Live dealer casinos have been around for the best part of eight years but for a variety of reasons the concept never really took off in the mainstream. This was due to bandwidth limitations, shortcomings in real time video streaming technology, and a market that was probably not quite ready.
The picture has changed quite a bit over the last year or two, with technology and bandwidth no longer a barrier. The live streaming technology used by the live casino developers works well over even an average connection. The online casino has also matured and players have become more demanding, looking for new games and challenges. The adoption of live dealer casinos by well-known brand names, including many British bookmakers, has lent some credibility to what is now a rapidly growing market.
Our live dealer casino guide offers an unbiased review of live casinos, the software they use, and the games they offer. As usual, we only list live dealer casinos licensed in appropriate jurisdictions approved by the British and European authorities.
Best UK Live Dealer Casinos
We have compiled for you a list of the best live casinos for UK players. We have spent long hours analyzing all the live dealer casinos for UK players to put this list together, testing them for multiple factors.
£50 free bet promotion - earned as you wager at 888 Sport, the online gambling powerhouse.
32Red Casino runs on Microgaming software and offers new players £32 free match bonus.
Bet365 is UK licensed and should be part of your portfolio of bookies. Get a £200 match bonus.
Mr Green Casino is powered by IGT and Net Ent software and offers new players a 100% match bonus up to £250.
Bet £20 and get a free £20 bet at Boylesports.com. Play international lotteries, casino games and poker using one account.
Mansion Casino running on Playtech uses a welcome bonus of 100% up to £500 free.
£50 free bet promotion - earned as you wager at Titan Bet, the online gambling powerhouse.
In-depth review of the 888 Casino, one of the most responsible online gambling operators servicing the UK. New players receive a £100 bonus.
The bet365 casino uses the award winning Playtech software, with over 130 great games and one of the most advanced player reward programs.
The Betfair Casino offers fifty no download casino games and four unique games with no house edge. 100% up to £50 sign up bonus.
Live Dealer Casino Games
We review each type of live dealer game, compare the games from the various live casino software providers, including game rules and video demos.
Live blackjack dealer games are quite different. Not only visually, but in terms of the number of decks used, dealer rules, and of course limits. We review your live blackjack options.
Most Live dealer roulette applications use a European Roulette table. The experience is vastly different among the live dealer casinos. We compare them, with video.
A comparison of Live Baccarat. Most casinos offer typical bets like Player, Banker and Tie bets and some have variations like Pairs and Dragon bet.
Live Sic Bo is very popular dice game with Asian players. Some Western casinos offer the game but it is less popular because of its high house edge.
This game is very popular at casinos in Macau and uses Mahjong tiles. It is only available at Playtech casinos at present, but this is bound to change soon.
Live Casino Hold'em rides on the popularity of Texas Hold'em. The casino variety is simple to learn and a lot of fun to play.
Why Live Dealer Casinos are Special
Live casinos are special because they give you the best of both worlds - the fun of online casino complemented immensely by the dynamic atmosphere of a real land-based casino. They are popular for a few very simple reasons:
- They have an innate simplicity to them.
- Live casino games are like online casino games except that they come with a live dealer.
- The live dealer adds another dimension to gaming; he controls certain aspects of the game but the overall control is still with the player.
- There is no RNG here; the deal or spin is by a person.
- You can interact with the dealer during a game through live chat.
- The game table is real and not a virtual one.
The singular difference is the presence of the live dealer at the gaming table. This makes the games interactive and fun.
How Do Live Dealer Casino Games Work?
A live dealer casino has 3 rooms:
- A live studio
- A software room
- A room for an analyst
You play from your computer or mobile device at an actual table. The table is located in the studio of the software provider usually; some casinos actually place the table at a land-based casino. The studio can be anywhere in the world; Playtech for instance has studios in Asia and Europe.
Live dealer casinos require proper lighting and HD cameras to record the action and broadcast it in full HD resolution. The operator films the action at the table and then uses technology to stream it to your machine live over the Internet. Some casinos have their own TV channel where you can see the game being played out.
The Role of Technology, Security, and Speed
Technology, security, and speed have played a huge role in the success of the live dealer casino. The two things you must have to play at one of them are really simple:
- A computer/mobile device
- A fast and strong Internet connection
When it comes to the Internet connection there are multiple options to choose from:
- Broadband connection: This works very well for computer-based gaming
- Wi-Fi network: This works for computer and also mobile-based live casino action
- 3G or 4G networks: This works for mobile live casino action, though a Wi-Fi connection is the preferred option in terms of reliability and security
The key technology elements for live casino action include:
- HD cameras: There should be at least 3 high-res cameras available. This ensures shots from multiple angles across the room. Apart from the luxury of picture-in-picture display, you get shots of:
- The table
- The wheel
- Game Control Unit: This is a shoebox-sized device that allows the dealer to exercise some degree of control over the game.
