background

Do you like the idea of playing at an online casino without the high stakes pressure? Social casinos have become a major force in social gaming – a place where you can connect with friends in original new gaming worlds, as well as satisfying your competitive streak at the tables of all the casino-based classics. Take a look at how they work, how to play, and try one for yourself!

What is a Social Casino?

A social casino is a place that offers free-to-play substitutes for the most popular online casino-type games. They are often hosted by, or closely tied to, social media sites, and as the name suggests, social casinos encourage a socially-oriented gaming experience.

It’s likely that you’ve encountered social casinos, or social casino games, without really realising. Since 2014, for example, Zynga has been popularising its social games on Facebook with the likes of FarmVille, Words with Friends, CSR, and many more. As well as these innovations from developers like Zynga, social casinos also offer players all the traditional games you’d find at an online casino – including poker, slots, and casino table games such as roulette and blackjack. 

The biggest attraction of social casinos is the social aspect of its free games. Players can build an impressive network of friends – both new and existing – at social casinos, sharing in-game achievements, prizes, and leaderboards with whom they like, as well as customising personalised avatars that move through immersive gameplay storylines. At some of the best social casinos, players can even build their own Vegas-style casino and become the centre of entertainment. These features give social casinos a unique feel and offer players a different, often more relaxed, online casino experience. 

Social Casino Platforms

When it comes to playing options, there are three platforms on which you can enjoy a social casino game: on the casino’s website, on social media platforms like Facebook, or on mobile apps. The most popular social casinos will have a dedicated mobile app, as well as a social media playing function.

How to Play at Social Casinos

Whether you’re playing at the casino itself, or via social media or a dedicated app, here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started.

1. Identify some games of interest 

If you’re wanting to play a traditional casino-based game at a social casino, you probably already have an idea of what you’re looking for. If you’re after something a bit more unique to the social casino world, you’ll find a list of some of the most popular games right here on this page. Spend a bit of time researching these and pick a few to trial that take your fancy.

2. Compare casinos, apps and platforms

You’ll want to pick the platform that’s right for you, whether that’s social media, on a mobile app, or on the casino site itself. You’ll also want to make sure the free to play games you’re interested in are available on your ideal platform.

3. Sign up

Once you know what you’re playing and where you’re playing it, sign up to the game of your choosing. If you’re playing at the social casino’s site or downloading an app, you’ll need to create a new account. If you’re playing via Facebook, you can play with your Facebook details.

4. Collect your welcome bonus and start playing

Just like at real money online casinos, you’ll often receive a welcome bonus for signing up. But since social casinos don’t involve any monetary transactions, this won’t be dependent on any kind of deposit. Instead, you’re likely to be given a bumper pack of whatever currency the game you’re playing deals in – usually coins or credits. Once you’ve received this, you’re ready to play!

Social Casino Games

You’ll be familiar with many social casino games on offer. Here’s an introduction to some of the most common.

Slots

Slots are about as straightforward as it gets when it comes to casino games. There’s no skill or strategy involved – you just hit spin and hope your luck’s in. That’s not to say the simplicity of slots makes them any less exciting; entertaining themes, lively animations and thrilling bonuses mean there’s plenty of fun to be had. Follow the link for more information on how to play the slots

Poker

How you play poker depends on the variation you’re playing, but the aim is always to make the strongest possible hand. Texas Hold’em is the most popular, but other variations include Omaha, Card Stud, and 7 Card Stud. For detailed rules on all poker variations, read our guide to each via the link. 

Roulette

Roulette is a game of chance, the object of which is to place bets on the outcome of each spin, be this by number or colour. Stakes are placed before the wheel starts spinning and when the wheel has come to a stop, winning bets will be paid and a new round will begin. Click on the link to find out more about the roulette wheel

Blackjack

While roulette and the slots are determined entirely by luck, there’s an element of skill to blackjack, and that’s knowing when it’s worth sticking or twisting. The concept of blackjack is simple: hit 21 without ‘going bust’, or at least beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to 21 as possible. For a full list of the blackjack basics, take a look at our guide via the link.

