Live Casino

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Live Casino: What Is So Special About It?


Have you heard of live casino? We bet you have! That’s what unites two fascinating worlds, the world of online gambling and the one of real-life land-based gaming houses. That’s exactly what gives players an opportunity to experience the thrill of a live play in real time. That’s what lets you see a live person dealing your cards, spinning the roulette wheel, or throwing the dice. In other words, this is your chance to enjoy playing in a live game session, with a live croupier and sometimes even live counterparts. Isn’t it amazing that today’s technologies allow all of this?Playing live games is very similar to playing traditional online casino games, but there are still some nuances to know. We have prepared a comprehensive guide within which we highlight the following:



  • What is the difference between online casino and live casino;

  • What technologies are hidden behind;

  • The role of live dealer;

  • Live games and bonuses overview;

  • Mobile play


In fact, giving players an opportunity to play live games became a true revolution in online gambling industry. In a variety of ways, this is a unique way of playing that not simply compensates for the atmosphere of a land-based casino but actually offers something involving and great in its own way. We do believe it is worthy to join the game just to make sure you haven’t missed this aspect of playing. Here we go!


 

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Is there any difference between live casino and online casino?


Yes, there is quite a significant difference, even though we cannot say they are quite similar in a couple of ways. Here below in our article we will explain what is the relation between live casino and online casino in detail. For now it is enough to know that online casino website is the place where you can find both online games and live games. However, the principle the game play is based on is different.


Have you ever heard of random number generator? That’s what defines the outcome of any online casino game. Indeed, there are some games with skill element, which means you have a chance to influence whether you win or lose. In most cases, however, the outcome is absolutely random. To put it shortly, random number generator can be called an engine on online games, while the situation with live games is a bit different.


What runs the game is the dealer, or a live person. They throw the dice, deal the cards, and perform any other actions required by game rules. Yes, the outcome is random as well, while the difference lies in the driving factor, let’s call it this way. Naturally, online game sessions take much less time than those of live games. After all, the dealer interacts with players and answers their questions, which wouldn’t be possible in a traditional online casino game. For sure, this contributes to the atmosphere and general impression upon players.


How does it work?


The mechanism of how live casino works is a quite interesting thing. Usually, that’s traditional online gambling providers that host live casinos. Sessions of live games are streamed to players through platforms for online streams like Evolution Gaming, CWC Gaming, Entwine Tech, and so on.


You have probably noticed that live casino is quite a rare thing. The reason why it is so lies in costs. Purchasing special software requires much of investments but this is still a one-time need, unless to count occasional updates. The trouble is with staff expenses. To make live casino run, the operator needs to hire a pit manager, at least two croupiers, a cameraman, and a person responsible for technologies to be applied. And that’s the very minimum.


As a rule, the studio is divided into three parts. The first one is the room where the entire action takes place. In other words, that’s the part players see. The second part is for technology administrator. As a rule, that’s the room for staff members who are responsible for the broadcast. The last but not least, live casino studio is supposed to have a room for the live sessions manager, or the person who takes care of the entire process.


You have probably guessed that running a traditional online casino is much simpler and cheaper. As a result, continuous operation costs became the basic reason why live games are a comparatively rare thing. This is also the determining factor when it comes to game catalog. In most cases, the choice includes poker in a couple of versions, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.


Technologies behind live casino


So, we are now able to enjoy the benefits of live playing thanks to the technology of live streaming. Here, the importance of camerawork cannot be overestimated. Displaying the scene from only one camera angle is possible, but this is still a bit boring. Players want to see everything in detail, while the picture itself should be vivid and attractive. That’s exactly what Optional Camera Recognition allows to achieve. This is a technology that allows to capture minor details like cards shuffling, hand distributions, or roulette wheel spinning. Of course, this makes the entire show look more realistic to players and allows them to enjoy a kind of immersive of experience.


So, live game session that takes place in a studio is being simultaneously transmitted via a video link to players. Depending on the game, there might be several cameras in use. Talking about roulette, as an example, there are usually three of them. One of these cameras is pointed at the table and the other one at the wheel. The third one is used as a general view camera. A crucial component of the process is the so-called game control unit. It digitizes the broadcast data and allows the staff to control the entire process. Attached to each gaming table, it also helps the croupier run the game.


How do players interact with the dealer?


