National Center for Irresponsible Gambling
Helpful Links
Gambling Publications


Chance vs. Skill

NCIG home > resources > articles > chance vs. skill


By Dr. Panayiotis Papadakis

There are definitely some games that can be categorized as games of skill. Chess is one of them. Not only is it a game of skill, it is also very complicated. There are some people that play chess for money, but in my expert opinion that is all just a big waste of time. Why?

Imagine if you were given the opportunity to win a million dollars in cash with the flip of a coin. Do you think you would be ready to do that at a moment's notice? Of course, anyone could do that, because the game is simple.

Now imagine another hypothetical scenario, if someone were to offer the opportunity to win the same million dollars at a game of chess, playing against a grandmaster. Well, now you have a situation that can only be solved by a lifetime of study and practice.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with studying chess, if this is your passion, but form a practical point of view, how is the money that you win at chess any different form the money that you win with the flip of a coin? In the practical world all money is the same and once it's in your wallet you have no idea where it's been or where it came from, or what it took to earn it (or win it).

So, in a practical world -in a world inhabited by reasonable people - there is no practical value in earning the same money the hard way.

There are some games that are a combination of chance and skill. Poker is said to be one of those games. However, as we've already examined in the article Poker is a Game of Chance, we see that the skill factor is just a theoretical oddity that can be completely eliminated.

That brings us to the next point, The Simplification of Poker.

Remember, in the long run chance will always beat any skill, because the element of chance is more powerful.


Bookmark and Share
Gambling Resources

NCIG home | about NCIG | research center | education | public outreach | resources | contact us

helpful links | gambling publications | articles