Luck-Based Games vs. Skill-Based Games at Crypto Casinos
In this article we explain the differences between luck- and skill-based games in order to help you develop the right frame of mind when playing either type of game at a crypto casino.
Luck-Based Games vs. Skill-Based Games at Crypto Casinos
Before deciding to plunk some bitcoin down into a crypto casino or sportsbook, it is a good idea to understand what your goal is in doing some gambling. Most of the time, gambling is done with a recreational mindset, and there’s nothing wrong with that — it can be an enjoyable, even thrilling way to pass the time. However, sometimes gamblers begin their session with the mindset that they are going to win money, with expectations that their venture will more likely be profitable than not.
Due to the fact that all casinos are profit-based enterprises, this is not a very sensible attitude to possess when gambling at one (whether it is internet or land based). The persistent existence of a house edge on all games means that you are mathematically likely to lose money on every outing, thus rendering the idea of “gambling for profit” an unrealistic one. However, it is possible to reduce house edges on certain games by having a full understanding of the game’s rules and employing strategies to maximize wins while reducing losses.
Another way to approach gambling is with the mindset that it is possible to learn enough about a game in order to overcome the house edge completely and place bets that will win more often than not. Indeed, there are a few types of games out there which cryptocurrency can be gambled upon, and they almost always involve some sort of competition between two players or teams of players. Therefore, they are competitive by their very nature, and when money is on the line, this competition can be fierce. This means that the average player or gambler who is without any sort of experience in these games will lose at least 50% of the time on average, and taking into account the house edge, rake from a pot, or vig from a sports bet, the chances of this behavior being profitable go down to zero the longer it is endured.
Let’s quickly review the differences between the two basic categories of games.
- Luck-based games. Often known as “games of chance,” this type of game doesn’t require any sort of pre-planning or previous knowledge of the game. Outside of having a firm understanding of the basic mechanics of gameplay, there is nothing you can really do to increase your chance of winning. Luck-based games include slots, table games (such as roulette and Bitcoin blackjack), dice games, and lotteries. These games tend to have a higher house edge than skill-based games and attract recreational gamblers.
- Skill-based games. These are usually competitive games that require a special set of skills and techniques in order to increase the chances of winning. This type of game includes poker, sports betting, racetrack or auto sports betting, and any other game where the player is facing some sort of competition. These games tend to have low house edges, otherwise known as a “vig” or “overround” in crypto sportsbooks. They are also the types of games that attract professional gamblers and high stakes Bitcoin betting.
Is Blackjack a skill-based game?
Yes and no. While there is definitely an element of luck involved with blackjack, it is possible to lower the house edge up to a certain point by always playing with a prescribed strategy based on what cards you are dealt. The strategy tells a player the best action to take (hit, stand, double, split) for every combination of cards in their hand, plus the dealer’s face up card. If playing in a physical casino, then this strategy can be memorized to keep the house edge at a minimum.
Techniques like card counting and shuffle tracking can be used at physical blackjack tables in order to reduce the house edge to zero, or even less than zero. However, shuffle tracking is more or less impossible now due to automatically shuffling machines. Memorizing the basic strategy and card counting are definitely skill based. Online casinos of course shuffle the cards after each hand automatically, which makes card counting impossible.
Regardless, it is possible to lower the house edge in blackjack by playing a single-deck blackjack games. For example, if the game rules are that the dealer stands on 17 or higher but hits on a soft 17, then the house edge is as follows:
- One deck – 0.16%
- Two decks – 0.46%
- Four decks – 0.60%
- Eight decks – 0.66%
If the rules dictate that the dealer stands on a soft 17, then about 0.2% is deducted from these numbers. This means that a 1 deck game would result in a negative house edge with this rule, giving the player a slight advantage.
Is Poker a skill-based game?
Like with blackjack, poker involves both luck and skill; however, the balance is shifted further on the side of skill. For example, take someone who has never gambled before and a gambler with 40 years’ experience and put them together at the same roulette table. Because the odds for roulette are firmly in place regardless of who the player is, each player is equally as likely to win or lose. Now imagine both players are pitted against one another in a head-to-head poker game and you are to bet on one of them to win: it’s quite obvious that you will bet on the player with experience.
The skill factor comes into poker when making decisions on which hands to play, which to fold, and how aggressively to play them. It also involves psychological aspects, such as having an understanding of how good each player is at bluffing, how good they are at hiding their tells, how good they are at picking up other players’ tells, and how good the players they are playing against are at picking up their tells.
However, all of this does not dismiss the luck factor completely: ultimately, it will almost always require having been dealt good cards in order to win. This is one reason to avoid doing things like placing big bets or going all-in pre-flop, especially when playing at a big table, as there is too much luck involved. Even an AA will lose almost 1 out 4 times to those who are suited, and a more marginal hand like AK suited will lose against any random hand about 1 out of 3 times.
Towards the skill-based games end of the spectrum is sports betting. Much like playing the sports themselves, successful sports wagering requires a good deal of skill and knowledge in order be victorious. Some of this involves learning the intricacies of different sports and leagues, keeping oneself informed of the latest ongoings in the sport. Being a well prepared sports bettor may also include collecting data and performing various statistical analyses in an attempt to gain any sort of edge when placing a bet.
Despite all this, sports betting definitely has an element of luck to it, too. This includes everything from whether or not a star player becomes injured or unwell and has to miss the game, to dramatic shifts in weather, to a ball unexpectedly hitting a divot in the grass. These could all be considered “unlucky” events that can hamper the outcome of bets made by even the most skilled of professional bettors.
Regardless, it is impossible to be profitable in the long-term when it comes to sports betting with just luck. In order to be able to compensate for the sportsbook house edge (or vig) collected from each wager, it requires that the bettor have some kind of knowledge about the sport on which they are betting. Ultimately, any sports betting is skill-based as bettors are using their knowledge of the likely outcomes to influence their bet. This is in stark contrast to just randomly picking a winning a team.
Wrapping it Up
To summarize the above, all wagerable games offered at a crypto casino exist on a point in a scale between “100% luck” and “100% skill.” All games require at least some amount of luck, but not all games require skill. Another thing to keep in mind is that while all gambling is addictive, skill-based gambling tends to be less compulsive and more predictable than luck-based betting. It is the latter type of game that provides people with a sudden adrenaline rush on demand, at any given time of day or night.
Regardless of what type of game you think is best suited for you, remember to never bet more than you can afford to lose. The most veteran of professional gamblers understand this rule as it is tantamount to ensuring a healthy career in the industry. For most, it is best to approach gambling as purely recreational, starting with the mindset that if you were to lose your entire deposit, it would be no big deal. Employing this mindset while being mindful of whether you are playing a luck-based or skill-based type of game will help you to get the most satisfaction out of your crypto casino experience.
What’s your preferred category of game? Ones that are more skill, or ones that are more luck? Let us know in the comment box below, and feel free to ask us any questions you may have about crypto casino games not covered in this article. We’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as we can.