An Overview Of Skill Based Prize Competitions

Most people have heard of competitions where you can win a prize. In most cases, this involves luck, chance, or some other factor that has nothing to do with the abilities of the participants. However, there are other prize competitions which are called skill based prize competitions, ones that people can sign up to compete in. These are a little bit different than your standard gaming or lottery competitions that rely solely upon chance. However, it is because of this differentiation between a regular prize competition, and those that involve skill, which often leads to confusion. Here is an overview of what skill based competitions are and the prizes that you may be able to win.


What Are Skill Based Competitions?

Sometimes referred to as SWP on websites such as, or skill with prize competitions, these referred to a hybrid type of game that involves both skill and chance. The degree to which a person will have the odds in their favor is often based upon the parameters of the game and the individual skills of each participant. An example of a very popular type of skill-based competition is a claw crane. Children all over the world have seen these at stores and shopping malls. It is a large game, enclosed with a control panel and stuffed animals inside. Based upon their skill using the claw, which can move on command, they can potentially grab one of the stuffed animals. Of course, they will have to pay a certain amount of money to play. This is where that combination of luck and skill comes in.

Is Skill Gaming Legal?

Obviously, many of the games that involve chance and skill are legal. As in the example above, these games involving the claw are certainly legal to play. However, when you are looking at major sports tournaments, or those that may involve money, there is some question as to the legality of these games. In particular, eSports has become a topic of contention. The ability to play on teams electronically, and also win prizes, is not legal in every country. An example of this would be Skillz games in the United States which are legal to play, primarily because they are not definitively a game of chance.

Are Skill-based Games Related To Gambling?

Even though gambling often involves winning cash, the tournaments that involve cash prizes, that also involve skill, are not necessarily illegal. By definition, cash-based tournaments involve the awarding of a prize, a paid in consideration, and an outcome which is often based upon chance. The key to understanding if it is legal are not is whether all three of these factors are involved. If there is a prize, one that can be won by chance, and there is a paid consideration for playing, these tournaments will still be legal in most areas.

The Difference Between Skill-based And Chance Based Games

To further define the reason why skill based prize competitions our legal in most places, you must first understand the difference between games of chance and those that incorporate some type of skill. For example, games of skill will require some type of mental or physical ability. This could be anything from personal knowledge to physical coordination. On the other hand, games of chance are simply that. You have a chance of winning, and there is a level of uncertainty regarding the outcome. Although there are some games of chance that could be regarded as a skill-based game, these are often very obvious when doing a comparison.

How To Know If You Are Playing A Skill-based Game

The easiest way to know if you are playing a game that is primarily based upon skill, rather than chance, is to compare what you are playing with games that involve traditional gambling. There are those that may referred to the ability of those playing card games to remember certain cards through a system of counting. However, this is regarded as cheating in most gaming circles, and is not necessarily regarded as a physical skill. Additionally, games of skill often use something other than numbered balls, playing cards, or some form of dice. There is likely not going to be a container where a drawing can occur, and if that is the case, you are likely playing a game of skill that does involve some form of chance.

Skill Based Games In The UK

In the UK, any SWP machines must follow strict guidelines that have been set by the BACTA. They will also be in coordination with the rules of gambling as set by the gambling commission. In order for a game of skill to be regarded as such, there must be absolutely no element of chance associated with someone becoming a winner. The outcome, in essence, will purely be based upon skill, and not chance as the predominant factor. In some cases, there will be limits set regarding the skill level that will be needed to play these games. This may involve a timeframe during which a player must react within the context of the game. Therefore, when constructing games that are designed to focus on skill levels, they must also avoid being too difficult for the average person to play. A good example of this would involve quiz machines. These are easily compliant within the stated laws. As long as a game will comply in this manner, it will be legal to play it within the United Kingdom.


Final Thoughts Regarding Skill Based Prize Competitions

Some of these competitions that involve skill over chance can further be identified in the following manner. First of all, the determining factor for the outcome of the game must not be based upon chance. If there is a tie, the tiebreaker must be handled based upon skill and not the random roll of the dice. The game must also avoid allowing one person to have a constant advantage over another competitor, essentially rigging which person can have more success. The bottom line is that random events, or some sense of chance, must be avoided when creating games that are skill-based. Although these are very structured rules, it is the easiest way to understand the difference between skill-based and chance based games.

Now that you know the difference between skill based prize competitions, and those that are based upon chance, you will be able to easily determine which one is which. Of course, if you are playing a game in the UK that is available to everyone, it likely follows these guidelines specifically. The next time that you play a skill-based game, you will understand why it is perfectly legal.

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