Luck v Chance v Skill Reflection

Games come in all forms of shapes. Some have detailed art that looks beautiful to the eye. Other’s very minimal art and can be played in a short span of time. Some have large rules that take days to read and understand. Some have only one rule to learn how to play. However, a lot of games have the goal of trying to win. There is a vast amount of ways to win, but most ways to win are in one of three categories; luck, chance, or skill

Luck is a force that brings good or bad fortune for an individual. Luck cannot be controlled or trained. An individual has no say in what the output will be. You cannot roll a dice and expect it to always land on six. You cannot expect that your starting hand is going to be all jacks, queens, kings, and aces. You can’t control if a coin will land on heads or hands. In a game of luck, no choice you make has any say in the game. 

One luck based game is Lost Cities. To win this game you want to have the most points over three rounds. Each player is dealt eight cards from a shuffled deck. On your turn, you can either discard one card from your hand face up on its corresponding discard pile or place one of your cards face up in one of your columns. Each card played must have a higher value than the most recent card played. You can skip numbers, but are not allowed to place cards in between already played cards. After discarding or playing a card, you can either draw a new card from the draw deck or take a card from the top of a discard pile. The drawing of cards plays a significant role in how likely you are to win the game. If you continue to draw cards higher than the cards you already played you’ll have good luck at winning the game. If you keep drawing cards with lower values than cards you already played, you’ll have bad luck at winning the game. The winner of this game rests on the luck of the cards drawn. 

An advantage of playing a game based on luck is the ease of playing the game. There is no skill to learn and practice to play these types of games. The rules for luck based games tend to be simple and easy to understand, making it easier for inexperienced players to learn how to play the game. A disadvantage of luck based games is the lack of control in playing a game. This can lead it to it being unsatisfying in winning a game. In these types of games you win only because you got the correct cards or a great dice throw and your opponent didn’t. With the winner being chosen on luck, it can make some people feel that their win was undeserving.

Chance is a form of luck. Instead of being measured in goods or bads, chance is measured in probability. Chance is an opportunity or possibility for something to happen.  These games are strongly influenced by some randomizing device. These games cannot be strategically beaten. An individual’s decisions can have some effect on the outcome, but overall, the winners and losers will be chosen entirely from chance. For example, you have a 1 in 6 chance for a dice to land on six. You have a 1 in 2 chance of a coin landing on heads. 

One game that is based on chance is Can’t Stop. This game consists of four dice, a board, a set of eleven markers for each player, and three neutral-colored markers. On the board there are eleven columns, with each column corresponding to the numbers 2 through 12. Each column has a number of spaces that correspond to the probability of rolling that number on two dice. For example, 2 and 12 have three spaces as they are the hardest to roll. Meanwhile, 7 has 13 spaces as it is the easiest to roll. During a player’s turn, they roll four dice, then divide them into two pairs and then total each pair. For example if a player rolls a 1, 2, 3, and 6, the player could group the dice as 5 and 7, 8 and 4, or 9 and 3. The player would then use the neutral marker to place on the board of the column or columns they chose, advancing up one space. A player may only continue up the columns that have a neutral marker in them this turn. After moving the markers, the player may then continue to roll again or not. If the player chooses to stop, they put their colored marker in the location of the neutral marker. During a future turn, if the player chooses this same column, they will start building from where they previously placed their marker. If the player does not stop, they must be able to advance one of the neutral markers on their next roll. If they cannot go up any of the columns they have, they lose all the advancement made on this turn. When a player reaches the top space of a column, they can claim it as theirs and win that column. That column is no longer able to be played for the rest of the game. When a player claims three columns, they win the game. This game is centered around probability and chance. A player has no say in what the dice rolls are going to be. As you are more likely to roll a 7 then any other number, it causes its column to be the largest to complete. Several types of chance games involve pressing your luck, such as roulette and blackjack, and Can’t Stop does make you press your luck to complete the columns.

An advantage of playing a game based on chance is the use of probability. A player can be able to make decisions based on the probability of something happening, such as the probability of rolling a 7 on two dice. Games of chance are also relatively easy to understand and play. You could possibly learn the rules of the game in 10 minutes and then be ready to play the entire game. Games of chance are also a great game to play with inexperienced players. A new player would feel overwhelmed trying to learn all the rules of a skill based game, and would feel much more comfortable with a simpler chance based game. A disadvantage of a chance based game is that it can get boring after a while. When you figure out the best ways to increase your chance of winning, the game can feel a bit boring and lackluster and you may wish to do something else.

The final way to win a game is skill. Skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skill games are usually far more complex and contain more rules than that of luck or chance based games. When playing a skill based game, a player needs to fully understand what it is they wish to do and how it will affect the future of the game. The use of strategy is a must when playing a skill based game.

One of the most well known skill based games is Chess. Chess has several rules for what can and can’t all the pieces can do. A great Chess player is able to see several moves ahead of his opponent. You need to practice on your skills in order to succeed in playing that game. Another skill based game is Diplomacy. In this game, you will play as one of the Great Powers in Europe in the years prior to World War One. In this game you have to hold, move, support, and convoy armies and fleets in order to become the Great Power and control Europe. To do this you have to be the first person to control 18 supply centers. This game uses no dice tolls or any elements of chance. Instead, players must instruct each other their units by writing a set of orders. The players have to negotiate, issue attacks and issue support orders in order to win. Players can form alliances, share intelligence or even spread disinformation to help them achieve their goal. A well timed betrayal can lead to the success or failure of a player.

An advantage of skill based games is the use of strategies. Each player can put their own spin on a game. You don’t have to do what the person next to you is doing. Each person is able to use their own experiences and skills to influence the outcome of the same. The player gets to be in control of what they want to do and how they are going to do it. A disadvantage or skill based games in the commitment. For some skill based games, it can take a lot of time and effort to be thought of as slightly good in the world of that game. A lot of skill based games can’t be completely learned in a day or two. It can put off many people who want to learn to play, but then end up feeling overwhelmed.