What Is Skill-Based Gaming and How Does it Differ from Traditional Casino Games?

It’s good to have lady luck when playing real money games, but skills enhance the odds of winning the bet. Hence, gambling laws and authorities distinguish them as skill-based and luck-based games. However, there’s a thin line between both categories.

That said, not all real money games are legal to play as per different jurisdictions. Let’s understand whether your favorite betting activity is a game of chance or skill.

What is the Game of Chance?

Traditional casino games are usually games of chance. Winning bets in these games depends on your luck instead of skills. Simply put, the outcome of a bet is out of your hands.

Luck is a primary element in traditional casino games. Since there’s no guarantee of winning a bet, they fall into a game of chance category. Thus, games of chance are still illegal in some regions.

Famous casinos  including top 10 betting apps in India or chance-based games include slots, roulette, bingo, and dice.

What is Skill-based Gaming?


Skill-based gaming doesn’t depend on randomness but on your skill and tactics. Skill or mind games have a learning curve to hone the strategies for various gaming scenarios. For instance, players imply techniques like playing fewer hands, folding, raising, and bluffing during poker.

Learning the right strategies and tricks gives you an edge in these games. Moreover, you can beat the odds more often. So your game’s knowledge has a lucrative value when you play mind games to earn a few dollars.

Hence, many countries allow betting on skill-based games.

Key Differences Between Skill-Based and Casino Gaming

Two key differentiators distinguish casino and skill-based games.

The first factor is who the player is playing against. So it’s a game of chance if you’re playing against the house. For example, you’ll always bet against the house when playing slot games on no verification casinos. Since the results are random, applying any skillset can’t change the outcomes. Contrarily, a gaming event between two or more participants is a game of skill like eSports games.

Secondly, the games fall into the skill-based gaming category when you apply skills, stats, and strategies to win an event. If not, it’s a game of luck. During skill-based gaming, you plan your winning move based on “what to do” and “how to do” factors to beat your opponent. Thus, the final result depends on your game knowledge and experience level. It isn’t true in casino gaming.

Gambling Regulations for Real Money Games


Generally, any gaming activity that requires money to play is gambling, according to gambling laws globally. However, games of skill may have a luck factor. Similarly, some casino games may require a skill or two to win the bet. Thus, defining a game as skill or luck-based is a complex process for any regulatory body. It depends on whether the game passes a specific test or not.

The lawmakers define, restrict, and permit real money gaming based on three tests. It includes:

  • Predominant factor test ─ To check whether the outcome element is predominantly skill or randomness.
  • Any chance test ─ There should not be even a minor element of luck while determining the result of a game. Games like fantasy sports fail this test.
  • Material element test ─ To check the luck factor based on the material degree of the game. For instance, the random distribution of cards at a poker table may affect the game’s strategies and result.

Fun Facts About Skill-based Gambling Games

  • The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is one of the most popular skill-based gambling events. Held in Las Vegas, the poker champion wins a multi-million dollar prize in this annual tournament.
  • Due to the growing popularity of competitive games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) inaugurated Olympic Esports Week in June 2024.
  • Initially called “21”, the origin of the Blackjack casino game dates back to the Roman era.



1. What is the difference between gambling and skill games?

Real money bets, outcomes, and payouts are the primary elements of gambling events. Traditional casino games give random outcomes based on pure chance. On the other hand, games’ results depend on a player’s gaming and mental abilities in skill-based games.

2. What are famous skill-based casino games?

Popular skill-based casino games include Poker, Blackjack, Crap, and Fish Table.

3. What are skill-based casino slots?

Unlike traditional slot machines, the outcome in skill-based slot games doesn’t depend on Random Number Generator (RNG). Instead, a gambler needs a specific skill to win the game.

Wrap Up

Casino gaming is a vast vertical that covers a wide range of betting games. However, luck is a critical element in all gaming events. Thus, every country has its own gambling laws and protocols to classify the nature of the game.

So make sure to go through your state’s regulations for both genres of games to play legally.

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