Best Live Casinos
Sometimes you just want to experience a physical, land-based casino, but can’t do it. Maybe you live too far away from your nearest casino, or you don’t have time to visit one. Perhaps your local casino is always too busy for you to spend time on your games of choice. Whatever the reason, there is now a way to combine playing from the comfort of your own home with the feel of a brick and mortar casino – and this is live casino.
By playing games with live dealers, alongside other players who have logged in to enjoy a table game such as baccarat, roulette or blackjack, you can socialise in real time with people across the globe and gain as authentic an experience as possible from a remote location. Advancements in casino software technology have made this development possible relatively recently, and its popularity means this sector has a strong future.
If you’re a fan of live casino gaming, there is detailed information available with every review we produce on this Professor of Casinos site, so you know which sites have the best options for your style of gameplay. I will also proceed to tell you a little more about the background to live casino gaming, including the history of this exciting industry, the advantages and disadvantages of live dealer table games and frequently asked questions.
What is live casino?
Live casino is the perfect combination of virtual gameplay and live streamed gambling. Largely available with table games only, entering a live dealer lobby online will load up a video stream, where you will see a dealer within a brick and mortar casino dealing cards or spinning a wheel. You will have computer-generated statistics and aids to your gameplay on your screen, and there will usually be a chat function available so you can get to know other players who are enjoying the game at the same time. Many people enjoy live casino gameplay due to the fact that you don’t have to leave your own home in order to play, which makes it a more convenient experience. Additionally, some even prefer this mode of gambling, as the enhanced statistics and extra time to make decisions means that, in some ways, there is more on offer to help you implement strategy and evaluate gameplay during live casino than there would be if you were at a physical location.
History of live casino
The first online casinos began to emerge in the late 1990s, and they became hugely popular with players. Over time, elements such as graphics, selection and sound improved, but players wanted more than virtual gameplay – they were looking for a way to experience the feel of a casino without having to be there.
This led to live dealers being introduced to casino sites. The general concept behind this development was that a dealer would be assigned a table and work to provide an authentic experience for players. The first game available with a live dealer was blackjack, but this soon branched out to other kinds of table games, with many variations on each now available to choose from.
Now, most casinos offer a 24/7 live stream of live dealers, where players can log in at any time of the day or night, from anywhere in the world, and be connected to both a dealer operating a table game and a community of players in real time.
How to choose a live casino
There are several questions you should ask yourself when you’re choosing a live casino. Here are the essential ones you need to know:
Are there plenty of games available?
Game selection is an important factor with any casino site, and live dealer games are no exception. It’s generally expected that, if you want to play live dealer games, you’ll have a table game in mind. The classic selections are available, such as baccarat, roulette, craps and blackjack. As an example, William Hill has many roulette tables, such as Roulette VIP, Lightning Roulette, Speed Auto Roulette, American Roulette, Slingshot VIP and Vegas Speed Roulette. Meanwhile, Coral has lots of blackjack options on offer, including Grand Blackjack, Exclusive Blackjack, Soho Blackjack, Soiree Blackjack and Unlimited Blackjack.
Is the live casino correctly licensed?
Just as you would check these details for a casino site in general, it’s important to check that a live dealer section is being run legally, safely and fairly. This means that software providers should have a license with the country they are operating in, and that gambling commissions and special authorities monitor and control the casino and gaming industry in each jurisdiction. On top of licensing from the local authority or commission, casinos in certain locations will also require a license from the provider. This means that the provider consents to the operator using their platform and displaying their games on the casino site.
Can I view statistics and other related information?
Punters enjoy being able to analyse additional information during gameplay, as this allows them to enhance their gameplay and discover which strategies are successful for table games such as blackjack. Viewing information such as game round history also lets players see if there are currently hot and cold numbers they can strategically bet on or avoid. For example, Authentic Gaming provides players with in-depth statistics from the previous 250 spins, and Evolution Gaming offers previous spins information along with statistics in real time.
Is there a live chat function?
