Guide to Best Live Dealer Casinos

The Live Casino experience brings the thrill of the bricks-and-mortar casino streamed straight to the player’s desktop or mobile device.

Playing a hand of blackjack or wagering on roulette with a live dealer couldn’t be simpler. Our guide will help you find the best Live Casino experience.

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Live Casino Basics

Live dealer casinos are exactly what the name suggests. These are online casinos featuring real dealers, dealing games such as blackjack, roulette, Caribbean Stud, Casino Hold’em, baccarat, or any other table game you can think of.

“The live feed is sent from specialized gaming studios owned by large companies such as Evolution Gaming, Playtech or NetEnt. These companies have the resources to set everything up, employ and train the staff, and license their games to numerous online casinos.”

Players can enjoy an uninterrupted live dealer experience, usually sharing the tables with their fellow players, and even enjoying a bit of friendly banter with the dealer if they so wish. This wasn’t possible several years ago, because the required technology simply wasn’t there yet. As soon as technical requirements were met, though, game developers and online casinos wasted no time, knowing full well that this concept would appeal to players. Bringing that casino dealer experience straight to the player has proven phenomenally successful and popular.

How we compare Live Dealer Casinos

Our reviews consider many areas of live casino gaming in order to bring you the top live casinos listed above. Whilst aesthetics are important to help deliver a good playing experience, factors like speed, software stability, security and the actual dealers themselves can make or break a live casino product. Here is a sample of what we consider when rating live casinos:

  • Security
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Interface
  • Smoothness / frame rate
  • Image quality
  • Support
  • The live dealers

Advantages of Live Casinos

One of the biggest concerns most people have about playing at an online casino is fairness of the games. Despite all the reassurances and certificates by auditing agencies such as eCOGRA, many players are still reluctant to put their trust into computer software, especially when it comes to table games such as blackjack or roulette. They are worried that games could be rigged and the casino could have a bigger edge than it should by default.

These suspicions are largely alleviated with live dealer casinos. Instead of having to play against the software, players have a chance to play against real dealers, just like in a real-life casino. There is an actual roulette wheel, real cards, and the dealer who deals the cards or throws the ball. From an ordinary’s person perspective, these games are far less likely to be rigged in any way, which gives them much more reason to play.

And then there’s the social side.

Apart from these things that relate purely to the gaming aspect, live dealer casinos also put a much stronger emphasis on the social interaction. This is one thing that most traditional online casinos are lacking, and one of the reasons why so many people are finding live dealer tables so attractive. It is so much more fun to play when the game itself isn’t the only thing going on.

The interaction happens between the players themselves, through the chat box, but also between the dealer and the players. Players can ask the dealers different questions and start the conversation, or dealers themselves will come up with a topic and get the ball rolling.

This may not seem like a big deal to some players, but there are many out there who come to online casinos primarily to have fun, without particularly caring if they win or lose. For these players, playing electronic online roulette gets old pretty fast, as there is nothing else going on around them. With live dealer casinos, there are many other aspects they can enjoy: the communication, big wins by other players, watching hot streaks and players’ reactions to them, etc.

Why you might choose something else

Players wanting to place lots of quick bets may not choose a live dealer casino. The roulette wheel takes time to spin, as well as waiting for blackjack players to make their bets – just like in a real casino.

If your primary concern is speed – although live dealer casinos are not slow – you may want to look to the electronic games out there.

What Live Casino games are there?

Live casinos began by offering only the most popular casino games, predominantly roulette and blackjack. These are classics of the land-based casino and translate well to the live casino format. As time has gone on, more games, as well as variations of popular games, have been added. Here’s what’s on offer in a little more detail.

Live Roulette

Perhaps the most iconic of casino games, roulette has been a huge hit in the live casino setting. The simplicity of the game makes it a popular choice with beginners and seasoned players alike. Offering good opportunities for interactions with the dealer, the thrill of the spinning ball, and the chance to see how your opponents are doing, this game is a great introduction to any live casino experience.

As time has gone on, more and more live roulette options have become available, and typically they include both European and American roulette. Savvy players will chose the European version which has a house edge of just 2.7% compared to 5.26% for the American version.

But that’s not all. Some tables are specifically designed for low rollers and high rollers, so you may get tables offering bets below 1.00 coins, while VIP tables can take maximum bets of tens of thousands.

There’s Immersive Roulette, where the spin is replayed in slow-motion, with the ball and wheel zoomed in, so you can fully relive the big winning moment knowing the outcome already, but enjoying every second of it.

Think live roulette will just be too slow? There’s a table for that! Speed roulette games are on offer at most good live casinos which take away ‘dead time’ between spins, so you can get on with your wagering.

And finally, new technology is allowing live roulette games to be beamed straight back from a real casino, so you can get right in on the action with players on the ground.

All of this will be optimised for mobiles and tablets like the best mobile casinos, and modern games are playable in portrait or landscape orientation, coupled with a simple user experience.

Live Blackjack

The classic game of 21 played against the house, blackjack makes for a great interactive game with both the live dealer and fellow players.

