Live casino games are in demand in 2020. If you are a table games fan, they represent the latest technology and software to bring ultimate realism to your online casino gaming experience – at least until something new comes along, like VR gameplay. Live dealer games are played in quite a radically different way to conventional table games, so it is understandable if you need a helping hand understanding how they work. This guide is for those players.
A Brief History of Live Casino Games
Ever since casino games first made their debut online, software providers have been searching for ways to make them more innovative and realistic. Live casino games are currently the cutting edge of casino gaming.
The first forays into this field began just after the millennium when casino software providers began looking at live television games. These games were played via primitive internet-friendly televisions from your home. While they failed to gain traction, they did push the envelope in terms of what could be done.
By mid-2006, the first live casino games were starting to take shape. In a sense, players could (over a very choppy internet stream) act out their decisions using an on-screen display, while a real to life human dealer took charge of each game. This process was refined several times over the subsequent years. The advent of HD video streams, insanely fast internet connections and Wi-Fi have enabled the games to flourish to such an extent that there are now many different options out there for you to choose from. Indeed, they have developed so well that many can now be played by the smallest mobile gaming devices, too.
How to Play Live Casino Games
Playing a live casino game is slightly different from your conventional RNG (random number generator) based game. To begin with, it is played over a live video stream, which is broadcast from a real casino floor or a studio.
The objectives and rules of each game vary, as they do with any casino game. Players are treated to a series of options on an on-screen display. They can use this display to place bets, as well as select options. Meanwhile, the human dealer will shuffle the cards, deal, and act out all the decisions just as they would do in a real-to-life, brick-and-mortar casino.
In some cases, you may be able to converse with the dealer (usually via live chat), and possibly even other players. There is an exceptional amount of respect that needs to be given if you opt to do this. The gameplay also tends to be faster-paced, and the added atmosphere makes the games much more enjoyable than an RNG table game.
Many different live casino games can be played, so we should look at those next.
Types of Live Casino Games You Can Play Online
A typical live casino will carry at least roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. However, some of the live casinos which are powered by the more prominent software providers may offer you much more. Here are some of the many live casino games you might expect to see at your chosen live dealer casino:
Live Roulette: There will typically be several roulette games available at a live casino. European roulette is the most popular, although American and French roulette may also be playable.
Live Blackjack: Classic blackjack is the default game of choice for many. It is played with standard rules, although some may also include a few popular side-bets, such as Perfect Pairs.
Live Baccarat: Baccarat games tend to be fewer in number than roulette and blackjack games. However, virtually every live casino has at least one game to offer players.
Live Money Wheel Games: Only a handful of software providers have gone as far as producing money wheel games. Evolution Gaming is the principle provider of most of them. Money wheel games involved betting on numbers and hoping that spinning a wheel of fortune will do your bet justice.
Live Poker: Live poker games also come with several options. However, almost all of them feature standard poker hands and do not include the unnatural hands you can sometimes find in RNG table poker games.
Others: Some live casino games are not easily categorised. There are dice games such as Sic Bo and Craps, although these are few and far between. Other live games just seem bizarre, such as Evolution Gaming’s Football Studio, which sees you betting on fictional football results as you would do at a sportsbook.
If you are wondering, it is not possible to play slot machines as live dealer games – at least not yet. That may change with the advent of VR games in the future, though. As well as those principle live casino games, there are also numerous variants for you to play. Some of the more popular live games have been included below:
Roulette Variants: Popular live roulette variants include Auto Roulette, Double Ball Roulette, Multi-Wheel Roulette, and Immersive Roulette.
Blackjack Variants: Blackjack variants include VIP games, games which permit players to surrender or see the dealer’s cards, and a handful which focus predominantly on side-bets.
Baccarat Variants: Some Asian players like to “squeeze” baccarat cards, so it is no surprise to see Baccarat Squeeze and Controlled Squeeze games, which cleverly use camera angles to mimic this. Super 6 is another popular live baccarat game which focuses on side-bets.
Poker Variants: Popular table poker games available in live casino format include Texas Hold’em, Casino Hold’em, Three Card Poker, Red Dog Poker, Let ‘em Ride and Caribbean Stud, amongst a few others.
