Live Dealer Casino Guide

Live Dealer Casinos

With the appearance of the first online live casinos, the constraints of space have finally been eliminated and the gamblers from all over the world were able to experience the dynamics of authentic casino tables.

Streamed from exotic locations across the globe, live dealer games have become an indispensable part of modern online gaming offer. The evolution of mobile computing technology has had a severe impact on live gaming software development, and the gambling industry has come a long way since 1996 when the first live casino table was introduced.

Nowadays, the sophisticated live game software is capable of performing multiple functions at the same time – from establishing a visual and audio communication channel between the players and the dealers to providing a virtual environment with real-time streamed casino games.

What Are Live Online Casino Tables?

Live casino tables are exact replicas of the most popular casino games found in land-based gambling resorts. The tables are hosted by professional dealers and located inside the developer’s studios or the actual brick and mortar casinos, enabling the online visitors to play side by side with the patrons.

As the industry evolved, the technology behind the live gaming has become much more refined, enabling the providers to expand the offer and design highly functional and visually outstanding platforms that can meet the needs of even the most demanding players.

How Does It Work

A single live table, no matter how basic it may appear to an average user, is a complex infrastructure of software design, OCR (short for optimal camera recognition technology), and GCU (Game Control Unit) technology. The table and the dealer are the only part of the studio that’s visible to the online players – what remains hidden is the state-of-the-art equipment which converts the table or the wheel in an electric format via the OCR technology.

This way, every part of the game is broken into a series of actions that the players experience in real-time, without missing a single second of the session – card dealing, shuffling, wheel spinning, ball landing inside the pocket, etc.

The crucial part of the equipment is the GCU – a unit attached to the table at all times, encoding the game and assisting the dealers by providing them with visual inputs.

What’s the Difference Between an RNG and a Live Casino Game?

RNG games are animated version of casino games that run with the help of random number generated mechanics – hence the name. The sessions of RNG games are operated with the help of a computer program that generates random results through a series of complex algorithms. Software providers and online casino operators often employ independent testing labs to test and verify the fairness of their games and confirm that RNG is functioning properly.

As opposed to their RNG counterparts, live games rely on professional dealers who deal and shuffle the cards, manage the wheel, interact with the players, and announce the results – just like inside an actual casino.

The Advantages of Live Casino Games

Unfortunately, not all of us have the time or resources to visit glamorous gambling resorts and play at private tables reserved for VIP gamblers only. This is where live casinos come it, giving you access to any casino game 24/7.  A lot has changed since the ‘90s and the market expansion gave birth to software developers focused on specific demographics, introducing games that have been relatively unknown across Europe and the USA – Andar Bahar, Pai Gow, Fan Tan…

It was not long before some gaming providers upped the Ante, raising the quality standards and adapting board games or popular TV game show for online gambling markets. Some, like NetEnt, have even combined the live tables with VR technology, allowing the players to switch between games/variants while roaming inside the virtual live casino lobby. The best part is that the live gaming software is fully compatible with mobile devices and the players can launch their favorite tables anytime and anywhere.

Another advantage is the comfort and highly responsive user interface. The series of advanced gaming commands will help you use the limited betting time more efficiently by undoing the last move, clearing the bets from the table, repeating the last bet, or even saving the preferred betting patterns – all with no more than a few clicks. By using the advanced customization options, the users can even adjust the platform to their own gameplay style and change the visual/audio settings or the viewing mode.

If you are concerned about the social aspect of gambling, live interface often comes with a live chat feature which can be used for engaging in a conversation with the dealer or fellow players. Multiple live tables can often be activated at the same time, each with the separate optimization settings, help page, and statistical representation of the previous rounds (regularly updated scoreboards in baccarat, hot/cold number trackers in roulette, previous round results in blackjack, and other relevant information).

How to Play Live Casino Games

While RNG casino games can often be played in demo-mode, live tables are open to the registered and depositing members only. The betting process is quite simple – players submit their bets across the simulated table by clicking on the virtual chips and confirming the bets. The real table is shot by one or more cameras, which cover every corner of the betting layout, zooming in on the wheel or the cards (depending on the game). Once the round is over, the winning results are displayed across the screen, and the bets are automatically settled according to the standard payout tables.

