This is an age-old question that many newcomers to casino gaming may ask. It’s true that the gambling industry was built largely on luck. Resorts like Las Vegas – with their 20-storey Strip hotels – have evolved with the losing money of gamblers. It’s the harsh reality of luck-based casino games, where chance plays an influential role.
Despite this, is it possible for bettors to adopt a system or strategy that successfully overrides some of or all the variance within a luck-based casino game?
What separates luck-based casino games from skill-based casino games is the material degree of randomness. The dynamics of luck-based games rely heavily on the concept of chance, whereas skill-based games put greater control and decision-making in the hands of the player to influence the outcome.
Nevertheless, the lines have been increasingly blurred between luck and skill-based casino games due to the innovation and inquisitive nature of certain professional gamblers that devised systems and strategies to circumvent at least some of the randomness of table games.
Edward O. Thorp was the man who masterminded a shift in mindset towards the table game of blackjack. His approach to card counting to shift the balance back in favour of the player was well-received by bettors, but rather less so popular with the casino operators. Thorp became a hugely successful author for his publications on card counting in blackjack, as well as his approach to trading the financial markets. One of his most pertinent quotes relative to this article topic saw Thorp describe life as “a mixture of chance and choice”. Thorp said that “chance can be thought of as the cards you are dealt in life”, while choice is “how you play them”.
The reality is that most casino games require an element of luck and skill to yield a win. Every single casino game is designed to incorporate a house edge – a profit margin for the house per bet. In this sense, every single casino game could be considered luck-based.
The types of strategies and systems used to increase winning potential in luck-based casino games
Since Ed Thorp’s card counting and basic blackjack strategy, many beginners and intermediates playing blackjack today still employ his basic system. If you have visited a land-based casino, you will have no doubt seen blackjack strategy cards doing the rounds at the tables. These charts inform players how to play certain hands depending on the dealer’s cards. It’s not a form of cheating, because the house edge in blackjack still exists using basic strategy – it merely reduces it. Thereby giving you more bang for your buck.
Video poker is a very popular gaming machine in land-based casinos and bar areas, not to mention online casinos. Although it operates through pre-programmed random number generators (RNGs) to randomise the outcome of each game, there are strategies and systems that video poker players can adopt to increase their winning chances. The simplest strategy of all is to choose the video poker game or machine that offers the most attractive paytable. Some video poker games will have a return-to-player (RTP) percentage of 97.29% while others will be set at 99.54%. Playing at the latter reduces the casino’s house edge by more than 2%, ensuring you lose your money almost six times slower long-term.
At the roulette tables which, on the surface, may appear to be solely luck-driven by the outcome of a roulette wheel spin, consistent winners combine their skill and knowledge of the game to good effect.
Many professional roulette players opt not to play RNG-powered roulette because the winning numbers are selected from a decentralised algorithm rather than a physical wheel. Instead, professional roulette players will use real-wheel roulette, where it is possible to ascertain the speed of the wheel and the ball.
Professional bettors also look to take advantage when it comes to maximising the benefits of casino bonus structures. They will use betting systems and strategies to prolong their betting bankroll in a bid to meet wagering requirements and clear bonus funds for withdrawal. Similarly, when pro bettors take advantage of free spins promotions, they will make a conscious decision to play slot titles with the highest RTP percentages possible to clear wagering requirements fast while maximising their bankrolls.
Although luck-based casino games will always have a predefined house edge, clever strategies and systems can manipulate the odds and variance to yield short-term success and minimise long-term losses.