Casino Life

The Benefits of Playing Games of Chance vs. Games of Skill

A man holding a black and yellow casino chip in front of his eye

Why would you choose casino games of skill over games of chance? In this article, we’ll unpack the difference between these two types of games, explore the benefits of each, and share some classic online casino games for you to enjoy.

What are games of skill?

A pure game of skill is a game where your level of physical or mental proficiency in that game determines whether you succeed or fail. Games like chess, checkers, and mahjong are common games of skill. 

There are no random factors in these games that influence who will win or lose. However, external factors of chance may influence the game itself, such as flipping a coin to decide who plays first.

What are games of chance?

In contrast to a game of skill, a game of chance is designed around a tool or device that randomizes the likelihood of victory. This means any player may win, regardless of the physical or mental effort they put into learning a game. Games like online slots, bingo, craps, roulette, and Snakes and Ladders are games based on chance. 

In the Academic article “Chance and Skill in Game Design,” Lennart Nacke, an Associate Professor and Research Director of the HCI Games Group at the University of Waterloo, highlights why chance games are still very popular with so many players around the world.

“Games of chance can be very engaging because they can allow players of different skill sets to engage in a balanced competition. Games are for everyone; for people who are used to rolling the dice, and people who like to feel the fear in their enemy’s eyes. Some people even think it is fun to lose and to pretend. However, games of luck, in particular, seem to feature more attainable goals and are winnable by more people.”

Some games are a mix of skill and chance

Most games have some element of chance. In fact, some of the most popular games in the world appear to be chance-based games on the surface. However, it actually requires the player to develop a specific set of skills in order to succeed. Poker has both skill and chance elements. Regular players have been asked, “Is poker a game of skill?” To which experienced players will reply, “yes.” Other games like backgammon and bridge are also examples of this type of game.

In this category of games, players are still required to develop certain skills if they want to increase their chance of winning. For example, players might learn to read other players, implement specific strategies, or understand how specific combinations of cards may affect the outcome of the game.

Again, referring to Nacke’s academic article, even in games of skill, game mechanics that include random elements can add value to the game. These mechanics can:

  • Help the game designer prevent or delay the player from solving (mastering) the game
  • Help the game designer ensure the gameplay is balanced and competitive for players of all skill levels
  • Increase the variety of elements in a game system
  • Help create dramatic moments in a game
  • Enhance the decision-making in a game

The benefits of games of chance

gambler in casual outfit with glasses throwing cards toward the camera against a red background

Now that we have a better understanding of skill and chance and how they can affect the outcome of a game, what are some of the benefits of games that rely solely on chance?

They offer an even playing field

As discussed earlier, putting players of various skill levels into a game can be a recipe for disaster. Weaker players may be frustrated at their inability to compete against their stronger rivals. The stronger players may lose interest when playing against people who cannot offer them a challenge, even if it means an easy win. This can easily be seen when playing online poker.

However, in chance games, any player can be the victor, regardless of the time they’ve committed to learning and playing the game.

They are simple and don’t require much mental energy

Typically, pure games of chance are intentionally designed with minimal or basic rule sets. This ensures that players can jump in and have a chance at victory against other players, the dealer, or the machine. 

Additionally, these games don’t need the player to be in the best mental or physical shape. Whether you’ve had a rough day at the office or are simply distracted by people and the world around you, your current physical and mental state will not affect the outcome of a pure game of chance.  

They’re fun and exciting!

Games based on chance can be very exciting, even if you don’t have any influence over whether you win or lose. This freedom from influencing the outcome can be a welcome break for competitive players who usually play skill-based games. You don’t need to worry whether you’re making the right choice or think about what you could have done better to increase your chances of winning. You simply make your choice and see what fate has in store.

Many of these games also have a social aspect to them. Experienced players know that friendly banter from other players can add to one’s overall enjoyment of a game.

Benefits of games of skill

While there may always be a stroke of luck in every game, games based predominantly on skill have their advantages too, particularly for players dedicated to the game. These include several psychological benefits.

  • Development of skill: Humans are goal-oriented beings, and activities where you can measure progress and growth can be extremely rewarding. Games of skill offer players the chance to evolve their skills through dedicated practice, and because many people favor chance games over skill-based games, those who put effort into developing their skills will soon obtain the experience in a particular game to surpass those who haven’t. This level of expertise boosts players’ confidence and desire to keep on improving.
  • Improved strategic thinking: Games of skill offer players the opportunity to develop their strategic thinking, which can be a highly beneficial skill both in and outside the casino. Strategic thinking allows people to think outside the box, be innovative, find the most effective solution to problems, and so forth.
  • Cognitive benefits: Skill-based games require greater use of a player’s brain and, in turn, offer cognitive benefits such as improved memory, planning, complex idea comprehension, etc.

Classic online casino games based on chance

Various game machines and gambling games illustrated vector 

Whether you’re playing online or at a land-based casino, you’ll find a wide spread of casino games based on the chance variation that suits the tastes of all players. These games include:

  • Baccarat: Baccarat is a card game where the players compete against the banker to see who has the highest score. The dealer draws a pair of cards for both the player and the banker. Whoever’s hand totals closest to nine wins.
  • Craps: Craps is a dice game that sees players placing bets on the outcome of a single or multiple dice rolls. The types of bets are displayed clearly on the table, and players must put down their chips before the shooter (the player with the dice) rolls.
  • Keno: Keno is very similar to most lottery games and is offered by many casinos. Players choose a series of numbers, after which the house draws their own set of numbers at random. This can be done using a ball machine or a random number generator. The more numbers the player matches, the greater their winnings.
  • Money wheel: A money wheel game begins with the dealer spinning the wheel. Once the wheel has started spinning, players place their bets on the symbols that they expect to win. Once the wheel stops, the dealer will announce the winning symbol and hand out winnings.
  • Roulette: Roulette is played on a wheel that’s separated into black, red, and a single green section. Each of these sections has a number. Players can choose to bet on a color, number, or other variables, such as odds or evens. The dealer spins the roulette wheel, places the ball into the wheel, and awards winnings depending on where the ball lands.
  • Slots: Slots are the best examples of chance-based games. Players push a button, the reel spins, and depending on what combination of symbols they land on the reels, the player can win, lose, or have another chance at spinning. Modern versions of slots also include mini-games that reward the player with free spins or multiply their winnings if they strike it lucky.

Place your bets with Borgata Online

Looking to play at a casino online? Whether you are new to the online casino experience, or you’ve played online casino games before, it’s important that you pick a casino that can provide you with a service that meets your expectations.

Borgata Online has over 17 years of experience in the casino industry. We offer players a premium online casino platform. Interested in the live casino online experience? Check out our range of live dealer games. Ready to put your strategy to the test? Have a go at any of our casino table games on offer. Fancy your chances of winning the jackpot while spinning the reels? You’re sure to find the best online slots in our wide selection of games. 

To find out more about the games we have to offer, register with our online casino!