The Psychology of Luck and Skill in Video Games and Gambling

The Psychology of Luck and Skill in Video Games and Gambling

The Psychology of Luck and Skill in Video Games and Gambling

Modern video games use complex engines, systems and mechanics in order to create a more appealing user experience. As a result, we have seen an increase in mechanics and even monetization strategies that rely on RNG or luck. The best example is probably the introduction of loot boxes. These microtransactions were very profitable for the studios, but they also led to some controversies that equated video games to gambling.

When it comes to casino games, most of them are designed around luck or the probability of victory. You can use skill or strategy in certain situations, but you cannot get to a level where you can consistently win. Here we will discuss the elements of luck and skill in both video and casino games, and how these two elements affect the user experience.

How Luck in Casino Games Affects Players

All casino games use the risk-reward system to determine the payout percentage to players. Games where players are more likely to win have lower payouts while those with lower win probability have higher payouts. Basically, luck is used as an element of fairness and all games are tested by auditors to verify this fairness.

Of course, if you play online you should seek operators that use certified software developers. One of the reasons why the Wagering Advisors site was launched in New Zealand was to help Kiwis find trustworthy casinos that operate under fair play guidelines. You can choose based on their recommendations, and read the in-depth reviews to know exactly what to expect.

Many players love this concept where you have limited options to affect the outcome. This is what makes casino games fun and exciting because it all boils down to the luck of the draw. That being said, in games like blackjack and poker you can use strategy and play around this probability. You won’t win 100% of the time, but more rounds will go in your favour.

Casino Bonuses

Because most of the available games are designed around RNG, the concept of bonuses is more appealing. Claiming a promotion that gives you extra funds or free spins doesn’t improve your odds. But in some cases, it allows you to gamble risk-free, which is a rewarding feeling on its own. Once again you can find the best casino offers tailored to Kiwi players through Wagering Advisors. This is an easy way to claim multiple promos and gamble on a low budget. You should still read these bonus terms to find the offer with favourable wagering requirements.

Luck or Unpredictability in Video Games

Modern games mostly revolve around skill or correct decision-making. They want players to master the mechanics and even encourage them to use those mechanics in creative and unique ways. They can also have progression systems that players use to boost their health, damage output, damage resistance etc. Skill in this instance is also a measure of fairness. So if a game allows you to only rely on your skill to overcome obstacles then it’s considered fair.

Increasing your health and damage output are elements that allow you to make encounters easier, and give you more room to make mistakes. In other words, these serve a similar purpose to casino bonuses that also mitigate your risk of losing. Because these elements give you a better chance of overcoming challenges they are viewed as satisfactory progression systems, and players want to invest in them.

However, true hardcore fans will always strive for a bigger challenge, and demonstrate their skills by increasing the difficulty. A great example would be beating a title like Elden Ring with a Wii boxing glove as a controller. That demonstrates mastery and dedication to a certain title, but it’s only possible because someone has managed to play through the game dozens of times. In other words, elements like unpredictability are no longer there, they are only present during the first few playthroughs.

Constant Unpredictability

As we have seen, skill in games is attainable by removing unpredictability. You know how to beat certain sections because you know exactly what will happen and how to respond. However, only a small percentage of players love to do this, most casual gamers beat the game once or twice because they want to explore. In other words, they like the unknown. So, to increase the longevity of certain games, developers have added procedurally generated content.

Basically, players get random levels with randomized rewards, and every time they go through them it’s a different experience.

Competitive Gaming and Gambling

The Psychology of Luck and Skill in Video Games and Gambling
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As we have seen, luck or unpredictability is used in both casinos and video games to add more excitement. That’s the part that casual players enjoy. The idea that amazing things can happen and that you can win extraordinary rewards motivates you to play. After all, the casino and gambling industry is performing well, so people are really drawn to this form of entertainment.

In competitive gambling and gaming, players work really hard to remove unpredictability and to play around it. Let’s look at some of the top eSports titles:

  • Counter-Strike
  • Call of Duty
  • Fortnite
  • League of Legends
  • Hearthstone

These are all player vs player experiences, and you increase your odds of winning by knowing what your opponent is up to. The same is true for poker tournaments where competitors all try to get a read on their opponent and mask their own intentions.

Unlike mastering the game to the point where you can play it flawlessly, professional gamers learn how to make the best decisions possible, given the information they have. They can never remove the element of unpredictability, they can only learn how to manage it the best way possible, and that’s the thrill of it.

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