Skill vs. Chance: Differences and Overlaps in Gaming and Gambling

Some people claim to have won a bet because of their skill whereas other are happy to accept luck played a huge role in their success.

If you have ever played an online casino game and won, you are sure to have celebrated the win but have you ever considered if your win was due to skill or chance? There are differences between skill and chance in online gaming and online gambling but also some aspects that overlap between the two.

What is a Skill Based Game?

Before we investigate the potential difference and overlaps in gaming and gambling, we must clarify the difference between a skill based game and chance based game. Beginning with a skill based game, and this is a game where the ability of the person playing the game has a significant impact on the outcome of the game. In terms of gambling, poker is an example of a game where the skill of the player can have a major impact on the outcome of the game. You would soon tell the difference between a skilled poker player and poor poker player if they were playing in the same game.

Games such as backgammon and chess are also highly skill based but there is little in the way of gambling involved when playing those two games.

What is a Chance Based Game?

In contract to a skill based game, a chance based game is one where the ability of the player has little impact on the outcome of the game. This would be true when playing an online slot game for example. When playing an online slot, you have little control over the reels when they are spinning and have no idea what is going to land when the reels stop.

The slots on offer at sweepstake casinos are a good example and however much you play the same slot game, you will not know what is going to happen from one spin to the next. You can try playing some of the games available at Sweepstake Casino Apps. Visit the site today and play online slots using virtual currency for free. Many chance based games are played against the house, which means there is no direct opponent like when playing a game of poker.

The Overlap Between Skill and Chance

We know the difference between skill and chance based gaming but even using the definitions above does not prevent some overlap from taking place. Online sports betting is a good example and some people believe there is skill involved when making a sports bet. Having a good knowledge of the sport, researching the two teams, looking at head-to-head records, studying form, checking the weather conditions, knowing which players are available, and the motivation levels of the two teams to win all play a factor when making a sports bet and some people believe that makes it a skill. However, anything can happen at a sporting event and one of the beauties of professional sport is the unpredictability of results. So, there is some grey area between skill and chance when it comes to gambling.

The differences and overlaps of skill and chance in gaming and gambling are important because they can define what is legal or restricted. For example, some states in the US have based their gambling laws on what is skill or chance and that means some forms of gambling or illegal. Some states and countries will use a test to determine if a casino game is skill or chance. A casino game must pass specific thresholds to be classed as a skill game and if the game has a chance aspect that is considered significant to the outcome, it will be classed as a chance based game for the purposes of legislation. There are some governing bodies that will go even further to make things as clear as possible by deeming any game where chance can have an impact on the outcome, however, small,to be gambling.

So, despite being able to define both skill and chance, there is still some crossover between the two in terms of gaming and gambling. Sports betting and some casino games can be classed as having both skill and chance elements, which can make defining them for the purposes of legislation difficult.