Games of Chance

One of the most misunderstood concepts in all of gambling are games of chance. People know that certain casino games are games of chance, but if you ask them to explain what that means, they really aren’t sure. While this usually isn’t a big deal, it can put people in some awkward situations at the casino.

In some extreme cases, a lack of understanding of what games of chance are can cause financial issues for people. Wait, really? Yup. Here’s a quick test. Do you think you have a system that can beat a game of chance? If you do, then you may need to sit down and read this article immediately. Why? Because just by answering yes to that question, we know that you’re at risk.

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about games of chance. We’ll cover what exactly a game of chance is, answer the question of whether or not you can make money on games of chance, the benefits of these types of games, and the important difference between luck and skill. Additionally, we’ll talk about how casinos make money (it is heavily related to the topic at hand), the most popular games of chance, and the rules you need to follow when playing games of chance to ensure a good time!

What Is a Game of Chance?

Big Six WheelA game of chance by definition is a “game whose outcome is strongly influenced by some randomizing device, and upon which contestants may choose to wager money or anything of monetary value.” The important takeaway from this definition is that this game is strongly influenced by some randomizing device. Games of chance can be slightly controlled by you and your decisions, but the bulk of the outcome is out of your hands and is up to chance.

For example, roulette is a game of chance. Do you have some input into how you do at the game? Yes. You can pick which numbers, colors, or other bets you want to place. But the ultimate outcome of the game is determined by where the ball randomly falls in the roulette wheel. No matter what you do, you cannot influence how that ball rolls or where it lands. It is completely up to chance.

As you’ll see in this guide, the most important takeaway that we want you to get is that games of chance cannot be strategically beaten. You can make decisions that will have an effect on the outcome of the game but, ultimately, the winners and losers will be decided completely by chance.

Popular Games of Chance in Casinos

Looking to play some of the popular games of chance available in the casino? Below, we’ve outlined a few of the most popular games of chance as well as provided you some links to learn more about how to play the game and start playing for real money right now!

Baccarat Cards

Baccarat

  • Baccarat House Edge: 1.24 – 14.36%

One of the most classic games in the casino, Baccarat, is a game typically played by high rollers. But high rollers don’t get to have all the fun. Baccarat has gradually become much more popular at all limits, especially with the explosion of online casinos. Now, you can play this game for lower limits and enjoy the low house edge. The links below will take you directly to real money baccarat right now or to our guide about how to play the game and how to play it the right way.

Blackjack Cards and Chips

Blackjack

  • Blackjack House Edge: 0.28%

Sometimes referred to as 21, this classic card game is a favorite among gamblers of all ages. The game is simple to learn and carries a very low house edge as long as you know how to play the correct way. Yes, this is the one game of chance that is beatable (by counting cards) but doing so may get you booted from the casino. If you’re ready to start playing real money blackjack or you want to learn basic strategy and the rules of the game, check out the links we have for you below.

Craps Dice

Craps

  • Craps House Edge: 0.00 – 16.67%

An iconic casino game, craps is a classic dice game that high-speed gamblers love to play. Now, out of all the casino games, this is the one that takes the longest to learn. But we can guarantee that if you take the time to learn the game, you’re going to realize an incredible gem that is fun, fun, and fun. If you’re ready to check out real money craps online or you’re ready to learn to play the game without the pressure of others watching, check out the links that we have placed for you below.

Pai Gow Poker Logo

Pai Gow Poker

  • Pai Gow House Edge: 1.50%

Like playing poker but want a casino game version where you don’t have to worry about getting bluffed off your hand? This is Pai Gow Poker. Another of the very low house edge games, Pai Gow is a favorite of gamblers of all ages. The game is easy to learn and is great if you’re looking for something that will stretch your entertainment dollar. To get started playing Pai Gow Poker for real money now or to learn how to play the game, check out our links we’ve set up for you below.

Roulette Wheel

Roulette

  • Roulette House Edge: 2.70 – 5.26%

Looking for a super simple casino game to play for money? Roulette is your winner. You can make it more complex by selecting specific numbers or unique bets, or you can keep it simple and just pick red or black or odd or even. All you have to do is pick where you think the little white ball is going to land and if you’re right, you win! It’s really that simple. Learning how to play roulette or getting into the real money action is simple. All you need to do is click the appropriate link below and we’ll get you all taken care of no matter what you need.

