If you’re interested in gambling, chances are you’re more curious about skill-based gambling, rather than luck-based gambling. After all, isn’t it possible to be so good at gambling that you never lose? While no, it isn’t possible to gamble and never lose, it is possible to play better and win more frequently. The reality is, however, that some gambling games are more based on skill than others. It is, therefore, important to understand the difference between the various games of chance.
Let’s take a look at slots, roulette, blackjack and poker, and get a better idea of how each ranks in terms of skill requirements.
What Is Skill-Based Gambling?
Before we get to the various individual games, let’s first look at what skill-based gambling is. First and foremost, all casino games are games of chance. As the name says, games of chance are based on an element of randomness and unpredictability. In slots, you can’t know which symbols are going to land on the reels. In roulette, you never know where the ball is going to land. In Poker and Blackjack, you never know which cards are going to be drawn. You are, therefore, playing the game with an element of uncertainty.
But, games like Blackjack and Poker allow you to change the course of the game, thereby increasing your chances of winning. Randomness is still a big element, but Blackjack and Poker will pay out more frequently if you make smart decisions. Games of chance that can be swayed one way or the other are skill-based gambling games.
Slots are entirely luck-based games, much like a lottery. In slots you simply make a bet, spin reels, then hope that matching sequences land on the reels. There is nothing you can do to increase the chances of a matching sequence occurring, and nothing you can do to alter the course of the game in any way.
Your only option in slots is to increase or decrease the betting amount. While there is some strategy to raising and lowering betting amounts, you still can’t alter the course of the game. Slots are, therefore, a pure experience of luck. Being luck-based doesn’t make slots any less entertaining, but it does mark them as a gambling experience best suited for beginners.
In Roulette you can alter the chances of winning, assuming that you bet smart. If you adopt a betting strategy, think carefully about how you play, and stick to broader betting options, your chances of winning can increase. Hence, there is some degree of skill in playing Roulette.
However, nothing you do will ever change the outcome of a round. The wheel is always going to spin, and the white ball is always going to hit a random number. So although smart gamblers will get more out of Roulette than others, the game is still not considered one of skill.
In Poker you never know what cards you’re going to get. You’re essentially going in blind, meaning that this must be a game of luck, right? Not so. Poker is considered amongst the most skill-based games currently offered at casinos.
Consider that, no matter which cards you get, you can still win. With smart betting and bluffing you can turn a losing hand into a winning hand. In fact, you can get nothing but poor hands and still come out having won every single round. On the other hand, a less skilled player may get nothing but great hands, only to lose every single hand. This is a sign that, yes, a skilled player can dominate, while a less experienced player will likely lose.
Blackjack is thought of by professional gamblers as the most skill-based game. This reputation may seem strange, given that Blackjack is based on drawing cards. But there is far more to Blackjack than meets the eye, whether you play online at Mandarin Palace casino or in a land-based venue.
Blackjack is, importantly, not about getting your hand as close to 21 as possible. It is about getting your hand closer to 21 than the house hand. Additionally, the croupier always deals one of the house’s hand face up. This face-up card is enormously important, allowing a player with skill to make valuable decisions. In fact, skilled players can play perfect games of Blackjack, reducing the house edge to as low as 0.6%. For comparison, the house edge in Roulette is as high as 5.4%, depending on the version you play.
So can a skilled Blackjack play always win? No, of course not. Blackjack is also still a game of chance. With perfect play, you can win far more often than an unskilled player. But will still lose on occasion. The trick is that, in the long term, a skilled Blackjack player will come out ahead.
How To Be A Skilled Player
If you’re keen to immediately jump into a game of Blackjack and start winning, we wish you luck. But, take into account that playing professional Blackjack is enormously demanding. You need to practice, research, learn, and practice more. Blackjack masters spend years honing their craft, and even still struggle to play a perfect game. There are countless variations to take into account, as well as the need to have a good betting strategy. Remember; Blackjack and Poker aren’t just about playing well, they’re also about betting smart.
Keep in mind that you can find free Blackjack strategy guides online. If you’re serious about being a skilled player, check out these strategy guides, study them, and practice as much as you can. Most online casinos allow for Free Play. This means that you can play Blackjack online, practice as much as you want, and never have to risk a real cent.
When you do play for real money, keep your bets low, play for the long term, never chase losses, and quit while you’re ahead. Most importantly, never play with money you can’t afford to lose.