One of the Preferred Methods of Playing Table Games – Experience the Thrill of a Live Casino Online
It used to be that the things letting an online casino down were a lack of atmosphere and the social aspect you get from visiting a bricks and mortar casino. Thankfully, those days are long gone and it’s now possible to feel as close to the real thing without having to leave the comfort of your own home. Live dealer casino games have taken online gambling to a whole new level and are rapidly becoming the most popular games to play. Playing at a land-based casino wouldn’t have been too difficult just a few years ago, as there were many dotted all over the world. Times changed and the number of live venues decreased significantly. To experience the thrill of playing live tables it would probably have meant travelling a considerable distance and staying in a hotel. Those days are long gone too because you can now play at the best live casino online and have almost as much fun without the added expense. The online gambling industry was also becoming a little bit stale so the launching of the casino online live dealer games was a breath of fresh air. If you’ve never heard of them let’s explain a little bit more about how it all works.
What is a live casino online?
There’s no denying there are a number of benefits to playing at an online casino. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your armchair. You can even play in bed wearing your pyjamas if you want to. Playing online is far cheaper than having to pay travel expenses and the cost of accommodation when you get there. There are no queues to pick up chips or for a drink at the bar and you don’t have to wait for a seat to play your favorite game. You can play at 10.00 in the morning or 22.00 in the evening, or at any other time in between. However, there was always one aspect that let the whole experience down and that was the feel of playing live. The feeling of excitement, the atmosphere and being able to chat with other players and the dealers was sadly missing. That is until the best online live casinos introduced live dealer games and took online gambling to another level. But what are they we hear you ask. The best online live casino game is just what it sounds like. It’s a casino game that runs live, almost the same as a game played in a land-based casino. The only difference being that you’re watching and participating via your computer screen, rather than being sat at an actual table. There are a number of different live dealer casinos, so let’s look at them next.
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The different types of online live dealer casino
When it comes to live dealer casinos there are three different formats that are used. They are the dealer studio, an actual casino and broadcast.
- Dealer studio – the most popular way for a casino online to provide live games is via a dealer studio. All the games are streamed from a studio that has been created specially for streaming live dealer games and nothing else. The lighting, camera angles, zooms, interaction and all the equipment and people are specially provided to make the experience as close to the real thing as possible. There are a number of developers who provide this service that casinos can buy into, or they can choose to set something up themselves.
- Actual casino stream – this involves the recording of live games in an actual land-based casino. When you play this type of live dealer game you could be sat next to a player that’s sat at a real table in a casino. Some of the people you chat with will be playing games that are managed by actual casino employees, dealers and croupiers.
- Broadcast games – this type of format is played using your PC or via your TV and are live dealer games broadcast via cable TV or the web.
So what should you be looking for if you like the sound of live dealer games?
How to find the best live online casino
There are a number of things you can look out for if you want to play live dealer games. A lot of the top rated casinos now offer this option, so it’s going to be helpful to know what you’re looking for if you want to find the best one.
- A range of different games – The best live dealer online casino will be one with a wide variety of games. Live dealer games are still a relatively new concept and it tends to be the top rated casinos that offer the best selection. The best will offer 3 or 4 different games, while the average will be 1 or perhaps 2. The type of games tends to include blackjack, baccarat, roulette and sic bo. But you’ll also find a selection offering casino hold’em and other variants of the most popular games. There may not seem to be a lot of difference in the type of games offered and you’re right. The important difference is in the variations of those popular games. For example, the best live casino online will offer European, French, Asian as well as standard roulette and other game variants such as VIP baccarat, VIP blackjack or Crazy 21.
- Higher stakes – The stakes in a live dealer game tend to be higher than standard games, which might make this type of game a little too pricey for some players. The average amount will be $3 – $5, although you may well be able to find lower minimum stakes. But for this you’ll need to shop around as not all live online casinos offer stakes as low as 10 cents, for example. The higher stakes will suit many players, especially if they’re looking for games in which it’s possible to bet as much as $500,000. You should be aware, however, that the higher stakes also mean you need to consider the cash out limits.