Things to Note About Live Casino Games
It is not just the variants which make live dealer casino games exciting. There are several other things you need to pay attention to when playing these games. Below you will find a few of the things which are worth noting before you dive into live casino gameplay.
Side-Bets: Side-bets can be found in most live dealer games. However, some offer additional betting modes, such as betting behind. Betting behind permits players to wager on games even if all the seats at a live table have been taken.
Table Limits: The table limits in live dealer games vary. Some games are developed for rookies, and others are reserved for seasoned pros. You can also find VIP table games with high stakes if you are interested.
Tournament Gameplay: A handful of live casino games may appear as part of tournaments. These are not for the faint-hearted but can yield vast prize pots if you are skilled enough to take on other players directly.
Mobile-Friendly: Technology has advanced so rapidly that many live dealer casino games can now be played on mobile phones and tablets. You must ensure that you have a reliable Wi-Fi connection before attempting this, though.
Camera Angles: Many live casino games aim to bring a touch more realism to your experience by allowing you to switch between cameras. Immersive Roulette, for instance, will enable you to dive straight into the heart of the roulette wheel.
Languages: Live casino games may come in several languages. You must find the right table in your language. The dealer or croupier is only required to speak in his or her own language, which may not necessarily be yours.
Stats and Information: As well as an on-board dash which you can use to place bets and make your decisions, many live casino games also come with a plethora of stats, histories, and other information. You can use these to your advantage, if that is, you believe that sort of thing helps.
Dealer Communication: In some live dealer games, you may be able to communicate directly with your host, either via live chat or over a microphone. The latter is exceptionally rare. It is important to remember to be courteous, as you would do in a real-to-life casino.
Floors/Casinos: Live casino games are streamed from a mixture of studios and real-to-life casino floors. Some games are streamed live from prestigious worldwide venues. This may be something that interests you and is worth considering before you play.
Top Tips to Improve Your Live Casino Skills
Before you start playing live casino games, it is worth understanding a few unwritten rules. These will help you in the long run. Make a quick note of these and etch them into the back of your mind to ensure that your live dealer casino gaming experience is as realistic and as enjoyable as possible.
Practice Makes Perfect: Only play live dealer games that you are familiar with. If you are not sure how a game works, it is worth playing an RNG version of the game for free first. There is no learning curve offered with live dealer games, and free-to-play live casino games do not exist.
Check Your Connection: In a typical RNG casino game, if you lose your connection, the action freezes, and you can often pick up right where you left off as soon as your connection is restored. This is not going to be the case with live dealer games. You have got a real-to-life human dealer and real human counterparts playing, too. Make sure you have a robust connection to ensure that you do not end up losing out.
Be Mindful of Chasing Losses: It is a lot easier for online casinos to spot problem gamblers with live dealer games than with RNG ones. If the dealer or croupier identifies you as a problem gambler, you could end up referred to a problem gambling program or be suspended from the site. Never chase losses or display aggression at losing when playing live dealer games.
Respect Your Host: If you have no respect for your host, you will be banned or suspended. Be civil with your live dealer, and be courteous to other players, too, if you can converse with them. Nothing is going to end your session quicker (apart from running out of money) than being rude and disrespectful to the casino’s staff and others.
Learn Strategies: You are going to want to practice and learn your strategies in advance. Unlike in RNG games, you do not have all day. You may need to make decisions speedily and cannot consult a guide as quickly. You cannot check a strategy chart in a land-based casino, and you are not going to find it easy to do it here, either. It is, therefore, better that you learn your strategies to the letter before playing live games.
Get Your Timing Right: Speaking of timing, you are likely going to be under pressure for time. Unlike random number generated games, there are betting windows in these games, just like in a brick-and-mortar casino. You need to have placed your bets and made your decisions within the allotted timeframe, or you may stand a risk of missing out.
Where to Find the Best Live Dealer Casino Games on the Net
If you follow the advice above, you should be well-placed to play live dealer games online. We have other guides which cover the specifics of baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and other traditional casino table games, so we will recommend reading those if you need a heads up on the games themselves.
Once you are in the know, check out any of our recommended canadian casinos, as they have all been vetted and selected as responsible, fair, secure, and reputable sites which offer a wealth of live dealer casino games.