These games will play out exactly as they would at any online casino. The only difference is that you’re not betting with real money, but with the currency of the game in question. For all of these social games, this will be in the form of coins, credits, or something similar, and these can often be exchanged for cosmetic prizes.

Social Casino Apps

The majority of social casino users access games on mobile apps or via social media, and most games are designed with the intention that users play them on the go. For example, House of Fun, Slotomania, and Casino World – three of the top social casinos around – are available to download on all Android and iOS systems. 

These apps offer players the best social gambling experience, with great functionality and slick user interfaces. They also allow users to respond to their friends’ achievements, challenges, and gifts instantly, creating a rich and immersive gaming world. Thanks to push notifications, mobile apps are the best way to keep abreast of great promotional offers. 

Social Casino Bonuses

Although the bonuses offered at social casinos don’t depend on any monetary deposits, they’re similar in nature to what you may encounter at an online casino. Here are some of the most common you’ll find at both social casinos and on social gambling platforms.

Free Spins

As is the case at most online casinos, social casinos offer their players free spin bonuses. You may be given 100 free spins as part of a welcome bonus to a social slot casino, and you’ll have the chance to win many more if you hit a slot’s bonus rounds.

Extra Coins or Credit

Most social games use coins or credit as its currency. You may be offered a shedload of free coins when you initially sign up to a social casino, in some cases as much as 200,000, which is plenty to get you started. You can often pay real money for more coins or credit, but keep in mind that you can’t redeem any social casino winnings as actual cash.

Hourly or Daily Bonuses

Your ability to play at a social casino depends on your financial clout at that casino. If you’ve run out of coins or credit, you won’t be able to play. But don’t fret, most social casinos replenish their players’ funds on a daily or even hourly basis. 

In addition to this, most social casinos have further rewards available to unlock in-play. At social casinos, you’ll be invited to play in tournaments and to have a go at completing tasks and challenges – if you enjoy success at these, you’ll be sure to receive handsome prizes in the form of free spins, extra coins, boosted daily bonuses, and many more unique gifts of the game in question.

Top Social Casino Developers

The social casino industry is growing fast. Today, game developers recognise the value of the free-to-play market, where players can enjoy the excitement of social gambling while relaxing and socialising with their friends. Here are three of the best-known social casino developers, and some of the titles they boast.

Playtika

To fill your boots with the best slot and casino-based games, head to Playtika. This developer is responsible for the creation of the games you’ll find at Slotomania, House of Fun and Caesar’s Slots – three of the biggest social casinos around. There’s plenty more on offer too, such as the much-crazed games Bingo Blitz and Best Fiends.

Huuuge Games

Founded in 2014, Huuuge Games develops easy-to-play social casino games that attract 1.5 million daily users. Some of its most popular games are Traffic Puzzle and Trolls Pop, but you’ll find familiar slot and casino-based games here too, as well as a package of ‘Coffee Break Games’, including Chess, Draughts, Dominoes, Sudoku, and many more.  

PlayStudios

PlayStudios is the founder of the myVEGAS title – a series of games you’d find on the Las Vegas strip, all available to play via Facebook. In 2015, PlayStudios signed an exclusive deal with former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who has become the face of hit games Caddy SHAQ, SHAQJack and SHAQ Slam.    

All of these developers have won prestigious awards in the social casinos space, and their games can be enjoyed on social media platforms, as well as being available to download on Android and iOS.

FAQs

  • No – all social casino games use artificial currencies in the form of coins, credit, or something similar. You can use real money to unlock certain bonus features in-game, but can never take home any real winnings.

  • Playing a social casino game is not considered gambling since there is no transaction of money required to play any one game. As such, social casinos aren’t regulated to the same standard as online casinos.

  • It’s not essential to have a social media account to play a social casino game, but playing via social media offers great convenience and the opportunity to easily connect with friends. You can also play social casino games on your mobile or desktop devices.  

Contributors

Guy is a writer for TopRatedCasinos with a keen interest and expertise in the online gambling space. He’s also an avid fan of football and cricket, often found lamenting the fortunes of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.

Media Mentions