Skill Games Guide
Many gambling games, particularly casino games, are largely games of chance. This means that luck plays a much greater factor than any skill or strategy applied. There are, however, a number of games where skill is the most important factor, and many entail successful results.
Typically, gambling on skill games is a simple case of agreeing to a stake with your opponent (or opponents) with the winner getting the money. Some of these games can be played in a tournament format, in which players pay an entry fee and the overall winner gets the prize pool. Sometimes, a number of the highest place finishers in the tournament will also get a percentage of the prize pool.
In our skill game section, we have provided some information on history, rules, and strategy for some of the most popular skill games played around the world.
Dominoes are a very popular game played by people of all ages in countries worldwide. It involves the use of tiles known as dominoes, hence the name. There are lots of variations, and the basic principles can be traced as far back as the 12th century. Dominoes originated in China, although the game has evolved significantly over time.
Gambling isn't necessarily associated with dominoes for everyone, and many people play the game purely for entertainment purposes. There are many who do enjoy playing for money, however, and this has always been the case. For more information on the game, please visit our dominoes page.
Rummy is a card game that comes in many forms, some of the most popular being Basic Rummy, Gin Rummy, and Canasta. The different variations have slightly differing rules, but the basics are essentially the same. Rummy games are all about building sets that contain cards of the same rank, or runs of cards in the same suit. They can be played just for fun, or with money at stake.
There are conflicting theories about how and where Rummy originated, and we discuss these in more detail on our page dedicated to Rummy. We include the rules of the most widely-played variant, Basic Rummy, and look at some of the other common versions.
Backgammon is a board game for two players, and one of the oldest games still played today. It has always been associated with gambling, although many play the game purely for entertainment purposes. The rules take a bit of getting used to, but backgammon is straightforward enough once you understand how to play.
Backgammon involves some luck, because moves are made based on the roll of dice, but strategy and tactics play a much bigger part. For a simple explanation of the rules and information on strategy, please visit our backgammon page.
Chess isn't a game traditionally associated with gambling, although there are those that play for money. Most people play simply for entertainment or to improve their skill level. Chess is one of the most commonly-played games in the world and it's not difficult to learn. Mastering the game, however, is another matter entirely: it takes tremendous skill to become a leading player.
For more information, including how the game has evolved over hundreds of years and the organized tournaments that take place, please take a look at our Chess page.
Yahtzee is an entertaining dice game enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. It's largely a game of luck, but there's some skill and thought involved. It's a very simple game to learn and can be played either for fun or for wagering purposes.
To find out how to play the game, please visit our Yahtzee page. We have detailed the origins of the game and how it became popular.
Spades is a card game from the Whist family. It's very popular in many parts of the world and is often seen as a good stepping stone to learning Contract Bridge. It is, in many ways, essentially a stripped down version of Bridge, with simpler rules and a more straightforward scoring method.
The game can be played purely for entertainment purposes and/or for stakes. You can read about the history of Spades, along with a complete explanation of the rules, on our page all about Spades.
Tonk is probably not as widely known as many of the other skill games listed here, but it's popular in the United States. It shares similarities with Rummy, and is a very simple and fast game. It tends to be played with money at stake, but it can just as easily be played for fun.
The rules of Tonk vary depending on whom you are playing with and what variation you are using. For information on the fundamental principles of the game and some commonly-used rules, please visit our Tonk page.
No mention of skill games you can gamble on would be complete without poker. There has been considerable debate about whether it's a game of chance or skill, but there's no doubt that some luck is involved. However, at GamblingSites.org, we are very much of the opinion that skill is the dominant factor in poker. The fact that players who implement good strategies generally win in the long run in effect proves us right.
We haven't included poker in our skill game section, because we have a section solely dedicated to poker. It includes all the best places to play the game online, lots of strategy advice, and information on the various forms. Please visit our section for Online Poker to find out more about this game.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: March 2015
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