Unless you’re already actively playing at one, the term social casino might raise your eyebrows in confusion. What is it exactly, and how does it differ from a regular casino? Is it just as fun as a traditional land-based or online casino?
If you’ve previously played a casino game online with your friends, even though you didn’t spend any money, you’ve already encountered a social casino such as Chumba. But to truly understand what it is and how it brings people together, let’s look at social casinos and what makes them so enjoyable.
What is a social casino?
At its core, a social casino is an online platform where users play casino-style games without the involvement of real money. Social casino platforms often carry popular games such as slots, poker, blackjack and roulette.
Users can play any of these games for fun, earning in-game rewards instead of money. To further emphasize the social aspect of the game, each player’s performance earns them a spot on the ranking boards. The rankings encourage healthy competition between players, especially when friends are involved.
How does a social casino differ from a traditional casino?
The most significant difference between social and traditional casinos is the absence of real-money betting. In conventional land-based or online casinos, players use real money to place bets and aim to win more than what they started with. Part of the fun is the thrill of winning.
At a social casino, the stakes are virtual. Players use virtual coins or credits to play games at a social casino, and they win the same when they make a winning bet. Players also cannot cash out these virtual currencies into real money, which shifts the focus solely on entertainment. In some cases, it is possible to enter sweepstake draws using your virtual coins to win prizes, which can include cash in rare instances.
That’s not to say that social casinos don’t handle any real cash at all. Players can top-up their virtual currency balance using real money, which can be helpful if they face a string of losses. However, the money spent is simply for entertainment, not for potential monetary gain.
Another difference is accessibility. Traditional casinos are subject to stringent regulations that vary from state to state, so they’re not available to everyone. Land-based casinos require a player to drive to a dedicated resort, which takes considerable time and resources. Meanwhile, online players can only enjoy online casino games if it’s legal in their state.
Since social casinos don’t involve real money stakes, they’re not subject to the same regulations as traditional casinos. As a result, nearly everyone in the US can enjoy the games, even if they’re from different states.
What makes a social casino so enjoyable for many?
There are several factors as to why people love playing in social casinos. Some of these factors include:
No financial risk
As real money isn’t at stake, players can experience the same thrill of the game without the risk of losing money. The only time real money is involved is when purchasing more virtual credits, which is optional. Some platforms may also offer an “ad-free” experience at a nominal fee.
Social casinos aren’t just about the games, as they are also about the community. Players can invite friends to play with or against them, chat with other community members and even compete in tournaments. There’s also usually a ranking system involved, which encourages competition and helps people develop better strategies.
Progress, challenges and achievements
Some social casino websites incorporate progress, challenges and achievements to keep people playing longer and to increase game involvement. Completing a seemingly difficult challenge or earning a rare achievement can provide a sense of accomplishment and bragging rights among your friends.
Some providers also use challenges to offer bonus credits to those who complete them. Strategic players can use these challenges to increase their virtual coffers without spending a single cent.
How does a social casino connect people together?
Just as the name suggests, social casinos emphasize the social aspect of gaming. Here’s how they connect people, regardless of their physical location:
- Friend invites – Most social casino platforms allow players to invite their friends, usually with a bonus credit incentive for one or both players. The more people a player can invite, the more they can play with. This feature intensifies friendly competition and fosters collaboration, as players can often gift in-game items to one another.
- Chat features – One of the more social aspects of social casinos is the integrated chat system that enables real-time conversations. Players can discuss strategies, share their achievements or simply have a friendly chat while enjoying a game. What better way to make new friends than by meeting them and playing the same game you like?
- Coast-to-coast interactions – Since social casinos aren’t restricted and regulated in the same way as traditional casinos, players from all over the country can play and chat on the same social casino platform. For example, a player from Oregon can engage in some friendly, competitive banter with someone from Rhode Island while playing virtual poker together.
Social casinos may have started as a fun way to play casino games without the risk, but it has since evolved into something more than that. It has become a bustling virtual community where people can experience the thrill of winning for free. With the chance to meet new people who enjoy the same activities as you, social casinos have become a beloved online pastime across the US.