Slot Machine Reel

Slot Machines

  • Slots House Edge: 2.00 – 15.00%

The ultimate in simple entertainment in the casino is the slot machine. If it’s been a long time since you’ve played slots, you’re going to be amazed at how far technology has brought these machines. The graphics are amazing, the gameplay is super smooth, and the bonus games are insanely fun. If you like the classic feel, though, don’t worry. The classics still exist, especially at the online casinos. If you want to get into the real money slots action right now or learn more about these one-armed-bandits, check out the links provided below.

Video Poker Machine

Video Poker

  • Video Poker House Edge: 0.46%

Calling all poker players who want to play the game by themselves! Video poker is exactly what you’re looking for. Regardless of the variation you like to play, they have it for you online. With the use of some basic strategy, you can aggressively lower the video poker’s house edge. Want to get started playing real money video poker right now or want to learn the strategies you need to up your chances of winning? Check out the links we have provided for you below to get started playing today.

Casino Chips

Other Casino Table Games

These are just a few of the most popular games of chance available at a casinos online or in person. If you’d like to learn more about all of the games of chance available, make sure you check out our complete casino games guide linked below. It’s jam-packed with all the information you need to learn how to play each game, how to lower the house edge through strategy, and how to get started playing right now. We also included a link to our best online casinos if you’re ready to get into the action.

Can You Make Money Playing Casino Games of Chance?

You can! But there are some things you need to understand before running off to the tables to make some cash. First, you need to understand something about the math behind casino games of chance. Let’s start by setting a baseline of how chance and randomness work. Let’s say that we’re going to run a game where we flip a standard coin that lands on heads 50% of the time and tails 50% of the time. Let’s say that we’re going to allow you to bet on this.

What are your potential outcomes from this game?

Well, if you only flip the coin a few times, you could end up making money if chance falls in your favor, or you could end up losing money if chance falls away from your favor. You could also potentially end up dead-even.

What happens if you extend this out and you play the game thousands and thousands of times?

Well, most likely, you’re going to end up breaking even, assuming you bet the same amount of money each flip.

The takeaway from this example is that anything can happen in the short term, but in the long term, your results are going to move closer and closer to what they’re statistically supposed to be. The same will be true for casino games of chance, except there is one major difference. The games aren’t going to be 50/50. Each game will slightly be in favor of the house.

So, if this were the coins still, it would be like this: The coin would land on heads 55% of the time and tails 45% of the time, but you’d only be able to bet on tails. In the short term, you could still make a lot of money because the coin can surely land on tails a bunch of times. But over thousands and thousands of flips, it’s going to move closer and closer to 55/45. In the long run, the casino will win and the player will lose.

If that’s the case and the house always wins, why do I hear stories of people making money at the casino? Or why did I make money the last few times I went to the casino? The long run involves thousands and thousands of plays from all the different players for the math to get to where it’s supposed to be. You might never play enough to get to this level, so you may still have streaks that don’t match up with the long term math.

So, what’s the bottom line here?

Yes, you can make money playing games of chance, but the longer you play, the closer the casinos will be to their statistical edge. You should never look to use games of chance as a way of making a long-term profit because it is mathematically impossible.

The Benefits of Playing Games of Chance

Wondering if games of chance are something that might be a good fit for you? We totally get that. As a brand new gambler, it’s important for you to know why you’re playing. If you know what the real benefits are and you have a realistic view of what to expect, then you’re setting yourself up for success.

They’re Fun

The number one reason why you should play casino games of chance is because they’re fun! Game designers are setting up games to be a form of entertainment, and they do a masterful job of it. If you’re not having fun gambling, then you shouldn’t be playing. Would you go see a movie if you didn’t enjoy watching movies? Would you go play golf if you hated golf? Of course not!

The number one benefit of playing games of chance at the casino is that they’re an absolute blast. If you play a game and it’s not fun for you, try a new one! There are thousands of different games for you to choose from. Certainly, there’s at least one out there that would be extremely entertaining for you.

You Have the Chance to Make Money

Money BagsWhile the casino has the edge in the long run, you still have the chance to walk away with earnings when real money gambling. This is something that sets this form of entertainment apart from all other forms. If you pay $100 to go see a concert, what chance do you have of getting that $100 back while enjoying the concert? 0%.

