Games of Chance & Games of Skill – How Are They Different?

Games of Chance & Games of Skill – How Are They Different?

Staff Writer
June 4, 2021

Games of Skill vs. Games of Chance

What are considered games of skill and what of chance?

Here at, we regularly talk about each but we’ve never truly scratched beneath the surface.

In the following article, we’ll list examples of both types and how they work. What makes luck so important and why you should also learn betting strategies.

We also answer the burning question, “Is poker a game of skill or luck?” Stay tuned for a comprehensive study about games of chance and skills.

How Do You Determine What’s a Game of Chance?

Gambling and games of luck are two terms often considered synonymous. However, there’s a significant difference between them. To be precise, games of chance (luck) belong to a broader category of gambling. Gambling, however, is divided into games of skill and games of luck.

With that in mind, while games of chance are often called gambling, they are but a part of a bigger whole.

Similarly, hearing, “Is game of gambling a skill?”, we could say both yes and no. To gamble responsibly, you need a handful of skills, especially money and time management. But when it comes to the gameplay itself, skills in gambling are always present to a certain extent.

Nonetheless, the matter of the legality of skill gaming is a bit more complex. Namely, in certain countries, it can be tricky to interpret gambling laws. Let’s be more specific.

To exemplify, gambling in India is both legal and illegal. How so? Well, in states such as Goa, Daman, and Sikkim, casinos can be opened. In all others, however, it is illegal to run a gambling business. But regarding digital gambling, the law is slightly different. Games of luck are strictly forbidden, barring the national lottery and horse racing.

In Australia, it is illegal to provide gambling services but the law doesn’t explicitly ban participating in such activities. However, land-based gambling is legalized as over 80% of Australians frequent brick-and-mortar casinos.

All that said, it’s important whether a game is one of skills or chance because its legal status is directly impacted by its type.

Are games of chance legal

Before answering the question, we need to be clear about what games of chance exactly are. Also, for the sake of this article, we will use the terms “chance” and “luck” interchangeably.

Games of luck are all games that require little to no skill to play. They can be played for real money or as freeplay, and they are not limited to casinos. Games such as scratch cards and even the stock market largely rely on luck. Then, we have activities that stock market are borderline games of chance. Some examples include sports such as golf, baseball, and basketball. While there’s a certain amount of skill involved, if luck isn’t on the player’s side, they will lose.

So, to clarify, games of chance depend on luck and can drain one’s pockets of all cash. This is why gambling laws frown upon slot machines, roulette, and the like. Such forms of entertainment are not influenced by how skillful the player is. Instead, a lack of luck can drive customers bankrupt. To prevent debt, many countries ban games of chance.

But with the rise of player protection programs and stricter gambling regulations, games of chance are resurfacing. Supervisory organs such as the UK Gambling Commission and the MGA impose rigid rules for their licensees. Therefore, operators licensed by the two regulators must comply with rules which protect clients. Some measures include setting time limits on gaming sessions or banning the turbospins feature.

So, to put it briefly, games of chance are legal in most countries but not in all, because of justifiable reasons. For more definitions of games of chance, check out this page.

Games of Chance – Examples

By now, it should be clear what a luck game is. Any game demanding skill to play successfully is considered a game of skills. On the other hand, activities dependent on sheer luck are double-edged sorts in many countries’ laws. Here are popular games of chance.


The most notorious of them all, roulette, is the most common game of luck. While boasting a great player advantage of 97.30%, roulette has a low house edge (2.70%). Exactly this perk keeps the French casino game one of the trickiest ones to beat.

If we’re being frank, it is not possible to beat roulette every time. Indeed, there are betting systems that can help while playing, but they are mostly in place to protect your bankroll.

Here’s a lowdown on roulette betting options. The ball can land on either red or black, which would allow 50:50 odds. However, clever creators added a single-zero pocket to the mix to lower the player advantage. It’s weird how the addition of a single pocket on the roulette wheel completely messed up with the maths.

Generally speaking, there are safer bets to place, such as betting on red or black. In contrast, single-number bets and even splits have bigger payouts on the account of lower chances of winning. Once one does win, though, they may boost their balance by 35 and 17 times the bet, respectively.

So, don’t let roulette’s low house edge convince you that you can win every time. Because you can’t. Roulette is a game of pure luck, and probability theory confirms that notion.

Slot Machines

The second most popular game of chance in casinos is slots. First, slots are arguably the most numerous casino game types in the world. Especially nowadays, they are produced at light speed by the likes of IGT, Novomatic, and Merkur Gaming. View the best Vegas slots here.

However, due to physical limitations, land-based casinos cannot host hundreds of slot cabinets. But online casinos can.

