Casino games of chance vs. games of skill

Casino games of chance vs. games of skill

There are two distinct categories of casino games, and they are; the ones that require skill and knowledge, and those that require some good old fashioned luck, which is called games of chance. Although the games are obviously quite different from each other, even when it comes to defining them legally, there is still sometimes a crossover between the two.

For example, a game like poker would be classified as a game of skill, but if you get dealt a bad hand, there is not much you can do except throw your casino chips into the middle of the table and bluff. Similarly, slots are known as games of chance because it is all up to the reels you spin, but sometimes a bit of know-how can put you in a better position to win more often.

What Sets Games of Chance and Skill Apart

Games of Chance

Each game category has distinct features and variances which determine what they are. When it comes to games of chance, the RNG, short for Random Number Generator, is responsible for the results. They are entirely generated by a computer program, and as the name suggests, they are completely random, so there is no way of knowing what the outcome will be. It’s a bit like the rolling of dice, no external forces are at play so luck has a big part in it and no matter how skillful you are, it won’t change the outcome.

Games of Skill

Games of skill are quite another ball game. It’s impossible to do well at games like chess or poker unless you know what you’re doing. Blackjack and Mahjong are other skill-based games, and experienced players will have plans and strategies in place, not leaving anything to chance. Making careful choices and having plenty of skill is involved. The only random thing about these games of skill is if you need to flip a coin to determine which player goes first, other than that, players are on their own.

Playing Solo or as part of a Group

As previously mentioned, games of chance use systems like RNG, so it’s usually just you playing against the house. Playing bingo consists of the player and the number selection that occurs randomly, no one else factors into the equation. When you win you get paid out by the house, alternatively when you have lost, you pay the house.

When it comes to games of skill, a minimum of two players are involved, sometimes even large groups. Playing against one or more opponents, pitting your skills and brain against theirs is what winning the game is all about.


Rules of Play

When it comes to the game of chance category, there is an obvious adherence to the rules which are usually quite strict and fixed. The process that is followed never changes with the results being uniformly produced, one might even say boringly so. For example, when playing a slot machine, you simply press buttons and the slot machine and RNG do the rest, the only thing you need to decide is how much your bet will be and how many lines you’re going to play, even the duration of each bet lasts for the same amount of time.

One benefit of games of chance is that casinos are a lot more willing to give bonuses for them over games of skill. For example, you can easily find free spins on registration which allow you to play slots without betting your own money.

Games of skill are much more flexible. There are usually several pathways that can be followed which is what gamblers enjoy about playing them. Using your know-how and skill to decide on the correct path to take is what makes these types of games exciting and unpredictable. There are always many choices to be made throughout the course of the game. How the players respond to each other’s decisions can alter the length of the game as well as the excitement factor of it. The great thing is you just never know exactly what might happen or how long the game will last.

Active or Passive

An interesting point of difference between the two-game categories is their degree of activeness and participation. When it comes to games of chance, they are more of a spectator game and much more passive than their skill-based counterpart. When playing a game like roulette, you place your bet and then wait for the outcome, which is either a win or a loss. A game like Texas Hold’em Poker is full of activity, never a dull moment, your brain is engaged and the results hinge on the decision of the cards you take or discard. Trying to figure out what is going on inside the other player’s head also takes quite a bit of brainpower, so a game of skill will have you multitasking a lot of the time.


And the Verdict…

There really isn’t one, it’s all up to each person and what they want out of a game. Both types of games have their pros and cons, and what one person enjoys might be really boring or too stressful for another. It’s a good idea to try out as many types of games as you can because you just never know when you’re going to hit on one that’s a winner! Whichever games you choose to play, it’s always important to play responsibly so that it always remains a fun and enjoyable pastime.

Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.