As technology advances rapidly, our (gambling) appetites advance with it. The number of online casinos and other gaming platforms keeps growing, allowing users to access virtually any game they can think of - online and from the comfort of their own homes. Are land-based casinos becoming obsolete? It remains to be seen.
However, what indeed isn’t becoming obsolete are skill-based casino games that seem to be getting more appealing, creative and captivating by the day.
Skill-based gambling games are particularly attractive for experienced gamblers as they give a clear idea of what and how much you can win.
What Are Skill-Based Casino Games?
Skill-based games are the type of games whose outcome depends on the player’s skill rather than chance. The higher you bet, the more you win – that is, if you are a skilled player.
Game developers create varying scenarios depending on a wide range of identifiers, thereby rewarding more payouts to better players. In a nutshell, this is the main difference between skill-based games and luck-based games.
Although they have only recently gained popularity, casino gambling skill-based casino games are nothing new. They have been around for years without changing their core idea or initial structure. The only difference from their original form is that, now, they are available online on casino websites.
Poker - The Most Skill-Based Casino Game
Level of skill: 4/5
Poker is one of the most common casino games that are skill-based. It comes in dozens of variants, including Texas Hold ‘Em, Razz, Omaha, five-card draw, and seven-card stud.
The goal of a poker game is to have the best hand or to convince other players that you have the best hand, so they fold. In some poker variants, the best hand is the lowest-ranked hand.
The beauty of poker is that it stands for more than just gamble; it’s about testing your patience, observation precision, and learning how to put your opponent on a range of hands only to use all the acquired information to induce mistakes.
Traditional poker games differ from video poker and casino poker.
While traditional poker has you competing against other players, video poker and casino poker have you compete against the dealer. Also, video poker and casino poker are not skill-based games as they are more random than traditional poker. However, you still need some skill to win at these poker variants.
If you are interested in playing poker but aren’t that skilled, give yourself some time to learn about poker basics, then hit the poker table confidently.
Blackjack - A Mix of Chance and Skill
Level of skill: 3/5
Blackjack is a balanced game of chance and skill and possibly one of the trickiest skill-based games to play. It resembles craps in its skill level with no control over the outcome of the cards. The blackjack dealer always has an edge.
However, if you employ the proper mathematical decision-making, the odds of you winning improve. Guess what? Techniques of card counting, hole carding, and shuffle tracking can even put the edge in your favour.
Blackjack is never played against the other players but the dealer. The dealer plays the central role at the blackjack table, as it gives out one card to each player, who then decides whether to ‘hit’ or ‘stick’. The goal of the game is to beat the dealer.
You can beat the dealer at blackjack by scoring 21 when the dealer draws beyond 21 or by getting a higher card total than the dealer.
While knowing the mathematics can significantly help you reduce the house edge, this won’t be enough to make you a steady blackjack winner in the long run. Still, any technique mentioned above (card counting, shuffle tracking, and hole carding) may.
Craps - Choose The Right Strategy and Increase Winning Chances
Level of skill: 1/5
Although typically regarded as a game of chance, Craps requires some skill, too.
Yes, winning or losing is determined by the roll of a dice, and all bets favour the house, but some bets offer greater odds than others.
Bets that give a house edge of just a couple of per cent are:
- Pass/don’t pass
- Come/don’t come lines
- Place 6 and Place 8
- Buy 4 and Buy 10
Betting on any other casino games based on skill is just giving away money to the casino in the long run.
Although there is no way to influence the dice roll, you could say there is a minor decision-making process that can help you enhance your game.
In craps, players take turns to roll a pair of dice against the back wall of the Craps table. All players can take bets on the outcome of the dice roll.
A Special Type of Slots: Skill-Based Slot Machines
Level of skill: 2/5
Unlike the traditional slots that are more leisure and luck than anything else, skill-based online slots require the use of tactics if you want to go home with some cha-ching. Even so, they are still a combination of betting and chance.
In skill-based online slots, the player is actively controlling where to shoot and which targets to hit. The RTP can be much higher than on traditional slots once you get the hang of it. However, keep a watchful eye on your balance as each shot will cost you.
Skill-based slot machines are not everyone’s cup of tea. As they marry skill and chance, they might be more suitable for gamers than gamblers, as gamers are more attracted to the competition, the game’s theme, and the ability to progress in a game. Gamblers, on the other hand, thrive off of the thrill of winning/losing.
Other than the skill element, the critical difference between a traditional slot and a skill-based one is the RNG. While traditional slots are based entirely on the Random Number Generator that generates random numbers with no logic whatsoever, skill-based slots include an RNG but feature game skills in additional spin rounds.
Essentially, to understand how slot machines work, this is all you need to know: you can spin a regular slot numerous times, and you won’t be even close to guessing the following combination correctly; spin a skill-based slot machine, and you’ll have gamified bonus rounds to provoke your thought and skill.
Most Popular Skill-Based Gambling Games
So far, we’ve listed the four of the most popular casino gambling skill-based games, but it’s important you know they are not the only casino games based on skill you can enjoy.
Here are a few other skill-based gambling games you may want to give a chance:
- Fantasy sports is a popular game that allows players to create teams with their favourite athletes and then bet by strategizing around those same players by implementing thorough knowledge of athlete statistics.
- Bridge is a team card game that resembles spades and whist. The primary skill of this game is to bid on the number of tricks you believe your team of two will win.
- Dominoes is a popular skill game played by people of all ages. Due to its skill-based basis and the many variants it offers, it can be rather challenging. The variations in Dominos are divided between blocking games and scoring games.
- Backgammon uses dice to determine which moves you can make. It is a popular board game that often incorporates gambling.
- Tonk is a card game based on skill similar to rummy games, emphasising betting. In Tonk, the players try to get the most points based on the card values in their hands.
- Checkers is based entirely on skill. The objective of the game is to capture your opponent’s pieces before they capture yours.
- Scrabble and Boggle are top-rated word games that can be played in a tournament-style for money or have the player with the most points win the pot.
Final Thoughts on Skill-Based Casino Games
All of the skill-based gambling games we have mentioned in this article are compelling and challenging yet very exciting to play. A great feature of skill-based casino games is that - the more you play them, the more new skills you learn – so, even if you don’t win money, you, after all, end up a winner.