Games of Skill vs Games of Chance - Learn the Difference

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Games of skill vs games of chance is a debate that has been around for a long time, with no clear winner. There is a very thin line between the two types of casino games.

On one side, you have games of skill where players use their knowledge and expertise to try and win. On the other side, you have games of chance where players rely on luck to try and win.

As we learn from the online casino guides at Chipy.com, gambling games can be classified as either one or the other. Or sometimes a bit of both. 

Therefore, let's break down the topics and see what you’ll find out in this guide:

What are Games of Skill?

Skill-based gambling is the term used by casinos to describe games that require players to make strategic decisions that can affect the outcome of the game. The better you are at performing specific actions, the more likely you are to achieve a favorable result. 

Examples of games of skill:

  • Craps
  • Rummy
  • Backgammon.

Note

Popular skill-based games usually require some level of practice and experience before you can expect to see consistent results.

In the casino world, there are many examples of skill-based games. The most popular ones are poker and blackjack, but others include different types of table games as well. 

For instance, in blackjack, players need to decide when to hit, stand, or double down. The better they are at making these decisions, the more likely they are to win money.

Games of Chance Explained

games of chance banner

These are games where the player's actions have no bearing on the outcome. The result is purely based on luck, therefore, scratch cards are a perfect example. No matter how often you play or how much you bet, the odds of winning are always the same.

Examples of games of chance:

  • Slots
  • Roulette
  • Keno.

Fun fact

People have used animal bones as gambling tokens since 3600 BC. However, the six-sided die, a direct ancestor of the dice we use today, first appeared in 2000 BC. Dice remain a fundamental part of gambling even after all these centuries.

So, the most popular casino table games that fall into this category are roulette and craps. In both cases, players have no control over where the ball lands or what numbers are rolled.

The only thing they can do is place their bets and hope for the best.

Tip

You can use different strategies like Martingale to increase the chances of winning. 

This betting system is rather simple to use. You just have to double the bet every time you lose. So, when you strike a win, all your losses will be covered. This works well for games like roulette.

5 Best Games Where Luck Is More Important

The following games were selected based on my expert point of view after playing a large number of similar games from different providers:

Game Name

Provider

RTP

starburst icon logo

Starburst

Netent

96.09%

90-ball Bingo

IGT

85%

pai gow poker icon

Pai Gow Poker

Microgaming 91%

jackpot roulette live icon

Jackpot Roulette

Ezugi

95.1%

sicbo deluxe game logo

SicBo Deluxe

Playtech 93.6%

Games of Skill or Games of Chance: What Category Do They Belong To?

Now, take a look at some of the most popular casino games and see if they are skill or chance-based. Note that this table is rated with grades from 0 to 5 based on my personal experience:

Game Type

Level of skill required

poker icon game of skill vs game of chance

Poker

4.5/5

blackjack icon game of skill vs game of chance

Blackjack

3.5/5

craps icon game of skill vs game of chance

Craps

2.5/5

baccarat icon game of skill vs game of chance

Baccarat

2/5

roulette icon game of skill vs game of chance

Roulette

2/5

bingo icon game of skill vs game of chance

Bingo

0/5

slot machine icon game of skill vs game of chance

Slot Machines

0/5

Poker: 4.5/5

poker banner chance game

This is one of the most popular casino games in the world and it definitely belongs to skill-based card games. Players are competing against each other, not the house, and need to use strategy and tactics to win.

Tip

The better you are at reading your opponents and making the right decisions, the more likely you are to come out on top.

Blackjack: 3.5/5

blackjack banner chance game

There are a lot of games in the casino that require skill, but blackjack is definitely one of the most well-known. It's a pretty simple game where players try to get as close to 21 as possible without going over.

Other card games, such as baccarat, are also based on skill, but they have a pretty decent portion of luck involved in them.

Roulette: 2/5

roulette banner chance game

Another popular game of chance is roulette. It's a pretty simple game where players bet on where they think the ball will land after the wheel is spun. There are different bets that can be placed, but the odds of winning are always pretty low. 

Bingo and Keno: 0/5

bingo banner chance game 

These are two other games of chance that are popular in casinos. They're both easy to play and don't require any training. So, if you're looking to learn how to play bingo for beginners or want to try your luck at the casino, these are two good games to start with.

Casino Slot Machines: 0/5

casino slot machines banner chance game

Slot machines are sliding into the games of chance examples. There's a spinning drum with different symbols on each reel, where players place their bets and spin the reels in the hopes that they'll land on a winning combination.

The odds of winning every round are usually pretty low, but they're easy to play and don't require any skill or strategy

Which Category of Games is More Suitable for You

As we can all agree, there's no game that has it all. In that light, we can't categorically state that one type of game is better than the other. It all depends on what you want as a player.

If you're looking for excitement and the chance to win big, then games of chance are probably more up your alley. 

Let's take a person that loves a game of chance for example. The typical chance-based gambler could be described as:

  • High-risk taker that's looking for an adrenaline rush and the chance to win big.
  • A person who's usually okay with losing because they know that the odds are against them, but they're willing to take that risk for the chance to hit it big.
  • They are not concerned much about the bet amount, as it shows that they are not in it for the long term.
  • Someone who's able to play for hours on end without getting bored because they're enjoying the thrill that comes with not knowing whether they'll win or lose.

