Experiencing the Live Dealer Games at an Online Casino
The live casino games are becoming ever more popular among gamblers, and it’s mostly down to their convenience. After all, what could be better than playing games with real dealers from your own home? You might never have thought about participating in one of them before, so what can you expect if you do decide to try a few of them out? Well, the most significant difference is that you’ll be interacting with an actual person. Your identity remains anonymous at all times though, which is reassuring for some players. Most casinos will ask you to select a screen name while you play, and this should be one that’s different to your regular online user name. You’ll be using a convenient interface to make your bets just as you usually do, but you’ll be able to watch the action taking place in real time. You can even add to the atmosphere by chatting to the dealers as they’re spinning the roulette wheel or issuing the cards!
How the Live Games are Organized in an Online Casino
When you first enter the live lobby, you’ll be asked to choose your category, and then you’ll be offered a range of tables to choose from. These vary, not only by the variant of game on offer, but also by the minimum and maximum betting limits, so it’s best to choose carefully. Many venues offer exclusive tables for their members. There are often some available in different languages too, so that may be another option for you to consider. Once you’ve made your choice, you just click on it, and you’ll be taken straight to the floor of the casino. You’ll be welcomed by your screen name as you join, and then you’ll be ready to participate in the next round. If there aren’t any free seats, you will sometimes be offered the chance to bet behind. In this case, you’ll be watching as the other participants play and you can wager on their hands. There’s the live chat too, so you can engage with the other players online.
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The Three Different Types of Live Casinos Online
The live online casinos can be placed into three distinct categories. In general terms, they are all much the same. They all feature real dealers and they broadcast the action as it happens. However, there are some differences in the way that they are structured. Once you’ve explored how they are set up, you’ll be able to decide which of them is best for you.
- The Dealer Studio. This is the type most commonly found. These are purpose-built studios, designed to resemble an actual casino floor. Just like a film set though, everything about them is real, from the tables to the chips.
- The Live Streams. In the version, the game is streamed to you live from a land-based casino. You’ll be participating alongside the punters who are actually inside the venue, and you’ll place your bets next to theirs on the table.
- Television Games. There are some dedicated cable channels that broadcast live dealer games direct to your home. You use your computer to place your bets in the standard way, but you watch the action on your television set.
The Production Team Working Behind the Scenes
It may surprise you to know that there has to be a full production team in every live casino. To bring the best quality games to you, the top venues employ a camera crew, lighting and sound engineers, IT technicians, and directors. There is also a pit boss on hand, who will act as an adjudicator if there are any player disputes. Each of the dealers must have access to a monitor, so that they can keep track of the bets being placed. This will also allow them to participate in the live chat feed. There is a games control unit (GCU) attached to every table, which converts the sequences of play, such as the cards being dealt or the roulette wheel being spun, into digital information. This can then be streamed as a live feed into your home.
The Leading Games Providers for the Live Casinos
You will, naturally, find the three best-known developers offering live games, and although they all provide high-quality products, they each bring a bit of their unique flavor to them, too. NetEnt has concentrated on developing mobile versions, whereas Playtech is able to cater for the Asian market. Microgaming has linked up with Playboy, and has bunny girl dealers at some tables. However, the biggest name of all in the field is Evolution Gaming. This award-winning company only produces live casino games, and in doing so, it has set the bar high. It has managed to develop a catalog that has the more traditional offerings that the majority of players like to see, along with a few innovative titles that allow for a bit more creative play.
Some Other Key Developers of Live Casino Games
There are a few other software developers who can be credited with introducing something new to the scene. Extreme Live Gaming is part of the Novomatic Group, and has brought elements of some of its most popular slots into the live play. Reel Roulette uses symbols from games such as Book of Ra and Dolphin’s Pearl for side bets, and in doing so, manages to blend its RNG games with the live dealer versions. Another name worthy of consideration is Ezugi, who broadcasts from studios across Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Alongside the more standard table selection, the company offers lottery-style games, such as Live Keno, and Bet on Numbers, a variant in which you attempt to select the winning combinations. A final mention must go to Vivo Gaming, who produces live versions of Sic Bo and Craps, as well as the popular Dragon Tiger. This is basically baccarat, but it is only played with two cards.
The Selection of Games at a Live Online Casino
The table versions tend to dominate in the live dealer casinos, and this is probably to be expected. It is, after all, the genre that best suits the nature of real-time play. On the whole, you’ll find that the cards games tend to have the widest selection available, and there are usually several variants of each one on offer. Roulette is also listed at the majority of venues.
