Games of skill (wiki definition) come in all shapes and sizes. They can be based on traditional card games such as spades or bridge, word games like Scrabble, strategy games like chess and even fast-twitch games like first-person shooters. The one thing they all have in common is that skill is the dominant factor in achieving victory. People have been betting on these games for as long as these games have been played.
It is only recently that people have been able to play these games online for real money. Today, there are numerous websites that host real money skill games for people just like you. So if you’re tired of playing your friends for fun, a real money skill game site is just the solution. You’ll get to play against serious opponents and win cash when you win. Best of all, it’s quite a bit of fun. Even a small wager makes every game feel like an important event.
How To Play Online Skill Games
The concept of online skill gaming is pretty straightforward. You sign up at a reputable skill gaming website, make a deposit with your credit card or PayPal account and then choose from the available games at that website.
Every game will be listed on the main page of the website after you log in. You will also see stats that tell you how many people are playing that game and how much it costs to play. In most cases, you’ll be paired with a single opponent in a head-to-head match.
When you join a game, you and your opponent will both be asked to put up your wager. The winner of that game takes everything minus a small house fee. Games with more than 2 people have different payout structures, but the primary goal in any case is to beat your opponents and win their money.
The websites that host skill games make money by taking a small fee out of every real money match. For example, King.com keeps 25% of every entry fee with the remaining 75% going straight to the players. So if you play in a $5 match against someone else, $3.75 will go towards the prize pool. This means that if you win a $5 match, you’ll get $7.50 (your entry fee plus your opponent’s entry fee minus 25%).
Legal Real Money Games In The USA
Skill game websites host all different types of games. Some of the most popular are strategy games such as rummy, backgammon, dominoes, hearts and spades. These games convert well to the internet and allow competitive people to go head-to-head for any stakes they like.
You’ll also find a variety of puzzle games, word games, trivia games and even a few sport games such as pool and soccer. The variety is almost endless, but all games involve skill of some sort. It might be skill at clicking the mouse, rearranging words or recalling ancient history – it all depends on the types of games you play.
For most games, a matchmaking system is used to pair players of similar skills. This is done by finding opponents who have similar records to yours. The goal here is to give everyone a real challenge but also an honest shot at winning money. Matchmaking doesn’t always work perfectly, but it does a pretty good job overall.
What About Chess?
Real money chess doesn’t really work online because it is way too easy to cheat in chess. A good computer program can beat just about any player in the world. Even if a chess site were to implement software that turned off all nonessential programs on your computer, all you would need to circumvent that is a laptop and a copy of Chessmaster 9000.
Chess is hugely popular as an online game; just not for real money. Computers have “solved” chess and it’s too easy to put that power to use. If you want to play chess for real money, you’ll want to play in old-fashioned face-to-face games.
The Difference Between Skill Games and Gambling Games
Classic games such as chess, checkers and backgammon are considered to be games of skill because luck plays little role in determining the outcome. To win consistently at these games, you must be a skilled player. Luck plays little to no role in these types of games.
The lack of luck in skill games is what differentiates skill games from gambling games. Gambling games such as roulette and craps may involve a little skill, but over the long run, the outcome is based on luck. The best craps players in the world cannot beat the casino at its own game. The same thing also goes for all other gambling games (with a few exceptions such as card counting in blackjack).
A skilled craps player may now how to pick bets that have a low house advantage, but that player still has no chance of beating the house. The only thing that player can do to win money is get lucky. The same thing goes for roulette, 3 card poker, slot machines and other casino games.
Some games are not as clear-cut. For example, poker is considered by avid players to be a game of skill even though it does have elements of chance. That debate can go back and forth forever but at the end of the day, the law has the final say in the matter.
Every state uses its own system to determine which games are considered “skill” and which are considered “chance.” Real money skill game websites avoid that whole mess by sticking with games that are clearly based on skill. So you’ll find games like backgammon and spades, but not games like poker at those sites.
The Legality of Betting on Skill Games
Chess, dominoes, and other online skill games have been exempted by most laws dealing with online betting in the USA.
The fact that skill games are based on skill and not on luck is important because that is what makes it legal to bet real money on those games over the internet in most states. Anti-gambling laws that target the internet deal specifically with games that have a greater element of chance. Skill games avoid that issue altogether.
The only problem here is that it’s not always clear what is a game of skill and what isn’t. For example, many of us would consider poker a game of skill but the government begs to differ and poker is therefore tightly regulated. On the other hand, chess is very clearly a game of skill as there is zero chance involved in the game.
In most states, it is legal to play skill games online for real money. There are no federal laws that make it a crime to play or host real money skill games over the internet. However, some states do have laws against betting on ANY game.
State laws are notoriously unclear on the legality of online skill game betting. Most states appear to have no laws on the books that prohibit the activity, but it’s a big question mark in some states.
States Where Online Skill Game Betting May Be Prohibited
States That Do NOT Allow Real Money Skill Games
Legitimate skill game websites do not accept customers from any restricted states. If you live in one of those states, you’ll have to look into other options such as daily fantasy sports betting or horse racing.
Those of you who live in states where real money games are legal can join any skill gaming website and give it a shot. You can either jump in right away and play for real money or start off slowly and try out the interface for free at first. When you’re ready to play for real, just sign up for an account and fund your account.