A Curated List of Popular Facebook Gambling Games
Facebook gaming is a huge business, with companies like Zynga earning
hundreds of millions of dollars selling virtual rewards and in-game features. In
some markets, Facebook is starting to roll out real-money gambling. We've seen
early tests of this system in the United Kingdom, and the company plans to
expand their availability over the next decade in new markets.
Though games like FarmVille and MafiaWars are now a big part of the social
media landscape, Facebook didn't add games to their service until 2009. Those
early games were a sort of grand experiment. Idle-style games, where the
player's active participation is only occasionally necessary, tested the
willingness of Facebook members to engage socially with gaming. Judging by the
sheer number of game requests we all got back in 2009, the experiment was a
Today's Facebook games involve much more than idle farming. Action games,
similar to console shooters, share virtual shelf space with sports games, board
games, and gambling games. While real-money gambling is still a big no-no in
most world markets, these games look and act just like real cash games of chance
and skill, except they're played with virtual money or credits.
Below is a curated list of five of the most popular Facebook gambling game
platforms. These five are the most popular such platforms on Facebook, with
millions of members logging in and spending real money for virtual credits to
play games like slots, video poker, blackjack, and more.
Slotomania is one of the most-popular Facebook gambling games, boasting 40
million players around the world. Slotomania hosts 102 slot-style games,
including a dozen jackpot games featuring progressive top prizes. The social
aspect of the game is strongly-represented - the app shows you which of your
Facebook friends are already members and regularly suggests that you send them
gifts or make contact with them. You can also get to know other players in the
game and communicate with them away from the game using Facebook's built-in
Besides the 102 games mentioned above, two additional sections of the site
exist, both accessible from the games lobby. One, called Sloto Cards, is a
collectible card game that you play by collecting cards that you purchase from
the site's store, win during slot play, or have gifted to you by friends.
Completing different collections of cards leads to different rewards. The third
section, called Sloto Classics, features 40 classic-style slots with a single
reel and simplified pay tables. Sloto Classics games are only accessible by more
experienced players. You gain experience (and access to new titles and site
features) by playing games and leveling up.
New members earn an instant bonus of 20,000 coins just for registering. New
members also earn a free pack of Sloto Cards, though these don't come into play
until you have a bit more experience on the site. Once you've accepted your coin
bonus (by clicking a button), you can choose from one of two games available to
all new members. As you accumulate experience, new games will open up.
Sometimes, the site will open new games for you at random, or as a reward for
playing multiple days in a row. For many players, accessing new games and
clearing the entire library of 102 titles is a big part of the fun of the site,
like collecting cards or sending gifts to fellow social slots fans.
Here are short reviews of three of Slotomania's most popular titles:
- Ladybug Loot - Ladybug Loot is one of the first two slot games made
available to new members. This is a more complex slot game than it may look
like at first, featuring stacked wilds and a bonus round. Slotomania doesn't
host many games with legitimate bonus rounds - this is one of them. First,
about those stacked wilds. The game's theme is the insect world, starring
the venerable ladybug. The ladybug bonus symbols are stackable, meaning you
can trigger multiple wild symbols at the same time to increase the size of
your win. Plus, if you manage to spin three or more of the Wild ladybug
symbols on any active line, you trigger the Ladybug Bonus. It's not exactly
a bonus game, since all you do is pick symbols to reveal rewards. But it is
nice to find a casino-style bonus game on a social gambling app.
- Elvis - Licensed and themed slots are popular all over the world, from
the casinos of Las Vegas and Macau to global gambling sites and social
games. Slotomania's Elvis manages to pull off a decent Elvis-themed game
without stepping on anyone's toes, trademark-wise. Though you won't hear
more than a few snatches of the King's music, the gemstone-emblazoned
jumpsuits and oiled-up bouffant hair are all it takes to quickly identify
this game as being dedicated to Elvis Presley. The game is fun, with lots of
little bits of music and animations that fit the theme, though it doesn't
offer much in terms of repeat play value. No bonus games exist, and the max
bet range is a miserable $20 - $120, which doesn't offer budget-conscious
bettors much of a change to play.
