Gambling is often thought of as being a private endeavor. A common image associated with gambling is of a solo player sitting in front of a slot machine, spending hours feeding in coins, wallowing in their loneliness. They are focused intently on the slot machine and have little interaction with their external surroundings.
That picture applies to those who gamble at online casinos as well. You alone can play on that gaming app loaded on your mobile device. It’s not an experience that you can share with others.
But these days, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are areas of casinos that are hugely social, both in the real world and online. The socially infused features available at casinos can add new dimensions to a player’s experience, even if that social interaction remains remote and anonymous.
Live Dealer Games
Casino games that have good social integration all involve a live dealer format of play. The introduction of live dealer games has been a tremendous revolution for online gaming software as players enter a virtual environment that’s controlled by a real-life dealer.
That immediately shifts things away from the feel of a simple gaming platform to a more social environment. Not only does watching a real person (the live dealer) provide a more engaging platform, but there is often a text chat feature that allows players to engage with the dealer and other players. In some instances, audio sharing is an added feature.
Bingo is arguably one of the most social casino games out there. It is a simple and easy-to-play game, and in the real world, it can become quite a rowdy affair. Online, assembled players can engage in chat within various rooms to dip into that vibe. You can experience this for yourself if you go along and play any of the bingo games at Sky City, for example.
Poker is an individual game at heart, but when you are sitting at a real or virtual table and taking on other players, the social aspect kicks in. In poker, you are testing your skill directly against the abilities of other players. Engaging with those players via chat can raise the tension, which can heighten the enjoyment of the game.
Even if you were sitting at a blackjack table by yourself, you wouldn’t be alone. That’s because unlike poker where you are trying to beat the other players, in blackjack you are only playing against the dealer. The dealer is an integral part of the card game, so if you’re playing a live-dealer version, you will always get a degree of social interaction.
If there is a famous view of a casino that movies have instilled in us, then it’s of a crowd of people hovering around the roulette table, waiting for the ball to drop into a slot. Roulette is great for social interaction because so many players can be involved in a game all at once, each with their vested interest but often still cheering a winner.
A newer game format on the casino scene is crash gaming. This is a time-based game where you attempt to cash out a bet before the progressive multiplier (generally depicted by a rocket or airplane) crashes and the game ends. Crash games typically have leaderboards and chat for social aspects, and live versions are also available.
The term ‘social casino’ has gained popularity in recent years. This is a slightly different format of online play where casino-based games are experienced on social networking platforms.
Not only are games at social casinos not played for real money, but the game mechanics are different from real online casino sites. These social casino games primarily do not run on Random Number Generator software like real online casino games do.
Instead, they are developed more to promote player satisfaction and with a greater emphasis on engagement. The longer a player sticks around, the more ads they are likely to watch, which translates into money generated for the social casino operator.
Anonymity In the Crowd
One of the nice things about playing online casino games that are infused with social interaction is that it gives people a degree of anonymity. Even though you’re sitting at an online live-dealer poker table, for example, none of the other players or dealers actually know who you are in real life.
You could sit there quietly if you so choose, not engaging in any chat if you don’t feel like it. That’s harder to do in a brick-and-mortar casino. So, the online environment actually gives you the best of both worlds. At the end of the day, how much social interaction you have at an online casino is completely up to you.