Skill Games – Online Pokies and Luck

Skill games pokiesFull disclosure: No matter how “skillfully” you play online pokies or land-based casino pokies, the reality is that 99.9% of your wins and losses is due to luck.

You can gain a bit of an edge from playing smart, but the reality behind the scenes is that the casino always has the upper hand.

Casino Game developers and casinos are working in concert to create skill-based pokie games which gives the player some fighting chance to make money.

Although not entirely skill-based, these Pokies (try them at Fair Go) seem to be the next step in a more interactive and game-like experience.


  • Target Market
  • Skill vs. Non-Skill Pokies
  • How much Skill Involved
  • Online vs. Land-Based
  • Why were Skill-Based Pokies Developed

Who Are These Skill-Based Pokies Targeting?

Pokie Players are always searching for a way to gain an edge and to at least have a fighting chance to win. Of course, you can always win at Pokies, but new players wanted something akin to the computer games which they grew up on. In other words, they want a fighting chance to be successful. All of this comes down to demographics and who is the target market for these developers.

The new generations of slot game players are those who grew up on high tech video games for their PCs and Laptops. “Call of Duty” and “Grand Theft Auto” have been around in various iterations close to a few decades. Those who have grow up on these games are now able to gamble for real money which is who gaming developers are trying to attract.

The above-mentioned games are skill-based and require an interactive experience for the player. You would be hard pressed to find one of these players excited about pulling a lever and waiting passively to win or lose. Obviously, the real money aspect of it can add some excitement, but the 3-reeled classic slot will not fill the void.

Skilled Based for Online and Land-Based Casinos

For the land-based casinos these skill-based pokies are not as popular as predicted. My feeling is that those that these skilled-based pokie machines are targeting will most likely be drawn to the online version rather than the land-based version, which makes sense if you think about it.

These players have grown up on computer games in their homes and not at some arcade such as previous generations. It would make sense that their idea of fun play would not be at a casino but in the privacy of their own homes or on the go you can play online casino pokies. The demand might eventually increase, but I think the online skill-based Pokies will be more in demand than at the land-based casinos.

How “Skill-Based” Are These Pokie Machines?

To say these Pokies and Slots are skill-based can be a bit of a stretch. They are not interactive in a PC game sense of the word, although they do provide a bit of skill, but are more focused on luck and chance.

Some in the gaming community feel that labeling these Pokie games “skill-based” can be a bit dishonest and bending the truth like a rubber band. John Acres from tech company Acres 4.0 has a good perspective on these games and their success stating:

“People might feel misled, thinking if they’re very skillful, they’re going to win money……………all it means here in Nevada is I will lose more slowly”

Not exactly a compelling case for playing these skill-based pokies.

Skill-Based vs. No Skill Pokies

When you get down to it, these skill-based games only provide a few options where a player can change the outcome of his or her game. You are not shooting at enemies or trying to blow up a military installation like “Call of Duty”. The “skill” involved is usually deciding on what option to pick on a specific bonus. In choosing for example you might score a 15x multiplier instead of a 5x multiplier.

To me, this is not a skill as much as another way to win multiple bonuses or rewards. While it increases the interaction between the player and the game, there really is no skill involved except other than making the right choice.

Why are these Skill-Based Poker Machines being Developed?

“The only constant is change”. In the gaming industry the competition is fierce with many new developers coming into the market and others creating newer and better casino games. If you remain stagnant, you will suddenly find yourself at the bottom of the barrel trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

The Skill-Based craze is a way for these developers to adapt to the new batch of players between 21 and 35 years of age. These gamblers grew up on the above-mentioned PC Games and are less inclined than the older players to be satisfied with the older version of Pokies and Slots.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is just a marketing gimmick, although one could make that argument. Poker machine developers are constantly trying to incorporate the technology into these types of casino games while staying consistent with the traditional slots. It’s a difficult balance between evolution of the pokie and the revolution of introducing a completely new game.