When it comes to online gambling, the live section most certainly brings a very specific experience to its players. While ordinary casino games do have their entertainment value, live dealer games stand out with an unmatched level of immersion. To people who are not savvy with the recent gambling lingo, a live online casino is an environment where real dealers host and manage a casino game in real time. A virtual casino interface overlaps over a live streamed footage of the dealer and game table, allowing the player to make bets or change any settings. Live dealer games are famous for their high realism and immersion factor, but there are many other elements that make a live online casino great.
The first live dealer platform was developed in 2003 by the renowned company Playtech. Three years later, the companies Microgaming and Evolution Gaming developed their own live dealer versions. A few years later, many other companies followed by developing their own software, as the golden age of live dealer casinos had begun. Usually, the developing companies that have created the live casino platform also offer the services of their own live casino studio brands.
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How A Live Casino Works
There are casino brands that develop their own live dealer infrastructure and there are those that hire a 3rd party casino studio that offers a live dealer service to different brands. Whatever the case might be, there is a standard-average to casino studio sets. The rule of thumb states that a studio features a three-room setup. The first room is the live studio – the croupier, cameras, and all game tables are there. The second room houses the server/software equipment, and the third one is known as the “analyst room”. Naturally, you can expect the configuration of those rooms to be different in other casinos.
Casino personnel do not comprise only of croupiers; the other members of the staff are also important. One of the typical employees you can find in a live casino studio is the cameraman. There can be more than one, but no matter what the number of cameramen would be the cameras will be quite a few. Another type of employee invaluable to the studio is the “Pit Boss”. His/her role is to resolve any potential disputes that might arise between the players and croupier during gameplay. The last in the employee roster is the information technology manager whose responsibility is to make sure that the casino system is functioning up to standard.
Live Casino Table Types
There are two known types of live casino tables. The first type, is called a network table; this is usually a live lobby featured on several platforms that utilize the same software. Many players choose network tables, as not only are there a lot of people to play with, but the availability of those lobby types is usually quite wide. The other type of table known to the casino scene, is called the private table. These are live dealer games that are exclusive to a single casino brand, and only dedicated customers have the opportunity to test their skills there. Private tables are known to offer their players lucrative promotions and rewards.
Live Casino Games
Although conducted online, live dealer games have much more in common with land-based casinos. This means that you can expect slower game rounds, but that is a part of the live experience. After all, the dealers do perform physical actions, and will need to reload after every round. Usually, there is a monitor the dealer sees that shows different players and their bets; this is how the personnel can navigate properly in the game. Given the number of resources needed to run a live dealer studio, the games offered are usually low in number. Those are Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat and Poker. Naturally, the popular variations of these games will be available, such as Casino Hold’em, 3 Card Poker, and Caribbean Poker. If a large player base in a specific casino examples interest towards a variation that is not present, the gambling establishment will provide it in the future.
The Live Casino Bonuses
Given the requirements of an online casino, you naturally could expect different bonuses and rewards. One of the most popular bonuses, is the no-deposit bonus. Depending on the offers released by the casino, you will be able to enjoy a variety of rewards. No-deposit bonuses, free money, double your money bonus, double comp points, cash-backs, and so much more. Of course, But the bonuses aren’t the only type of rewards you can encounter. We have listed a few of the bonuses you can expect in the live section of a casino.
Just as the name suggests, deposit bonuses are meant to match the amount of money with your purchase of casino credits. While also present in the normal online version of the casino, the live sections offer their own percentage rates in terms of matching. Unless stated otherwise, deposit bonuses have their own wagering requirements, but they are not that large; feel free to explore the bonus scheme you feel more comfortable with.
One of the most coveted bonus types, free money, also known as a no-deposit bonus, is usually a type of offer that appears once in a while, and only a select few are granted the opportunity to benefit from them. While some casinos provide this offer on a periodic basis, it is more commonly accepted that the free money bonus is given at random to a few select players. Naturally, VIP guests are known to benefit from those type of bonuses more often than others.
The Loyalty Program
Today, comp points in all types of gambling establishments have become an industry standard. The loyalty program is also associated with a progress ladder that allows a player’s account to rise in rank, which allows better and bigger rewards. Usually, reaching a VIP rank is connected to the number of “loyalty points” you have, so the more you can accumulate, the better. When reaching a certain amount of points, you will be able to exchange them for casino credit; the rates of which vary throughout every online casino. But that’s not all – some casinos offer tournament passes, exclusive item prizes, and many other rewards.
Not every casino offers this type of bonus, but those that do enjoy an outstanding cult following. The meaning behind a cash-back bonus is that there is a percentage of money that is returned to you every time you make a bet. Also known as “rebates” the cash-back rate by industry standards is usually around 0.4%, to 0.8%; however, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be casinos that would offer much more than that. Also, bear in mind that the higher your account rank is, the larger the percentage will be (depending on a casino’s policy, of course).
Choosing a Live Dealer Casino – What to Look For
Although all live casino sites might have their similarities, some are going to be better than others. There are many factors that determine the quality of the overall experience, and we will describe most of them to give you the edge in making the right choice. No matter what type a live casino is, all of them are very expensive to run. The personnel, technology, and internet connection are all things that require substantial resources, so you can be sure that there will be some specific rules that might apply.
