A skill game is a game where mental or physical abilities and strategies play a huge part, while chance may play a part, although not a significant one. This is in contrast with the vast majority of gambling games, such as those you find in a casino, which involve a great deal of luck. Nonetheless, skill games can involve gambling, as they can be played for real money or simply for entertainment. Some of the most played games of skill include: chess, poker (which might involve bluffing), collectible card games, contact bridge, backgammon, and mahjong. Today we are discussing some of the most popular skill games: poker, backgammon, and chess.
There are few skill games that are more known than poker. The first versions of the game were played in the 19th century, but the game has evolved since then. Today to play poker is a very popular pastime for people from all around the globe. It can be played for fun. Although the real appeal is to play it for real money.
There are several variations of poker, each one having its own set of rules and strategies. Here are the main types:
A complete hand is dealt with each player who can bet in one round, with raising and re-raising allowed. This is the oldest poker family. Actually the game predecessor was known as Primero, which evolved in the three-card brag, a game that is still enjoyed in the United Kingdom. Straight hand of five are sometimes used as a final showdown, but poker is a complex game that allows additional strategy.
In this kind of poker cards are dealt in a prearranged combination of face-down face-up rounds with a round of betting following each. This is the second oldest family of poker. The most popular variant, seven-card stud, deals two extra cards to each player and they must make the best possible 5-card hand.
When playing draw poker, a complete hand is dealt to each player, face down, and players are allowed to change their hand by discarding unwanted cards and receiving new ones. Five-card poker is the most common game of this family.
Community card poker
This is a variation of stud poker, also known as flop poker. Players are dealt an incomplete hand of face-down cards than several cards are placed on the table, cards that can be used by any player in the game to form the best possible hand. Other well known variants of this family are Texas Hold'em and Omaha.
The game is played all over the world, being one of the oldest board games that exist. It's considered a skill game and strategy is a pretty important part, although luck is involved due to the rolling of the dice to determine the moves a player can make.
Gambling at backgammon is pretty common, although many will play it only for entertainment. If you enjoy playing it there are venues which organize events and tournaments or you could play it online from the comfort of your own home.
For more serious players there are national and international contests that are being organized. Winning might be very hard as these tournaments usually have high stakes. Even more, if you win you will get prestige.
The exact origin of backgammon is unknown, but the games dates back as far as 3,000 BC. Over the time there have been various versions of the game, which have been standardized now in a clear set of rules.
The game uses a game board with 24 triangles and is played by two. These triangles are known as points and are usually black and white. The board is divided into four quadrants, each having six points, forming a continuous track.
Each player has 15 checkers in the same color, and they move in opposite directions across the board. The goal of the game is to remove first all checkers from the board. The process of removing the checker from the board is known as bearing off and is achieved by getting them to the end of the track.
Believed to originate in India from the game called chaturariga which used pieces based on the four military divisions, chess is a board game played by two people. The game started to spread in Europe around the 11th century, and most rules standardized during the 15th century.
In the following years, the game gained a lot of popularity. There are chess clubs all over the globe, organized tournaments and many books have been written on the subject. There are also computer programs that allow you to play against a machine and these days you can even play online against another person living wherever.
The game board
Chess is a board game containing a total 64 squares half white, half black laid out in a grid of eight by eight. At the start of the game, the players sit across the board from each other. They each have 16 pieces, arranged in two rows on the squares closest to them. One uses white pieces, the other black ones. The player with white pieces starts the game.
There are sic different types of pieces, including:
When the game starts each player has one king, one queen, two of the rook, bishop and knight, and eight pawns. During the game, each player moves the pieces on a empty space on the board or on a space occupied by one of the pieces of the opponent (when this happens, the piece is removed from the board).
Each piece moves in different ways:
- the king moves one space in any direction;
- the queen moves multiple spaces, in any direction, but it can not jump pieces;
- the rook moves multiple spaces horizontally or vertically, without jumping pieces;
- the bishop moves diagonally, without jumping pieces;
- the knight can jump pieces in a “L shape” pattern;
- the pawn have a more complicated way to move. They can either move one space forward or one space diagonally if they are capturing one of the opponents pieces. Another extra move a pawn can do is reaching the furthest raw. Then it can be exchanged for any other piece. Usually the queen is selected.
Check and checkmate
If a player moves a piece to a square where on the next move they will capture the king, then they have put the opponent in check. The player who is in check must make a move and remove the king from the position it is in. This can be done by moving their king, blocking the check with another piece, or capturing the piece that has placed their king in check. No player may ever make a move that either leaves or places their king in check. If it happens that there are no such possible moves, then the player is finding himself in checkmate and he loses. A game can also end if a player resigns or if both players agree to call a draw. Additionally a game can end in stalemate, meaning a draw, if a player's king isn't in check, but the player doesn't have any more legal moves he can make.
Chess isn't considered a gambling game, but it can be played for real money if two opponents agree to that. It usually involves each player gambling a set amount and the winner taking home the specific sum.
Nowadays it is also possible to play online against other players and to gamble on some sites. It's not a good idea to play the game if you aren't skilled enough.