Skilled-based gambling sounds like a lot of fun


i was just listening to another Planet Money podcast and they talked about how some casinos are not happy with the slot machine use with young people and decided to try gambling that is more skill-based. One highlighted event entailed a free throw shoot out where the winner takes the prize.

If you think about it, there are a lot of new kinds of skill-based gambling going on already outside of the casinos. The casinos haven’t quite recognized these events though, largely because of legal reasons. The laws states that gambling has to be reliant entirely on luck. So, the casinos can’t get too experimental with their gambling events.

So, these new gambling events involve tournaments outside of the casino, where the winner takes all. With the popularity of video games, people are trying to build models that can reward a winner at the end.

Personally, since there are a lot of card games in casinos that require skill, I could see a change in the types of cards used for gambling. For example, Magic: the Gathering is growing in increasing popularity. This is a new kind of card game that younger seem to enjoy more than the traditional card games. There probably already have been tournaments where people set up money pots for the winner to take.

My favorite game is Hearthstone, which is similar to Magic the Gathering. I could see them turning Hearthstone into a skill based game where winners win money. But it may be difficult to pull off as the online card games got heavily regulated in about 2008. A lot of people were making a lot of money by gambling online by playing Texas Hold Em beten 2006 – 2008. Nate Silver talked in his book how he made thousands of dollars by playing the online card game. You can read about his experience in the book, ” the signal in the noise”.

I never cared all that much about regular 52 cards in a deck games. I didn’t care about the king, queen or jack. They seem boring to me. I can’t relate to them anyway, since I don’t live under a monarchy. Believe me, I have tried playing various games with these cards, but I never felt hooked to playing.

But with Hearthstone, I have developed a completely new interest in this card game. I feel like I have good control over my decks and I think about strategy a lot. Even though I lose a lot I keep coming back and trying different things. Although, one main reason why I keep coming back too, is the chance to win more cards that are different, possibly better. I’m not sure how I would play if there were no more cards to gain. That was part of the problem with the 52 deck cards. They were presented all at once and you didn’t gain anything.

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