Let’s say that you take $100 to the casino as your form of entertainment for the night. What percent chance do you have of winning that money back? Typically, slightly less than a 50% chance. If you don’t win your money back but you have fun, you’re in the same spot you would be with the concert. But every dollar that you walk away with from that $100 is like a rebate. AND you have the chance to walk away with MORE than the $100 you walked in with.

Gambling on games of chance is one of the only forms of entertainment in the world where you have the chance of getting some of your money back or leaving with more money than you started with. Even if it doesn’t happen, the possibility alone is a monster benefit of using this as a form of entertainment.

You Don’t Have to Invest a Lot of Time to “Master” Them

One of the great things about games of chance is that they are typically very easy to learn and understand. Some games will have little nuances that take a little time to learn but, overall, they are simple and you can get into the action within a few minutes of instruction. You don’t have to commit a lot of your time to learning or mastering the game. You can dive right into the action and start having fun instantly.

Yes, there are strategies that you can learn with most games of chance that can lower the house edge. It’s highly advised that you take some time to learn ways to increase your odds of walking away a winner, but they are not necessary. You can still get into the action and have some chance of winning.

The Differences Between Luck and Skill

There always seems to be a lot of confusion when discussing this topic on the difference between luck and skill. Specifically, people have a difficult time distinguishing between games of skill and games of chance (luck). The distinction is important because games of skill are ones that you can actually do for a living and beat long term. Games of chance (luck-driven), on the other hand, are games that you can win within the short term but are not sustainable over the long run.

Games of skill may also have an element of luck, and games of chance sometimes have an element of skill. The difference that you need to be looking for is how big the skill element is and how big of a role it plays in the outcome of the game. If the game is predominantly skill-driven with a smaller element of luck, it’s a game that you can beat in the long term. You might lose some in the short term because of the small luck element, but in the long run, you’re going to win.

Luck vs Skill

With games that are games of chance, the skill element will help increase your odds of winning, but you won’t be able to fully overcome the elements of chance and luck. These games can produce winners in the short term, but the longer that you play, the closer you are to the actual statistical odds.

Where people get even more confused is that often both of these types of games are available in brick and mortar casinos and at online casinos. The easy way to tell the difference is this: If you are playing against the casino, it is probably a game of chance where you will never have a statistical advantage. If the casino is taking a rake just to facilitate the game (you are playing against other patrons), chances are, that it is a game of skill. If it were a game where they could have an edge, they would just play against you instead of helping you play against other folks.

The only exception to this rule is sports betting.

While you are making your bets against the house, the lines are all being set based on how other players are betting. The casino is working to balance the action where your bets are offset by other players’ bets. So, while you are technically betting against the house, you are actually betting against other players, thus, this is a game that can be beaten.

The bottom-line takeaway here is that games of skill can be played professionally and can be beaten long term, while games of chance (predominantly luck-driven) cannot.

How Casinos Make Money With Games of Chance

At this point, you should have a fairly strong understanding of what games of chance are and how they work. But it may or may not be clear to you yet how the casinos go about making money from this. We’ve touched on it, but we’d like to make sure it’s clear.

Money Shaped Like a Percent SignOne of the first examples we used to show a game of chance was flipping a coin and allowing you to bet on either heads or tails. In this example, you have a 50/50 shot of winning. But this would never be a game the casino offers. Why? The casino only offers games where the percentage chance of winning is always in their favor. So, if that coin landed on heads 55% of the time and they only let you bet on tails, they would probably offer the game.

What’s funny is that if this game was offered and you knew it was a special coin, you probably wouldn’t make that bet. This is exactly how casino games of chance are set up. They do a masterful job of tucking that casino edge away where most people don’t even realize it is there. Now, they’re not trying to be deceitful. It’s common knowledge that the casino is always going to have an edge in games. But, as gamblers, we don’t want it to be so blatantly evident that we feel silly playing the game.

So, to answer the initial question, casinos make money by running games of chance where they have the long-term statistical edge. As long as their games get played over and over again, they will have that statistical edge and make a lot of money. There’s a reason why casinos look so nice inside, and it’s not because they’re just generous owners. It’s because they have a mathematically proven way of making money off of people that cannot be beaten or exploited without cheating.

Don’t you worry about the casinos. They have mathematically guaranteed their success.

Tips for Playing Games of Chance

Before we send you out the door as masters of games of chance, we wanted to make sure that you had all of the important takeaways ingrained in your brain. Below, you’re going to find our list of the most important rules you need to remember when playing games of chance. If you follow these simple rules and guidelines, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.

