Online Skill Games for Real Money

Posted by Cliff Spiller .

Skill games for real money exist in Sin City and online US casinos. In the movie “Rounders,” Mike McDermott asks, “Why do you think the same nine people end up at the final table at the World Series of Poker? Are they the nine luckiest guys in Vegas?” The answer is there are casino games that require skill to win. This guide will explain the difference between real money skill games and gambling games of chance (luck) and the pros and cons of each.

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Skill Games for Real Money

While many real money poker purists will go to their grave preaching that the iconic casino game is one of pure skill, some chance does factor in when the dealer flips over the cards. However, most true skill games are not typically found on a casino floor.

Classic games like chess, checkers, backgammon, and Scrabble are truly games of skill and bettors from all around the world wager on tournaments – typically via an online sportsbook entertainment prop. You can also find apps offering skill games, such as the popular Candy Crush, that are simply puzzle video games. And you can likely find a way to bet on it with real money. Other versions of skill games for real money include Esports betting, dominoes, and old school card games like spades and bridge. You can also watch game shows and trivial contests that are skill based, such as Jeopardy!

The best online sportsbook, like Bovada and BetOnline, offer skill games when players elect to wager on the NFL point spread odds or NBA over-under odds. Granted, some naysayers believe betting on sports isn’t completely skill-based and that luck plays a huge role in the outcome of any wager.

It’s worth pointing out, however, that fantasy sports betting became legal in several states years ago based on the simple fact operators were able to make a strong enough case that their players were utilizing skill to generate winning lineups and luck had little to do with the outcome of who won or lost weekly competitions.

Lastly, you have iconic online casino mainstays that are a blend of online skill games for real money with a splash of chance involved. These games include online blackjack where strategy and skill dictate when to hit, stand, split or double-down, while the luck portion of the process comes from the multi-deck shoe the dealer pulls cards from.

Casino Games of Chance

If you’ve ever played an online slot, virtual bingo or ponied up five bucks to interact with the next round of keno, you’ve participated in a casino game of chance. In these instances, the player has no control of the outcome. They are simply wagering X-amount of money for the chance to win Y-amount of credits.

Each one of these online casino games are powered by random number generator software where an algorithm – or complex mathematical equation running in the background – determines the outcome of the slot spin, bingo ball pulled or keno number drawn.

It’s important to know that every legal online gambling site Gamble Online recommends is licensed and regulated so that their random number generator software is audited and meets fair play guidelines.

Are online casino games skill or chance based?

At the end of the day, it depends which online casino games you play. The short answer is some casino games found online are skill based, like poker and sports betting, some are a blend of skill and chance, like online blackjack, while many are games of luck based on clicking a virtual button, like online slots.

Pros and Cons of Skill Games for Real Money

When risking your hard-earned real money, there are pros and cons of seeking out skill games at online casinos.

While the risk appetite comes down to the individual, we feel it necessary to highlight these positives and drawbacks before making a first casino deposit at online skill game casinos.


  • More control of the outcome
  • Showcase expertise & knowledge
  • Bigger jackpot potential
  • Most games are blend of skill & chance
  • Avoid random number generator software


  • Takes time to learn rules, strategies
  • Casino bonuses wagering requirements aren't met

Real Money Skill Games FAQs


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Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller is a veteran casino writer with decades of experience under his belt. He's played at –and reviewed– countless of online casinos, and has written dozens of casino game guides. His strategy articles, and gambling news updates have been a fixture in the industry since 2004. A native of North Texas, Cliff is a long-suffering Dallas Cowboys fan. He enjoys sports and games of all sorts, including sports betting.

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