Live Dealer Casinos

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Live dealer casino games changed the landscape of online casino gambling. Playing table games on your computer was a pretty mechanical experience until the advances in technology facilitated the integration of video, voice and game play elements seamlessly to deliver an experience that is now as near as it gets to being physically present in a land based casino. You get the thrill of being at a land-based casino while playing from your home.

In this article we explore the fascinating world of live dealer casinos. In particular we cover:

  • The best live dealer casinos and bonuses
  • The technology behind live dealer casino gambling
  • How to play at a live dealer casino
  • Types of live dealer games
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of playing at a live dealer casino
  • The different live dealer casino software providers
  • Playing live dealer casino games on your mobile device
  • Frequently asked questions about live dealer casino gambling

Best Live Dealer Casinos

32Red Casino

£10 No Deposit

Mr Green Casino

100% up to £100

Mansion Casino

100% up to £500

Casino.com

£400 with 20 Free Spins

21 Casino

121% up to £350 with 10 Free Spins

888 Casino

£20 and 14 days of Free Play

bet365 Casino

200% up to £400

Betfair Casino

100% up to £100

Betfred Casino

100% up to £200

BGO Casino

100% up to £200

Boylecasino

100% up to £100

Live Dealer Casino Technology Overview

The following video illustrates how the action unfolds when you play a live dealer casino game.

Live dealer games offer compelling casino gambling, and the technology now enables a seamless experience, even on mobile device. This video shows the games from Evolution Gaming, which can be played at Hello Casino.

In live dealer casino gaming the action is filmed live at the studio of the software provider and then streamed over high-speed Internet for players to access from their computer or mobile device. Studios have multiple tables for each game type.

The different elements in a live casino studio include:

  • HD cameras: Multiple HD cameras are used to provide different angles and a sense of being at the casino. For instance, a roulette table may use at least 3 cameras:
    • One camera for the overall view of the table.
    • Another camera for images of the table and the wheel.
    • A third camera for the picture-in-picture display.
  • Game Control Unit (GCU): This is a critical component of a live casino. It is a small device that encodes the video being broadcast. Every table has its own GCU.
  • Wheel: Used for roulette games, the wheel comes from specialist manufacturers. They are the standard wheels that are configured for use in a casino, but with built-in sensors that interface with the software being used.
  • Monitor: The monitor gives the dealer the ability to see the players online. There are blind spots – spots that are outside the range of the cameras – for players to use if they do not want to appear on the monitor.
  • Dealer: The most important element at a live casino studio is the dealer. She/he handles the game and gives you the feel of actually playing at a land-based casino. Many casinos are nowadays able to track the dealer’s actions at the table using a smart card.

Next, we take a look at an important software component in a live dealer casino set-up: the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. The following are some of the features of OCR technology.

OCR technology - converting the outside world into data understood by machines
OCR technology - converting the outside world into data understood by machines.
  • It translates the physical transactions made by the live dealer into data that can be read, analyzed, and acted upon by the software.
  • It records all the actions in the live studio in minute detail including:
    • Card shuffling
    • Dealing of card hands
    • Spinning of the roulette wheel
    • Accepting of bets
    • Clearing of the table once a game is over
  • It then converts the recorded images into data in the electronic format, which is then streamed live over Internet using live streaming technology. Live streaming ensures:
    • Transmission of images that are full HD with minimal to zero latency.
    • Images are compatible with the user interface.
    • Interaction between player and dealer through live chat.
    • A land-based casino experience in your house.

Now that we know the technology behind a live dealer casino, let us take a look at how a live dealer casino works.

How Live Dealer Casinos Work

Live dealer casinos work exactly like their land-based counterparts, except that they are available online. Here is a quick run-down of how to play a live dealer casino game.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing at a Live Dealer Casino

There are quite a few advantages, and also a few disadvantages of playing live dealer games. The following are the major advantages:

  • You get to interact with a live dealer, an actual person.
  • The experience of live dealer gaming is life-like; you can interact with the dealer and other players over chat, unlike at a regular online casino game.
  • The action is live and streamed real-time over the Internet.
  • The multiple HD cameras used give you different angles for the same shot, enhancing the visual experience.

The following are the disadvantages of playing at a live dealer casino.

  • Live dealer games are usually available in real money mode only.
  • The number of games is very limited – just a handful – compared to the game range at the regular online casino.
  • The minimum bets are higher than in a regular casino because of the additional expense involved, which includes:
    • Maintenance costs
    • Staff retention costs
    • Equipment costs
  • Games are slower-paced because it is one person – the dealer or croupier – controlling different aspects, including:
    • Accepting bets
    • Dealing cards
    • Spinning the wheel
    • Interacting with you and other players

We will next take a look at the different live dealer casino games available.