- Are the cash out limits higher? – If you’re playing for higher stakes it means that you’ll be winning bigger amounts too, and hopefully be wanting to cash out more money on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The best live online casino for your needs will therefore be one that allows you to withdraw larger amounts of money.
- Do you have a preference for the type of dealer? – Dealer type is possibly not the best criteria on which to base your choice of live dealer casino. It’s a sad fact but there’s a lack of cultural or ethnic diversity when it comes to live dealers. The ladies are definitely going to have their selection reduced as the majority of live dealers tend to be women, white and European to boot. This may well change over time, and we hope it will. The best live dealer online casino will offer a range of dealer types although not as wide as it could be. And there will also be a choice of languages, for those who do not speak English as a first language. If you find a dealer you like it’s possible to find out from the casino when they’re hosting games, so that you can plan your playing schedule around those times.
- Does the live casino use up to the minute equipment? – There’s a big variety in the level of quality provided by live dealer casinos. Those who use the latest tech and the best quality equipment will of course provide you with the best experience. HD streaming will provide you with a high quality picture that’s clear and defined and there will also be multiple screens to allow you to follow the action on a number of different tables. In addition you’ll find large playing cards rather than a stand deck, so that you can see what they are from several feet away. You’ll also be able to chat with other players around the table as well as the dealer thanks to the latest software. You might even be able to imagine you’re actually there in a real live casino. There will be the sights and sounds of a live casino venue because many live online casinos are running a number of games and tables at the same time.
How does it all work?
On the surface, everything looks pretty much the same as a standard casino game. Think of all those games you love to play so much and a live dealer version won’t be all that different. The functioning of the game will make use of an interface that includes your chips, the layout of the table, and a selection of buttons for actions such as placing bets, and any others that are involved in the game you’re playing. The main differences are the real live dealer and the physical table or roulette wheel the dealer is using. It’s these couple of things that make all the difference, you can see the dealer dealing out the cards and generally managing the game just like in a real casino. The dealer knows what you want to do and can react. Much the same as they’d be able to do if you were sat in front of them. Whichever format is being used for the game, whether it’s an actual casino or a studio, the table is real and all the elements of the game are real too.
What has made live dealer games so popular?
Playing live dealer games has become very popular in the online world of gambling. Such an interesting addition was long overdue as things were getting a little boring. It was also a natural progression. But there a number of reasons why it has taken off so well and become the preferred gaming experience for an increasing number of players. For a number of players it has renewed their trust in the online casino as many had become a little wary of the software used for the casino games, particularly the Random Number Generator. For every piece of software that’s been developed there’s been someone that has managed to turn it around and make it work to their own advantage. We should all appreciate that the software used by the top rated casinos is fair and above board. It’s tested on a regular basis as are the casinos that use it. But that doesn’t stop the doubt creeping in for certain people.
In a live dealer game you can see the actual gambling devices and the dealer actually dealing the cards. And this traditional way of determining winners and losers, is much better for many players. The social aspect of playing live dealer games has also helped to boost their popularity. If you play a standard casino game it’s just you and the computer. No matter how much you try to get the computer to talk to you it just won’t. While this may be fine for many players there are plenty who long for a little bit more. Almost all live casino online games allow you to interact with the dealer, chat and ask questions. A number of which will also allow you to chat with the other players, making it even more entertaining.
Are there any downsides to playing live dealer games?
There’s no denying that live dealer games are a brilliant idea and provide hours of entertainment for players. There is, however, a downside and it’s only fair we point this out. Playing even the best live casino games is far slower than you might be used to if you’ve been playing standard casino games online. The software used for powering the standard games is lightning fast and there are no other players involved which is also going to make things quicker. When you play a live game you’ll have to wait for the dealer to deal the cards and the other players to take their turn. There aren’t any turbo options either when it comes to playing live dealer games. There are going to be some of you that find this change of pace very frustrating. But others aren’t going to be bothered at all.