- Creepy Fortunes - Creepy Fortunes is another of the first slots
available to new members at Slotomania. Spooky or Halloween-themed slots are
always popular, and Creepy Fortunes is a great example of why. This is a
five reel game with three rows of symbols and thirty pay lines, accepting
bets of between $0.10 and $5 per credit. That gives players a max bet range
between $3 and $150 per spin. We like that wide max bet range, because it
allows players to approach the game in either a conservative or aggressive
style, whatever fits their taste and their bankroll.
2. Jackpot Party Casino
Jackpot Party Casino is an industry-leader, boasting millions of users and
years in the burgeoning social games business. Jackpot Party premiered in 2010,
not long after Facebook first began hosting games and gaming apps. In a business
where few apps have been around more than a month, Jackpot Party has been
hosting free-to-play Facebook slots for more than half a decade.
Jackpot Party Casino is home to 82 games, eight of them offering progressive
jackpot-style pay tables. Eleven games are hosted in a section of the site
called Fremont Street. These games are different from Jackpot Party's current
lineup - they're classic Jackpot Party games, fan favorites from years past. You
earn access to these and other titles at the site by gaining experience or
outright paying for access. Jackpot Party Casino makes their bread and butter
offering packages of credits for sale - as we reviewed the site for this
write-up, we saw a half-dozen popups offering hundreds of thousands of credits
for as little as $5.
Here are three short reviews of some of Jackpot Party's most popular slot
- El Toreador - El Toreador is one of the first jackpot
games that new members will find in Jackpot Party's library. It's a
complicated game that's actually very expensive - you play five tickets at
once, and in order to trigger the game's jackpots you have to place a huge
minimum bet. At the time of our review, only a bet of $1.4 million per spin
or more would make you eligible for any kind of jackpot. If you're looking
to chase a large progressive prize with El Toreador, you have to come with a
large bankroll. It's not the prettiest game, with plain-looking symbols and
little or nothing in the way of bonuses. But for people obsessed with
jackpots, this is an ideal game, as it offers several tiers of progressive
- OMG Kittens - We had more fun playing this weird slot
than any of us imagined. We should have known it was going to be wacky from
the name, but then again, slots aimed at younger female players are all the
rage in casinos these days, so we though this might just be a novelty game.
It's actually one of the weirder online slots we've ever reviewed. Sure, the
theme is pretty much just pictures of cute kittens doing kitten things. But
the sound effects are downright bizarre - it's like an alternative rock
score composed by a teenage girl with a cat fetish. The visuals are
engaging. We really don't want to ruin your experience by saying too much.
Just know that the scatter symbol is a ball of yarn that bounces and rolls
off-screen when you land enough to trigger a bonus.
- Zeus II - This game is played on a 5x5 grid of symbols.
It's remarkably similar to the bulk of slot games found at real-money online
casinos, down to the mythology theme and symbol and pay table layout. The
game includes a scatter symbol (another popular feature of real-money online
gambling sites) - it's an image of the fist of Zeus holding a lightning
bolt. If you spin three or more of these symbols anywhere on the screen,
you'll trigger ten free spins, during which all wins are doubled, tripled,
or quadrupled, depending on how many triggering scatter symbols appeared.
The game's title symbol (Zeus II, with a rather weird-looking Zeus standing
in front of a lightning storm) acts as a multiplier, increasing all line
wins by 3x, 4x, or 5x, depending on how many appear.
3. House of Fun
House of Fun is another slots-only social gaming app on Facebook. House of
Fun hosts 99 slot games, ranging from themed games like Frankenstein Rising to
more traditional casino-style slot games. Of the three slot-exclusive gaming
platforms we included on this curated list of Facebook gambling games, this one
has the fewest bells and whistles. That doesn't always indicate that a site is
less fun or that you'll have less fun playing there. We think in the case of
House of Fun, it means you have less distractions from the app's focus - a huge
variety of slot machines available in a free-to-play format.
House of Fun exists as a downloadable app. That means you can download the
software and enjoy the games on your smart phone, laptop, or tablet. You'll
still have the connection to Facebook's social network while you play, if you
choose, or you can play exclusively through the Web or Mobile version of
Facebook. In short, the developers went out of their way to make the game
accessible to a large number of people.
Where House of Fun fails is in its game variety. Too many of their games
follow the same 5x3 symbol layout, offering little in the way of bonuses, side
games, or free spins. Since these are free-to-play titles, you expect things
like jackpot games and double-or-nothing bets, but those features aren't here.
