Are Skill Based Casino Games The Future?

I’ve often thought about the Millennial Casino Game Anomaly. This is the current situation that millennials, for the most part, are not particularly interested in certain casino games, specifically luck based casino games, such as slot games. Why? Simply; because millennials were the first generation to be brought up by video games, and not just any video games, the early ones that pushed the skill factor to the absolute limit. So, millennials are used to electronic games being firmly skills based, not luck based. The result being that slot games don’t gel well with millennials.

I myself am a millennial, and can confirm that I personally don’t really enjoy slot games. Poker I love, and that poker is a skills based says a great deal about the situation.

Then I read an article about a new wave of slot games being introduced to Vegas, and my brain did a little loop. It turns out that skill based slot games are in the works, and just about ready to be unleashed upon the public.

Well, well, Vegas, let it never be said that you are not a creature that adapts to prosper.

What Are Skill Based Casino Games?

A casino game such as poker is firmly skill based. There are elements of luck, such as which cards are dealt to a player, but the key factor being that even if a player is a dealt a poor hand, they can still make that hand work, assuming they are skilled at the betting and bluffing aspect of the game. In other words; a skill based casino game allows a player who is knowledgeable and practised at the game to really shine.

Slot games, on the other hand, are 100% luck based. There is nothing a player can do to affect the outcome of a spin, and little that can be done to make the most of a bad spin. The bets can be lowered in anticipation of a bad spin, but even this is a guessing game, and money will inevitably be lost. In other words; best you do your best to become Lady Luck’s chum, and hope for the best.

Now, given that slot games are the backbone of the casino industry, with roughly 80% of all casino income derived from slot games, you can be sure that the industry takes it personally when they hear that millennials don’t much care for slot games. So, what can be done but adjust slot games to more suit millennials. And hence the introduction of skill based slot games.

A Video Game That Pays

Now, I can’t lie, when you pitch the idea to me of a skill based video game that pays, depending on how good you are at it, I sit up and take interest. The idea is immediately appealing, and I already have visions of myself getting mind-numbingly good at the game, and walking away with my pockets loaded with cash. Hey, it’s your game and you made the rules, no one said I couldn’t get unfairly good at it.

But this already raises rather a great deal of questions, first and foremost how the game could possibly be fair, given the fact that players could simply get insanely good at the game, and never lose. Sadly, the next thing I immediately think is that the games could not possibly be fair, for this very reason. Or could they?

After thinking it over, I realised that the only way the concept could work is if the games were procedurally generated. Or, games that are randomly created, and so never the same, and therefore impossible to master. In this case I could see the concept working, and also being incredibly fun and interesting. I have to admit that I’m all but giddy with excitement at this being the case.

How Will Skills Based Casino Games Work?

But all of the above really is just speculation. Details on these skills based slot games are thin at the moment, and after reading up on them, only found very vague information. As far as I can tell, so far the skills based aspects of the games are going to be bonus games. So, the suggestion seems to be that a slot game is going to be standard in all other aspects, except for the bonus portion of the game, which will be a skills based video game of some sort.

This is slightly less appealing to me personally, since I’d rather they cut out the slot game aspect of the idea altogether, but remain optimistic that the concept will evolve, eventually into the procedurally generated idea I mentioned above.

Either way, I’ll say this much; I’ve never been more interested in slot games, and how they may evolve in the coming years. If things pan out in the right way, I might just become the biggest skills based casino game fanatic in the world.

Marc Armstrong - Signature

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