Delimitation of games of chance

The influence of chance can be very different in games. In the so-called pure games of chance, such as. B. Roulette, Craps or Sic Bo, the result depends solely on chance. The influence of chance is less clearly quantifiable in games in which the participants can also have a decisive influence on the outcome of the game, such as backgammon and blackjack. In terms of quality, however, the influence of chance decreases according to the law of large numbers for long game sequences.

In the legal assessment of whether there is a game of chance, other factors must be taken into account, particularly regarding the value of the stake and possible winnings. In addition, at tournament events such. In a poker tournament, for example, the entire tournament rules including the procedure used for the final evaluation are decisive, as they are legally defined in the game contract or mathematically and formally in the game theory modeling. These specifications also include information about the number of players and the amount of information that a player has at the time of a match Game decisions are accessible, e.g. B. in the form of cards known to him in card games .

Games, the legal classification of which was under discussion, were all zero-sum games in the sense of game theory (and not, for example, cooperative games ), i.e. H. the sum of the (positive) winnings of players is always equal to the sum of the losses of the other players. This includes the case of a single player playing against a machine or against a banker who operates according to a fixed pattern (like blackjack). For this purpose, the organizer must be rated as a second player, who, however, has no skill to spend on his winnings, which the German case law regards as a reduction in the relative influence of skill.

Theoretical delimitation of games of chance

Classification of board games

In the game-theoretic classification of board games , games of chance constitute one of three classes pure games , from playful vision through the causes of the unpredictability of the gameplay are characterized and the following criteria.

Do the rules of the game provide for random decisions, for example with the help of a dice?

Are there game situations of imperfect information in which the players such. B. in card games like Skate have different information about the game so far?

Here are pure gambling characterized as affirmative to the first question and the other two questions are in the negative. In addition, in the direct comparison of games, questions that are answered in the affirmative allow approximate quantifications that reflect the character of the game, for example, that in backgammon the influence of the players is greater through a greater combinatorial variety of possible train sequences than in humans do not annoy you. As a result, the random influence in backgammon is relatively lower than in humans do not annoy yourself.

Factors of manual dexterity or speed of reaction are not covered by the classification, which, however, are more the exception with board games – unlike sport games – with Mikado or Speed, for example.

Legal delimitation of games of chance

Since games of chance are subject to legal restrictions in most countries, the legal delimitation of games of chance is subject to various legal norms and judgments that differ from country to country. As complementary to the games of chance are games of skill (Engl. Skill games), whose decision is primarily influenced by the mental or physical dexterity of players.

A game of chance occurs when a fee is requested for the purchase of a chance to win and the decision about the win depends entirely or predominantly on chance. In any case, the decision about the profit depends on chance if the uncertain occurrence or outcome of future events is decisive. Betting against payment for the entry or exit of a future event is also a game of chance.

Skill games are characterized according to the established case law in UK in that for them “the decision about profit and loss depends largely on the skills and the level of attention of the players.” Thereby “the average of the people who the game is open, it is very likely to have it in hand, “to skillfully determine the outcome of the game”. “Mathematical calculations and intricate probability calculations “, insofar as they exceed “the average ability of the people involved”, are “not decisive for assessing whether a game has the character of a game of chance”. However, this does not affect “the need to determine the character of the game using scientific methods”. When evaluating the skill of a player, “all participants should strive for success using the skill available to them”, but, as was decided in the case of a two-person game to be assessed, “one participant each let chance “. In this sense, had already in 1928 the Supreme Court “to influence possibility the output through skill,” as a measure of the seen the increase in the proportionate success that an average player in a game sequence achieves compared to the “random quota”, as produced by a mechanism acting randomly instead of the player.

In 2007, the Swiss Federal Casino Commission came to the conclusion that a poker tournament can be a game of skill if the individual games are not evaluated independently of one another, but as a whole. [28] The assessment was corrected by the Federal Supreme Court in 2010. With the amendment to the Gambling Act that came into force at the beginning of 2019, regardless of a classification as a game of skill, an explicit possibility was created to obtain cantonal approval for poker tournaments.

In the United States, the question of whether backgammon is a game of skill has been answered differently by courts. In Lichtenstein, backgammon is considered a game of skill, whereby the underlying legal norms have a comparatively explicit character overall.