Apart from everything else, in any live casino studio there is a monitor that displays what exactly players see on their screen. That’s exactly what what allows to run the game: the dealer can see how many players there are online, what bets they are placing, and what questions any of them is asking. An important thing to know is that live games almost always have a live chat. As a player, you can ask your question there and the dealer or chat operator will give you an immediate response. What is more, you can even chat with other players, which will for sure make you feel that the game you are playing is live.


Live casino dealer


This is probably the most important element as far as the visual part is concerned. There are lots of things the dealer is responsible for. The thing number one is that this is a person players can get in touch with if they have a question. In some cases, you can write your question in a chat and the dealer will give you verbal answer. Depending on circumstances, the dealer can also participate in discussions between players and help with some controversial issues.


Of course, the dealer is the person who runs the game. Players place their bets via a console on their screen. The way the dealer accepts them depends on the game type. If this is roulette, for instance, the dealer places all the players’ bets on the playing table, so you can actually see them. After this, the game starts.


Real casino streaming


We suppose you would agree that the place from which the game session is being streamed plays a certain role. What we mean is the room players see the croupier in. Most casino providers use specially equipped studios, while others offer just a virtual place instead of a real room. The greatest thing, however, is when the game is being streamed from a real land-based casino. That’s exactly what makes you believe and actually feel you are taking part in a real game.


There is no need to explain that this allows players to enjoy a truly immersive experience. However, this is only a part of the story. This gives players from all over the world an opportunity to take a look at a casino they wouldn’t be able to visit but still wanted to see. Isn’t it great? We suppose you already have a couple of ideas what land-based casino you would like to try playing in.


Where are live casino studios located?


We cannot say there are that many live casino studios worldwide. Most of them are located in Europe and the United Kingdom, as well as in the United States, and Canada. Talking about South Asia, there is a couple of studios in the Philippines and Cambodia, too. The network and the way its members interact is rather sophisticated, so we won’t dig deeply into the details. Even though the number of live play studios is comparatively small, the competition is crazy. From a viewpoint of players, this is great as gambling providers have no other choice but to do their best to struggle for their audience. Therefore, players do have what to choose from. When choosing a studio based on where it is located, we recommend you to take several things into account.


What to bear in mind when choosing a live casino studio:


1) First of all, you can base your choice on language. If English isn’t the language you prefer, there is no trouble about this. Even though the number of live game tables available in other languages is not as rich, you will still easily find what you are searching for.


2) Don’t forget about the quality of broadcast. If the studio is too far from you, the signal may be too weak. However, there is no need to agree to this as in most cases there are some options closer to you. Believe us, your playing experience won’t be full without HD video quality and good sound.


3) Operation hours are an important factor as well. Many live casino studious are available in the 24/7 mode, though this is not always the case. In case you prefer playing at particular hours, this is not a big deal, however. Still, bear in mind that the studio might be located in a different time zone and you’d better check if it is available at the time you prefer in advance.


4) We wouldn’t recommend you to deal with a casino that doesn’t give you an opportunity to get in touch with the dealer. As a minimum, there should always be a live chat so that you could as a question and get an immediate reply.


5) Finally, the choice of games matters too. It’s very convenient to have all your favorite live games available in one spot. Besides, pay attention if the games on offer suit the particular region. What we mean is that games popular in Texas won’t attract much attention in Asian countries and vice versa. Overall, this doesn’t matter that much but it still shows that the operator takes care of their players.


How to choose a live casino?


As a rule, in order to choose a venue to play live games you are to adhere to the same principles apply to the search for a traditional online casino. Still, there are some nuances you should remember about.


Principles to follow


1) License and security measures


This is the number one rule we always mention when giving our readers recommendations on how to find a reliable online gambling provider. Safety first and foremost, with no exceptions. Carefully check what kind of a license the casino operator has. For British players, it is great when the operator has a license from the UK Gambling Commission. Also, don’t forget about the security policy. Check what kind of protocols and measures the operator takes to protect your information. We won’t stop on this for too long as we have already described how to choose a reliable online casino in a separate guide. Also, we emphasize that these are tips on how to choose the gambling venue, but not live casino itself.


2) Registration process


This is one more indicator of whether the casino is worthy to deal with. Like the previous one, it can be applied to both the online casino website and the access to live gaming. On many websites, the registration take up to three minutes. You simply submit you login and password and that’s all. In fact, this is not quite good. To tell the truth, such kind of a procedure is supposed to make you feel suspicious. An indeed reliable casino operator would ask you to fill in a form and confirm your identity later on. You would need to submit your phone number and address, too. Don’t let this scare you off, however. All these measures are a part of responsible gambling policy with one of their aims being to prevent underage gambling. Just accepts it as it is and go on playing.


