Some Casino Games Find a Home on Facebook but Zynga Still Runs the House

By AJ Glasser Comment

The casino genre is a fickle field for social games. With the exception of Zynga’s Texas HoldEm Poker, which seems to have a death grip on a spot in our top games on AppData, not many other ever break 1 million monthly active users or 200,000 daily active users. Those that do are often alternative language variants of Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Here’s a quick look at the top casino games by size and their overall growth trends.

Texas HoldEm Poker, Zynga

#1 in MAU and in DAU
MAU: 35.9 million
DAU: 7 million

Zynga cornered the market on poker games early with Texas HoldEm Poker hitting Facebook in 2008. Since that time, the game grew steadily through early 2010 and then jumped 10 million users to an all-time high of 38 million MAU in August of that year. The DAU graph shows a similar climb toward a high of 7.7 million in February of this year. Interestingly, despite the game’s semi-permanence on our top games list, Texas HoldEm Poker has been losing users in both MAU and DAU over the last 30 days (pictured above). Zynga recently hired a team from poker industry service provider MarketZero to improve Texas HoldEm Poker.

德州撲克(中文版), Boyaa

#2 in MAU, #3 in DAU
MAU: 3.7 million
DAU: 353,000

This is a Chinese-language version of Texas Hold ‘Em poker and we’re not surprised to see it on our top casino games list given the steady increase of Chinese games on Facebook. Interestingly, it’s one of three Texas Hold ‘Em poker games from developer Boyaa — the other two being English-language and Spanish-language versions of the same game with much smaller audiences. Boyaa’s Chinese Texas Hold ‘Em debuted almost a year ago to 1.5 million MAU and 500,000 DAU, growing to all-time highs of 7.8 million MAU and 1.3 million DAU in January 2011. Since that time, the game’s been in decline, losing around 1 million MAU and over 200,000 DAU in the last 30 days.

Mynet Çanak Okey, Mynet

#3 in MAU, #2 in DAU
MAU: 3.1 million
DAU: 460,000

This is a Turkish-language game that appears to be another Texas Hold ‘Em poker title; however, the language barrier and the spam-heavy nature of the game where it wants permission to access your information even when you’re not using the app make it difficult for us to confirm this. The game hit Facebook in July of last year and has kept its MAU on a steady rise toward a high of 3.2 million last week, while DAU fluctuated sharply in the past two months, maxing out at 788,000 in mid March.

Casino City, DNA Games

#4 in MAU, #6 in DAU
MAU: 2 million
DAU: 223,000

This is one of only three casino games in our list that’s not a Texas Hold ‘Em game. Rather, it’s more of a builder sim where players run their own casinos, however the gambling component applies in the form of a straightforward slot machine simulation you play when visiting friends’ casinos. The game turns a year at the end of this month, but experienced its all time highs of 2.4 million MAU and 356,000 DAU in February 2011. In the last 30 days, Casino City’s seen a modest decline of around 200,000 MAU and over 70,000 DAU.

Slotomania – Slot Machines, Playtika

#5 in MAU, #3 in DAU
MAU: 1.6 million
DAU: 386,000

Slotomania is a straightforward slot simulation with a cartoon art style. The game launched late last year and so far shows a steady growth patter in MAU and DAU.

*Note: Due to a miscategorization, Slotomania was previously left off this list.

DoubleDown Casino, DoubleDown Interactive

#6 in MAU, #5 in DAU
MAU: 1.2 million
DAU: 326,000

Of all the top casino games, DoubleDown presents the most interesting picture between its growth pattern and gameplay design. At just over a year old, we can see that DoubleDown got off to a slow start, only reaching it’s stride in February and so far continuing to grow in MAU and DAU. The audience is largely female and the gameplay offers several different types of casino games, including virtual poker, slots, blackjack and roulette. In the last 30 days, the growth pattern continues for both MAU and DAU.

Those are the top casino games by size in terms of MAU and DAU. If we were to look at casino games in terms of DAU divided by MAU to see which ones retain the most users, we come to the interesting conclusion that only DoubleDown Casino and Slotomania break 20% retention. As for how well each of these games monetize, Inside Virtual Goods: The U.S. Virtual Goods Market 2010-2011 tells us that poker games tend to monetize incredibly well, with a successful title hitting an average revenue per users of $2 to $3. A simulation/city-builder like Casino City, meanwhile, has an average ARPU of $1 to $2.

All data for this article was collected from AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that none of these games broke the 20% mark of DAU/MAU.