Live dealer casino games allow you to get the best of the online and land-based worlds with none of the disadvantages. Some of the most popular table games of all time can be played online over high-definition audio and video feeds in real-time at these tables. Learn all about live table games in this tutorial and compare the best live dealer casinos and their bonus offers.
How a Live Dealer Casino Works
The basic idea behind playing live dealer casino games online is that you’ll have a real-time audio and video feed that runs from a land-based studio where the games themselves are being run. These tables work much like they do in brick and mortar establishments, but they have camera and lighting setups for a solid presentation, and the tables are designed with larger letters and numbers to make them easier to see over your video feed.
Note that to give players peace of mind, these live dealer games will often have televisions playing in the background of popular news channels to prove that they are playing out in real-time and that they aren’t prerecorded feeds.
From there, you’ll have options on your interface on your computer or mobile device that allow you to place bets, which are shown on your screen much like they would be if you were physically there at the table playing. Once the bets have been resolved, your casino balance is instantly updated in real-time, so there’s no lag or delay in having winning bets added to your account.
Below is a screenshot of a live Blackjack session at a NetEnt casino. Net Entertainment is a hugely popular casino games provider, with an excellent portfolio of live dealer games.
Mobile Live Games
Most live casino games are also available in mobile versions, making it possible to truly play whenever and wherever you want. Below is a typical screenshot of a live casino game on a mobile phone. While it is possible to play on such small screens, we would recommend using at least a tablet/iPad for mobile play (and headphones!). The whole point of these games is to make you feel like you’re virtually there, and a tiny screen is not ideal in that regard.
Live Casino Advantages
The really cool thing about online live dealer casino play is that it combines the best of the online and land-based worlds. On top of that, it removes a lot of the disadvantages of playing in either sector, so you’re really getting the best experience available overall for table games.
Here are some of the pros of playing at these types of tables:
- The user interface might contain information and statistics that you would not be able to keep track of at a traditional table. Howver, this depends on the specific game you’re playing and who made it (NetEnt, Evolution Gaming etc)
- You can chat with other players at the tables and meet people from all over the world, which you can’t do in traditional online table games.
- You have the option to the tip the live casino dealer in real-time, and that adds to the experience as if you were actually sitting at the table.
- The pace of the game is set at a predetermined rate, so if you don’t have your bets in on time, you miss that betting round. This helps to avoid situations you’d have in brick and mortar settings where one slow players holds up the rest.
With that in mind, consider some of the things you miss out on that would bog you down when normally playing in a casino in person:
- You don’t have to spend time driving or otherwise traveling to and from the casino. Instead, you can start up the games whenever you want on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
- There’s no paying for parking, no paying for food while you’re out and about or waiting in line at the casino cage to get chips.
- The chances of you ending up sitting beside of someone who isn’t very pleasant at the casino table are eliminated.
These are examples of what we mean whenever we say that online live dealer table games have all of the advantages with none of the disadvantages. It’s the perfect blend of both worlds.
Live Casino Games
The most popular table games of all time are generally made available at live dealer casino sites, but the exact game selection and the specific rule sets of those games will depend on where you’re playing. With that having been said, we’re going to take a look at the most popular tables to be available with live tables, what you can expect and what you should look out for to have the best experience.
Below are some of the live games, plus variations, you can find online. The exact variety depends on which live casino you play at.
- Live Roulette
- Live Lightning Roulette
- Live Blackjack
- Live Infinite Blackjack
- Live Baccarat
- Live Dragon Tiger (a simpler 2-card version of Baccarat)
- Live Casino Hold’em
- Live Three Card Poker
- Live Caribbean Stud Poker
- Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
- Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker
- Live Dream Catcher (a spinning wheel jackpot game)
Live dealer roulette tables are available at pretty much every casino that has live games of any kind. These tables usually offer single-zero, European-style games, but you won’t typically find the “la partage” rule or other special rules that are sometimes found in French roulette.
We mentioned above that some games will have timers on them, and you’ll have to make your bet by the time that timer counts down, or you’ll miss out on that betting round. That’s definitely the case with virtually every live roulette casino game that you’ll find, but it works in your favor as well since you can take a break without having to worry about holding up the games.
In most of the world, blackjack is the most popular card-based casino game running, so it’s not surprising that virtually every live casino online will have blackjack tables available.
The specific rules of these games vary a bit from site to site, which is normal for blackjack in general, but they tend to follow traditional multi-deck styles of play with liberal rules for doubling and splitting. If you’re interested in card counting, you may have some opportunities there as well since shoe penetration can be fairly deep with some of the providers of these games, but that has to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In Asian countries in particular, you’ll find that Baccarat is often the most popular game in any online or land-based casino. As such, the live casino Baccarat games are pretty popular as well, and there is a fair amount of variety in what’s available to the point that many providers offer a few different types of the game all in the same place.
One of the things that makes playing Baccarat live online so interesting is the variety of payout structures, special bonus wins and side bets available. This steps outside of the box a bit of what you’d typically expect from a plain Baccarat game that would usually only have banker, player and tie bets. Commission schedules can be smoothed out with options like the Panda 8 and Dragon 7 styles of play, and these side bets can be subject to card counting in certain scenarios as well.
With the ability to play these games no matter where you are thanks to mobile live dealer tables, and with the option to multi-table the games when playing from a computer, there’s a ton of flexibility in how you get in on the action. No matter which types of live games you prefer, there’s definitely something for you if you’re the kind of player who enjoys table games but wishes there was a bit more to the experience.