What you're left with are games that look and act a lot like real-money casino
titles, but without the real-money element.
Here are three short reviews of popular House of Fun slot titles:
- Three Tigers - As one of the first games new members
have access to, 3 Tigers is both popular and familiar to House of Fun
players. Three Tigers is styled after modern online real-money slots. The
focus is on lining up the game's title symbol, which acts as a scatter
symbol. Spin three of these symbols anywhere on the screen and you'll win
ten free spins, which can be re-triggered by another set of scatter symbols.
This game lacks multipliers, a common feature of both real-money and
free-to-play slot games. We also wish the theme were more robust, since it
only seems to extend to the game's reel symbols. Not much replay value - but
that's not a huge surprise, since this is the "default" slot game.
- Beast - The theme here is "The Beauty and The Beast,"
though you wouldn't know that from just playing the game a few times. Once
again, House of Fun offers a cartoonish take on a theme without digging too
deep. There's no bonus round, and the game doesn't offer any sort of scatter
symbols. Stacked wilds, which reveal greater and greater prize multipliers
and offer free spin chances, are the name of the game. The max bet range is
impressive - you can wager between $2 and $150 per spin, leaving room for
low-rollers and whales alike.
- Neverland - Neverland is another House of Fun slot game
with a clear theme but not much in the way of special supporting features
for that theme. Neverland does include a scatter symbol which rewards ten
free spins, though the scatter feature isn't paired with multipliers and
can't be retriggered. We like that this game includes a Wild symbol, though
the wilds aren't stackable. Really, this game offers just as little replay
value as the default Three Tigers game, even though it requires a decent
amount of experience points at the site to unlock.
4. DoubleDown Casino
DoubleDown Casino is a set of social media gambling games produced by online
gambling giant IGT. It should be no surprise, then, that DoubleDown includes a
lot more game options than slots. IGT has spent a couple of decades creating
real-money gambling games for online and land-based casinos - their move into
the non-gaming segment of the industry makes perfect sense. It's also resulted
in one of the best-looking and best-featured Facebook gambling game apps.
Let's start with the lobby - DoubleDown Casino's interface looks like a
physical casino. If you want to play slots, you click on the banks of slots.
Prefer blackjack? Click on the blackjack table. It's a nice feature that makes
the site easier to navigate than any of the others on this list. Then there's
the game selection - you can choose from poker, bingo, video poker, slots,
roulette, and blackjack. Consider the fact that DoubleDown hosts slot, video
poker, poker, and other game tournaments, and it really starts to look and feel
like a legit online casino.
We like the idea of doing our social gambling with a company that has years
of experience in the real-money casino industry. The games look better and they
have a better library of titles to pull from for future library additions. We
also like that if we choose to send DoubleDown some of our hard-earned money for
in-game credits or other goodies, we're dealing with a company that has been in
the game for a long time.
Below are short reviews of the various forms of gaming available at IGT's
DoubleDown Casino on Facebook:
- Blackjack - If you've ever played blackjack at an
IGT-powered online casino, this game will look and feel very familiar. As
far as we could tell, it's identical to IGT's basic blackjack game, except
of course that you can't place real money wagers. Another difference - wager
size. The minimum bet is $1,000; the maximum bet is $100,000,000. You won't
find that range anywhere online or in Las Vegas, for that matter. The rules
are pretty sweet for the house: the dealer stands on all totals of 17, one
re-split allowed per hand, and a six-deck shoe which is reshuffled after
every hand. Based on the rules explained on the site, the house edge is
0.46%, not bad for an online variant, but nothing to write home about.
- Poker - The poker room at DoubleDown offers four
variants - Texas hold'em, Wild Texas hold'em, 5 card draw, and pot-limit
Omaha. These are head-to-head games played between real live players,
requiring a buy-in. These tournament-style games are probably the most
popular portion of the app, thanks to the poker craze and the fact that it's
one of the newest sections. Most tournament events at the time of our review
were totally full.
- Bingo - DoubleDown's bingo game is a typical 72-ball
bingo game, with live players connecting over the site's network. You can
choose from either manual or auto-daubing. You can also play as many cards
as you can afford, at $10,000 per card. Prizes depend on your winning
pattern, with progressive prizes available for completing certain very
specific bingo patterns.
