A Ranking of Skill-Based Casino Games

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Gamblers standing around a casino table.
BetMGM Nov 13, 2023, 11:04 AM

Many people make plans to head to their favorite casino or log onto their go-to online casino only when they’re “feeling lucky,” but the reality is that there are plenty of popular online casino games that require a lot more than just luck to potentially land some favorable payouts. 

If you’ve played your fair share of chance-based games and are looking for something more stimulating, here’s a definitive ranking of the most sought-after skill-based casino games to try your hand at, from most to least challenging. We’ve also included a few lesser-known alternatives to explore if the classic options aren’t quite your style.

1. Poker

Poker is often referred to as the “big daddy” of casino games, mainly because it demands more skill from players than any other game of its kind. It’s so popular because it adds a strong element of excitement, being one of the only games that allows gamblers to play against one another, as opposed to playing against the dealer or the house. Gamblers who enjoy the social aspect of gambling, who have a competitive streak, and who believe they’re adept when it comes to “reading” people are naturally drawn to this casino staple.

So, what skills are required to play poker like a pro? For starters, you’ll need to be able to make sound decisions under pressure and know how to manage your bankroll responsibly. You’ll also need to exercise plenty of patience, have a good understanding of people and their behavior, and be able to weigh up risk versus reward.  

The great news about poker is that there are many different variants to choose from, making it easy to find the perfect fit based on your preferred playing style and pace. Just a few of the best-loved variations include Texas Hold‘em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud.

2. Blackjack

Like poker, blackjack is a skill-based casino table game and arguably the second most popular at the majority of land-based and online casinos. It has a decent balance between luck and skill, guaranteed to keep players on their toes. You play against the dealer (who always has an edge) and will need to make decisions using mathematical thinking to increase your odds of a win.

Whether playing blackjack at an online casino or at a brick-and-mortar establishment, to play a “good” game of blackjack, you should be able to work with numbers, comprehend the basic blackjack odds, and learn to listen to your “gut.”

Some best-known blackjack variants to explore include American blackjack, European blackjack, Vegas Strip blackjack, Blackjack Perfect Pairs, and Blackjack Switch.

3. Craps

Many gamblers are under the impression that craps is purely chance-based, but the truth is that it does require a certain level of skill from a strategy perspective. This is because, despite the outcome being determined by rolling the dice,  some bets offer better odds than others.

When taking part in a game of craps, you’ll also be picking a strategy, such as taking the “right way” shooter approach, where you’ll be aiming to roll the numbers you’ve decided to bet on, or taking a “wrong way” approach by betting on the results to reveal a seven at a specific time in order to win.

A few craps variants to consider playing include ruse craps, simplified craps, Die Rich craps, and High Point craps.

4. Skill-Based Slots

Many gamblers will agree that slots are some of the best casino games out there, especially when you think about just how many options there are available. Of course, the vast majority of them revolve purely around luck, but there are some slot games that have a strategic element, too. In almost all instances, the skill- or strategy-based element kicks in during bonus spin rounds, when you’ll have to make quick decisions to potentially boost your odds of a win.

Other Games To Explore

The games ranked above are certainly the most popular within the gambling world, but they definitely aren’t the only options available to you if you enjoy playing skill-based casino games. If none of our featured favorites is a good fit, you could investigate alternatives like digital dominoes, bridge, Scrabble, backgammon, checkers, tonk, and fantasy sports, to name a handful.

All these games require different types and levels of skill. Some are board games, some are card games, and some are prediction games. In short, there really is a skill-based casino game for everyone!

Play Casino Games Online at BetMGM

Whether you’re interested in trying out a few skill-based online slot machines or you feel you’re ready to step up and play online poker or blackjack, BetMGM has got you covered. Choose from a wide variety of live dealer casino games and classic casino table games guaranteed to put your skills, patience, and decision-making to the test.

If you’d like to have a look at what’s on offer, register via our convenient mobile portal whenever you’re ready to explore. Have fun!

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.