3) Contact with dealer


Practice shows that the more real the studio looks, the better. Computer settings might be good as well, but we still are in favor of real-life studios. The best possible option is when the broadcast is being given from a real land-based casino. In any case, the opportunity to contact with the dealer is much more important. It is great when you can write in an online chat and get an immediate answer from the chat operator, but it’s even better if the dealer can reply to you verbally.


In fact, some live casino operators allow you to turn on your web camera so that the dealer could see you as well. This is especially great if you are playing against the house but not against other players. If you are playing in a group, this is possible as well. You could start a web conference with other players, if they agree. Now you see what is the difference between live playing and online games? The latter would not give you this opportunity.


4) Look through feedback


Live casino is an extremely popular sector of online gambling industry, so you will easily find lots of resources dedicated to this topic. On our website, you will find a list of the live casino providers: we have carefully checked each of them and prepared a short review of their basic features. If you want to dig deeper, look through information portals explaining the difference between various live casino venues and offering the top options. In particular, take a look at ratings and players’ votes. Finally, don’t neglect reading other players’ comments and reviews. As a rule, this helps you find out what to pay attention to and what websites to avoid.


5) Choose the right game


Depending on your preferences, choose the game you would like to try playing and make sure you will receive some kind of a welcome bonus. Yes, you do have an opportunity to enjoy free perks when playing live games. Since basically all live games are table games, this might be an additional round or a multiplier if you happen to win. Overall, the range of bonuses on offer is quite similar to those offered in regular online games. Anyway, don’t miss your chance and look through our overview of live casino bonuses below in the article.


Live casino games catalog


The range of games the casino operators offers is a factor of how reliable it might turn out. As mentioned above, to launch live casino gaming is quite challenging for casino providers, particular when it comes to financial issues. Therefore, those casino operators who offer a large collection of live games are likely to have good reputation and a couple of years of experience within the market.


The most popular games are probably poker and blackjack, in all their variations. It’s a good sigh when live casino provider offer at least several poker tables. Different variations of blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are quite popular too. To stand out from the rest, some providers offer less popular games like Hi-Lo, Sic Bo, and others. Anyway, even the choice of games seems to be quite limited when compared to online casino game gallery, we are sure you will find something to your taste.


1) Blackjack


This is probably the world’s most popular card game, both in real and virtual modes. Blackjack comes in several variations, each with its own specifics and nuances in rules. Live casino providers take this into account so if you prefer a particular type of this game, you will easily find the right table. One of the reasons why the game is so popular is that its rules are very simple. The key idea is to come up with as high score as possible but not higher than 21. It’s quite funny, but most guides explaining how to play this game are quite large and it might seem that the rules are rather sophisticated. They are not, in fact. Especially when you have an opportunity to get in touch with the dealer in a live chat and ask them to help you. Another great thing is that live casino providers keep competing for attention of players. In order to win it, they offer a variety of bonuses and perks, so why not to use them?


2) Roulette


This popular game comes in European and American types, as well as several other variations. Just for you to gain some basic understanding, the RTP of live European roulette is about 97.3%, while its American variation offers 94.74%. Just in case you are not familiar with the term, RTP stands for Return to Player, which is the value that allows to assume the percentage of bets that are being returned to players in a form of winnings. Talking about betting limits, a great thing is that you decide how much to bet yourself. If you thought that playing live roulette or any other live game is associated with betting more than usual, you were wrong. You can bet as little as £1 or sometimes even less. When all the bets are made, the croupiers says “No more bets!” and spins the wheel. So let the game begin!


3) Baccarat


Do you like James Bond? If yes, you probably know that baccarat is his favorite card game. Its rules might seem a bit sophisticated, but the key concepts are still easy to grasp. Whether you win or lose depends on your luck: players are just trying to guess what cards their opponents have. Still, some players insist that one could win if they learn to count the cards. It might be possible in general, but the truth is that live game sessions last much less than one would need to start counting cards. As for the payout percentage, the dealer wins a bit more often – in about 50.68% of all cases. In any case, this game is awesome in many ways. Some live casino providers offer an opportunity to play in a group, so you can actually invite your friends to join the game. So why not to throw a James Bond party?


