Most poker players and even more blackjack players will lose more money than they win in their lives.
To be a winning blackjack player or a winning poker player,
you will need to be an above average player. You need
to practice and improve your play no matter which game you
In blackjack you are going to have to count cards to get an
edge over the casino. In poker you will need to get an
edge over the other poker players at the table and the edge
must be big enough to overcome the rake at the table.
Both games involve skill, but luck will also have a deciding
factor in the short run. A professional poker player
doesn't necessarily make a good blackjack player and a good
blackjack player will usually lose at the poker tables.
Pros and Cons for the Card Counter
A blackjack player that knows
how to count cards, can get
an edge over the casino. Over the long term, the card
counter will have a 1.5% to 2% edge, depending on the
betting spread and the counting system. The card counter
will have many winning sessions as well as some bad losing
sessions, but in the end, he should squeeze out a profit of
1.5 to 3 initial bets per hour in profit. Luck does
play a role in the short term, but if you are a great card
counter, then you should never go broke with proper bankroll
card counter is not nearly as welcomed as the poker player
inside the casino.
The card counter can be mildly harassed and distracted by
the casino management. He will also have to travel
quite a bit, if he wants to stay below the radar in the
casino. Travel and accommodation cost can eat up your
daily profit quickly depending on the location. You
will also have many bad trips, where you couldn't find a
decent table to play in.
Pros and Cons of being a Poker Pro
A poker player that can make a living playing
poker is quite rare. Most poker players that think
that they are winning poker players are losing poker
players. Less than 20% of poker players make any money
and only about 5% of players could make a sustainable living
from it. The reason why there is so few winning
poker players is because the poker room takes 5% from each
pot or 10% if you are playing at a land based casino.
The edge that the house takes away is just too much to
overcome for most players. Sure, you can beat the
weakest players, but you are losing to the rake against the
average poker player at the table.
Many poker players can be burned badly or make a decent
profit depending on their luck. Sometimes the worst poker players
can make it all the way to the final table, while some of
the best players are knocked out early. This is true
for single table tournaments, multi table tournaments, at
the regular poker tables and at some of the largest poker
tournaments. Skill does play a role, but without luck,
you won't get very far.
The casinos love poker players, they come in and play for
hours paying rake the whole time. They are social and
some of the regulars will know the dealers and the rest of
the staff quite well. The casino does not care if you
are a winning poker player, because they know that the
winning poker players are what keeps a poker room alive.
If you are a regular you will stick it out for hours, while
paying rake against your competitors and take advantage of
the newbies that come by occasionally. Sure, they
would have preferred if the newbie popped his funds in a
slot machine, but they still made out okay with all the rake
the new liquidity will create. Best of all after you have
won your money at the poker tables, the casino will have a
chance to earn some of your bankroll as you play the slots and gaming tables.
There is a reason that the poker tables are generally at the
far back corner of the casino, and that is to ensure that
the least amount of money leaves the casino.
When you are a professional poker player skill is great, but
luck is better. The casino likes you and will
routinely comp you. Your bankroll swings are high,
which could ruin your bankroll, even with proper bankroll
management. That is probably the worst part of poker.
There is a whole lot of skill, but not even some of the best
poker players in the world can't go through their careers
without at least once losing their entire bankroll.
Professional poker players can go days, weeks, months and
sometimes even years without making any money, where as
blackjack players hardly ever have a losing week.