- Video Poker - Fourteen video poker variants make up
DoubleDown's library of video poker games. The list includes all the
classics - Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, and Deuces Wild, each in multiple
variations, mainly varying based on the number of cards you can play at
once. They're not the best-looking video poker games we've ever seen on the
Internet, far more cartoon-style than IGT's real-money video poker titles,
but they offer classic video poker play with decent pay tables that no video
poker fan will turn their nose up at.
- Slots - IGT has 63 slot games in its library at
DoubleDown Casino. IGT has a leg-up on the competition, able to offer
licensed games like Wheel of Fortune and Ellen due to their existing
licensing deals for their real-money online casinos. It'd be nice to see a
few more slots added, or more than a half-dozen titles with progressive
- Roulette - Identical to IGT's American-style roulette game. The site
also offers a multi-wheel version for players who want to bet on multiple
outcomes at the same time. We were surprised to not find a European-rules
game, since that game offers better odds than the American-style game
currently hosted at DoubleDown Casino.
5. Caesars Casino
Caesars Casino is an up and coming Facebook social gambling app produced by
Caesars, the same people behind New Jersey's most popular online poker and
gambling service. That means a few things - for starters, these games are
collected from the libraries of popular online game designers. Also, you're
dealing with a company with decades of real-world real-money gaming experience.
That's always something we get excited about. Unfortunately, it also means
you've seen a number of these games before, either online at real-money betting
websites, or as part of other social gambling apps. In other words, there's not
much unique at Caesars Casino worth getting excited about.
The site's games are broken up into four categories - slots, video poker,
roulette, and blackjack. We provide a short review of each section below:
- Slots - Caesars Casino's 100-game slot library is one
of the biggest of any of the gambling games on Facebook. When you first
join, you'll only have access to three slot games, but after spinning a few
rounds on each of those titles, you'll have another four or five to test
out. The entire slot library becomes available without much effort.
Unfortunately, there's not much here worth bragging about. Unlike IGT's
library, which is blessed by the presence of their excellent licensed games,
we couldn't find any of the first dozen or so slots to write home about.
They're bog-standard slots with either a 5x3 or 5x5 layout and (rarely) a
scatter or stacked wild feature. A dozen of these games offer progressive
- Video Poker - The selection here is pretty lame - you
can pick from either Deuces Wild or Jacks or Better. The games themselves
are attractive, easy to understand, and they produce a decent video poker
session, even for seasoned video poker players like us. But it didn't take
long for this collection of two ultra-basic variants to get boring.
- Roulette - Four roulette rooms are available - you have
to earn a bunch of experience to gain access to the second, third, and
fourth room, but the amateur room is open to all members. The only
difference between these rooms is the wager size - the minimum bet for the
first room is $1, and the max bet is $1,000. Depending on your loyalty
level, this max bet can go up as high as $100,000,000. Inside each room is a
typical American-style roulette game with a surprisingly-large number of
special bets you may not find on a Vegas-style roulette wheel. We also found
a progressive top prize available on each of the site's four roulette
wheels, growing in size depending on exclusivity.
- Blackjack - The same goes for the site's blackjack
games - they're broken up by max bet size, and you have to earn experience
points to enter even the second-tier game. Your minimum and max bet will
increase as you level up. The blackjack game inside these rooms is the same
regardless of your loyalty level, with a set of rules that produces about a
0.5% house edge.
Recently, Facebook announced that the future of the site is video and virtual
reality. They envision a network of personal video updates, video news feeds
from current events, on top of video and virtual reality gaming, all seamlessly
integrated into an idiot-proof user interface. The company has also made it
clear that they imagine millions of users connecting their virtual wallets and
bank accounts to that video/VR network. You can imagine the possibilities for
game designers - and so can they.
That's why gaming companies are shifting their focus from consoles and
computer platforms to all things social. Game design startups are popping up all
over the place, hoping to be the next Angry Birds or MafiaWars. Competition is
fierce - and when real-money gambling comes to Facebook in a major way, as we
expect it will within the next decade, you can expect that competition to
increase. That's a good thing for us consumers, who have nothing but great
things to expect from Facebook gambling games in the coming years.