Can You Win Real Money with Mobile Games? Kind Of… Maybe
Before we get started, let me emphasize that this isn’t an endorsement of these types of games and is instead simply a recounting of my singular experience. If you’re like me and have dabbled with various mobile games, you’ve probably seen ads for games that allow you to win real cash. Such advertisements typically feature clearly staged reactions to people winning significant amounts of money for a very minimal amount of effort. But how realistic are these scenarios? Well, not very. However, I did recently manage to score a few free dollars from a mobile game without having to put up any money of my own.
The game in question is called Solitaire Cash. It’s one I discovered via the Current Rewards app, which I used to earn points upon downloading. As for the app itself, it allows users to select from a number of live tournaments where you compete against other players in a game of…uh… solitaire? Yes, this sounds a bit weird when put that way, but the basic idea is that you play a round of three-card draw solitaire while a clock ticks down from five minutes. Then, players with the highest scores (which usually correlates to those who win the game in the least amount of time) win the top prizes. While some of these tournaments are cash-based, Solitaire Cash also offers games where you’re only betting “gems,” which can be earned via daily check-in, winning games, etc. In other words, you can play this game without depositing any real cash, although it will of course encourage you to make deposits.
So how did I turn these “gems” into real money while forgoing the cash deposit option? Well, that’s thanks in part to one tournament featured in the app called Freeroll. Once you’ve saved up 120 gems, you can enter this tournament where the top player (out of 10 entrants) wins $4, second place wins $2, and third wins $1. Sounds easy enough, right? Not quite. The cash you win from Freeroll or other bonuses cannot be transferred out. Instead, you can only use this bonus cash to pay your entry fee into other tournaments.
That’s where I was finally able to make my move. After amassing $15 or so in “bonus cash,” I entered a cash tournament and came in third. While the reward amounted to the returning of my entry fee, this win was enough to turn the amount from bonus cash into transferable cash.
Of course, this still isn’t quite the end of the story. With my $11 in winnings, I requested a cash-out. This is where a few other catches come in. First, the game takes a $1 withdrawal fee for your PayPal transfer. On top of that, if you have any leftover bonus cash, it will be forfeited when you submit your cash out. This meant that I left a few fake dollars behind but was able to claim a total of 10 real dollars instead. Within one day of submitting my request, the $10 payment did indeed arrive in my PayPal account, which then enabled me to transfer the money to my checking account.
Here’s the thing: I actually think that Solitaire Cash is a pretty fun game. Thus, the fact that I was able to win $10 was just icing on the cake. That said, this type of game that not only invites you to risk real money but also pesters you with incessant offers to do so can be dangerous (not to mention annoying). Just because I never felt tempted to actually go through a transfer doesn’t mean that this will be the case for everyone. Therefore, if you are interested in trying these kinds of games, I’d proceed with caution. But, if you stick to the free option and successfully navigate all of the quirks, there may be a small chance that you could end up with a couple of bucks.
Also published on Medium.