Luck vs. Skill

Each day, a few new online platforms pop up in the ever-expanding gaming landscape. Most of them fall under the class of online casinos, which can be further divided into two major categories — social and regular casinos.

If you’re not sure how these two differ, the following article should provide a detailed explanation. Read on to learn whether a social casino is the same as a real casino and which option better suits your gaming style and needs.

Are Social Casinos and Real Casinos the Same?

The short answer is no — social casinos and real casinos aren’t the same. New players may confuse the two because they essentially serve the same purpose. Both feature casino-style games; however, a closer look at each category reveals that these platforms differ in the way they operate, offer games and other services, and provide rewards. 

We will explore both individually to help you understand these disparities and maximize your experience.

Social Casino vs. Real Casino Operations

Social casinos and real casinos base their operations online, letting users from many different locations register and play. Nevertheless, social casino sweepstakes platforms and their no-purchase-necessary business model have the edge in this department. 

Namely, social casinos are classified outside the traditional online gaming sector in many jurisdictions. As a result, they can offer services in territories and countries that prohibit or restrict online gaming.

Real casinos, even when based online, only work with real funds. This feature, along with their house-based games, makes them much less accessible and widespread than their social counterparts.

Social Casino vs. Real Casino Gaming

At first glance, social casino games look almost exactly like the games you’ll find in real casinos, as: 

  • They usually come from the same software providers;
  • The available categories include slots, table games, and specialty games;
  • They feature similar structures, mechanics, and gameplay;
  • They let casino visitors play them on both desktop and mobile devices.

Still, social casino games work with site-specific virtual currencies, not real funds, due to their no-purchase-necessary model. Its main premise is participation without monetary compensation. To that end, social casinos provide players with free coins for gameplay. Anyone with a registered account can try their hand at a range of gaming titles, regardless of their bankroll.

The rule modification is another way social casinos cater to strict gaming laws in the jurisdictions where they operate. These changes allow them to offer classic games like roulette or craps without violating specific location-based prohibitions.

Social Casino vs. Real Casino Rewards

Rewards redemption is the last area where social and real casinos diverge. Unlike standard online casinos, social gaming sites don’t offer real rewards. Most brands will only let you spend the coins you’ve won through gameplay or promotions on the site. You may play other games, buy in-game features, and trigger bonuses, but you will not be able to exchange them for real funds.

Now, there are social gaming brands with sweepstakes elements that offer real rewards. However, they only permit redemption using specific types of casino credits and enforce various eligibility requirements.


As you can see, social casinos are not the same as real casinos. They are more accessible in restrictive jurisdictions and cater to a wider range of preferences and budgets. However, their operational model can also make them less rewarding than traditional gaming sites. 

Consequently, social gaming sites primarily attract casual players who seek entertainment over rewards, while real casinos draw more traditionalists motivated by real fund winnings. Choose between the two based on your preferences.