As a limitless hub of information, the internet is home to tens of thousands of virtual slots. Dozens of popular software developers manufacture online slots daily, thus boosting the operators’ portfolios. Some of the biggest slot lobbies are found at VideoSlots and Bitcoin Casino. These online gambling venues boast over 5,000 titles, most of which are slots.

The allure of slots lies in their simplicity. There are essentially no rules to the game. Players stake real money and click the single available Spin button. After you tap that switch, your fate is no longer in your hands – at least slot-wise. Slots are another game of sheer chance and don’t ever think otherwise.

Another reason why slots are so popular is their diversity. Besides various themes they laud (unlike stereotypically monotonous table games), slots can have different mechanics. Slot providers like Big Time Gaming have invented tools like Megaways, Megaclusters, and Megaquads. We see an enormous number of other developers acquiring a license to produce Megaways slots, for instance. Other than those exclusive mechanics, slots are flexible in integrating Free Spins, re-trigger features, and various special symbols. No other game of chance or skill is so easily bent and upgraded. Learn more about slot creation.

Sic Bo

Dice games in general enjoy an ambiguous reputation. What do we mean by this?

A dice roll is factually impacted by physics, even Albert Einstein would agree. However, to diminish the possibility of correct guesses, casinos shortened betting times. The situation is similar to that in roulette. If you apply the Kesselgucken method, you can actually quite accurately predict where the ball would land. However, rarely do casinos allow players to observe the wheel before placing a bet.

Similarly, in Sic Bo online, players have about 15 to 20 seconds to place their bets. As a result, they cannot make an educated guess and must rely solely on luck.

Sic Bo works when the dealer rolls or tumbles 3 dice after the participants have wagered real money. Popular Sic Bo bets include dice combinations, big, and small. It is possible to bet on two dice only, as well as all three.

Be that as it may, deciding what bet to choose in Sic Bo will not influence the outcome. No skill on earth enhances or decreases the chances of winning this game of chance. However, similar to roulette, players employ certain betting strategies to gain more control over their expenses.

Sure, there are some dice games that are reinforced by skills, by more about them later.

What Are Games of Skill?

How to determine what’s a game of chance

What casino games require skills?

The difference between chance and skill is as follows. When a player plays against the house (casino), we’re talking about games of luck. However, if there are real opponents, you are in for some skill gaming.

So, we’re about to answer the question, “What are considered games of skill?”

Gambling sites worldwide incorporate high-class skill-based games in their premises in order to attract passionate and devoted gamblers. Seldom does one see a seasoned player go on a slot cabinet for hours. Instead, these experienced punters focus on their skills and capitalize on them.

What are games of skill? Some examples include blackjack and poker. However, craps qualifies as a skill-based title due to its specific rules. But as a rule of thumb, when there are cards, there’s usually at least some skill involved.

As long as there are sheets, charts, and the like to follow in order to win, skill is crucial. In slots, for example, there is nothing you can do in advance to win other than load up your e-wallet and hope for the best.

On the other side of the spectrum, skill games can be learned prior to playing. Mastering games of skill is not only possible but completely normal. Once they put in the effort, time, and patience, everyone can learn to play games of skills.

Games Involving Skill – Examples

To illustrate the topic of our article, we’ll give you some game of skill examples.

Generally speaking, card games are more prone to include skills. Unlike spinning the reels, drawing a card directly impacts what the next card might be. This is one of the reasons why experts have come up with card counting.

Before we go on, we’d like to emphasize that we deliberately excluded sports from our games of skill examples. Most sports are skilled-based but as sports betting, which is chance-based, is closely related to them, we decided to rule it out for now.

Without further ado, enjoy our top 3 games of skill list below.


Blackjack is no chess but it’s pretty close. The world’s most popular game of skills, blackjack, is famous for its player-friendliness.

First of all, the well-known Twenty-One may have a ridiculous 0.5% house edge, which is better than any other casino game. In some cases, the casino advantage can be completely eliminated if all strategies are applied – basic strategy, counting cards, and deviations. While the latter two are typically doable in brick-and-mortar venues only, they are still beyond relevant.

Blackjack skills are learned – this is a fact. Beginners may start with simple charts that tell you when to hit and stand. To exemplify, players should always stand against the dealer’s 2-6 if they have 12-16. Similarly, they should always split Aces and 8s, and so on. By following the perfect blackjack strategy, one tremendously decreases the house advantage.

However, the basic strategy does not suffice to beat the dealer. To bring down the house, a blackjack player has to show off other skills, such as counting cards. The bulletproof system allows even complete rookies to win every time, as long as they keep track of their true count. Remember, though; it takes persistence to master card counting, so, take your time.