It’s considered important by many players to have a live chat function available with their live dealer games, as this allows them to communicate with other players, and, more importantly, the live dealer. This means they can bring up any issues or questions that may need answering. Live chat usually appears in the form of a dedicated window or box within the interface, and the dealer will be able to see all messages which are typed up and sent. Typically, they will respond to all queries out loud or via message, which means that players will know the answers to questions other people are asking also.
Does the live dealer section have dedicated tables on offer?
A reputable casino will have dedicated tables available for players to return to, which means those who are committed to regular live casino have the option to build up a relationship with the dealer operating that table. The benefit of dedicated tables is that there will be a regular host who is trained specifically for that game, and can therefore provide a more engaging experience for players.
Are there multiple languages available?
If there are multiple languages available for live dealer sections of a casino site, this means the operator has invested additional time in ensuring their service caters to a range of people. Sometimes the text on a site will be the only feature which can be translated to a range of languages, but it’s becoming increasingly popular to offer live dealers who speak different languages too.
How many camera angles are on offer in-game?
One of the main benefits live casino players enjoy is the ability to switch between camera angles and see the casino and table from a different perspective. There are two main benefits to offering multiple camera angles – the player is prevented from becoming bored, and they can be reassured that the casino isn’t hiding something by angling a single camera in a particular direction. The highest quality live casinos feature dealers who move between the cameras like a TV presenter, which allows a wider range of players to enjoy a direct experience with them during the game.
Can multiple games be played at once?
One of the gameplay methods people enjoy these days is having multiple games on the go at once. This makes the remote gaming experience even more thrilling, as there is lots to keep tabs on. Evolution Gaming allows players to have up to four live games playing at any one time within a master window. This option is not only beneficial for players, as they will be able to generate more excitement and winning potential, but it also works out well for operators, as customers are providing several revenue streams at once.
Advantages of live casino
Getting to know other players in real time
While virtual casino games are fun, and mean that players don’t have to travel to a physical casino in order to get their gambling fix, it can get lonely after a while – which is where live casino offers a clear benefit. For those who can’t socialise much, or prefer to do so online, live casino is the perfect mix of remote gaming and making new friends. This ability to combine social interaction with technology is one of the main reasons live casino has experienced a surge in popularity since its inception.
Being able to play remotely 24/7
If a player works unsociable hours or has to travel a lot for business reasons, they would have found it difficult to get to a casino and enjoy gambling before the launch of online casinos. Fortunately, the existence of virtual games and live dealer sections mean that, no matter where in the world you are or what time of day it is, you can log into a live dealer lobby and connect with a regular dealer, who you have potentially built up a relationship with.
Experience the latest technological advancements
If a casino operator is offering a live dealer section, it’s likely they will put in extra effort to ensure they stand out compared to their competitors. This means that players are spoilt for choice when it comes to the level of gaming they can enjoy. High levels of security are also implemented, meaning that players can be reassured their personal and financial information won’t be susceptible to interception from malicious sources.
Disadvantages of live casino
Potentially slow gameplay with delays
Due to the nature of live casino meaning that it’s in real time, with other real people playing alongside you and factors such as human error coming into play, there may be incidents where another player has an issue during a game, or the live dealer makes a mistake, requiring it to be corrected by another staff member to ensure all players are satisfied with the alteration. Therefore, those who want fast gameplay would be better off playing a dedicated high speed variant or engaging in a virtual game with no live elements.
Smaller games library to choose from
If you want a vast library of games to choose from, you are better off heading to the pokies section of a website as opposed to live casino, as many operators will ensure there are dozens of pokies games available on their site, and there are constantly new games popping up due to the unlimited themes that can be developed and the ease of creation. However, with live casino, there will usually be a smaller selection on offer, as it takes more manpower and investment to create a live stream with a dedicated dealer.
There may be technical issues
When you’re in a land based casino, technical issues aren’t at the forefront of your mind due to the fact that, if a game malfunctions for any reason, a member of staff will be on hand to resolve the issue. Similarly, if there is an issue during a virtual game, you can contact customer support and go back to the place you were at before once it’s fixed. The same situation will occur if your internet disconnects during a game – you will be able to load the game up again without missing much action. However, as live dealer games proceed in real time, if you end up with a technical issue that boots you out of the game temporarily, you risk missing out on the bulk of the action.
