Gambling on Skill: Benefits and Drawbacks

Casinos attract a diverse crowd, from retirees wanting to pass the time at the slot machines to middle-aged men counting cards at the blackjack tables. The United States of America may have been the first really international melting pot, but today’s global superpower is represented by a collection of casinos that welcome anyone with enough spare change or an ATM card to play for real money.

These places might easily rewrite the famous Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” to include the line “Give me your well-rested, middle-class, huddled masses yearning to breathe in cigarette smoke.”

I’m leaving Ellis Island for Las Vegas and Macau.

All gamblers hope to walk out of the casino with a profit, but how they achieve this goal might vary widely. While some prefer the slower pace of pure games of chance, others relish the challenge of pitting their wits against the house’s advantage. Games that require some degree of ability are frequently favoured by the latter group.

Fortunately, the benefits and drawbacks of casino games that require skill are today’s topic.

Skill-Based Casino Games

Let’s have a look at some instances before I go into the pros and cons of skill-based casino games.

Gambling on Video Poker, Blackjack, and Sports

These games still rely on chance, but they also give the player significant agency over the outcome through their choices. In stark contrast, the player has no control over the outcome in games of pure chance like slots and roulette.

The Benefits of Gambling on Skill

Now that we know how games of skill differ from games of chance, we can examine the benefits of the former.

Not Relying Solely on Chance – The primary benefit is, of course, that players have a greater say in how they fare in skill-based games. This is typically done by knowing the mathematical chances associated with each playable action or by memorizing a strategy chart. Those who prefer games of chance put their future in the hands of Lady Luck, while those who play based on talent take control of their lives.

Gamblers can often make the house edge more bearable by adopting techniques that have been refined by previous players over the years. One of the most prominent examples is video poker, where the player can really eliminate the house edge totally by playing the optimal strategy and choosing the proper version of the game.

It’s More Fun to Win – While slot machine winnings might be spent just as easily, there’s a certain intrinsic satisfaction that comes from working against the odds and coming out on top. The sense of accomplishment gained by skilled card counters and video poker players is sometimes more precious than the money they win.

More and more games are becoming available for players who like to rely on their talent, as opposed to luck. This appears to be shifting, however, as new games are appearing in several casinos that place a greater premium on talent than ever before, notably in the areas of reflexes and muscle memory.  Atlantic City is currently at the forefront of this campaign, which aims to revive the city’s sagging casino industry.

Downsides to Casino Games Requiring Skill

Skill-based games have a number of benefits, but not all gamers enjoy them. Some of the more common explanations are provided here.

No matter how well you play games like poker or blackjack, luck will always play a role because the cards are dealt randomly. Some gamblers believe these games to be as random as any other in the casino and hence choose to forego involvement.

The Player Has More To Do – Some people can view it as their full-time profession to study different kinds of strategy and probability. It is true that professional card counters and other players with an edge put in countless hours of practice time at home and at casinos to perfect their craft. If the player doesn’t put in the effort to figure out what to do in every possible circumstance, he or she is once again at the mercy of chance.

The Casino Always Wins – With the possible exception of a few video poker games with a flawless paytable, the casino always wins at a casino. This advantage has been fine-tuned to maximize profits while minimizing the risk of losing patrons since the very first casino opened. Since the casino always has an edge over the player, some gamblers have come to the conclusion that there’s no point in putting in effort to improve their odds against pure chance.

A growing number of modern casino games include automatic elements to aid consumers who wish to play skill games without first memorizing the necessary strategy. This is due to the general laziness of the human race. When playing video poker, for instance, players may rest easy knowing that the best cards will be held for them thanks to the auto hold option.  With these convenient features in place, it’s possible that the majority of customers will be just as ready as those who put in a lot of practice time.


Now that you know the benefits and drawbacks of playing skill-based casino games, you may pick the type of gambling that best suits your preferences. Playing games of pure chance can be a terrific way to relax and have fun without exerting too much effort. You can reduce the house’s advantage and show off your analytical prowess by taking on the most challenging selections, though. You get to decide.

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