I've spent the last couple years learning the game of texas hold 'em, which has become so popular recently, and was wondering if anyone would be interested in some posts on my thoughts about the mathematics of this game and how math can be used to consistently show a profit.
I agree that blackjack is a great game to analyse mathematically because of the dependent event of the cards being dealt the same. Poker is beatable though, if you can accept a premise that you will always find a player who maintains the same style, mainly that they play a constant percentage of hands, then there is always a logical counter-style to this that will profit.
On a side note, I do find card counting very interesting. I know that is has almost no room for error though and a huge standard deviation in respect to expected profit per hand.
Though You can dramatically increase Your chances of winning by card counting there is one major problem. If You saw "21" then You know how far the casinos are going to get rid of the card counters.
I think this is one of the reasons for the poker boom. The professional gamblers switched to poker, because in poker You don`t play against the house.
While a card counter will probably been removed by the security staff a poker player wont. If You count cards at blackjack then it will become obvious that You are making small bets all the time, and then come up with a huge bet when the situation is good for You. Once the casino realizes this style of play they will remove You from the table, put a photo of You in their database and many casinos world wide will get alerted by their face recognition software when You enter them. So the hard part to win at Blackjack is not counting the cards, but not getting caught by the casinos.
And the casinos have the right to throw You out at will. It doesn`t matter that card counting is NOT cheating.
Whereas in Poker the house can sit back and relax while a good player collects the other players chips. The house doesn`t loose, no matter how dominant one player is in poker.