Skill-based and Chance-based Games

All games have an element of chance. Can skill and knowledge also play a role? We all know that gambling involves risk. For some, that’s what makes it fun. But it’s important to know that at its most basic, gambling is based entirely on the unpredictability of the outcome. So what roles do chance, player skill, and knowledge of the games play?

Skill & Chance

Skill-Based Games

For some games it is possible to improve your chances of winning by learning more about the game or by developing your skills as a player. This is because players must make decisions that can affect the outcome of the game. For example, there are different strategies for playing blackjack. If you understand blackjack strategy, you can improve your decision-making and your chances of winning.

But don’t be fooled, chance still plays a big part. No matter your skill level, you still can’t control the hand you’re dealt. The best players in the world know when it’s time to fold.

Games that fall into this category include sports betting and card games like poker, online poker and blackjack.

Chance-Based Games

All the lucky charms in the world won’t affect the results of games of chance. Every roll, throw or spin has an equal chance of winning or losing. It doesn’t matter if you just lost three times in a row, or 40 times. The odds of winning don’t change. The only thing you can control is how much you bet, how often you play, and for how long. That’s why many players set a limit beforehand — it’s the best way to keep chance-based games fun.

Some examples of games based on chance include slot machines, baccarat, craps, roulette, keno, lottery, scratch tickets, and bingo. For some slot machines, bonus games may be offered where players have a chance to influence the bonus prize amount by interacting with an arcade-style video game. While skill may play a factor in the outcome of the bonus prize, chance still plays a big part.

Game Examples

Below are several examples of games that may be skills-based and chance-based:

Slot Machines

■ Chance
□ Knowledge of the game
□ Element of skill


■ Chance
■ Knowledge of the game
■ Element of skill

Sports Betting

■ Chance
■ Knowledge of the game
■ Element of skill


■ Chance
■ Knowledge of the game
■ Element of skill


■ Chance
□ Knowledge of the game
□ Element of skill

Scratch & Win

■ Chance
□ Knowledge of the game
□ Element of skill

Additional Help

If you would like to learn more about responsible gaming, consult with a GameSense® Advisor.

If you feel you need help, please call the following 24-hour confidential hotlines:

Nevada Council on Problem Gambling

Maryland Alliance for Responsible Gambling

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling

Michigan Department of Community Health

The Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey

Ohio for Responsible Gaming

Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

If you desire to self-limit from gaming at all US based MGM Resorts International properties, you may request a Self-Limit Access Program form at the Casino Cage of any of our US based casino properties. In addition, in the states of Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Ohio individuals requesting to be self-excluded may also fill out a form specific for that state.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency

Massachusetts Gaming Commission

Michigan Gaming Control Board

Mississippi Gaming Commission
Jackson 1.800.504.7529
Central District 1.888.465.8312
Northern District 1.800.269.3577
Southern District 1.800.497.8550

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Atlantic City 1.609.441.3846
Trenton 1.609.777.2279

Ohio Lottery Commission

New York State Gaming Commission