Keep in mind

Responsible gambling means understanding and accepting the odds of the game, knowing how much time or money you can afford to spend, and when to stop. Gambling should be considered an expense and not a way to make money.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a more challenging and strategic gaming experience, then games of skill are probably a better fit.

Now, let's take a look at someone that prefers online skill games for money. The typical skill-based gambler could be described as:

  • A strategist that's looking for a challenge and to learn how to win at skill games.
  • Someone who's less concerned about winning or losing, but enjoys the intellectual stimulation that comes with trying to outsmart their opponents.
  • A person that's patient because they know that their skills will give them an edge in the long run.
  • More concerned about the bet because they understand that their skills give them a better chance to win, and they don't want to waste their money on a bad bet.

Be aware

Even though the risk might be smaller, it's still important to keep in mind that gambling addiction is a real thing. Only gamble for fun and don't risk money that you can't afford to lose.

Skill or Chance - What Is More Important in Gambling?

There are two key ways the government and casinos decide if a game is mostly based on skill or chance.

  1. Who the player competes against - if a player gambles alone against the house like with slots, then that game is classified as mostly chances.
  2. Games that involve skills like math or strategic thinking are considered skill-based games - if a player is playing against others, the game is usually more based on skill than chance.

Take a quick look at all the strengths and flaws of playing skill-based games at casinos:

Advantages of playing skill-based games

Disadvantages of playing skill-based games

Improves and stimulates brain functions

Requires lots of practice and hours put into mastering the game

A great option for stress relief

These games are often quite addictive

There are skill-based games that offer great satisfaction after victory

Even though luck is not the strongest factor, it can still determine the winner 

Not relying on chance but rather on your skill

There is a house edge that gives the casino an advantage over the player

Plenty of tournaments available with real money prizes.

They are being designed with automated features to help customers. For example, the auto-hold feature in video poker can help customers by automatically holding the winning cards.

Tip

Perfecting your gambling skills gives you a better chance to succeed and improve your predictions. 

Now let’s take a look at some pros and cons of playing luck-based games in casinos.

Advantages of playing chance-based games

Disadvantages of playing chance-based games

Everyone is offered the same chance - no competition. 

If you strike a couple of wins, you can get easily addicted.

Chance-based games usually payout big jackpots and prizes. 

These games are designed to keep you in the seat for hours.

They don’t require any training or learning.

The odds are against you

Excitement and fun are guaranteed.

It's just as possible to lose money as it is to win big.

With games of luck, the uncertainty is high. Yet, by using your skill, you do have control over the choices you make during the game. And the more you know, the better the probability of winning. Chipy Academy is the perfect place for you in order to improve your strategies at skill-based games.

Most Common Luck & Skill Games Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about online casino skill games and chance games

1. All casino games are based on luck.

This is not true. While it is true that some casino games are purely based on luck, there are also skill-based games where your actions can influence the outcome of the game.

2. All skill-based games are easy to win.

False. Some skill-based games are easier to win than chance-based games, but there are also various skill-based games that can be quite difficult to win. The most popular example is poker, which is considered to be a very difficult game to master.

3. All chance-based games are rigged in the casino's favor.

Casino games that are based on luck are fair in terms of the odds if you play at a licensed casino. Those casinos use the RNG system, tested by certifying companies like eCOGRA.

But there are some chance-based games that are not fair. The most popular example is roulette, where the casino has a slight edge over the player because some wheels have 0 and 00, making it harder for the player to win (depending on the roulette type).

The Verdict - Skill or Luck?

In conclusion, it's good to know the difference between games of skill and games of chance. Whether you're a savvy gambler or a beginner, this knowledge can help you make the most of your gambling experiences.

Therefore, it is up to you whether you want to practice and become good at a skill-based game, or if you would rather just try your luck at chance-based games such as slots.

In both cases, the fun is guaranteed!

Games of Skill & Games of Chance FAQs

What determines whether a game is skill-based or chance-based?
Any game that you are playing against the house is based on chance. But when you are playing against other opponents, the game is considered a skill-based game.
Is it possible to have a game that is both a game of skill and a game of chance?
Yes, there are some games that both rotate around the skill set and luck. Some of these games are blackjack, poker and sports betting.
Is there a strategy for playing games of skill or chance?
Yes, there is! There are lots of strategies available that will help you increase your winning potential. For example, you can practice the Martingale strategy for roulette, or you can use the most popular Texas Hold'em tactic known as the ABC strategy, for poker.
What are the benefits of playing games of skill?
The main benefit of a game of skill is that the result depends mostly on you. This means that by practicing and improving your aptitudes, you can increase your chances of winning. Also, skill-based games are usually more exciting than chance-based games.
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Vlad Stanescu
Vlad Stanescu Gambling Specialist
Vlad joined us in early 2022 and from then on, his main goal is to share all his knowledge about slots so our community can have the best gambling experience.
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