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Social Casinos: The Ultimate Guide

Social Casinos: The Ultimate Guide

Published on by James

If you enjoy playing casino games but would rather not risk your hard-earned cash, social casinos might be ideally suited to your needs. These allow you to play various slot games, table games and other casino-related titles via the use of virtual coins so there doesn’t have to be any cost involved.

Of course, social casino gaming, like any form of gambling, has its plus sides and potential drawbacks. That’s why we decided to create the ultimate guide to social casino games and slots. Throughout this page, you’ll find all of the information you’ll need to get started, along with what games you can expect to be available and where you can play them. So, if you fancy a flutter without spending real money make sure to read on!

 

What Are Social Casinos?

What are social casinos?Essentially, any website or downloadable app that allows you to play popular casino games with virtual currency is classified as a social casino. There are multiple ways you can join the fun but the main ways are via downloadable apps for handheld devices or by using your web browser to access either purpose-built social casino sites or those available on popular social media platforms.

When you sign up for an account at a social casino, instead of having to make a real money deposit you’ll receive an amount of virtual currency to play with. Of course, when any type of gambling is involved you can win and you can lose but the main benefit here is that in most situations your bankroll is topped up again after a certain amount of time. There are ways of eliminating the waiting period if you wish to carry on playing but it does typically involve real money microtransactions.


The Differences Between Social Casinos and Regular Casinos

Despite the fact these platforms both have the word casino in their title, there are several key differences between the two. Some of these are plain to see but others aren’t as evident unless you’ve experienced both real money casino gaming and social casino gambling. Therefore, we’ve listed some of the major differences between the two below.

Social CasinosRegular Casinos
There’s a greater focus on the social aspect – you can compete against your friends on various leaderboards to see who lands the biggest win.The focus is typically placed upon the individual’s experience. Aside from certain live casino titles, it’s you against the house.
The games are entirely free to play.Unless you use a no deposit bonus, you’ll need to spend real money to play your favourite casino games.
Your account balance is automatically credited with extra virtual currency after a period of time.If you run out of funds you’ll need to either make another deposit or find another casino bonus to play with.
Social casinos are legal in jurisdictions where online gambling is prohibitedLegitimate online casinos must acquire licences in order to operate. As such, sites may be unavailable in certain jurisdictions.
There are certain team-oriented and progression-based rewards. You can join up with fellow players to reach your goals.Loyalty programmes and VIP rewards are tailored to the individual.
Social casinos make money via virtual goods purchases and advertising.Regular casinos retain all of a player’s real money losses.

What Games Do Social Casinos Have?

Now, just because social casinos don’t require you to spend real money it doesn’t mean a great deal of time and effort hasn’t gone into their development. In fact, some of the largest social casino platforms have been active for over a decade now and in that time the selection of games they offer has greatly increased.

For example, Zynga Poker, originally launched in 2007, began as a poker-focused social casino application for Facebook as well as all market-leading handheld devices and social media sites. However, due to its popularity and market dominance, Zynga then went on to create a host of other social casino-oriented applications, allowing players to enjoy their favourite virtual casino games. Now, Zynga and many other social casinos enable players to test their luck via a variety of traditional casino table games, online slots and various other iGaming categories in a casual and relaxed format.

One thing that we must point out though is that as these social casinos aren’t classified as real money casinos, they don’t utilise the products of the gambling industry’s top gaming providers. Instead, the games are created by specific social casino developers or the social casinos themselves. Therefore, whilst you can enjoy the same casino game categories, you won’t be able to play the particular games included in the proprietary portfolios of the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming, Play’n Go and the host of other real money casino software developers.


Can You Win Real Money At Social Casinos?

On the whole, social casinos have been developed with the intent to deliver a way of playing casino games without you having to risk real money. All bets and wagers are placed using virtual currency and any wins are paid in the same format. Whilst many of these sites and apps do allow you to spend real money on various in-game purchases, such as extra credits and VIP perks, you are unable to cash out your winnings, meaning you cannot win real money – it’s understandable when you consider social slots wins can reach into the billions.

That being said, there is a small selection of social casinos that are exceptions to this rule. These give players the chance to win virtual credits via sweepstakes, which in turn you can redeem for real cash and then withdraw.