- Blackjack. It’s no real surprise that blackjack has been incorporated into the live casino listings. The objective is to get a hand that is closer to 21 than the dealers, and the simplicity of play has already made it one of the most popular games online.
- 3 Card Poker. This manages to incorporate all the excitement of a standard poker game, but you’ll only be using three cards in every round. The aim is just to make the best hand you can from these, and you have to beat the dealer in the process.
- Baccarat. This is another game that really suits the live dealer format, because of its straightforward rules. In baccarat, you can wager on your own hand, the dealers, or on a tie, and the aim is to choose the one that you think will be nearer to 9.
- Roulette. You’ll usually find roulette available, and again, there will be different versions for you to choose from. You can choose to play with European rules, but if you’re feeling a bit daring, you could opt for the American version.
Some Alternative Games at a Live Online Casino
From time to time, you might feel like stepping away from the standard games when you’re playing online and trying out something that’s a little bit different. When you do, you’ll be pleased to know that there are several live games that offer something new in terms of play. You can find versions with one host, with several hosts, as well as one that doesn’t have a dealer at all!
Participating in the Live Jackpot Games
If you like to play the big money versions when you’re online, you will still have this option in the live dealer games. Evolution Gaming has three different live dealer options that give you the chance to take part in a progressive jackpot. In each of these versions, the prize fund continues to grow until it has finally been won, and then the process will start over again.
- The Live Hold’em Jumbo Seven Jackpot. In Live Hold’em, you are playing against the dealer, not the other players, and so the number of participants is unlimited. This has allowed for the addition of a progressive side bet, and this is uncapped. The Jumbo Seven Jackpot only pays out on a 7 card straight flush, and the money in the pot increases until this is achieved.
- The Live Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpot. This game already has a 5+1 side bet, which offers odds of 1000:1, but there is also the chance to get involved in a progressive wager too. To win the prize outright, you must have a Royal Flush. There are a number of fixed value payouts available as well, and these are paid out for hands such as a Four of a Kind or a Full House.
- The First Five Progressive Side Bet. This wager is available when you’re playing the Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker. Like the other progressive side bets, this is optional, but if you do go for it, you’ll have the opportunity to win the jackpot fund. To do this, you will need to have a Royal Flush in your hand. You could also win some cash prizes for other combinations.
Playing Multiple Live Games Simultaneously
If you’re good at juggling several things at once, you might be interested in taking the multi-game option. In this scenario, you’ll be participating a number of games simultaneously, and placing bets on each one. Your computer screen will be split, and everything happens in real time. You can choose the categories, and switch to something else whenever you want, as long as there is a spare seat at the table. To do this, you just click on the change button on the top right of the screen, and select a new option. The biggest benefit of this type of play is the speed in which it all takes place. The moment that you’ve finished with one round, you’ll be moving onto another. There’s certainly not going to be any time for you to get bored!
Live Dealer Games on a Mobile Device
The mobile versions of the online casinos have really taken off, and nowadays, you are able to play wherever you like. It’s good to know that this is the same when it comes to the live dealer versions. The majority of these games can be played on a number of devices, without any interruption to the streaming at all. Although the screen is a little smaller, you can still zoom in for the close-ups without any loss in quality. You’ll have all the standard options open to you, as well. You’ll be placing your bets and accessing your banking facilities as normal.
Promotions and Bonuses at Live Casinos
You’ll very often be offered a bonus when you first take part in one of the live casino games. These will function in much the same way as the regular welcome promotions, and so there will be the usual playthrough requirements. It’s also very common for promotions to be linked to one of the live dealer versions. For example, you may get a cash prize if you get a five card trick in blackjack, or you could get some additional comp points. With a few of the special deals, you have to state that you are opting in, so be aware of the terms and conditions.
Some Final Pointers about Live Dealer Games
There are only a couple of guidelines that you need to remember when you’re participating in a live casino. The first is to know the rules of the game that you’ve chosen. If you can, you should watch a few rounds to get familiar with everything before you join in. The second piece of advice is to make sure that you stay within your budget. It’s easy to get carried away in the moment while you’re playing in a real-time atmosphere, so be sure to set a definite limit before you log on and then keep to it. There’s nothing quite like the buzz of the live dealer versions, and for many players, it’s an experience that simply can’t be beaten. So when you fancy trying out something a little bit different, you should give one of the games a go!