Live Dealer Games

Live dealer casinos do not have the vast range of games that you otherwise see in an online casino. You will usually find the following games at a live dealer casino:

There are other live casino games too, though these are found only at casinos run by some of the software providers. These games include:

  • Keno
  • Caribbean Poker
  • Golden Ball
  • Texas Hold’em
  • Dragon Tiger
  • Punto Banco

Not all software providers offer all these games together. In the next section we list out the different games available from the different software providers.

Live Dealer Software Providers and their Studios

We explore the primary live dealer solution providers below, some of which specialise in live dealer games only.

Software Provider Studio Locations Number of Tables Live Game List Mobile Where to Play
Evolution Gaming Latvia, Malta, UK 100+ tables Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em for iPad, Three Card Poker Yes Hello Casino read review
NetEnt Malta 0-10 Common Draw Blackjack, 7-Seater Blackjack, Roulette, Automatic Roulette Yes Guts Casino read review
Microgaming Canada 20-50 tables Regular and Playboy Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Casino Hold’em No Betway Casino read review
Extreme Live Gaming (Novomatic) London 11-20 tables Baccarat, Roulette, French Roulette, Blackjack, Golden Ball Yes Intercasino read review
Playtech Riga (Latvia), Bucharest (Romania), Manila (Philippines) 50-100 tables Sic Bo, Casino Hold’em Poker, Baccarat, Hi-Lo, Roulette, Blackjack Yes Casino.com read review
Media Live Malta, Italy, Slovenia 11-20 tables Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat Yes Bet Victor Casino read review
Netplay TV London 0-10 Roulette Yes SuperCasino read review
Ezugi Belgium, Bulgaria, Costa Rica. Direct streaming from land-based casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Cambodia 20-50 tables Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack, Keno, Double Ball Roulette Yes Leo Vegas read review
Portomaso Gaming Malta 0-10 tables Punto Banco, Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack Yes Leo Vegas read review

There are a few other software providers as well who offer live casino games (most of these are not supported by UK licensed casinos):

  • XPro Gaming
  • Ho Gaming
  • Visionary iGaming
  • Authentic Gaming
  • Lucky Streak
  • Vivo Gaming
  • PlayPearls
  • Opus Gaming
  • Global Gaming Labs

Mobile Live Studios

The mobile variant of live dealer games is possibly the future of the live dealer casino industry because of the enormous popularity that mobile casinos enjoy. Here are a few reasons for the popularity of mobile live dealer casino games:

  • Completely secure experience.
  • Compatibility with multiple mobile platforms including Android and iOS.
  • Live dealer casino gaming on the go.
Live dealer games on a mobile device
Live dealer games on a mobile device.

The following are some of the live casino software providers with a mobile offering:

  • Evolution Gaming
  • Ezugi
  • Extreme Live Gaming
  • NetEnt
  • Playtech
  • XPro Gaming
  • Media Live Casino
  • Netplay TV

Live Dealer Casino FAQs

Can I play live dealer games for free?

Most casinos offer their games in real money mode. However, there are some casinos that offer demo versions of the game.

Am I allowed to change the settings for streaming quality and sound at a live dealer casino?

Most casinos allow you to change and customize the settings for streaming quality and sound. Click Options in the menu on the live casino screen; you get a list of options that you can customize.

What happens if a live stream fails?

If there is a live stream fail you immediately receive an alert: a message pops up on the screen informing you of the live stream fail and the possible reason, usually a network error.

What happens if I get disconnected from a game?

Sometimes you may get disconnected when a game is in progress. Different live dealer casinos have different rules regarding disconnection. Certain casinos give you a specific time period in which to reconnect. If the reconnect happens in that time period the game continues.

If the reconnect does not happen within the given time period the winnings are given out – you get what you won till the point you got disconnected. In this situation, the deposit you made just prior to getting disconnected is considered your last deposit.

Is there a delay so that the dealer could change the outcome without me knowing?

There is no delay to allow the dealer to change the outcome of a game without your knowledge. Even if there is a streaming fail or a disconnection, as mentioned above, the last winnings are considered to be what you won. The dealer does not have the time to change an outcome of a game.

How is the integrity of the cards, the dealer, and the games assured?

Live casinos do not need to indulge in unfair means because the house edge is already on the side of the casino. As the saying goes, the casino always wins. No live casino would want to lose out on credibility for a little bit of money. All the top live casinos in the UK are audited and certified for fairness by some of the best third party auditors like eCOGRA and TST. The dealers and croupiers at these casinos are professionals and they are trained to maintain high standards.