What is a Live Casino?
A live casino is any online casino that mainly uses the live dealer approach for its table games. Many online casinos offer at least a few live dealer games, but use single-player software for most of their selection. Since there’s less of an emphasis on live dealer games, these are not live casinos.
The reverse is also true. Live casinos may give punters the chance to play some software-based games, but there are heaps of live dealer games to enjoy.
The main difference between online and live casinos is in the real money experience. When you play a table game powered by casino software, you can play for free or for real money. Since live dealer casino games are played with other people, they can only be played for real money.
The rest of the experience is the same, whether you’re playing at an online casino or a live casino. There will still be more pokies than anything else, banking will be done the same way, and both will still offer the same kinds of casino bonuses and promotions. As mentioned, both types of casinos will still have at least a few of the other kind of table games. It’s up to you to decide what you’re more interested in.
Live Dealer Casino Games
Live dealer casino games are what make live casinos what they are. Rather than simulations of table games, they are the actual thing, facilitated by an on-camera dealer in a studio and broadcast over the internet. Punters bet on outcomes from their computers or mobiles, the game is played in real-time, and winners have money added to their casino accounts. Since they are run through a live casino, they are just as safe to play as anything else you’d find there.
Because of the format of live dealer casino games, there are some games you can play that you’d never see at an online casino. Would you believe that you can play Monopoly or Deal or No Deal at a live casino? That said, there are some table games that simply don’t work in the live dealer format, so make sure you can play what you want before signing up to a live casino.
The biggest disadvantage of playing live dealer casino games is how data-heavy they are. Since playing relies on a high-definition video stream, punters with bad internet connections can be at a pretty big disadvantage. This can also mean that players who use their mobiles are at risk of burning through their data plans and incurring overage fees. It doesn’t entirely solve the issue, but look to see if you can reduce the game’s video quality, and try to make sure your mobile is connected to wireless internet before you start playing.
Live dealer casino games might be a bit novel, but they are still heaps of fun. They capture the feeling of playing at an in-person casino much better than software can, and they offer punters something different to enjoy. That they’ve grown so popular in the past few years only means that they’ll probably be around for a long time.
Some of the more common live dealer casino games are:
It may seem complicated because of its rigid progression, but baccarat is actually one of the easiest games to play at a live casino. The majority of baccarat that is played at online or live casinos is the punto banco, or player banker, version. All punters have to do is bet on whether they think the player hand will win, the banker hand will win, or if it will be a tie. While the game still has rules about cards being added to each hand, the dealer will take care of everything, just like at an in-person casino. This can make baccarat seem far less intimidating to new players.
There are heaps of different versions of poker to play at live casinos, so finding your favourite kind shouldn’t be a challenge. Every type of poker can be played with just you and the dealer, but if you want to make things more fun, you can also play against other punters. While you can have a bonzer time playing poker as a live dealer casino game, remember that just like normal online casinos, live casinos and poker rooms don’t have a lot of crossover. You can read more about these differences on our poker page.
Like everywhere else, blackjack is an incredibly popular game at live casinos. Everyone knows how to play blackjack, and it’s as fun as ever. One neat detail is that just like at an in-person casino, the dealer draws cards from multiple decks. Heaps of punters can play blackjack at once, making it far more social and engaging than it normally would be at an online casino.
In our eyes, roulette is the best live dealer casino game because it’s so exciting. With an actual roulette wheel and table used to play, the live casino version is exactly how you would experience it at an in-person casino. Like poker, there are a few different varieties available, so you’ll be able to enjoy your version of choice.
As with pokies and other casino games, each live dealer casino game is supplied to a live casino by a provider. There are only a few companies focusing on live dealer casino games at the moment, with Evolution Gaming being at the forefront. This award-winning developer exclusively creates games for live casinos, and many would argue that they’re the best.
While other developers like Vivo Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Lucky Streak and Authentic create quality live casino software, most of what’s out there was developed by Evolution. Even in such a new category, the variety and numbers of their games simply can’t be beat.
If you want to know which software providers are behind the games for a specific casino, check out our casino reviews.
Bonuses and Promotions at Live Casinos
As we mentioned above, live casinos handle bonuses exactly the same as regular online casinos do. Punters can generally expect a live casino to have a welcome bonus and a few other types of deposit bonus. Remember that live casinos do let punters play pokies and other types of casino games, so it makes sense that how they handle bonuses isn’t much different from regular online casinos.
Our casino reviews will always have a section about the bonuses available to punters at any given online casino, including live casinos. While live casinos have a different game selection, they stick pretty close to the normal casino model. Even if they don’t directly apply to live dealer casino games, promotions like free spins and match bonuses are still available.
Live Dealer Casino FAQs
Do I need to download anything to play?
You do not need to download any software to play live dealer casino games. They are streamed from your live casino of choice to your device over the internet, so all you need is a browser and a capable internet connection. Some casinos may offer an app that you can play live dealer casino games through, but you don’t need to download or install them to play. That said, some casinos offer a special one-time casino bonus to players who install their app, so even though you don’t need it, you might want it.
What other live dealer casino games are there?
As the live casino space gets bigger, more people will be looking for different types of games. In addition to the four games listed above, you may also be able to find live dealer versions of Sic Bo, Craps, or Bingo.
Why should I try playing at a live casino?
Live casinos are really unique because they mix the in-person casino experience with the convenience of playing at an online casino. Since you can play with other punters, they’ve also introduced a social element to online casinos that wasn’t really there before. In the big picture, they offer a real-world example of how our available technology can innovate within the online gaming space. It might just be an interactive video feed, but it’s progress towards whatever’s coming next.