The Physical Set
The first visual impression says everything about a particular live casino. Now you must know, the biggest live software developers have their own studios and offer their services to popular casino brands. You can recognize a good casino site by the presence of space behind the dealer and play table. Some of the best casinos would have an enormous room where several tables would be visible. Of course some games would be set in a private room, but no matter what the type of the residence would be, the ambiance would look classy. Cheap-looking live studios will try their best to look like a land-based casino, but the classic and “too polished” theme will be the dead giveaway.
Of course, all personnel must look their absolute finest when appearing on camera. Looking the part isn’t the only factor you should be looking for; physical and communication conduct must be up to par, and one of the most important factors is that every dealer has impeccable speech. One of the biggest problems of online casinos is that dealers are speaking bad English, which in turn can make communication between them and the players difficult.
Stream, Camera, and Audio Quality
You cannot expect to invest your time and money in a live casino lobby and have your experience ruined by bad video quality. Reputable live studios make sure that their Internet connection is stable and uninterrupted. Multiple camera angles are also featured in every game, with some platforms providing settings allowing players to change the views of the game. Some casinos would go as far as to install a high frame motion cameras for their Roulette wheels, in order to provide a special slow-motion shot of the ball’s landing. What about sound? An almost instant tell on the quality of the casino is the audio. Watch out for distorted sounds and break ups in the connectivity.
Reasons to visit Live Casino Sites
A live casino setting does seem more “transparent” in nature, and this is why people prefer to play there. Another main reason for people to prefer a live dealer casino, is the fact that the games aren’t operated by a virtual RNG algorithm. The random number generation is featured I every online casino game, in order to create the “randomness” in circumstance. Since the roulette wheel and playing cards are real, the randomness is physical, rather than virtual. Below, you will see a short summary of the most popular reasons:
- high level of realism immersion
- platform diversity
- multi-game interface, players can bet on several places at the same time
- audio and video chat ( not mandatory)
The Pros and Cons of Live Dealer Casinos
It is only normal that no matter how good a live casino might be, there will be good and bad sides. In some cases, a positive point could be considered a negative one, and vice versa; an excluded example here, is the social presence factor. Some players would like to have the live lobby all by themselves while others enjoy being in a more multiplayer environment. Well, whatever a player’s social environment preferences are, only the VIP players will be able to take advantage of a private setting. Here are the pluses and minuses of a live casino:
- Maximum convenience; you can play from home or on the go
- An unparalleled immersive experience
- Non-deposit bonuses
- Minimum-to-none wagering requirements
- Live social environment
- Absence of the RNG factor
- Stakes are higher
- Several players will be needed in order for the game round to commence
- Requires a fast Internet Connection
- Some dealers are hard to understand
- Upon disconnection, your hand will be automatically played.
Best Way to Experience a Live casino – Technical Specifications
Make no mistake – if you decide to go for the live casino experience, you will need to make sure that your hardware is powerful enough. Although you won’t need a supercomputer or the latest smartphone in order to run the live casino service, there is something that you will need – fast Internet. The higher the quality of the stream, the faster connection you would need. Live casino software developers constantly try to improve the quality of their services, while keeping the hardware requirements manageable.
Cross-Platform Availability and Preferences
While a live casino is usually played through a computer, it is also available on your mobile device. While statistics show that most people like to experience an online casino while on the go through their smartphone or their tablet, the players that prefer to play with a live dealer favor the computer as their favorite gaming platform. Many people wonder why that is, and the answer is quite simple – setting. Usually, someone who plays in a live casino lobby tends to be more focused and any outside distractions like people or moving cars can impact on their playing style. But that’s not all; just like other casino apps, the live dealer ones are specifically resized so they can fit on your mobile device, which is still small by optical standards. There is no better way to experience a live casino on a big screen!
Live Casino Online Security
In order for a casino to be reputable and trusted, it will have to possess a number of certificates and licenses. The live dealer section doesn’t make any exceptions as well. All card games played in a live dealer casino, usually feature a bar code reader embedded into the table’s floor, right in front of the card shoe. The cards themselves have a printed mark on their face side, which is scanned by the reader and displayed on the virtual element. The software of those machines is tested for fairness on a regular basis as well, in order to make sure that players are treated properly.
Be Prepared For a Live Game
People usually tend to pay regular online casino games without much preparation, as rules are often balance-friendly. In the live dealer scene, things tend to be a bit different. Since it is a general rule that the stakes in the live lobbies are higher, it is better to be prepared as much as you can, prior to making your first bet. Players are able to enter a live table without having to pay for it. This gives them the unique opportunity to observe how the game develops and moves. Bear in mind that the games are also slower, so you would have to get used to the classic game tempo (as opposed to regular online games, as things happen much faster there).
Some casinos do offer a “fun money” options where you can play with a live dealer and hone your skills, but those can be tricky to find. One thing is for sure; in all cases, you will need to register an account. Take some time to learn a game’s rules. While most live tables offer the most classic of games, there could be minor deviations from what you’re used to; being in a hurry won’t help you very much. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the environment, you will be able to make your decisions a lot faster, and with a greater efficiency.
Live casinos deliver an unprecedented element to its players – realism. While normal casino games are considered to be a bit more “easy going”, all games featuring a real dealer are much more focus-oriented. There are some special rules that apply in almost all live games; usually, they are linked to the likely event when a player experiences issues with their Internet connection. Aside from that, live casinos are outstandingly fun and more people are “crossing over” from normal online play to the live dealer section. If you’re the type of player that enjoys maximum realism and a huge variety of rewards, you will definitely like it.