Online Gambling Explained: Is It Luck or Is It Skill?

May 13, 2020 | Reading time: 11 Minutes

It’s no secret that everyone gambles to win. You may have asked yourself this a thousand times before: is seeing that “Big Win” on the screen based on pure luck? Does skill matter? 

The truth is that in online gambling, just like with any other passion, knowing what to do, as well as when and how to do it can have an impact on the outcome. Therefore, keep reading this article in order to get to know more about the luck - skill ratio in online casino games.

So, what should you do before going to a casino in order to attract fortune?

Keep Researching and Reading on Gambling

Gambling can be a science if you are passionate enough. Therefore, studying various Guides and tutorials will surely help you educate yourself on the intricacies of gambling, online casinos, and so on. The more you read and study, the more you will understand how each game works - in terms of poker hands, paylines, slots’ RTP, and so on. 

Once you know how things work, you can use this knowledge to your favor. In this kind of situation, skills will surely beat luck. Why? You can be lucky and make a small win from time to time, but at the same time you may not understand why you made that win. On the other hand, if you know the logic of casino games, even if you don’t win from the first time, you will know why you didn’t win and how you can fix this.

Still, some casino games are truly based on pure luck, in spite of all the possible strategies you can apply to tip the scales. Below, you will find two separate sections on skill vs luck to better understand how these two concepts work and influence your winnings. 

Skill Based Casino Games

In the skill based online casino games category we have poker and blackjack, as well as a little bit of keno. Keep reading in order to know more about how to win at these online casino games by simply using some tips and tricks.

Poker - Know How Your Hands Rank

Having the ranking of poker hands pictured in your mind can be the start of you becoming a professional poker player. These ranks specifically depend on what variation of poker you play. Once you memorize and check on these rules, you will understand how to apply poker strategies better and tip the scales in your favor. 

Acquiring skill in poker is impossible without understanding the whole game, cards, and variants, which is why we recommend reading our guide on poker hand rankings in order to better understand these topics.

So how can you win at poker?

Choose the right poker game. You may be good at a certain type of poker, which is great. In this case, we recommend that you read the rules carefully. Each poker variance may have its own rules and this may apply even in the casino. Poker is versatile and there are many ways to play it.

  • Personalize your strategy. Know which cards you want to play and which hands you want to get. However, this depends on your own deck. The truth is that a true poker strategy is the one you make yourself out of all the research.
  • Look at other players. Look at how high the house rake is, the other players’ rank, and their gameplay strategy. Pros in the field can always teach you valuable lessons about winning in poker. 
  • Watch out for traps. Keep a record of the other players’ hands, for example, when they play hands that don’t make any sense or see how competitive they act. If you learn how to catch their bluffs, you have a better chance at beating them.
  • Be consistent. Raise the same amount with all hands. Consistency is key when your goal is to be a successful poker player. 

How to Win at Poker

Blackjack - Strategy and Chance

A similar situation to that of online poker can be seen when playing blackjack. It is known that certain card combinations can lead to a win. Knowing the game’s basic rules is only the first step towards success. In-depth research is essential, as sometimes the more you know, the more you can win.

Some blackjack winning strategies include:

  • Asking for another card - this will let you further see what cards the other players have;
  • Let the dealer play the next hand - this is good for when you don’t think you have a winning hand;
  • Split Aces and Eights - this is said to be a very easy way to win;
  • Bet as a strategy - keep a record of your money and gamble smart in order to recover any loss.

In blackjack you lose if:

  • you surrender;
  • the dealer’s hand is the closest to 21;
  • you exceed a sum of 21.

Another important aspect in blackjack is that the house edge may come from a dealer having a hidden card. The odds in blackjack may differ from player to player or dealer to dealer, so always be careful and watch out for the next round, keeping the rules in the back of your mind.
How to Win at Blackjack

Luck Based Online Casino Games

Here, we will talk about slots and baccarat, the online casino games that rely on sheer luck. In the categories below you can read some info that may help you play smarter. 

Slots - Are Spins Lucky?

