We usually associate the idea of real money games with the casino, but there are many other types of games that are played for cash including skill games, poker, card games, and more.
Every card game, dice game and board game is either designed to be played for cash or can be retrofitted for real money play. Look in the right places online and you’ll find everything from poker to Yahtzee played for the purpose of winning cash.
We list and review the best online gaming sites. The keys to getting started are knowing where to play these games and how to play these games well.
We list online gaming websites with legitimate, fair games that pay your winnings when you’re done. This all requires a great deal of trust.
We rate real money games sites with name recognition and a positive reputation. A history of safe games and fast payouts is the only reliable method for sorting the good from the bad. The sites that we recommend will always meet those vital requirements.
That aside, it also helps to find gaming sites with the variations you want to play. Some of the biggest betting sites host traditional casino games right alongside games of skill that aren’t normally played for real money. Others specialize in one or the other. The list above consists of sites of both types. Choose from any of the above gaming websites and you’ll get the best possible combination of quality, security and gaming options.
Traditional Gambling Games
Online casino games rely heavily on luck. Some skill is involved in determining which bets you place and how you play each round, but luck plays the largest role in determining the winners and losers.
Any game that you would find in a normal brick-and-mortar casino can also be played online for real money. In fact, you’ll find that a larger variety of games are available online than you’ll find at any brick-and-mortar establishment.
Casino games generally fall into one of the following categories:
- Table Games: As the name suggests, table games are played at tables set up inside the casino. Table games include blackjack, baccarat, Caribbean stud, let it ride, three card poker and many more.
- Online Slots: Casino sites often host upwards of a hundred unique slot machines at stakes that range from pennies to $100+ per spin. Online slots work in pretty much the same way as traditional slots in the real world. You bring your money, choose an amount to wager, and hit the “spin” button. The jackpots for online slots occasionally top $1,000,000 or more.
- Video Poker: Online video poker is offered in dozens of variations. In a typical game of video poker, you receive five cards at random. You then hold any number of those cards and press the “deal” button to receive new cards in place of the ones you did not hold. The goal is to get the best possible 5-card poker hand.
- Specialty Games: The phrase “specialty game” covers every other game that doesn’t neatly fit into any of the above categories. Three well-known specialty games are craps, roulette and keno.
Advantages offered by casino games: Casino games are fun because they offer a little something for everyone. Looking for something where skill plays a larger role? Blackjack is the way to go. Looking for something simple and luck-based? Slots, roulette or keno will give you what you need with high paying odds and huge jackpots.
Online casino games in particular have advantages over their real-world counterparts. You’ll find a wide range of stakes, game variety and a lower average house edge.
Finally, casino games have the largest jackpots. All it takes is one lucky spin of the reels.
Disadvantages: The greatest disadvantage of casino games is the fact that the odds are stacked against you. Play any casino game long enough and you’ll eventually lose. That doesn’t mean you’ll lose every time, but It’s best to look at online gambling games as a form of entertainment that has a known cost.
Other Games of Chance
Where most normal casino games have at least a little bit of a skill aspect, games of pure chance are all luck all the time. You pay to participate and in return are given a chance to win a significant sum of money.
- Online Lottery Sites: Lottery games on the internet work in the same manner as real world lotteries. You buy a ticket, choose your numbers and cross your fingers for a big win. Lotteries offer some of the largest jackpots in all of gambling.
- Online Scratch Cards Sites: Online scratch tickets come in all shapes, sizes and themes. You pay a fee to get your card and then “scratch” it off with your mouse. If you reveal winning symbols, you get an instant payout.
- Online Bingo Sites: Winning a game of bingo is all luck, but this game is more involved than most games of chance. Bingo sites do an admirable job at keeping online bingo games social and entertaining.
What makes games of chance fun: Games of chance are fun because they’re full of suspense and surprise. Sometimes it’s nice to forget all the strategizing and stress that comes with other types of real money games. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but it’s all fun.
Online poker games are played against other people rather than against the house. The objective is to win money from your opponents through skillful play. Poker games do have elements of luck but ultimately your decisions at the table are what determine how well you do.
There are dozens of poker formats and betting variations. The most well-known variation is Texas Holdem, but even that game comes in a multitude of formats including no limit and fixed limit.
- Poker Variations: Some of the most popular poker game types include Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Razz, 5 Card Draw, Badugi and Lowball.
- Formats: Each of the above poker games can be spread in various formats such as cash games, multi-table tournaments, and sit-n-go tournaments. The ultimate goal is always to take chips from your opponents, but even minor changes in the format result in major strategic implications.
- Variations: Taking it even one step further, each of the above game formats can be hosted in a number of variations. Both tournaments and cash games can be hosted as full-table games, 6-person table and heads-up tables. Tournaments in particular can be hosted in a multitude of variations such as deep stack, turbo, super turbo, satellites, steps and double-or-nothing.
What makes poker fun: We love poker because it’s a game of skill where the best player usually wins.There are endless levels of strategy that make it a deep, complex and rewarding game. It’s also more sociable than most casino games and there’s fun to be had in making big bluffs and winning big pots.
Peer to Peer Skill Games
Online skill games are typically played against other people (peer to peer) in a format in which the house has no stake in the outcome. In peer to peer games, the house charges a fee for hosting the game and the prize money is paid out to the best players.
What makes games of skill fun: The fun in skill games comes from the sense of competition. You’re not stuck playing against an unbeatable house advantage; you’re playing against other people on equal standing. It is always rewarding to win a hard-fought match knowing you used your intellect to take the victory.
Players can choose to read up on strategy and become a better, smarter player. There are plenty of resources out there between books, forums, training services and strategy websites. Anyone with the desire to win can do it. You just need to put in the work, find a weaker opponent and profit.
Board Games, Card Games and More
If you look around, you can sometimes find traditional card and board games offered for real money online. These are the games that many of us first played with the family as kids. There are a few gaming sites that host games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, and Bridge for real money.
The catch is that traditional board and card games don’t have a big following online. If you’re lucky enough to find an opponent, it’s almost always for low stakes. There’s strategy and fun to be had, but there’s not a whole lot of money to be won. Look at these games as a fun way to pass a little time and maybe win a little something while you’re at it.