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What Is The Difference Between Games Of Skill And Games Of Chance?

What Is The Difference Between Games Of Skill And Games Of Chance?

While many may effectively conclude the meaning of the terms without first knowing of them, games of skill and games of chance have taken on a much more complex meaning to many. A lot of legalities surround these two types of games, mainly due to what defines participating in a game as gambling or not. This obviously presents a much more complicated dilemma as to whether certain games should be available to those under the age of 18 and whether certain regions decide to entirely ban them or not. The argument isn’t the definitions of these terms though, rather what categories specific games fall into, so let’s break it down.

Games of Chance

Games of chance are a formal term for casino games, including slots and table games like Blackjack and Roulette. Lotteries are also considered games of chance, which is a catch-all term for games that prominently features a random element that money is generally staked on. Games like this have existed for thousands of years with some remaining relatively unchanged for hundreds of years. Being synonymous with gambling means that many such games were popularized in casinos and other such establishments and new innovations are continually being made in an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars. 

Games of Skill

Games of skill are more defined as a competitive activity that draws upon experience, game-sense and an intimate understanding of the rules to win. In Blackack anybody can be lucky enough to be dealt an Ace and a Jack, but traditional sports like football and even eSports like League of Legends take immense time, training and dedication to be able to perform on a competitive level where actual prizes can be won. A large aspect of games of skill is how players are instead competing against each other rather than the house in the casino. This can however blur the lines, as games like Poker have often been argued back and forth as to whether it should be considered a game of skill or game of chance. More on that below.

What Is The Difference Between Games Of Skill And Games Of Chance?

Daily Fantasy Sports and Poker

Daily Fantasy Sports and Poker deserve their own special mention, as they have often been hotly contested between being games of skill or games of chance. Prior to 2018, the majority of US states did not have regulated sports betting markets, especially so for online markets. This lead some clever people to instead implement Daily Fantasy Sports sites and services that were marketed as being games of skill. This skill was argued as being born out of a need to know fixtures and statistics to make the best picks. Many argued however that the element of skill was so minimal and comparative to typical casino games. In Blackjack, for instance, a skilled and experienced player may win more than a novice, but the odds will always be stacked against them. Wherever Daily Fantasy Sports truly belonged, it worked and reigned supreme for a long time, while traditional sports betting remained restricted in most of the US.

Poker, on the other hand, is usually more favored towards the skill-based side of things. Players are playing against each other and must use their ability to read other players and calculate the likelihoods of certain card combinations. Betting strategies can also be applied to force other players out or bring yourself back up from a losing streak. The element of chance comes from the draw of the cards, but it is generally understood that veteran players can still make consistent wins even with a bad hand.

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