always have an edge; whereas in poker, you are simply dealing with variance against other players whose only edge (or lack thereof) may be their greater or lesser skill at the game than your own. That being said, both games involve a clear-cut and consistent strategy, and players with good memories and outstanding math skills (which certainly describes many poker players) may really enjoy blackjack.

Baccarat vs. Poker

Something that baccarat and poker share is a long and fascinating history as some of the earliest and most-beloved card games around.  But there, the difference ends; baccarat is quite simple, whereas poker is extremely complex, if you play it well. With baccarat, you have three simple betting decisions to make with every hand: banker, player or tie. It is essentially a game of pure luck, with the exception of how well you manage your bankroll (a skill that will serve players well in any casino game). There are several variations of baccarat, ranging from the James Bond-ish chemin de fer to baccarat banque and punto banco, (also known as North American baccarat, and the version you will most  commonly find in American casinos.) While chemin de fer and baccarat banque (also known as à deux tableaux) can be played with a modicum of skill with some choices involved, the winning odds will always remain with the house at no less than 1%.

Craps vs. Poker

Many poker players enjoy the “rush” of a streak, when, as they say, the deck will “hit you in the face,” meaning all the cards you need come your way. That same aspect may draw poker players to craps, where a streak of good luck is the key to success. The only real strategy to the game, much like playing the stock market, is to hedge your bets by betting for and against certain outcomes, so that if one fails, the other will hold up. Craps is a fast game with a lot of action happening very quickly; thus again why it may appeal to a poker player’s “need for speed.”

Better to be Lucky Than Smart

This old adage that is popular amongst poker players will prove paramount with the casino games that are truly pure luck; games such as roulette, slots and keno. For those who want to give their brains a rest and just enjoy the thrill of the draw, these options will all offer just what the doctor ordered.

Whatever casino games you decide to try outside of poker, relax, have fun and most of all, win!

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