Use Games of Chance for Entertainment Purposes Only

The number one thing you need to take away from this guide is that games of chance should only be used for entertainment purposes. While you certainly have the chance to make a lot of money, it’s only a chance, and all comes down to luck. We’ve covered this extensively in this guide, but just want to make sure we’ve beaten the dead horse enough that you really take it to heart. Failure to approach the games this way will certainly lead to a bad time. Approaching the games with entertainment as the goal will set you up for success.

Don’t Use Them to Make Money or Pay Bills

Guess what? We’re still beating that dead horse. We promise this is the last time, though. Do not plan on using gambling and games of chance to try and pay your bills or to meet your other financial obligations. It might seem like an easy way to get there, but you are setting yourself up for failure. Even if the games were 50/50, it would be a bad idea. Games of chance should only be used for their intended purpose–entertainment.

Understand the Games That You Are Playing

The goal of playing games of chance is to have fun and to stretch your entertainment dollar as far as possible. One of the best ways that you can do this is to ensure that you fully understand the games that you are playing. All you have to do is take a little bit of time to learn the basic rules, how each turn goes, and how the games pay out. We’ve provided all the resources you need in this guide for every popular game of chance out there, so it should be super easy for you to quickly learn what you need to set yourself up for success.

What’s crazy is that when you get to the casino (if you aren’t playing online), you will see so many people that do not understand how the games are played. You’ll see them making huge mistakes and basically just handing their money to the casino. It’s crazy, but it’s how the casinos make so much money.

Employ Strategies That Lower the House Edge

Look, the house already has the edge. Why on earth would we want to make things easier on them? Some games of chance are “dummy-proof” where, no matter how you play, the casino edge is going to be the same. But, for most games of chance, there are some strategies that you can employ to give yourself a better chance of winning and minimize the house edge. This can deal with which bets you choose to make, how you place your bets, and the decisions that you make during your turn.

The good news is that these strategies are fairly simple, but they can have a huge impact on your chances of winning. The links we’ve provided above have all of this information for you to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success. Can you tell setting you up for success is important to us?

Games of Chance FAQ

What’s The Difference Between a Game of Chance and a Game of Skill?

A game of chance is a game in which the player has no real impact on the outcome. The player may have money on the line, but the outcome is determined entirely by chance. A game of skill, conversely, is a game in which the outcome is decided by the player’s mental or physical skill instead of pure luck. Both games typically involve a monetary risk of some kind. Random luck is typically the deciding factor in games of chance, while certain knowledge or skill is usually required to succeed in a game of skill.

Can You Play Games of Chance for Real Money?

Of course! While casino games like poker involve a bit of skill, there are countless casino games that are purely decided based on random outcomes. Slots, roulette, craps, and baccarat are all examples of chance casino games you can play with real money on the line.

Where Can I Play Games of Chance Online?

Fortunately, you don’t have to hop into your car and drive to your nearest land-based casino if you want to play games of chance for real money. Thanks to the prevalence of online casinos, you can play as many games of chance over the internet as you want! The vast majority of online casinos these days now offer corresponding mobile apps, which means you can even play your favorite games of chance from your mobile phone or tablet. Game variety at online casinos tends to trump that of traditional casinos, so you have no shortage of options at your disposal, as well.

What Casino Game Has the Best Chance of Winning?

Many will tell you that blackjack is the easiest casino game to win. As long as you know how to count to 21, you should be able to enjoy some degree of success in blackjack. If you’re lucky, though, you can also easily win at slots, roulette, baccarat, or craps with just a simple roll of the dice or a pull of the lever.

Are Games of Chance Easier to Win Than Games of Skill?

By definition, games of chance are certainly easier than games of skill. Because training and practice won’t improve your chances of succeeding in a game that is determined based entirely on randomness, people of varying levels of experience all have the same odds to win in a game of chance. Of course, the exact opposite is true in games of skill, where more experienced players inherently stand a better chance at winning.

Is It Safe to Play Games of Chance Online?

Safety should be one of your primary concerns when it comes to playing games of chance and casino games online. Not all online casinos are safe, which is why we recommend taking the time to read reviews and user testimonials before signing up to play real money games over the internet. As long as you play at the right site, you can easily enjoy a safe online betting experience.