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The Difference Between Real Money and Social Online Casinos

The Difference Between Real Money and Social Online Casinos

Whether you’re new to online casinos or are simply hoping to brush up on the lingo, chances are you have seen that online casinos can be categorized as ‘real money’ or ‘social’ platforms. 

Both real money and social casino platforms have a wide range of games to choose from and largely utilize the same technologies, such as random number generation to ensure fairness and authenticity of play. 

Although the two have many similarities, and gameplay and functionality are largely the same across all online casinos, there is a distinct difference between real money and social casinos. And, the key to knowing which is right for you is what you are hoping to get out of the experience. 

So, without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into the difference between real money and social online casinos. 

Real Money Online Casinos 

real money online casinos

If a platform is known as a real money casino, this means players spend and win real money. Players will deposit money into their online account, which is used to bet on various games like slots, bingo, roulette, blackjack, poker, and so on. If a player wins, they will receive the winning amount in their account, which can then be withdrawn as real money. 

Each platform will tell players the maximum amount they can win during each game. This is typically described as a multiple of the money wagered. The amount that can be won during games depends on the volatility and return to player (RTP). The higher the volatility, the bigger the wins, but the less frequently it pays out. RTP, on the other hand, indicates how much the casino is expected to pay out over time – an RTP of 80% will average a payout of $80 for $100 bets. 

When players sign up for real money casinos for the first time, they will often be eligible to receive a welcome bonus which also carries real monetary value. For example, real money casinos in the UK offer a wide variety of rewards for new players, such as cashback and a cash value of spins for free, given that you bet a certain number of times your initial deposit within a specified number of days.

As they have a monetary value and can boost a player’s payout, they typically come with strict wagering requirements like a maximum bet and a maximum win amount per game, as well as limiting the number of games the bonuses can be used for. 

Social Online Casinos 

online casinos

Whilst real money games allow players to win or lose real money, social online casinos focus on the social aspect of casino games. Social online casino platforms do not require players to make any cash deposits – nor do they pay out cash prizes for winning games. Instead, players on social casino platforms will wager ‘tokens’ or ‘credits’ depending on the platform.

Players will get a certain amount of credits that they can use to wager on different games like slots, roulette, poker, bingo, and blackjack. Though they might be stylized to resemble virtual money, these tokens and credits do not have any cash value in the real world. Social casinos also have their ways of monetizing their platform through purchasing more credits, for example. In other words, players can buy additional credits, but these cannot be withdrawn as real money. 

Like real money casinos, social casino games will have volatility and RTP displayed, which indicates the number of credits that can be won. Any credits that are won in a game will be added to the player’s overall balance, but this cannot be withdrawn as cash. This eliminates the idea of profitability and turns the focus towards immersive gameplay. 

That said, social casinos can still be competitive. Though you are not playing against the house or other players for money, social casinos often have player leaderboards to make the platforms more engaging. You may also be able to claim free spins but they are often triggered as an in-game bonus round. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, when choosing between real money and social casinos, the key consideration is what you want to get out of the experience. Whilst real money casinos can come with monetary rewards, you also risk your own cash. On the other hand, social casinos allow you to bet with virtual credits, but do come with payable features. Ultimately, the right platform for you depends on your preferred style of play. 

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