Online casinos are viewed by a portion of the population with a significant amount of suspicion and skepticism. Though online slots, blackjack, baccarat, roulette games are all monitored by rigorous governing bodies, there is the unfounded and misguided belief that because it’s computer-generated, the games are rigged, or contrived to swindle the user.
This is of course not true, but the experience of live dealer takes all that doubt away. Live dealer is the closest you can be to playing a real brick and mortar casino, giving you the thrill, the atmosphere, and the legitimacy, all from the comfort of your own home.
The world of live dealers began in 2003, but as internet speeds around the globe were lethargic and unreliable; games lagged, disconnected halfway through, and were just frustrating to play, so the platform never really took off.
Initially, live dealers only really found a home on TV with Channel 5 in the UK launching live games of roulette on terrestrial television in 2005, and later blackjack in 2007. As broadband became more and more of a stalwart of the home, live casino found its place in the world, and the platform grew and grew.
In 2012 live dealers games were established for mobile, and a year later games started being streamed live from real brick and mortar casinos within Europe. There are now countless live dealer variants across the internet all with their own quirks, their different variants, and their own personal touches. The live dealer world has exploded, and it now stands as the number one table game experience on the internet.
How does it work?
Live dealer table games are streamed live with real croupiers dealing real cards and spinning real balls. The game’s live feed is then transferred to a linked interface where the player can place bets accordingly.
The majority of live dealer games are either streamed from a purpose-built dealer studio, but there are also games out there which come live from a real brick and mortar casino where you can see real-life players betting on the same games as you.
On the screenshot, you can see the live dealer table. In front of you, you have the three betting options which you click on to bet just like you would in a regular table game online. The croupier will then deal real cards onto the table, and the game is live from there.
There is also a live chat feature on the left-hand side where you can talk to the live dealer and other people playing the game which automatically makes this more of a social experience than the traditional video variant.
Depending on what online casino you play at, there is the option of live poker, live roulette, live blackjack, live baccarat, live dreamcatcher, live sicbo, along with a host of other dice and card games.
Will live dealers work with my internet?
Playing on a live dealer casino isn’t like streaming Netflix or Youtube, the video is live, real-time so you can’t wait for the video to load if your internet connection is dodgy or playing up.
However, having said that, to play on a live dealer table you don’t need to have the best internet connection in the world. Preferably, you’d like to have an internet speed of 1 Mbps or more which should give you a smooth and seamless experience with little to no freezing or buffering.
Anything under 1 Mbps would be a struggle, but the guidelines specify that the live stream should work on speeds as low as 500 Kbps, though it may not be all that reliable.
If you’re not sure of your connection speed, you can check it at speedtest.net which gives you an accurate reading of the speed you’re currently getting from your ISP. The results may surprise you…
Games to play
On live roulette, you will only have a fixed time limit of 30 seconds to a minute to place your bets which differs from the video roulette where you have as long as you like. Once the time limit is over the ball will be dropped and the camera will zoom in on the wheel to see where the ball finishes. With live dealer roulette, you will have the choice of American roulette, and European roulette.
On live blackjack, you will be dealt big, oversized cards so you can easily see the cards through the live stream. There is a fixed time limit on your game, and you’ll traditionally be on a 7 seater table, like at a real brick and mortar casino, with up to 6 other players which can take some time to play, if it’s full.
There are different types of poker games you’ll find on live dealer with Caribbean Stud, Casino Hold’em, and the traditional Texas Hold’em all available. The oversized cards will be used for your convenience, but live dealer poker differs from traditional poker as you’ll be playing against the house, not other players.
Live baccarat is an easy game to play in real time as there are no bets from the dealer. Oversize cards are again used for so you can easily view your cards, and the game is basically the same as what you’d play on video baccarat except you have a fixed time limit, just like you do on blackjack and roulette.