Understanding Casinos: Games of Skill and Luck
In any kind of casino game, there are games that are considered skill, and there are games that are considered luck.
However, no matter how you look at it, most games are a little bit of both. Even in the case of a pure luck game like the giant spinning wheel of fortune, there’s a certain amount of skill in knowing how much to bet, and when to walk away (OK, that’s an extreme example, but read on as we distinguish between luck and skill.)
Here are some popular casino games that many consider skill-based: Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Video Poker, Baccarat, and most card games.
Wait a minute – we said craps and blackjack for both. How can that be?
Well, it’s because they (like most casino games) ARE both. Any one hand in blackjack is based primarily on the luck of the draw. Any one play in craps depends on the roll of dice. But in an overall sense, the skilled player at these two games has a better chance to win over time, and the REALLY skilled player can even tilt the odds in his or her favor. See what we mean when we say most games are a little bit of both?
When it comes to a game such as poker, many professional players consider it a game of pure skill. After all, it takes a certain amount of savvy to take a bad hand, and be able to turn it around to sustain for another round of play. Even a good bluffer can turn a poor hand into a pot winner.
However, to a degree, the cards still have a say. In a smaller game of poker with only a few players, a bad hand is still not going to beat a strong hand at the end of the day. It’s important to have an overall knowledge of the game, anything from recognizing a quality hand to being able to read another person’s body language. To be a good player, one has to know what they’re up against.
So is having a strong skilled background enough for skill-based games? Look at it this way: If that were the case, and skill was the determining factor of every game, then why is it that people who know the rules inside and out, and have a strong working knowledge of almost any variable that could present itself, still usually lose?
Very simple: Just plain luck. Oh, and the house edge!
Just remember – it’s called “gambling” for a reason.