Also, the best blackjack players are always advantage players. These gamblers utilize not only card counting, but deviations, too. Some of them even described their tactics in great detail in the world’s finest books about blackjack.

Is Poker a Game of Skill?

It’s an ongoing debate whether poker is gambling or a game of skill.

Many skill-based tournaments, such as the World Series of Poker, maintain that poker is all skill, and we agree. Here’s why.

To an untrained eye, it might appear that poker is about guessing other players’ cards and acting accordingly. Nonetheless, it is not that simple. Sure, poker incorporates some advanced psychology in its skillset, but it’s not limited to “mind-reading”.

If one plays a round or two of poker, they will need plenty of luck and basically zero skills. However, if one is devoted to getting actually good at the casino classic, they need to work much harder. Casino experts and professional players claim that positive long-term results occur after years of training.

While luck plays a part in poker, complex algorithms ban sheer chance to protrude in the long run. If you’re wondering how much poker is a game of skill or chance,

Namely, the main difference between games of chance and skill lies in co-dependency. Simply put, in slots, the outcome of one round does not affect what happens in the next one. However, in poker, it is crucial what move is made now to what may happen next. Besides the statistical casino advantage, we have this active factor to pay attention to.

So, sure, you can get lucky and win a few games of poker. But if you plan on building a career in poker or at least winning substantial sums, you should rely on your observation and analytical skills.


Is there any skill involved in craps? This is a somewhat controversial question because we’re talking about a dice game However, unlike Sic Bo, Craps demands using a strategy to maintain a positive balance.

In that sense, it might seem that to win at craps every time isn’t hard. Just learn a good strategy and that’s it, right? Well, not quite, for there’s a tad more about craps and skills you should know.

This question is as old as the game itself. Even to date, many disagree on the matter. Some players argue that craps is a luck game whilst others maintain the power skills have in winning craps every time. Let’s try to solve the riddle.

First of all, let’s inspect the house edge. It appears that casinos want players to fall for this dice game. After all, craps has the lowest house edge in the casino – 0.8%. But, does the player advantage make the game easier to win? Well, not always.

Other than problematic systems that we’ll discuss later on, there’s little a player can do to trigger a favorable outcome. Playing craps, you bet on the results that the three dice will produce. In that sense, craps depends on one’s fortune.

In many ways, craps is both simple and intimidatingly confusing. Take as an example Evolution’s Live Craps. The number is hands-down stunning but also scary in a way. To lessen the tension, the developer integrated the easy mode to allow beginners to use their craps skills online.

How Games of Luck Can Turn into Those of Skills

Turn Games of Luck to Skill

There’s an ancient saying, “Casino games cannot be beaten,” and in essence, it is true. At least not long-term, or forever.

Nonetheless, many passionate gamblers seem to be happy with their little slice of forever by bringing the house down once in a while. To do so, these punters learn advanced and sometimes borderline illegal strategies to beat the dealer. Some might be legal or frowned upon enough to get you banned from the casino

Here are some popular unconventional systems to beat the casino.

  1. Card Counting – A popular form of advantage gambling typically used in blackjack and baccarat. Players keep a record of what cards have been drawn to predict what the next card will be. With a few possible guesses in mind, it gets easier to make the right move to avoid busting. To prevent customers from counting cards, casinos frequently reshuffle decks and forbid joining the table mid-game.
  2. Edge Sorting – One of the most notorious baccarat strategies infamously popularized by Phil Ivey. Edge sorting works by noticing little details on the deck and/or scheming with the dealer to deal you certain cards only.
  3. Dice Control – Proponed by a small community, dice control advocates that certain ways of dice throws can produce favorable outcomes for the players. Before it’s been proven wrong, casinos imposed a new rule – the dice need to hit the craps table wall before resting, or the roll is pronounced illegitimate.
  4. Betting Systems Betting strategies are completely legal but not as efficient as other strategies. Examples include Martingale, Labouchere, Fibonacci, and D’Alembert, to mention a few. Each of these systems dictates whether the player should increase or decrease their stake after wins/loses. While somewhat useful, betting systems do not have an impact on the outcome.

Is It Illegal to Use Math at a Casino?

The obvious answer to this question is no. Of course, it is legal to use one’s brains and math skills to win. However, casinos, as private establishments, reserve the right to remove anyone at any given time. Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether these strategies are worth it.

Perhaps one of the most controversial cases of problematic gambling strategies goes back to 1979 when the infamous MTI Blackjack Team successively beat the house many times. This occurrence in the gambling history set in motion the question “Is counting cards legal?”. Simply put, card counting is not illegal, but it can get you removed from blackjack tables if you’re caught.

The safest way to legally play casino games of skill involves following betting patterns.

So, are you the type of player who follows their gut feeling or plays strategically? Let us know in the comments below!



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