The introduction of live dealer tables has been one of the most groundbreaking innovations in the online casino industry. Live casinos enable gamblers from around the world to play against living, breathing dealers, who are well-versed in classics like roulette, baccarat, and blackjack.
Live dealer games successfully combine the excitement of landbased casinos with the perks one gets to enjoy at online gambling sites, including amazing table variety, tasty bonuses, comp points, and software from the world’s most renowned developers like Evolution Gaming and Playtech.
We have devised an entire guide dedicated to the specifics of live dealer casinos. Here you will be able to find thorough information about the live games’ principle of operation and their key traits. We also feature the most common types of live casino games you can play online on smartphones and desktop computers.
We tackle the subject of how live tables compare to standard RNG casino games and explain the main advantages of the former. On top of that, we help you pick a decent live dealer casino to play at by shortlisting the criteria we base our top recommendations on.
Live Dealer Casinos – Principle of Operation
Live dealer casinos function in a manner similar to that of standard online gambling games. The interface is akin to the one at the RNG-based tables, with a betting layout where you post the chips for your desired wager. There are gaming controls you use to adjust the size of your stakes, place a bet, indicate your playing decisions, and refill your real-money balance.
What sets live casino games apart is the fact that they give you a glimpse of the action in real time. You get to see how professional dealers toss the balls on the roulette wheels or deal cards in games like baccarat or blackjack.
The live dealer operates the table but it is the software that settles winning and losing bets at the end of each round of play. The credits you win or lose are instantly added to or deducted from your balance. More often than not, the action is streamed live from the studios of the software suppliers powering the games. Studio-streamed games boast a huge variety of table settings and native-speaking dealers.
3Hosted in Landbased Casinos
Some software providers offer tables with streams from the floors of landbased casinos. On rarer occasions, you can come across games that are broadcast on television as well as online. Here players have the option to place a bet via the live casino’s website or over the telephone.
Equipment and Features
Streaming gambling games online is a far more expensive process in comparison to offering their conventional RNG-based counterparts. Specially trained personnel handles the action and operates the tables. Multiple cameras give players a glimpse from different angles.
Understandably, lighting equipment and ample studio space are needed so that players can have a choice from many tables with different settings and dealers. One piece of technology live casinos simply cannot do without is the OCR, an abbreviation which stands for Optical Character Recognition.
This technology translates the card values and the numbers on the roulette wheels into data that is then coded and transmitted to your device of choice, be it a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop computer. The live casino software itself is typically equipped with the following features:
The live chat feature allows players to stay in touch with each other and the dealer. This usually comes in the form of a designated box within the live casino’s interface you type in and send your messages from. The live dealers read the messages on their chat screens and deliver a verbal response.
The availability of native-speaking dealers is another common trait good live casinos seem to share. This enables players to join a table hosted by a dealer in their native language, which prevents misunderstandings and ensures a smooth gaming session.
The multi-seat feature allows you to occupy multiple seats at the same live table and place separate wagers on several betting positions. On many occasions, players can change seats at the table between and during rounds as long as they have not confirmed their wagers.
The bet behind feature is available in live blackjack, particularly when a given table is full. This enables you to take part in the game by following the decisions of another player and betting on their hands. In many cases the live software allows you to bet behind on several positions simultaneously.
Multi-tabling is usually an option for players who crave more betting action. You can add several tables to the interface and post bets on all of them as long as you can maintain a decent level of concentration.
Scorecards are offered at live baccarat tables. These help you track the distribution of previous results as you get to see the sequences of winning player, banker, and tie bets. Each of the three outcomes is noted in a different color so that players can recognize it at a glance.
The switch-view feature enables players to adjust the live stream’s camera angle to their liking. If you are playing roulette, for example, you get to see a close-up of the spinning wheel instead of directly facing the dealer.
The game history helps you track your betting activity as it shows the date you have played alongside the bet amounts and the win/loss outcomes.
The settings panel allows players to adjust the gameplay according to their preferences and the capabilities of their device. You can hide the chatbox if you find it distracting, increase/decrease the quality of the video stream, and turn off the dealer’s voice or the ambient music playing in the background.
Types of Live Dealer Games
One of the biggest advantages of joining a live casino is the broad variety of tables you get to choose from. The different settings, dealers, and table limits accommodate all preferences and budgets. Below we cover the six most common games you are likely to find at an online casino.
Live roulette is available in different variations that play on single-zero and double-zero wheels. There are even versions where the La Partage rule applies and you get half of your even-odds bets back when the ball lands on the zero pocket. At some live tables, there are cameras installed on the roulette wheels giving players an up-close look at the spinning ball’s trajectory and the winning numbers. Some of the live variations of the game we recommend are Immersive Roulette, Lightning Roulette, and Auto Roulette.
Live blackjack is widely available at online casinos and is a game that works incredibly well in the live dealer format. It offers high levels of interaction with the dealer and fellow players. Of course, you can always mute the chat-box feature if you find it distracting. The live variations are commonly dealt out of a shoe containing multiple decks. You normally have the option to bet behind other players if no vacant seats are available at the live table.
Baccarat is yet another card game that lends itself well to the live format. The game is no longer reserved for high rollers with deep pockets. Live dealer variants of baccarat are now available with low, medium, and high stakes to accommodate all budgets. There are scoreboards within the interface where you can see the distribution of previous results. Our top live picks for fans of this game are Baccarat Squeeze, No Commission Baccarat, Speed Baccarat, and Dragon Tiger.
