Game of Skill vs Chance: What’s the Difference?

Christopher
Last updated on 15th July 2020

Published: 08/06/2020

Categories: News

Games of Skill versus Games of Chance in India

You most likely already know that the gambling laws in India can be…somewhat confusing at the best of times. In Andhra Pradesh it’s legal, meanwhile, in Kerala, there are many factors to take into consideration.

However, one thing that is sure is that skill-based and chance-based games are where they draw the line for legal gambling.

So, what’s the difference between them?

Let’s find out!

The law and why it’s important to know

In India, the law sees these two types of games separately when it comes to gambling.

Games of skill are ok to bet on, while games of chance are not.

So, let’s take poker as an example.

Poker is considered a game of skill – why? Because there are certain elements where the player requires to have knowledge and experience in order to win.

Although there are still aspects of luck involved, it can be argued that the level of skill needed is much higher to win than just leaving it down to chance.

Compare this to a slot machined and the difference becomes a lot clearer.

So, what are the main differences then?

There are 2 main distinctions between what constitutes a game of chance and a game of skill.

You might think that it is pretty obvious from the names themselves – but would you like to guess, or would you like to know.

That’s what I thought!

How about we look at each of these two differences individually?

The first difference: Who you are playing against

This one is very important!

If you are playing against “The House”, then it is considered a game of chance.

If you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. Most casino games, like blackjack or roulette, require a lot of luck in order to win anything on.

They don’t say “The House always wins” for nothing!

However, if you’re playing against other players, then you are partaking in a game of skill.

This also makes sense, doesn’t it? You’re putting your own level of skill against that of your opponents.

The top dog wins here – no one has any advantage over the other in terms of luck.

The second difference: Strategy

The law states that if it’s possible to apply a strategic skill to a game – be it through mathematics, statistics or other strategies – then the game must be considered a game of skill and not one of chance.

Yes, I know there are strategies that can be applied to games such as roulette – but how effective are these?

You could argue that these “strategies” do not really require much skill. In fact, they are better used to help you have fun more so than winning.

Chess, on the other hand, has a proper strategy. You can use statistics to work out where you should best move to next and how you can best beat the other player.

Does that clear it up more for you?

Good!

Example time!

Ok, so now that we’ve broken down the difference between the 2, it’s time to have a look at some of the top casino games and see exactly where they fall into this skill vs chance spectrum.

Casino slots

These are 100% based on chance.

There’s no skill in playing these that can increase your odds of winning at all – there sure are fun though!

Roulette

Again, roulette is based entirely on luck. There are certain techniques that can be used in order to offset losses, but nothing that can increase your chances of winning.

Blackjack

Ok, this one is a tad bit more complicated. Blackjack, is technically a game of chance. There is no skill to it per se.

But you can apply certain techniques to your game to potentially increase your chances of not losing. Given that, it is still considered a game of chance.

Andar Bahar

Interestingly, this is classified as a game of skill! Yes, you read that right.

This is only because back in the 1970s, the police failed to clearly state why it is a game of chance and how the game is played. So the high court declared it a skill-based game. Nice!

Teen Patti

The traditional version of Teen Patti, in the eyes of the law, is also seen as a game of skill.

Yes, that’s right! To be fair, the game does require a certain level of skill and you are playing solely against other players.

The online versions are a bit different as you’re playing against The House – this is another example of our confusing gambling laws!

Rummy

Rummy is classified as a game of skill. This is one of the only games listed here that is 100% definitely, in the eyes of the law, counted as a skill-based game.

So, there you have it. I hope that this clears up what is considered a game of skill and a game of chance for you!

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