Playing live dealer games is a little more expensive than standard games because the cost of setting up and running this option is obviously far greater. Which means you’ll have to place larger bets as smaller ones just wouldn’t make the games feasible to run. The other disadvantage might seem a little obvious but it’s still worth mentioning. Live games require a good internet connection as the games use video streaming. It’s not going to be a problem for all of you, but not everyone has the benefit of a reliable and fast internet connection. If you’re not sure whether you’ve got either it’s really not worth even trying to play a live dealer game.
What are the choices when it comes to live casino games?
As the concept of live dealer games is still relatively new the choice of games is very much based around the most popular casino games. And these are blackjack, roulette and baccarat. There are a few casinos that offer a little more, as in various poker games. There are also a number of Asian oriented casinos that offer Sic Bo and Dragon Tiger. But these are very much in the minority. You’re probably wondering whether it’s any different playing the games live. So let’s look at each one in a little more detail and try and explain.
- Live dealer blackjack – Blackjack is the most popular casino game and has transferred well to the live dealer stage. Millions of people already enjoy a game or two every day and more are added daily. It comes as no surprise then that the first live dealer game offered when an online casino decides to branch out is going to be blackjack. You need to be very careful if this is one of the games you want to play as it can vary considerably from casino to casino. The individual casino rules will be different, including the number of decks in a shoe and the betting structure. You’ll also find that some casinos allow a surrender and not all provide insurance as an option. If you can’t find what the rules are you’d need to contact the casino’s customer support for clarification.
- Live dealer roulette – Not quite as popular as blackjack but still a favorite of many, and a game that’s instantly recognisable even for those who have never gambled before. American and European roulette are the versions you’re most likely to find and tend to be played much the same as a standard casino game. There are slightly different house rules but nothing really major. The bets made are much the same, but you will have to wait for other players to take their turn at betting. The game is played just the same as in a real venue, with the croupier spinning the wheel and tossing the ball in. When the ball comes to rest in a particular slot the croupier calls it out and the information is passed to the software that runs the game using OCR technology. Winners are paid out automatically.
- Live dealer baccarat – Most of the best online live casinos offer baccarat as one of the options and while it has always been a favorite of high rollers, those who can only afford modest stakes are now able to play. Lots of different versions are available for anyone who wants to give it a try but you better make sure you’re clear on the rules before you start playing. It’s a game that’s very well suited to the live arena because only two hands need to be dealt. There’s no maximum number of people who can bet on the hands, so it requires a much smaller number of tables. Gameplay is pretty much the same as the standard online game but you get the benefit of having people to chat with and something good to look at rather than just a computer screen.
You may find a number of other games being offered in the live dealer format, but these three tend to be the most common. We’ll be sure to keep you informed of any new or interesting ones that get added.
The pros and cons of playing at the best live dealer online casino
Time to finish up this page with a quick recap on the advantages and disadvantages of playing live casino games. There are plenty of both and as we want to provide a fair assessment of everything online casino related we’ll look at both sides of the equation. Only then can you make an informed decision as to whether you want to play online live casino games. For anyone at all suspicious about the fairness of casino games, live dealer games are the perfect answer. You get to watch every step of the game. You see the ball being tossed into the roulette wheel and stopping in a slot and you get to see the dealer dealing all the cards. To further increase player confidence some casinos have a TV playing in the background which is streaming a live news channel. Another advantage of live dealer games is that you can enjoy a more interactive experience as you get the opportunity to chat with players and the dealer.
You can also hear other games being played in the background to further add to the live experience. Now for the disadvantages, and there really aren’t all that many. Some say they feel the games and the whole experience is a little too staged for their liking, making it all feel very unreal. The background noise is a little too canned and the sounds just aren’t the same as a live casino. To be honest, we’ve got to agree but it’s still much better than just staring at a computer screen. The number of games available at a live dealer casino is much smaller, but then that’s to be expected because the live dealer format is very expensive. You’ll also find the minimum stakes a little higher for the same reason. Now you’ve got all the important facts you’re much better informed and will be able to make a wiser decision. To add to your knowledge we’re also writing live dealer casino specific reviews. Read some of them and you’ll find out more about the top live dealer casinos and find the best one for your needs. This latest innovation in the world of online casinos is definitely interesting and worth a try.