What are the types of gambling?

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When people think about gambling, often they tend to think of casinos and/or maybe the lottery. It is not widely known that you can actually divide gambling games into two different categories. And no, we aren’t making reference to blackjack being a casino game and horse racing being a form of sports betting.

Rather the difference comes in the nature of gameplay and whether it is possible to impact outcomes or your chances of winning through using a strategy. The two categories of gambling are:

  1. Chance-based
  2. Skill-based

Below we discuss exactly how these two forms of gambling differ, which games fall under each category and when you should play games that fall under these two categories.

types of gambling

Chance-Based Gambling

In chance-based gambling games, results are completely random and you have very little to no influence over results. Games that fall under this category include:

  • Lottery
  • Roulette
  • Bingo
  • Slots
  • Scratch cards

As you have no influence over the results of these games, any strategy governing gameplay (other than perhaps those involving bet size) won’t really have an effect if you win or not. The only real way to increase your chances is to place more bets.

So, in scratch cards, the lottery or bingo, this would mean playing multiple cards. In slots, this would mean spinning the reels more frequently.

The thing about chance-based gambling is that everyone has an equal opportunity to win. For some players, this is more thrilling because the winner really could be you if you are lucky. However, for other players, this is a huge turnoff because there is no way to exert even a little bit of control over the game.

We recommend that you play chance-based games if you don’t really care about winning. You are just gambling for fun, and should you win; great! But, if you don’t win, you still had fun and that’s what matters.

chance based gambling

Skill-Based Gambling

Skill-based gambling does not remove the randomness from gambling but you are able to exert a limited amount of control over the outcome of the game. Games within this category include:

  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Sports betting

When you read about the world’s richest gamblers, you notice that a lot of them made their money through playing blackjack or betting on horse racing. They also often tend to have a degree in physics or mathematics.

There’s a reason for this and that is that mathematical theories of probability can be acutely applied to some of these gambling games, such as blackjack, to see success more often. The strategy of card counting is based on such and has been banned from casinos due to its effectiveness.

As for poker, you need to be good at bluffing to win more hands at critical points in time. While you should not be bluffing on every hand, you will need to do so and some point in time. So, it is a skill that one needs to work on.

Then, sports betting as a whole allows you to get an edge by looking at factors that may influence the outcome of the event. So, for example, if you’re betting on an NFL match, you can see whether players on each team are playing well or badly. Having this information can help in making a better bet.

skill based gambling

Which Form of Gambling is Best?

This is really dependent on you as person. If you just like gambling because you want to have fun, and approach it more as a meaningless pastime, you’ll probably have more fun playing slots or bingo.

However, if you want to become a professional gambler and win millions of dollars on a regular basis, you are going to have to focus on skill-based games.

The reason for this is that you need to focus on adopting a strategy that is going to lead to success on a regular basis, so that you walk away with a profit after a gaming session filled with wins and losses.

It is always important to remember that you should be gambling for fun. If you are not having fun, then you shouldn’t be playing the game. This is the test you need to perform before deciding what type of gambler you want to be.