Online skill games can be played with people from around the world.
Depending on which games you have in mind, there’s a chance it will be hard to find what you’re looking for. Some of the niche games such as rummy and dominoes are only offered by a select few skill game sites. Popular games such as poker are can be found at hundreds of gaming sites. My job today is to help you find the best skill game sites for real money players.
Best Skill Games Sites
With these recommendations, I tried to cover as many different games of skill as possible. The above skill gaming sites cover everything from poker to Yahtzee. They are safe, reputable, have a nice variety of skill games, and each one is dependable when it comes to withdrawing.
What Exactly is a Game of Skill?
A skill game is a competitive contest in which the outcome is determined primarily by the skill of the contestants. Those who are more skilled usually beat those who are less skilled. There are elements of luck in all games, but skill is the ultimate determiner, especially over a big enough sample.
The definition isn’t always clear-cut. The game of poker serves as a prime example. Some people consider poker a gambling game due to the element of randomness introduced by a shuffled deck of cards. Others consider it a game of skill because the players are ultimately responsible for choosing when to commit money, when to fold, when to bluff and so on. I believe poker is a game of skill because the best players tend to succeed over the long run.
There are very few games in which luck has absolutely zero bearing. Spades, Yahtzee, and even Dominoes are all influenced to some degree by luck. A single match in any of these contests can be significantly impacted by luck. It is only over the long term that we are able to determine which players are the best at these games.
Pure gambling games are clearly reliant on luck. The only decision you make in many casino games is whether or not to play the next round. Even in gambling games where the player makes decisions (such as blackjack), the player’s decisions only impact how quickly money is lost. In blackjack a player may lower the house advantage a bit, but they will never be able to use his skills to beat the house (one possible exception: card counting).
How Online Skill Games Work
After you choose a skill game site, sign up for an account and log in. Most of the skill gaming sites that I recommend offer multiple forms of online gaming so you’ll need to visit the area dedicated specifically to skill games. Inside that area you can choose which game you want to play for real money.
Choose the skill game you want and you’ll be taken to a lobby area for that game. There, you’ll see a list of all open games along with information such as the entry fee, how many players are accepted, and any special rules that are in effect.
Online skill games can run at stakes ranging from $1 to $100 or more. Online poker games can involve hundreds of thousands of dollars if you have the bankroll. For the most part though, the stakes are reasonable. Most of the people you play against are just normal people like the rest of us looking for a little fun.
Games are hosted as either heads-up contests or multi-player tournaments. In both cases, you pay your entry fee and the game begins as soon as everyone else does the same. It’s pretty much the same thing you’d see in the real world. If you have any experience with a real world game of skill, you’ll have no problem making the transition to the internet.
You can also usually find free games of skill if you want. This is always a good option if you need to brush up your skills before you make the switch to real money. Most real money skill game sites also offer free-play games for just that purpose.
Skill Game Formats and Variations
Here’s a quick overview of some of the most popular games of skill. The one thing these games all have in common is that you’ll need to outplay your opponents to succeed. We’ve got pages dedicated to each, so follow the links if you’d like more in-depth information about any particular game and where to play it at.
Online Poker Sites
Poker is the king of skill games. It has been around in some form or another since the 1800s and continues to grow in popularity to this day. Poker has just the right combination of skill and luck that it keeps the casual players coming back for more while providing the pros with a reliable income. This is by far the most popular skill game of them all.
Poker is frequently classified as gambling by lawmakers, but serious poker players know better. This is just as much a pursuit of skill as investing in the stock market. There may be an element of luck in poker, but it is undoubtedly a pursuit of skill over the long run. Any professional can attest to that.
Backgammon is played by two players and is generally accepted as one of the oldest board games in the world. Luck does play a prominent role in backgammon, but the game has a deep strategy element that ultimately determines who wins and loses.
Dominoes is one of those “minutes to learn but lifetime to master” games that are beloved by gamblers. The basic premise of the game is easy enough but there are intricate strategic considerations once you get past the learning stage.
Rummy was one of the first skill games to hit the internet for real money play. The game has a long and storied history, but it has fallen out of favor of late thanks to poker. Rummy does still have a dedicated following however, and there are a number of places to test your skills online.
Spades is a game for all walks of life. Betting sites with spades alter the rules just a bit in order to let you play against a single opponent rather than matching you up with team members who may or may not be competent. You don’t hear much about spades these days, but it’s a very fun and strategic game in which you try to achieve your own goals while simultaneously blocking the opponents from reaching theirs.
Yahtzee isn’t all luck. It may rely heavily on dice but there are serious strategy implications when trying to score and close out the game. Yahtzee is played online with virtual dice and real money. You and your opponent each put up a wager and the winner takes it all.
Tonk may look like gambling to the uninformed observer, but those who play the game regularly know how far from the truth that is. Tonk is a game of misinformation, odds and probability. The more you get to know Tonk, the more you come to see just how complex a game it really is. Visit our Tonk page to read more about the game and find a few places to play online.
That’s a basic introduction to some of the most popular skill games online. If we continue to see growth in this market, betting sites will most definitely add to the lineup and do more to cater to skill gamers. As that happens, we’ll update this page and let you know which sites are the best places to play those games.
Real Money Skill Gaming Tips
Real money play is the only way to keep skill games interesting for any length of time. We’ve all gone through phases where we can’t get enough of our favorites. The novelty always eventually dies out because there’s no long term goal. You just play until you get bored and move on.
Playing these games for real money changes everything. It adds a new dimension of risk and opportunity that you don’t get playing with your friends for peanuts. That’s why traditional gambling games are so popular – they literally raise the stakes.. The big advantage of playing at skill games websites is you have some control over your own financial destiny.
Skill games for money are both fun and potentially lucrative. For example, you might already enjoy playing backgammon socially and be a very good player. Perhaps players avoid you because you are known as a skilled player. If you choose to play online you’ll always find someone willing to bet against you.
Having said that, I wouldn’t recommend quitting your day job just yet. The only game of skill that has the player base to support professionals is poker.