One such site is Chumba Casino. This is a social casino that enables players from Canada and the United States to legally play online casino games at Chumba’s normal website or via Chumba Casino Play, which is their Facebook app. There’s a variety of in-house games to enjoy that can be played using the casino’s virtual currencies – Gold Coins and Sweeps Cash. Those of you who have been fortunate enough to win can redeem these currencies for real money using a selection of payment methods including Visa, Mastercard and Skrill. Of course, there’s much more to this social casino so make sure to read our Chumba Casino review. One final thing we should mention is that as it’s licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority you can rest easy knowing it’s a trustworthy site.


Advantages and Disadvantages Of Playing At Social Casinos

Just as there are differences between playing at regular online casinos and their social counterparts, there are also distinct pros and cons when choosing to play at a social casino. These can impact your decision as to whether or not you choose to play at these sites and may also hinder or improve your level of enjoyment. Therefore, we strongly advise that you read the advantages and disadvantages associated with social casino gaming below.

 

Advantages

  • The games are free: Perhaps the biggest upside to playing at social casinos is there doesn’t have to be any cost involved. When you first sign up to play you’ll receive a stack of virtual chips that you can use to play any of the games on the site or app. Of course, many of these do allow you to pay for coin boosts and other virtual rewards but as they hold no tangible value there’s absolutely no need to pay real money in order to enjoy what’s on offer.
  • A fun and social environment: When playing at a social casino there’s much more of a social element involved. You can join other like-minded players to help progress through the various levels and even compete against each other to see who’s landed the biggest win. Additionally, with certain sites being linked to popular social media platforms you can also show off your achievements and invite other friends to join in the fun.
  • Practise before you play for real money: If you’re potentially looking to play for real money at some point, social casinos are a great way to familiarise yourself with certain casino games. You can optimise your roulette and blackjack strategies in a risk-free environment and also try out different social slots to see how they work.
  • Mobile compatibility: The majority of social casinos are available for download via your device’s app store, whether it be Android, iOS or Windows. This means you can play wherever and whenever you have a few minutes to spare and a stable internet connection.

 

Disadvantages

  • A limited selection of games: Although the social casino market has expanded in recent years, the range of available games can’t yet compete with what’s on offer at real money casinos. You’ll still have the opportunity to try out many different slots and table games but real money gambling sites will always offer a greater variety.
  • Many social slots are reskins of one another: If you’re an avid online slot player who prefers to play for free, you’ll soon notice that many social slots are very similar. That’s not to say they’re entirely identical, but aside from certain visual and audio differences many of the same features are used, which also potentially brings into question the quality of the games and your overall experience.
  • Even social casino gambling can lead to addiction: Social casinos are designed to be fun and they typically result in no cost to the player. However, as you try to unlock the next reward or the next level, your progress may be hindered by a lack of virtual currency. This is where real money transactions can come into play. Many social sites allow you to purchase coin boosts so that you can continue playing, thus potentially leading towards an addiction. Additionally, players may see how easy it can be to win on certain social casino games and could be led to believe real money casinos deliver wins at a similar rate. As such, a risk-free source of enjoyment could soon become a costly endeavour.

Gambling On Social Casino Apps

Just like when gambling for real money, you’re going to need to sign up for a new account when you play at a social casino. This is so the site or app can differentiate between players and keep everyone’s account separate. Thankfully, it’s a simple process that shouldn’t take too long to complete. Simply follow our step-by-step overview below and you’ll be playing your favourite social slots and tables games in no time.

 

  • Step 1: Choose your preferred social casino website or app-based casino.
  • Step 2: If required, head to your device’s respective app store to perform the download.
  • Step 3: You’ll need to sign up as a new player. Locate the register or sign up button and follow the on-screen instructions to do so.
  • Step 4: Once your account is active, you should receive a stack of chips, gold or another form of virtual currency to play with.
  • Step 5: Choose from the available games to start playing.
  • Step 6: If you run out of virtual currency, most social casinos top up your balance at certain time intervals. Check back later and you should have more virtual funds to play with.

 

We hope you found this guide useful and enjoy your time spinning the reels at the many social casinos out there!

James Byrne

James Byrne

Content writer

James Byrne is the main writer/blogger/scribbler about all things NetEnt here at NetEnt Casino. The slot-mad content creator studies all the new NetEnt games and casinos that are released every month, making sure our readers are kept fully up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the wild world of iGaming. What games and casinos does he recommend? How does he find working as an iGaming content writer? Find out below.

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