The number of available seats will also be featured on the screen; most tables have unlimited player-capacity, so you will not be forced to wait for a spot to clear (yet another advantage of online live tables). Alternatively, you can use the Bet Behind option (limited to blackjack games).

Top-Notch Live Casino Software Developers

Although the competition is fierce, the market is spacious enough to accommodate countless of software developers – the ones listed below, however, have managed to emerge and become the industry leaders, thanks to the high quality standards, excellent selection of games, and complex yet simple-to-use UI:

Evolution Gaming – industry veteran, Evolution Gaming has a supply deal with hundreds of online casino operators. The developer’s studios are scattered all over the world – Latvia, Malta, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Romania. Over the years, Evolution has become a synonym for innovation, continually evolving and redefining the traditional boundaries with games like Lightning Roulette and First-Person editions (blackjack and roulette which combine virtual RNG features with live dealer software).

Best performing games:

  • Live Monopoly – showcased on ICE 2019, Live Monopoly is a combination of the developer’s Dream Catcher (wheel of fortune) and classic Monopoly game;
  • Lightning Roulette – traditional single-zero roulette table with multipliers (worth up to x500) that can be triggered by a bolt of lightning during any spin;
  • Dream Catcher – one of the best-known Evolution Gaming live games, Dream Catcher is a classic, game-show style wheel of fortune;
  • Infinite Blackjack – 8-deck, Vegas style variant with an unlimited number of seats and 4 side bets – Any Pair, 21+3, Bust It, and Hot 3.
  • Deal or No Deal – based on the popular Deal or No Deal TV show, where the players can make a deal and settle for a certain cash prize or take a risk and compete for more money;

NetEnt – while Evolution Gaming is focused on live dealer games, NetEnt is equally known for its slots and RNG software. The company is founded in 1996 and is one of the first developers to re-launch some of their most popular games in VR. Their live tables are streamed from Malta. More information on the product here –

Best performing games:

  • Live Beyond Live – actual live blackjack and roulette tables placed inside the virtual environment which the players can explore.

Portomaso Gaming – Malta-based developer active across 15 international markets, Portomaso Gaming offers studio and land-based casino streamed tables under the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority licenses. Their software is fairness tested by Gaming Laboratories International.

Best performing games:

  • Portomaso Gaming Live Roulette 360 – Oracle Casino  – single zero roulette table located inside Oracle Casino in Malta. Among other advantages, the platform enables the players to automatize the betting process (Auto Bet feature) or submit multiple bets at the same time (Bet All feature).

Authentic Gaming  – the developer made a debut in 2015 with a St Vincent casino roulette stream. Operating under the slogan is “It isn’t realistic, it’s real”, Authentic Gaming remains faithful to the game that placed them on the map, partnering with international casino operators and streaming tables from multiple gambling resorts (St Vincent, Hilton International Batumi Casino, Foxwoods Resorts…).

Best Performing Games:

  • Live Foxwoods Casino Roulette – single zero table streamed 24/7 from Foxwoods Resort in Connecticut. The partnership has made Authentic Gaming the first developer to mediate between North American land-based casinos and European players.

For a complete list of live dealer suppliers check out the software providers section on LiveDealers. They cover both European and Asian facing live studios.

Popular Live Dealer Casino Games Variations

Most players prefer the traditional roulette, blackjack, poker and baccarat tables, but there are certain variations designed to accommodate more specific demands. Even though originally devised to target a certain profile of players, these tables became widely popular in a relatively short amount of time.

Native tables – tables (usually roulette) with dealers who are native speakers of a certain language, be it German, Arabic, Suomi, Russian, etc. Evolution Gaming is dominating this niche (as well as the other listed below), offering any language an operator can think of.

Private/VIP tables – high roller live tables with extremely high betting limits. While VIP tables can accommodate multiple players, Salon Prive tables are reserved for a single player.

Party tables – live tables hosted by two or more dealers who animate the players by engaging them in a light conversation.

Silent tables – live tables where the focus is on the game and the sessions are played in complete silence. Preferred by the players who use betting or other types of strategies while playing.