One of the latest trends in online gaming is the live dealer online casino. Unlike conventional online casinos where the game outcomes are dictated by a random number generator, players at live dealer casinos can watch a real person deal real cards or spin a roulette wheel and the game software is integrated so you can place your bets and have your account balance updated after the spin or the hand.
At first glance, a typical live game will look similar to the standard casino games you know and love. On the player’s end, many of the game functions are handled through an interface that includes your chips, a table layout, and buttons for placing bets and making other actions that are part of the game. In fact, if you covered the area of the screen that displayed the live dealer and the physical table the dealer was using, you might not even be able to tell that the game you were playing was in any way different than a typical online casino game.
But that area of the screen is what live dealer games are all about. There, you’ll be able to see a real croupier managing the game you’re playing, just like a dealer would in a live casino. The dealer will see exactly what actions you’ve requested, and will react accordingly right in front of your eyes. The dealer will be located either on a set owned by the online casino, or in some cases, in an actual casino venue. In either case, the table is real, and so are all the elements of the game that they use to determine the results of each spin or hand.
It’s worth noting that live games are a relatively new innovation, and haven’t yet been implemented at all online casinos. The range of games that are available with real dealers is also somewhat limited. Online blackjack is a popular choice, as is roulette. Other games you might find include baccarat and sic bo.
WHY LIVE DEALER?
People play at live dealer casinos for two reasons. Firstly, despite independent verification and regular auditing, some people are just skeptical of the fairness of online casinos and have suspicions that online casino games might be rigged, or that the random number generator isn’t entirely fair and is swayed in favour of the house. For the same reason, many poker players are wary of playing online.
The second reason that people enjoy live dealer online casinos is for the social element. When you go to a land based casino, part of the fun is chatting with your dealer, and experiencing the highs and lows of gambling with other players at your table. Playing hand after hand against an automated dealer on a table that you have to yourself, as is the case at a regular online casino, can become tiresome pretty quickly, and people who are used to the live casino environment have welcomed the addition of live dealers to their favourite online sites.
PLAYING AT LIVE DEALER ONLINE CASINOS
Playing live dealer casino games isn’t really that hard to get used to. If you’ve played online casino games before, then you’ll be familiar with the type of software interface that they use. The only real difference is that the live dealer version of the software will have an embedded video window where you can see the dealer working. In general the quality of the video streams is very high, particularly at the live casinos which we recommend. In fact most live dealers are now going HD to give you even better picture quality. Not a bad thing considering the majority of the dealers look pretty good! Usually the live element is pretty seamlessly sewn together with the user interface which you’ll use to make your decisions, and the casino uses cards with very large numbers on them, so you’re unlikely to make any costly mistakes.
When playing the live dealer version, you still make all of your actions and bets using the same buttons; only the actual deal is live. The introduction of the live element does give the potential for making mistakes, both on your end and on the dealer’s, but these mistakes are very rare and all of the casinos have their procedures for dealing with misdeals or bets which are placed to late or too early in their terms and conditions. For the most part the rules are very fair to the player.
SECURITY AND FAIR PLAY
The key when playing live dealer games is to stick with well established names in the online gaming industry. While live dealer games take the uncertainty associated with the random number generator out of the games, they obviously introduce some other uncertainties. Have a read of the casino’s shuffle, dealer change, and card cutting policy before you play and steer clear of lesser known sites. If you are playing at a lesser known site, be sure to interact with the dealer often, as this will give you more confidence that what you’re seeing is live and unedited footage.