Live casino dealers
It’s common practice for a casino gambler to log into the live dealer section of their chosen site and be greeted by a dealer, or croupier. But who are these people and what function do they have? Essentially, a dealer is a casino staff member who has received training from the operator, usually on a particular game, before being allocated to a table so they can interact with paying gamers. They will often have a smart or glamorous appearance, and it’s rare to see casino croupiers dressed in casual or plain clothes. It’s not unheard of for a live dealer to be wearing a glitzy ball gown, or at least a smart uniform making it clear which casino they work for.
When you interact with a casino dealer, you’ll find they’ve been trained to be incredibly polite, friendly and professional. Reputable operators will have trained their dealers to the highest standard possible, so that every player has a top quality experience. The dealers are there to answer any questions and create a smooth, enjoyable set of game rounds.
Depending on location, dealers will learn games in a certain order. For example, North American croupiers typically learn blackjack first, while European croupiers get to grips with roulette first. For the more complex games, such as craps, these are left to the staff who have more training and aspire to be a master of their industry.
Live Casino FAQ
What’s the best live casino bonus? This will largely depend on your style of gameplay. However, many people say that no deposit bonuses provide the best value. This type of bonus involves the casino operator offering free bonuses to customers as an encouragement to make their first deposit. This method is popular among casino players, because they have an opportunity to test out the live dealer section of a site they’re thinking about playing more regularly at.
How can I win at live blackjack? There is no way to guarantee a win at any casino game, including blackjack, but it is possible to increase your chances by implementing certain measures. For example, if you play with a good strategy, keep track of the cards and watch how the experts get the most out of their hands, you’ll be able to enhance your odds at any blackjack table.
Which live table should I play at? It can be difficult to decide which live table you should choose for a round, but there are some general guidelines out there to help you make your decision. For example, take a look at the minimum and maximum bet limits, and choose an option which best suits your bankroll. Other features to look at include the speed of the game – so you could go for Speed Roulette or Speed Baccarat if you want a fast-paced game. On the other end of the spectrum are variants such as Immersive Roulette, which have fewer spins per hour due to the slow motion effects.
Which variant of live roulette gives me the best odds of winning? As a general rule, you should go for French or European tables as a first choice when playing any version of roulette online. This is because special rules such as En Prison and La Partage apply in the French edition, which means that you can considerably reduce your losses. Similarly, both of these versions have single zeros on the wheel, which make for better odds.
Is it safe to play live dealer games? There is nothing unsafe about playing live dealer games, as long as you play at a reputable casino and ensure you play responsibly. You can find a whole host of trustworthy casinos here at Casino Professor, and speed up the process of finding the best live dealer section for you by reading our reviews, compiled by industry experts. It’s also important to make sure gambling remains a hobby and doesn’t become your main source of income or a financial drain. If you’re worried about obsessive thoughts while playing, losing a lot of money regularly or being unable to stop after long periods of time, you can get in touch with free organisations such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Should I play at an empty or a full live table? This depends on your situation. If you’re new to gambling, it would make more sense to play at a full table, because the number of hands per hour will decrease by a huge amount. This is good for someone who hasn’t perfected a blackjack strategy yet, as it ensures they don’t lose too much money. On the other hand, live casino or general gambling veterans may prefer to play on their own because they can have more control over the game and enjoy more hands per hour.
What’s the difference between live casino and regular online casino? Regular online casino is a virtual game played between yourself and the computer. This is good if you want a quick fix, or to enjoy a pokies game. However, there are numerous perks with live casino. For example, enjoying the authentic feeling of being in a brick and mortar casino, increased social interactions and a feeling of community, on top of enhanced graphics, statistics and camera angles.
What’s the difference between live casino and playing at land-based casinos? There isn’t as much effort involved with playing at a live casino, because you don’t have to travel to a physical location or take too much time out of your day to dedicate to casino gameplay. Additionally, you can play at any time of day or night, whereas land-based casinos may have strict opening hours. With live casino, players also enjoy having access to multiple camera angles and on-screen statistics, as they can feel this gives them an advantage over in-person gamers.