Sic Bo is an exciting dice game which has originated from ancient China. It plays with three dices and offers tons of betting opportunities for players. The game has been adopted by many landbased casinos but its availability online is still limited. You can play the live-dealer version of Sic Bo at online casinos powered by the Evolution Gaming software.
Live Casino Hold'em
Live Casino Hold’em was created by Stephen Au Yeung while he was trying to teach his girlfriend how to play poker. The gameplay is similar to that in Texas Hold’em, only simpler. The game was launched online in 2010 and is now broadly available across live dealer casinos. Software studios like Microgaming, Playtech, Evolution Gaming, and Ezugi all supply live variants of Casino Hold’em. Evolution Gaming’s version is even linked to a progressive jackpot pool at some casinos.
Caribbean Stud is another form of casino-banked poker that is widely available across online gambling sites. The dealer and the player both receive a five-card hand. The player must then decide whether their hand will be of a higher value than that of the dealer. The variation supplied by Evolution Gaming supports an unlimited number of players and offers a progressive jackpot at some of the live casinos using this software.
Popular Baccarat Games
Major Suppliers of Live Dealer Software
Live casino games are supplied by a variety of different software studios, each one boasting different strengths and features. All six live providers we list offer secure and highly enjoyable options that are suitable for both rookies and seasoned online players. Check out the rundowns below to figure out which supplier offers the best live dealer software for you.
Evolution Gaming is by far the biggest provider of live casino solutions in the remote gambling industry. It supplies both standard and VIP live tables with higher limits within a user-friendly interface that supports real-time gaming statistics and multi-tabling. The provider streams from its studios in Malta, Latvia, Estonia, the UK, and Canada, among several other locations.
NetEnt offers a more limited suite of live casino games, giving players a choice from live blackjack and live roulette tables only. This deficiency is compensated for with easy-to-use interface, high-quality streams, live games available in both landscape and portrait mode on mobile, and the availability of 25 languages.
Playtech is a force to be reckoned it with in the gambling industry. The software provider holds licenses from multiple jurisdictions and offers live baccarat, roulette, blackjack, and casino hold’em. The live tables are operated by native dealers in different languages including Italian, English, Romanian, and Spanish.
Ezugi was launched in 2012, providing cutting-edge live casino gaming to more than a hundred operators. The software provider has 9 studios in South America, Asia, and Europe, with streams of 20 live games, including bespoke variations like Unlimited Blackjack Auto Split, OTT Roulette, and Knockout Baccarat.
Microgaming is a behemoth in the gambling industry and as such, offers a plethora of live games with HD video streaming, support in multiple languages, and the option of multi-tabling. The virtual interface of the live games is equipped with an auto-bet functionality and features complete statistical analysis.
Pragmatic Play expanded its product line through the acquisition of Extreme Live Gaming in June 2018. The studio uses multiple cameras with 4k quality of the stream for a more immersive live gaming experience. The roulette and blackjack games use a multilingual interface that offers players a choice from 30 languages.
How Do Live Dealer Tables Compare to RNG Casino Games?
Online casino games traditionally rely on Random Number Generators (RNG) to determine the results. In live casinos, the tables are operated by actual dealers who draw the cards from the shoe, handle the roulette wheels or toss the dice in games like Sic Bo. If you are still having second thoughts about transitioning from RNG-based to live-streamed games, check the three main advantages to live gaming below to arrive at a decision.
Improved authenticity is imminent with live-streamed games. Players can derive maximum enjoyment from their betting sessions as they are completely engulfed in the sounds and sights of the authentic casino atmosphere. Here the pace of the game is dictated by the dealer and your fellow players as is the case when you take a seat at a landbased gaming table.
Lack of authentic casino atmosphere. However, you can play with your own pace - without having to to wait for a round of play to end in order to place a bet.
Higher levels of social interaction are ensured at the live tables. The action is steeped in camaraderie. You have the option to communicate with other players, root for them when they win or share your disappointment when the dealer hits a six-card 21, for example. All of this is made possible via the chat functionality, which also gives you the chance to ask the dealer a question or thank them for the service. The live dealers will provide a verbal response to your comments.
Lack of social interaction.
The range of stakes in live casinos is wider, which yields live gaming a viable option for gamblers from all walks of life. Live-streamed games usually support bets as low as $0.10 while the upper limit may stretch to $25,000, sometimes even more. This way, the needs of both high rollers and players on a budget are satisfied.
RNG-based games tend to offer a more limited betting range, with table maximums rarely exceeding the amount of $2,000.
How We Pick Our Recommended Live Casinos
Licensing and security
Customer support quality
Our seasoned reviewers always check which regulatory authorities have issued the live casinos’ licenses. We recommend only operators that work in full compliance with the local laws of the countries they accept customers from. Your security is just as important to us, which is why we approve only websites with valid encryption certificates.View more...
Can live table games be rigged?
The equipment of live dealer casinos is subjected to regular tests to ensure everything operates faultlessly and the games are above board. All live casinos of good standing would put their accreditation on prominent display so that players can see who audits and regulates them.
Can I play at the live tables for free?
Unfortunately, trying live games for free is largely not possible. Most casinos enable registered players to load and access their live dealer lobbies. You can watch others play but it would be impossible for you to place a bet until you process a real-money deposit to your balance.
Do I need to install additional software to access the live tables?
No, in most cases there is no need for you to download special software to enjoy live gaming from the comfort of your surroundings. Gambling operators feature live tables as part of their casino lobbies. You simply need to click on the tab to load the live lobby where you certainly will find a table that piques your interest.