A new concept of gaming called “social casino” games is rapidly becoming extremely popular on the Web, but what are social casino games exactly, and which are the best games to play?

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What is social online gaming?

Interestingly, there appears to be know official definition of what “social casino games” really are, but the general consensus is that it related to playing casino games without ‘real’ money, alongside friends or in a social network or online community.

The big difference with social casino games and ‘regular’ online casino games is that the former do not accept money as stakes. Instead, players have to use some kind of virtual currency – usually gold or chips – to place their bets. However, the line is blurred that many social casino games allow players to purchase more virtual currency to gamble on games, unlock rewards, or reach a higher level in the game. Still, true social online casino games do not reward players with real money, and so it can’t be consider as true gambling.

Which games are considered to be social?

In fact, any casino game that is played on a social network or other online community and doesn’t pay out real money can be considered a social online casino game. This means that the term can encompass just about every type of casino game there is, including games like Poker, Blackjack, Bingo, Slots, Baccarat and others. There are even some games that involve actually betting on sports outcomes, just like sports betting, only players bet with virtual currencies like ‘bananas’ instead of using real money. These are all forms on social online casino games.

How is it different to gambling?

The laws of the U.K. Gaming Commission, which is generally considered to be one of the most respectable gambling regulatory bodies in the world, gives a threefold definition of gambling, and states that a game must contain all of these elements for it to be considered as gambling.

These are the elements a gambling game must contain:

  • There must be an element of chance in the game.
  • The players must wager something of value (e.g. money) in the form of a bet, wager or entrance fee to play.
  • The game must offer a prize.

This means that popular betting sites like Bet365, William Hill, Pinnacle Sports and others such as the ones on this supercasino review site, which only accept real money for betting on horse racing and other games, are all considered as gambling sites.

In contrast, any game that lets people play for free, isn’t based on chance, or doesn’t let players win a prize, cannot be considered as real gambling. That means that if you play some kind of social casino game, such as those offered on Facebook or other social media sites, and you spend money to buy more gold or virtual currency, you are still not gambling, but merely paying for entertainment value.