4) Poker


Those who love this game know that it comes in numerous variations such as Texas Hold’em, Casino Hold’em, or Caribbean Stud to name the few. When searching for a live poker venue, try not to miss at least two interesting features you might come across. Only in some cases the croupier deals cards for real instead of deal simulations. On the one hand, this once again helps you make sure that the game is fair. On the other hand, this lets you enjoy what is called the authentic experience. The second interesting thing is that some live poker tables allow playing against the house, but not just against other players. What is thrilling about this is that you are playing alone against the dealer, but if you want you could play as two or even three players. This is a kind of a cheat, but why not to try this just for fun?


5) Craps


When it comes to live table games, this is one of the most dynamic ones. In this game there are two dealers, the “Shooter” and the “Host”: the first one throws the dice and the second one operates the stick. Just in case you were curious, in traditional craps that’s players who initiate the game, while the dealer only accepts the bets. After the bets are made, the Shooter throws the dice and then the Host announces the results. An interesting thing is that this game lets players experience what is called the Vegas feeling. Thrilling atmosphere and fast tempo won’t let you feel bored. Start playing and see for yourself!


6) Sic Bo


This is an Asian variation of craps. This is one of the most popular games in Asia known from the earliest Chinese history. In fact, one of the reasons to try it is to get some insight of what games were played hundreds years ago. Meanwhile, its rules are rather simple. There are three dice, while players are to predict the outcome after they are thrown. In fact, the name of the game is translated as “lucky dice”. Comparing to the previously discussed live games, this one is comparatively rare. But doesn’t it make you especially curious to try it?


Are there bonuses in live casino?


Sure! There are lots of them, in fact. Their form and sizes vary depending on a game type and operator’s policy, but there are still some most popular ones. As an example, most live game tables offer welcome bonus. Usually, these are funds you cannot cash out but can use for making bets. Sometimes you can also be offered an additional round, which is also great. Apart from this, there is one cool thing to be mentioned. You can take part in a live tournament and compete with other players. But for being just fun, this is also a chance to win a generous prize. In order to win, you are to receive the highest score and get to the top of the leader board. During the tournament, you are playing the previously selected games and earn points when you win. In fact, the process is really involving, while the reward is always worth of your effort.


When dealing with any kind of bonuses, never forget about wagering requirements. There are lots of resources explaining what it is and how to calculated them, so we won’t stop on the topic for too long. To put it shortly, this is the amount a player is supposed to spend in bets before they cash out their winnings. What you need to know for now is that wagering requirements are applied to basically all kind of bonuses and live casino is not an exception. If you see something like “x15”, this probably means the bonus value multiplied by 15, which is the amount you are supposed to spend in bets before you receive your winning. We recommend you be careful with bonuses you are offered and always calculate whether they are worth taking. Luckily, honest casinos never offer unfair bonuses. On the contrary, they often come up with more attractive conditions than their competitors offer in order to retain their audience.


Just in case you are curious whether you have an opportunity to avoid dealing with wagering requirements, the answer is “Yes”, you do have it. In fact, there are two ways. Sometimes casino operators offer bonuses without wagering requirements at all. This is quite a rare occasion, but you still have a chance to come across it. Once again, this is made to encourage loyal players to stay and attract new people. Secondly, you can simply refuse from the bonus. In some cases, the wisest option is to play with your own cash, especially if you are not familiar with game rules. Even if you are already assigned the bonus, you can contact the customer support and ask them to cancel them. Still, this is a rare thing when it comes to live gaming. As a rule, there the wagering requirements are quite low, so you won’t need to worry about the issue.


Is it possible to play live casino from a smartphone?


Yes, there is no problem about that. This used to be challenging some time ago, but recent advancements in related technologies allow this now. Software companies that provide live games offer a wide range of solutions for playing In the mobile mode. Even though the choice of games might be not as rich as in case with desktop casino, we are sure you will find something to your taste. After all, this is always the case if to compare mobile-oriented game catalog with those designed for desktop. By the way, do you want to know what was the first ever live game available to play from the smartphone? This was roulette. Now, it is available in many variations so don’t miss an opportunity to try it.


If you want playing live games from a mobile phone, take care about Internet connection. You might know that online game apps save your session data if the connection is lost and the game gets interrupted. As you understand, this is not the case with live playing mode. If you lose an access for too long, the session is lost as well. This is awful, of course, especially if it happens at the game’s most thrilling moment.


What we recommend you is to find a place with good WiFi or 4G. Apart from this, make sure nothing will disturbs you when you are playing. Also, we suggest not to rely on 3G. You will hate playing in this mode! This type of connection isn’t strong enough to support live streaming, so your sessions will be lagging and even crashing. No need to explain, you will lose your bet just because you won’t be able to finish the round.


