Gambling On Skill-Based Slots: Is It The Future Of Online Casino Gaming?

28 January 2021 5 minutes to read
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As the world of online casino gaming enters a new paradigm, skill-based gaming is hotter than ever before. As online slot geeks we see plenty of innovative streaks and captivating themes every day. Despite all the new marvels that grace the modern slot. One particular casino game stands out above the rest and that’s the skill-based slots.

The only online software provider we’ve seen dabble with skill-based or RPG-style slots is Betsoft Gaming. Although skill-based gaming is still very much in its infancy stages. It’s catching on like wildfire, and it’s a hot topic in most boardrooms. Online slots for real money slot studios try and appease a new market by creating additional streams of revenue.

The biggest obstacle that face skill-based slots is the technology behind it. By this we mean technological constraints and unfair performance expectations by casino players. In this piece, the Casinowhizz team investigates ‘Gambling On Skill-Based Slots’. What are they? And, why are they the future of gambling at online USA casinos.


Skill-Based Slots What Are They?

It all boils down to a particular skill players can use to improve their winning chances. It can be a particular betting strategy such as better hand-eye coordination, faster reflexes. Or, even the ability to recognize certain patterns in a slot.

Essentially skill-based slot machines are hybrids. In other words, they combine elements of skill and chance. We’d also like to point out that there is a difference between ‘Interactive’ slots and skill-based ones.

Interactive slots give players a choice in the game and based on the choices they make; they win or lose. Another thing that’s quite interesting is that land-casinos lead the race in skill-based casino games. It’s not as popular at online casinos yet, but it will change soon.

The hallmark of slots that are based on skill is that they offer players flexibility. Instead of just hitting the spin or the Max button. Players now have a wider choice than ever before. We all know that flexibility is crucial when it comes to the design of casino games online.


Are Hybrid Slots A Gamble For Online Casinos?

One of the main reasons why we haven’t seen many skill-based slot releases. Is because online casinos see them as a gamble. They regard hybrid slots as unexplored territory and believe it’s better to occupy that space with well-performing games. Games with Cascades, Megaways slots with Buy Options and Unlimited Bet Lines. Internet casino gambling sites hold the opinion they offer players more flexibility. For now at least.

Not only that, the wagers in hybrid slots takes more time than normal slots. The thing is the winning outcomes of traditional slots is what makes them “sticky”. As a result, this is what keeps players coming back for more and playing them. Because skill-based slots is still a new technology; casino sites online and players are still learning to balance their expectations.

In 2021 online slot studios will release new and improved slots with improved betting velocity. We have reason to believe that it’s just a matter when skill-based slots will outperform traditional games.


Will The Future Of Online Slots Require Skill?

For the next few years we believe the online casino industry will experiment with a few new game engines. To see if players like them or not. In our experience, online casino gamblers are afraid to venture into new territory. Especially the older generation like the baby boomers.

It’s a case of moving from the familiar to the unfamiliar. However, in light of what we’ve just said. A new generation of player namely the Millennial is the proverbial new kid in town. As such, designers of casino games online must look to the future. The only thing that is constant is change especially when it comes to creating a new product. Moreover, there is a lot of trial and error at stake.

It takes time to understand a new product like skill-based slots. Online casinos don’t always see the monetary value in experimenting with a new type of casino game. Which also explains why they’re reluctant to take them onboard.

Aggressive innovation can be a grey area sometimes. It only increases the complexity in a highly regulated online casino industry. Therefore, “radically” new concepts takes longer before they find themselves on the virtual casino’s floor. Casino gambling online sites and manufactures need real data as to how these slots perform. Do players like them and why? Is the skill-based slot an asset to the casino, or not?


Hybrid Slots Are Just Warming Up

We can say with a fair amount of certainty that hybrid slots is nowhere over. In fact, they are here to stay. As of now slot developers like Betsoft will experience more failures than successes. It’s part and parcel of what the online slots casino industry is.

The interesting thing is the top slot companies spend approximately $150 million on slots research. That’s a lot of money and a shining testimony of how much money there is for new innovative games. If we look at the track record of slots for real money; out of the ten, only one or two are a hit with players. Furthermore, the big slot studios don’t always allocate a marketing budget for skill-based games.

When it comes to the marketing of slot machines that require skill. Both the slots studio and the online casino should market the game 50/50. Tools like social media, loyalty programs, and live streaming platforms are some of the ways. If the games are fun to play the probability will follow!

To create the ultimate online casino gaming experience of the future. Online casinos, slot manufactures and the jurisdictions that issue casino licenses must work together. As more skill-based slots find their way to online casinos they’ll become more familiar.


The First Generation of Slots

As the online casino industry wraps up its first-generation of slots online. The best is still to come. That is, the second generation is now eagerly waiting in the wings. It’s about find the right integration of skill and gambling. The first generation of slots incorporated bonus rounds, bigger jackpots, higher payback rates, crazy wilds and multipliers. These are the ingredients the next generation of players look for in a skill-based slots.

To create a fun and engaging experience. Slot manufactures must offer players the motivations of a video gamer and that of a gambler. The next generation of slot players look for captivating themes, competition, progression, winning, and losing. The problem is if players don’t lose now and again winning will lose its spark. Most casino players often miss the point about hybrid slot games. They’re not just games where the players with the most skill win all the money.

Hybrid games includes mobile casino gambling where players exercise some skill to achieve a certain outcome.


The Profit Motif

The prospect of profit encourages players to play to win. Hence the reason why games like blackjack with its low edge remain popular. Players found a way to beat blackjack by playing it at optimal betting strategy.

Therefore, the incentive for blackjack guides, texts, and the incentive to lean the basic strategy is high. Casino gamblers are searching for the next blackjack where they can still beat the house and other players. Players are also looking for peer-to-peer games where the compete against other players instead of the casino.

Moreover, players are looking to play new casino games where the house edge varies with skill.



Hybrid slots is the next natural step in the evolution of online casino gaming. If we have a look at how the simple slot evolved the past 10 years; we have a lot to look forward to. We’ve seen the development of touch screens, an explosion of colors, sounds, and HD graphics.

Hybrid slots plugs the gap the next generation of slot players are looking for. To be successful in an ever-changing online casino market. Slot machine studios must stay atop the newest trends by updating their portfolio of games and design. Now, one the main reasons why skill-based slots will be a hit is because they follow a softer match model. That’s to say, they don’t wipe out the bankrolls of casual slot players.

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