When it comes to playing online slots, it is safe to say that the game relies mostly on luck. Yes, checking the slot’s RTP and paytable will surely make you understand how the slot works, but you also have to consider the Random Number Generator. This ensures the game’s fairness, as it is an impartial algorithm that operates much like pure chance would. The return to player will only show you statistically how much you get paid back if you bet a number of times on a specific amount.

Thus, playing free online casino slots in demo mode for practice is a good idea before creating an account at a popular online casino. This will help you learn more about the game itself, but at the end of the day you need to remember that winning at online slots depends on your luck and your luck alone. 
How to Win at Slots

Baccarat - A Game of Pure Luck 

Even if the internet may be filled with various tips and tricks that promise you a huge guaranteed win at baccarat, the truth is that this game does not have any strategy. Yes, you may choose what to bet on, but the game is more about luck and less about a hidden strategy you can apply.

In theory, baccarat will make a player win and lose the same number of times over a certain period of time, in terms of statistics. However, that shouldn’t mean that all wins can’t come all at once, and the same goes for losses.

It is considered that managing a bankroll in baccarat can be a so-called strategy, but that doesn’t imply any previous  knowledge of the game. This all consists of making the same bet over and over again in hopes of winning or just not losing a big amount of money. Even if it is based on luck, baccarat is considered to be a very lucrative casino table game.
How to Win at Baccarat

Where Skill and Luck Meet

The following games are based primarily on luck, but they can use some strategy and skill in order to get that luck on your side:

Craps - Do the Bets Matter?

The average approach to craps has to do with the concepts of Pass/Don’t Pass and Come/Don’t Come, which reduce the house advantage to 1.40%. The Pass line bet has only 4 ways of losing and if you get a 2, 3, or 12 you will lose, as well as if you get a 7 after the point number has been made. The Come Bet is made at any point after the point number has been made and if you get a 7 or 11 you win, but if you get a 2, 3, or 12 you lose.

This overall shows that craps is indeed a game of luck, but it is best to know about the strategies and try them out. These do have a certain success rate, but only in terms of giving you a little more luck, not in guaranteeing huge payouts.
How to Win at Craps

Roulette - What Casinos Never Tell You 

The truth about roulette is that you can simply anticipate a few bets and numbers once you know the principal rules of the game and the house edge, but you can never be sure. House edge in roulette depends on the type of roulette and goes as following:

  • European Roulette -  2.70%
  • American Roulette - 5.26% and 7.29%

Another strategy gamblers try in roulette is to “imprison” the money bet. This happens when the ball lands on the zero, and the result of the next spin of the wheel will be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, this is only a way to enhance luck and does not immediately mean that the next spin will be a win.
How to Win at Roulette

Keno - How to Win the Lottery

Even if keno is said to be based on pure luck in theory, you can use a little strategy in order to use this luck in your favor. It is true that with keno, the more numbers you play the bigger the odds are and, of course, the payouts. This happens because each number you bet on will raise your chances of winning. 

In order to win at keno, you can create your own strategy keeping this information in mind. The main idea is to bet more, all while searching for the variance that will pay you more by default.
How to Win at Keno

Scratch Cards - Scratching Wisely

Scratch cards can follow a few principles that can enhance, but not guarantee your chance of winning. These range from intelligent buying to submitting the losing tickets, to the pure luck they just imply.

In most cases, the odds are pretty good, sometimes even better than in the lottery. Free tickets can give you a jackpot and some of the most expensive tickets can lead you to nothing. In theory, scratch cards are played for fun, as there is no strategy that can give you a specific logic of the game or a hidden secret. 

The only thing you can do is check the small print, as it can tell you the odds of winning on a specific card.
How to Win at Scratch Cards


As you can see, we have discussed two main categories: skill based online casino games and luck based ones. Online casino games and gambling, by nature, are deeply connected to luck. There are hundreds of success stories about progressive jackpots and marvelous wins, and no two are alike. There is no common ground, except for the fact that you have to play in order to win. 

Regarding the luck vs skill battle in the gambling industry, we can say that online casinos rely on luck and fairness. Therefore, your good fortune should help you put what you’ve learned in this guide to practice. Even if you become a specialist in poker hands or keno numbers, you may never know the next payout for sure.

Therefore, go on, create an account at a trusted casino, and try your luck! Also, don’t forget to use your skills!

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