Software provider that offers a live game of your choice matters as well. As we already explained, releasing live games is a tricky and expensive process, which is why not all companies can afford delivering high-quality products, especially when it comes to mobile mode. For this reason, you’d better choose games created and supported by the leaders of the industry. As an example, we would recommend Playtech and Evolution. They have invested a lot in mobile live gaming, which made their streams good enough to stand out from the rest. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that other software providers cannot offer good streams, though in these two cases you are given a guarantee of high quality.


Mobile live casino apps


Just like with regular online casino, you can access live games both via the browser and via an app. Browser is a good choice only if you are playing in the United States. The matter is that online gambling is prohibited there, which means you won’t find an app on the app store, no matter what operating system you are using. Here in the United Kingdom you won’t face any concerns of this kind. Playing via the browser is a bit worse as it requires strong Internet signal and more device resources in general.


Downloading an app on your device is a good idea. It won’t take much of its memory, so don’t worry. Just go to an app store and find something to your taste. If you already have a website you like, check if there is a page dedicated to mobile play: there you might find a direct link to the app. Like any other piece of software, gaming apps are to be updated. Unless you allow the app to download updates, it won’t support the latest games. Besides, the outdated version might start working less smoothly with time.


And still, there are many kinds of limitations associated with mobile play in general and mobile friendly live games in particular. To be more precise, you will discover that quite a lot of games are simply unavailable to you. The matter is that some games cannot be run on particular type of devices or operating systems. Those owning iPhone will notice this first and foremost. Since recently, Apple doesn’t support Flash as it is considered a slightly outdated technology, which makes Flash-based unavailable to Apple users. And still, the choice of available options is tremendous. We are not kidding! You will easily find something to your taste so just don’t be afraid to try new things.


Frequently Asked Questions



  • Can the live dealer see players? 


As a rule, the live dealer cannot see players. They only have the monitor that displays the number of players in a game and the bets they are making. What they also see are messages that players white in the chat. As mentioned above, you can ask the dealer to clarify some aspect of the game play and the dealer will reply to you verbally. Still, some live game providers offer an opportunity to interact with the dealer via a webcam. You can turn it on so that the dealer and sometimes even other players could see you. However, this is quite a rare feature, even though an interesting one.



  • Can I try playing for free at first?


This is quite surprising, but you still have this opportunity! We have already explained that running a live casino venue is rather expensive process, which is why by far not all casino operators can afford it. Still, you can try playing for free if you happen to find an operator offering this opportunity. The matter is that this option is quite rare and not that easy to find.


Bear in mind that some casino operators claim that their live games are free, but in fact they are not. What they mean is that players receive welcome bonus with its amount being equal to their initial deposit so in some sense this allows them to say that the player loses nothing. This is absolutely not true! If you remember what we wrote about wagering requirements, you will understand why. Overall, there is nothing wrong about making a deposit and receiving welcome bonus, of course. However, you should still understand that this kind of game is not what is called a free game.



  • What to begin with if I don’t understand how it works anyway?


We haven’t mentioned it yet but you always have a chance to watch a live game session. Of course, you won’t have to make a deposit or pay any kind of entry fee. As a rule, it’s enough to sign up but in fact there are many websites allowing not to do this. We recommend you watching a live game session even before trying to find a free game. Even if you already tried playing some live games but now want to try a new one, watching a few founds won’t hurt. This will give you a basic understanding of how everything works and whether you actually want to continue.



  • Can other players know that I joined the game?


Live games are fully anonymous. Depending on a game table settings, you can see how many players are participating and something how many bets were made. However, you never need to provide your real name when playing. You can use a nickname and that’s actually what other players and the dealer see in the group chat. However, you can disable this function if you wish.


Some game providers offer players an opportunity to start a web conference. This is a quite funny experience, especially if you are playing in a group of friends. Naturally, you can refuse to join it if you don’t want to participate.



  • Can I play without other players?


This is quite a rare occasion but many live casino providers still offer this service. As a rule, it’s a chance for players who want to win big and place high bets. As you have guessed, in this type of games you are playing against the dealer and you can actually turn on a webcam so that they could see you. However, don’t hope that bluffing could help you in this type of playing. The dealer will always go to the end as this is a part of their policy. Still, such kind of experience seems to be a great fun, so why not to try it?