Online casinos have been around since the mid-1990s. They arose as an alternative to gambling in land-based casinos.
Social casinos are an offshoot of online gaming sites. They give players a chance to enjoy internet casino games in a social setting.
In theory, social casinos sound like a nice alternative for those who want to enjoy blackjack, roulette, slots, and other games without truly gambling. But as I’ll cover below, social gaming actually sucks for multiple reasons.
A social casino is a website or app that allows you to play casino games online with friends. The latter aspect can refer to playing directly with your buddies (e.g. at the same blackjack table) or sharing accomplishments with your friends list, some of whom might also play at the same casino.
Zynga Casino, which is found through Facebook, is the most popular example of a social gaming site. It lets you share big wins and accolades with Facebook friends.
Zynga may have been the first to the game, but other social casinos have spawned since this time. Even established land-based casino brands have gotten into the act. Hard Rock and Caesars, for example, now feature social casinos.
Social casinos are rather easy to use. You simply need to register to get started at one of these sites.
Almost all of these casinos offer a signup bonus. For instance, you might receive 100,000 coins or chips after registering for an account.
You don’t usually have to spend any money to begin playing at a social site. Instead, you can use your free chips to try and grow your bankroll.
But just with like traditional real money online casinos, social games also feature a house edge. You’ll likely lose your initial starting bankroll at some point.
Once this happens, you have two options:
As you can see, social gaming isn’t completely free. Assuming you really want to enjoy this type of gaming, you’ll likely have to spend money at some point.
One of the biggest drawbacks is that you can’t actually win money. Instead, you’re merely playing for free coins that you can potentially turn into prizes.
These prizes usually entail cool avatars, completed missions, and badges. You can show off these rewards to your friends via social media.
You may wonder why somebody would want to play at a casino like this, especially when these sites hope that you spend money at some point. The answer has everything to do with the social elements.
You may not be able to win a jackpot that’s worth $100,000. However, you could advance to a really high level at the casino and brag to your friends about it afterward.
Another benefit to these sites is that they’re almost always legal. Many state and national governments don’t see social gaming as gambling.
These sites are instead considered pure entertainment, because they don’t call on you to risk money to win money. They’ve gained acceptance in most states and countries as a result.
Finally, social casinos boast lots of fun games. Even people who don’t normally gamble or enjoy casino games can appreciate what these sites have to offer.
A social blackjack game doesn’t feature a stiff, virtual casino environment. Instead, it will display colorful and abstract graphics that look much different than a traditional blackjack table.
You can see that social casinos do have some good qualities. However, I’m now going to explain why these sites are terrible for the most part.
Most people don’t play blackjack, slots, or video poker for the pure gameplay alone. Instead, they want to win money through these games.
Casino gambling presents opportunities to win jackpots and other payouts. Some slot machines, for instance, offer jackpots worth millions of dollars.
You’re never going to experience the same thrills at a social casino. Instead, the end goal is to complete missions, grab badges, and show off that you’ve gotten further than your friends.
Bragging rights are always nice, but they don’t equate to real dollars. In the end, you may start questioning why you’re dedicating so much time and money to these games.
A major reason why social casinos are largely legal is because they can advertise themselves as being free. You don’t have to spend a dollar to play at most of these sites, at least in the beginning anyway.
You can sign up, grab free chips, and start hitting the virtual tables and slot machines. However, the odds aren’t in your favor and you’ll probably run out of this free bankroll at some point.
You’re then put to a decision on whether to buy coins or stop playing. If the casino already has you hooked, then you’ll probably end up making a purchase.
Paying $20 for 100,000 chips may seem harmless in the beginning. But these payouts really add up if you keep making them.
Social casinos don’t sit idly by and wait on you to buy more coins. Instead, they try goading you into the matter with constant ads.
You’ll routinely see advertisements to purchase more chips as you play games. At first, you may be able to easily overlook these offers if you’re enjoying the action.
Eventually, though, you may become annoyed at the endless prompts to buy more chips. Many social gaming sites come off like used car salesmen in the way that they incessantly hawk coins.
Online casinos have achieved great success partly due to how many bonuses they offer. Real money gaming sites are always offering deposit bonuses, free spins, and/or cashback.
The nice thing about these deals is that money is waiting at the end of the rainbow. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of social casino bonuses.
Social bonuses do increase your bankroll through an influx of coins. But you can’t ever convert these coins into real cash.
I may not be the biggest fan of social gaming sites. However, others see enough redeeming qualities in these casinos and actually spend money on them.
They’re attracted to the social elements and entertaining side of these sites. They may even be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on chips to keep playing.
I don’t think there’s anything overly wrong with spending $20 to reload chips once or twice. I wouldn’t personally do this, but some people like the idea of social gaming.
My advice in these cases is to avoid reloading your fake bankroll too many times. Otherwise, social casinos quickly become like real casinos, only without the benefit of offering real money payouts.
Of course, the same can be said about online casinos. Nobody should go overboard trying to win jackpots when the odds are stacked against them.
But at least in the case of a regular internet casino, you can win some money back. A social casino, in contrast, will never pay back real cash that’ll help sustain your bankroll.
When using these sites, you want to go into the matter with a strict bankroll plan. You should set a budget, such as $100, for example, and never spend more than this amount at social sites.
I’ve tried social casinos a time or two in the past and wouldn’t throw another dollar at them. I want to win real money when gambling, not virtual badges or avatars!
Social gaming sites are built around pure entertainment. They tout that they don’t actually offer gambling, although certain lawsuits have a differing opinion.
I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to gamble, you might as well do so when real money prizes are on the line. Nevertheless, social casinos continue hooking players in spite of this fact.
You might personally find the social elements to be worthwhile. But I certainly advise you against spending too much money on these fake casinos.
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