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Difference between gambling and playing games of skill

Let Us Take A Look At The Clear Distinction Between Playing Games Of Skill And Gambling With Specific Reference To Online Card Games In Indian Context.

Agencies | Updated on: 02 Jun 2019, 04:20:18 PM
Playing skill games is one in which success depends principally upon the superior knowledge of the player.

New Delhi:

Online games are raging as a means of digital entertainment these days. Most people, regardless of their age, education or gender, have jumped on the digital gaming bandwagon. There has been an unprecedented increase in online gaming platforms drawing players with their unique, personalized gaming experiences. But the mention of online games evokes mixed responses from the masses. The knowledgeable lot can make a clear distinction between playing a game of skill and gambling, but the less informed wrongly associate playing online cash games with gambling irrespective of the nature of the games.

Let us take a look at the clear distinction between playing games of skill and gambling with specific reference to online card games in Indian context.

Legal Status

Many people are not aware of the following landmark decision of the Supreme Court, which observed, while distinguishing between playing skill games and gambling, that

“A game of skill, on the other hand — although the element of chance necessarily cannot be eliminated — is one in which success depends principally upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player. Golf, chess and even Rummy are considered to be games of skill... a game of chance is one in which the element of chance predominates over the element of skill, and a game of skill is one in which the element of skill predominates over the element of chance. It is the dominant element - “skill” or “chance” - which determines the character of the game.”

Playing free Rummy as well as cash Rummy online is perfectly legal as Rummy is a game of skill. Now with the Rummy game download facility on the Play Store and the App Store, playing online Rummy for stakes is highly enjoyable, and absolutely legal.

The Opponent

One of the key differences between playing games of skill and gambling is who you are playing against. If you are playing against the house, it is a game of chance, whereas in games of skill, you play against other players. Players play card games like online Rummy against other players and they play Rummy using strategies, statistics and concepts of Math to beat other players.

Skill vs. Luck

Playing a game in which the outcome is predominantly dependent on chance, and not on the player’s skills, is gambling. Games in which a player has to use their gaming skill and mental abilities, such as cognitive and reasoning skills, to win are skill games. Playing cash or free skill games is not gambling. Despite the dependence of the outcome on luck to some extent, games of skill like rummy require players to use their gaming skills to achieve success.

Outcome of the Game

If players cannot control the outcome of a game and it depends on chance, playing that game with cash is gambling. Here, the element of luck overrides players’ physical and mental abilities. However, in games of skill, players’ skills are crucial for winning. The outcome of a skill game depends on the player’s gaming skills and strategies they adopt.


Thus, playing games of skill for stakes and gambling are different things. While a game of skill sees players using their skills to win, in gambling players are unable to substantially influence the result of the game and depend on luck to win. Rummy is a game of skill and it’s perfectly legal to play cash Rummy games online as well as to play free Rummy games.

This is a syndicated feed not has been edited by News Nation editorial team.

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First Published : 02 Jun 2019, 04:20:18 PM