Even if you have never set foot in a casino before, most people will know about poker and roulette and recognise them as two of the top casino games to play. For newcomers, making the decision between the two may come down to a few superficial factors, like ease of play for instance. Other players might be used to roulette or poker, and might be curious about the other side. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the factors for and against both games and which one would be the best for you as a player.
Short Run Odds
Let’s imagine that your goal is to double your winnings. If you want to double your money on European roulette, then the odds are easy to figure out. The house has a 2.7% edge, and the chances of you doubling your bet is 47.3% for each play you make. Another thing that makes it easier to predict potential wins or loses is the set time between spins, which puts a clear cap on the maximum number of bets you can make in one hour.
However, if you want to do the same thing playing poker, things become a bit more complicated. First, you have to take other players into consideration and the number of players you’re playing against. If we imagine that you make an all-in blind bet before the flop, then your chances of winning the pot against another opponent holding any 2 cards will be around 25%. So, the odds are clearly lower than roulette.
Long Term Odds
Now, let’s look at another example. In the first one, the goal was to double your money in one single bet. However, most poker players aren’t into straight gambling and will try to play the long game. Players with significant knowledge and experience will be able to increase their odds of doubling their money sometimes over the 60% mark.
This is why it helps to at least learn the basic rules of poker and some strategies as well. Poker’s main advantage is that there’s an element of strategy to it. If you start playing long enough, you could come up with your own system or follow someone else’s. Also, you can choose who you’re playing against, which is another advantage. Skilled players will often play on lower tables to maximise their chances. So, speaking simply in terms of odds doesn’t tell the whole picture when we’re talking about poker.
It’s also important to make the distinction between online and offline poker. One of the main differences between online and offline poker is that you have no visual contact with your opponents online, which completely transforms the gameplay. When playing live, you have the chance to observe players better, pick up on tells (signals that a player has a good hand or is bluffing), and even their tone of voice. All of this could give you some information you’ll be able to use to make betting decisions and affect your odds.
When playing online, things become a bit trickier. Also, picking up and remembering someone’s betting patterns is easier offline. So, while you can control your odds playing poker online, there is more chance involved there than when playing offline.
Ease of Play
When it comes to ease of play, roulette easily comes out on top. All you have to do is pick a colour, sequence, or number, get a spin, and see where the ball lands. Nearly anyone can start playing roulette and understand the basic rules right away.
And contrary to what many may think, roulette isn’t just pure luck. There are some ways that you can mitigate risk and reduce the chances of losing. If you want to increase your odds, you’ll have to start digging deeper into the different betting options open to you. There are also some systems and techniques that you can use when playing roulette, like Reverse Martingale for instance.
Poker, on the hand, can get extremely complicated and some may never be able to master it. You have to learn how to place a proper bet, understand the importance of position, know how to apply pressure and when, and know how to not telegraph your hands.
Not only that, but there is a quasi-infinite number of scenarios as well, and you have to adapt to every situation. Then you start getting into special techniques like the squeeze or isolation plays. Professional players have played thousands and thousands of hands before they got there, and you’ll have to be ready to spend a lot of time and money if you eventually want to get to this level, which is not guaranteed.
So, Which One is Better?
It’s all about what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for an easy to pick up game that you’ll be able to have fun with, then go with roulette. The odds are also very easy to understand and it’s also one of the best games to play online. It doesn’t require much attention and you can play it wherever you are or even while doing something else in the background.
On the other hand, if you like a challenge and like having some strategy involved, then poker might best suit your personality. If you manage to get good enough, you could also make a living playing poker. However, this is not an easy game to master, and unless you already have a set of fundamental skills and traits, you might never be able to become a great poker player.
Both games have something to offer to players, and if you truly want to know which one is the best for you, then you’ll have to give them both a try. If you want to test the waters, you can always look for a place with a good sign up bonus and try a few hands. This is the only way you’ll be able to see which game suits your playing style.