You can see how casino newbies might feel baffled for choice with all the games and varieties out there. Slots, bingo, blackjack, roulette, baccarat … every game has its charm, rules and its winning ways. Where would you even begin?  

Well to help break it down for you, in our latest CASINO WARS instalment we’re putting two of the world’s greatest casino games head-to-head: blackjack games vs roulette games. We’ll delve into the pros, the cons, the differences, the similarities, strategies, risks, and everything in between, so that you can decide for yourself which game speaks to you the most.

BLACKJACK GAMES VS ROULETTE GAMES: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

Blackjack and Roulette are both are games of chance, and in both cases you’re in the unknown hands of luck and probability. However, these two popular casino choices are played very differently indeed; so much so that some players are ALL about one or the other, and there’s no grey area in between.

GAME MECHANICS 

When it comes to roulette games vs blackjack games, the biggest differences lie in the game mechanics:

  • Roulette is based around a wheel with 37-38 squares. You bet on which square or group of squares the ball will land on after being thrown on the spinning wheel by the dealer.  
  • Blackjack is a card game whereby two cards are dealt to the player and two to the dealer. The objective is to score more points than the dealer, without going over the maximum of 21. The player can perform a series of actions (ask, stay, split or double) which determines the outcome of the game. 

Yes, these two are different styles of games indeed. But the main difference between blackjack games vs roulette games is that in blackjack you have decision power whereas in roulette you don’t

GAME STRATEGIES 

In roulette you don’t have to do anything other than bet. There are no game strategies because everything is in the hands of the jumping ball. With that said though, there are betting strategies that can be applied, which can help improve your chances of losing less and winning more. 

Blackjack, on the other hand, requires decision-making throughout the game, and therefore there are game strategies. In fact, there is a basic strategy that demonstrates best moves for each situation, depending on your cards and those of the dealer. 

Following the basic strategy in blackjack is not only legal: you could call it an expectation. There are blackjack tables online that actually breakdown the potential outcomes for you, which in a land-based casino isn’t necessarily the cool thing to do in the middle of a game.

Of course, you can decide NOT to follow the blackjack chart and just work things out for yourself. At the end of the day, it’s all just a matter of luck and probability, but the basic strategy table shows decisions that are most likely to be successful, and then the decisions are yours to make!

RTP AND CASINO ADVANTAGE 

The third major point of difference between blackjack games and roulette games is the RTP, Return-To-Player, or Theoretical Return to Player. This is a number that every newbie to gambling ends up knowing rather well, as it indicates the chances of how well you’re likely to do on the game.

The RTP percentage (always less than 100%) provides an indication of how much money the player gets back for each pound wagered. At the end of the day though, we’re talking about a game on chance, although these percentages are based on real statistics, so not a bad place to start.

For example, a game with an RTP of 95% indicates that THEORETICALLY, for every £100 you play, you’ll get £95, which means that the casino wins £5. But in reality, this isn’t the case: one player can lose 5, another can lose 20, and another can win 40. It’s all down to chance! But if infinite games were played, the overall result would be just that: 95%. 

When it comes to the RTP of blackjack games vs roulette games, blackjack wins by a landslide. 

Going with this basic approach, the casino advantage in blackjack is less than 0.5%. Yes folks, when it comes to standard blackjack (because there are a few variations), the game of 21 has an RTP of 99.5%.  So yep, it sure holds up as the game with the best odds. 

On the other hand, the RTP in roulette comes up lower. In European and French roulette, the casino advantage is 2.7%, which goes down all the way to 1.35% if the Le Partage or In Prison rules are applied.  

American roulette is less still: with its extra double zero, the casino advantage is 5.26% and only drops to just over 2% when the Surrender rule is applied. 

It’s true that many slots have much higher casino advantages (although the jackpots are also higher), but between blackjack games vs roulette games, when it comes to RTP, blackjack is the clear winner.

VOLATILITY AND REWARDS 

The fourth and last main difference between blackjack games vs roulette games is the size of the prizes. This can be also measured in terms of RTP, volatility or variance. 

A high volatility game is otherwise known as a game where it’s quite difficult to win prizes, although the prizes are on the higher side. Low volatility is the opposite: prizes can be won more frequently, but they come in lower amounts. 

Blackjack is a game of medium-low volatility: which means that you’re likely to win pretty often. You’ll also lose, no doubt, but you’ll be having those sweet victories fairly frequently. A few blackjack pointers to remember:

  • Beating the dealer pays 1 to 1: so if you bet 20, you’ll get another 20 profit. 
  • The best payout is a blackjack (an Ace and a 10 or royal in the first hand), which pays 3 to 2: if you bet 20, you get 30 profit. 
  • Doubling the bet when things are looking promising is the best way to increase those prizes. 

On the other hand, things look quite different when it comes to Roulette, because you’re dealing with different types of bets, each with different volatilities:

If you play outside of balanced probability (red/black, etc…) you have an almost 50% chance of winning, and the payout is 1 to 1.

The maximum volatility in roulette is the straight bet, on a single number. You have 1/37 chances of landing it, and the payout is 35 to 1: so if you bet £1, you win £35. If you bet £10, you win £350.

In short, if you want to play without risking much of your budget and it’s a choice between blackjack games vs roulette games, we’d say blackjack is your safest bet.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to win proper money, roulette does offer much bigger rewards, but yeah, they are harder to come by and therefore poses a bigger risk of bankruptcy! Food for thought.

BLACKJACK GAMES VS ROULETTE GAMES: THE CONCLUSION

Taking everything into consideration, there are two conclusions we can take from our Blackjack vs Roulette findings:

  • Blackjack is a game that requires making decisions, a great choice for proactive players who’d rather have a say in the final outcome. 
  • Roulette is a more passive choice (but no less exciting), making it perfect for players who would rather focus on the bet at hand without worrying too much about decisions on how to get there. 
  • When it comes to RTP, the most favourable of the two is blackjack, as its narrow house edge allows games to be long stretched out for longer and on a limited budget because of its low volatility. 
  •  Roulette is the most generous when it comes to reward, offering overall bigger payouts, although of course, that greater volatility has its risks. 

So, blackjack games vs roulette games… what’s your verdict? Let’s take it to the games… and remember to always play responsibly. See you at PlayOJO!

Aviva

Aviva is the Content Manager at PlayOJO and writes blogs, copy and all things OJOey. A copy/content marketer for over 7 years, she gets her creative juices flowing by singing, dancing (around her living room), and belly laughing regularly.

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