The Dawn of Skill-Based Gaming

10 May 2018

The Random Slot Rules

Right now, in 2018, the bread and butter of most casinos, online or offline, is still the good old slot. Okay, sure, they have come a long way, with many featuring slick video game quality graphics, immersive sound, and more bonus features than you can shake a stick at – but, at heart, they are still based on randomness.

Yep, though some would love to believe otherwise, every single spin is completely random. As much fun as they are, and no matter how many bells and whistles they have, there is absolutely no skill involved. Of course, this is one of the main attractions for many – the thrill of placing success in the hands of chance, and chance alone.

Video Games and Poker

But, in a world saturated with increasingly complex forms of entertainment, with millennials who have grown up with their brains constantly engaged by interactive, skill-based video games, there is a hunger for more.

Of course, the grand-daddy of skill-based casino games is poker, and this was also one of the first games the internet embraced. But, in recent years, poker has become more than just a game. Now, poker is a lifestyle for many, with a massive presence on social media, and its own celebrities like Instagram poker player and adventurer Dan Bilzerian and his 23 million + followers.

Undoubtably, the element of proving one’s own prowess and skill over competitors is the big draw – taking on the qualities of a true sport.

Online Casinos Respond

Unfortunately, for casinos, the myriad of strict advertising rules and regulations surrounding gambling, has stymied the take-up on skill-based games – after all, how can you market products that genuinely do rely on at least an element of skill, when confined by an environment that does not allow marketing to highlight this?

But, as online casinos have grown in popularity almost exponentially over the last five years or so, the organic demand for skill-based games and elements has emerged anyway. Online casinos the world over, now have sizable player bases made up of video game raised millennials, who respect poker masters, and have very low boredom thresholds.

Now, realising they need to do something to tap into this desire for skill-based games, online casinos are responding by focusing on upgrading their poker ranges. The most immediately obvious to any player will be the rise of sophisticated live dealer poker games. Take, for example the stunning live poker games from Evolution Gaming, with Three Cards Poker, Texas Hold’Em Bonus Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Caribbean Stud Poker, and Casino Hold’Em now available to enjoy at EnergyCasino.

Skill-Based Slots Hit the Vegas Strip

But the synthesis of skill and chance is not stopping there. In 2017 Scientific Games launched an officially licensed slot based on the original Space Invaders, that incorporates the original arcade game as a bonus element. Meanwhile, also in 2017, Gamblit Gaming introduced six skill-based games to Las Vegas casinos, including zombie shooter Into the Dead and Catapult King – both originally non-gambling smartphone games.

Of course, this handful of skill-based slots are just the tip of the iceberg and, so far, have only been seen in land-based casinos in Las Vegas. But, this looks set to change, with online casinos eagerly awaiting a chance to test the waters with skill-based slots.

Watch this space.


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