- Monitor: It shows where the players are placed on the table. You can sit at a blind spot if you do not want to be seen on the monitor.
The next vital element is speed. The streaming speed depends on how strong your Internet connection is. While streaming happens in real time, the game is usually slower than what you get at an online casino. This is because the dealer is not a machine but a human being.
The third critical element is security. All live dealer games are secure by nature. Problems, if any, surface because of your Internet connection. To ensure safe gaming:
- Use an Internet connection that is safe.
- Public Wi-Fi is unsecure; avoid when you can.
- Safeguard your username and password.
Live Casino Gaming from a Mobile Device
Mobile live casino gaming is in and is here to stay. You do not get these games at every mobile casino you come across, however. The ones you get them at could have their own customized live dealer apps. You may get these games in instant play mode as well at some casinos.
The following are some major hallmarks of good mobile live dealer casinos:
- Cross-platform compatibility: These games would require compatibility with the following platforms:
- Touch-friendly interface: This is a critical requirement when it comes to mobile-based live dealer casino gambling. A good touch-friendly interface has:
- Buttons that are large and easy to use
- Simple and efficient interface
- Range of defined elements
- Sound data compression: This ensures speedy transmission of live feed from the server to the device and back.
- Multiple deposit options: You get very advanced features when it comes to deposit options. Some casinos even allow for clicking photos of a player’s debit/credit card and scanning them.
UK Live Dealer Casino Software
Live dealer casinos have come a long way today. Just a couple of years ago, there were only a handful of them; today players are spoilt for choice, as you will see in our live dealer casino review section. The significant increase in number is mainly because a sizeable number of casino software providers offer live casino games nowadays. As a result more and more casino operators are offering the live casino feature.
We believe the safest option is to play with the more well-known casino brands. Of course, different operators use different software so it may help to do some research on the games they offer and on them in general.
Below is a list of live casino software providers, an overview of their software and games, and a list of live dealer casino reviews for each platform. Click on the links for more detailed information.
|Software||Overview||Available Games||Live Casinos|
|Although they have only been operational for about four years, Evolution Gaming has set the trend in live online casino gaming in a number of ways.||888 Live Casino|
|Playtech was the first to offer live dealer games and stream their live dealers from Asian and European studios.||Noble Live Casino, Winner Casino|
|Microgaming is the most recent software developer to enter the live gaming space. No download is necessary.||All Slots Live Casino|
|Live baccarat, roulette and blackjack with the unique early payout option. Great looking gaming console.||Celtic Casino|
|This is a radically improved live dealer platform with the addition of forty RNG games including mini side-games.||Ladbrokes Casino|
|Play live dealer games including Texas Hold'em poker. The webcast images are smooth and function well at even slower connection speeds.||Lucky Live Casino|
Typical Questions about Live Dealer Casinos in the UK
What are the advantages of playing at UK live dealer casinos?
There are numerous advantages that UK live dealer casinos offer:
- You get to play in the actual ambience of a land-based casino directly from your home.
- The spin of the wheel or a deal is no longer automated: it happens in real time and is done by a real person.
- You get to interact with real live dealers through live chat as the game progresses; this takes the fun of gaming to another level.
- There are special promotions that you can use when you play live casino games.
- They accept payments in GBPs and also support locally popular payment methods.
- Many of them have a local toll-free number you can call for support.
What are the disadvantages of live dealer UK casinos?
There are a few disadvantages to playing at live dealer UK casinos. The game speed is slower compared to what you get at online casinos because it is not mechanized. A person is dealing cards or spinning the wheel and subsequently taking the game along, so the response time is more. Another problem could be space: many times you come across an all-tables-full situation; all you can do is wait. However, there are providers now with limitless table capacity games.
Are live casinos rigged?
The fear, because of human intervention when it comes to the dealer, is always there that a live casino could be rigged. This is not true actually, because it is the casino that will suffer in the long run by rigging its games. The use of HD cameras also negates the possibility of rigging. If you are still wary of this issue, the best option would be to play at one of the well-known brands.
Are live casino results fair?
Live casino results are definitely fair, because the card deals are random and decks are changed at regular intervals. The spinning of the wheel too is as random as it can get. The fairness issue is also not really there because these live casinos are certified for safety, reliability, and also fair play by well-known independent auditors regularly. Their payouts are also audited, ensuring there is fairness in all aspects of live casino play.