One interesting thing about the live dealer blackjack is that it’s played with large cards, which may seem a bit silly when you first see them, but they make it easy to see what you’re dealt. You’ll also get graphics on the screen detailing yours and the dealer’s hand to make sure there’s no confusion.

And just like roulette, what started as a simple live casino game has now expanded to several different variations, including stake levels, low and high roller and a huge range of languages.

Games like Celebrity Blackjack Party even offer two dealers who engage in banter with each other and the players. There really is something for everyone.

Live Baccarat

The game which is much loved by James Bond, and huge in Macau – baccarat is similar to blackjack in its setup, and so is perfect for the live casino experience.

Once again players can participate in the company of a live dealer with whom they can interact, as well as seeing how their fellow players are getting on.

In terms of house edge, baccarat is actually one of the more generous games for the player, with banker bets having a house edge of nearly 1%. This is why casino high rollers love it so much.

There are now more variations than just the vanilla game.

Do you like a squeeze? In baccarat, some players prefer the thrill of the dealer technique that gives a tantalising reveal of the cards which will determine a win or loss. Baccarat Squeeze games are routinely offered at online casinos for those who want the authentic Asian casino experience.

And for those in a hurry, or who prefer to dispense with any ‘dead time’, Speed Baccarat variations are usually offered, boasting superfast gameplay.

Naturally, these games are playable in portrait or landscape mode on smartphones and tablets.

Other Live Dealer Casino Games

As the concept of a live dealer casino continued to grow and gain popularity, the companies started to introduce new games as well. These days, you can find nearly all table games dealt by live dealers and streamed online. There is Caribbean Stud, Casino Hold’em, Three Card Poker, and even some brand new games, such as Evolution’s Dream Catcher, which is a casino game/gameshow hybrid.

Live Casino Bonuses

Bonuses are one of the best things about online casinos. They really separate online sites from their brick and mortar counterparts. Physical casinos may give you some comps and a free play voucher here and there, but those welcome and reload bonuses make all the difference in the world. They can seriously boost your roll and give you a chance to really go after big wins.

Bonus overview

Not all bonuses you can get these days can be used on live casino games or specifically, those bets don’t always count towards bonus wagering requirements. Some of the better ones out there will let you play and actually count 5-25% wagering on every bet you make at the tables – so do check the terms and conditions.

Those who are really into live dealer games should take time to look for those casinos that’ll actually let you play and count your wagering towards the bonus or offer bonuses specifically for live casino play.

Not all bonuses you can get these days can be used on live casino games or specifically, those bets don’t always count towards bonus wagering requirements. Some of the better ones out there will let you play and actually count 5-25% wagering on every bet you make at the tables – so do check the terms and conditions.

Those who are really into live dealer games should take time to look for those rare casinos that’ll actually let you play and count your wagering towards the bonus.

Special Live Casino Bonuses 

The good news is, with the popularity of live dealer casinos increasing, gaming operators are starting to realize that this growing group of players must also be rewarded in some way. So, these days, you’ll find many online casinos offering bonuses aimed only at live dealer tables. These are issued for and can only be wagered at live table games.

As a general rule, these live bonuses are smaller, usually up to $100. However, the wagering is also much easier to meet. With time, casinos will probably start offering even better promotions for their live casino players as well.

Interacting with Live Dealers

We’ve already talked about the social aspect of live casinos and how this plays an important role in the overall experience. But those who haven’t had a chance to try this first-hand might be wondering how friendly these live casino dealers really are and what kind of an experience to expect.

The truth is, all live dealers are trained to be friendly and chatty at the tables – it’s something that simply comes with the job. However, just like in a real live casino, there are differences between the dealers. Some just do their job, others thoroughly enjoy what they do, and it shows.

A good thing is, live dealers rotate frequently, so you won’t get stuck with one particular dealer that you don’t particularly like or feel simply isn’t lucky for you. Also, you can always change tables.

These live dealer studios have many employees on their payrolls, so you can expect frequent rotations, which will allow you to meet many dealers. You’ll probably like some more than the others, and with some of them, you might actually create a real connection. After all, these are real people and while they’ll keep the professional distance most of the time, it isn’t uncommon for frequent players to become quite friendly with some of the dealers.

Summary

Live dealer casinos are the latest trend in online gambling and a large number of players enjoy this modern concept very much. Offering a chance to enjoy the real-life experience from the comfort of your own home is pretty much as close as it gets to the real thing – and it was all made possible thanks to the development of new technologies.

With live dealer casinos, players get to play with and against real dealers, without having to worry about whether the games are rigged. They also can enjoy the social component of it all, chatting with the dealers and other players involved in the game.

If your goal is primarily to have fun and enjoy your time, then live dealer casinos could be just what you’re looking for. At the same time, with betting limits being pretty high, you can also win quite handsomely with games that have a low house edge.

Glossary

Live casino version of the classic casino card game favoured by high rollers, and hosted by a live dealer
The popular casino card game of getting as close as possible to 21, without going over, hosted by a live dealer and streamed to the player's device.
An online casino streaming live casino games, allowing players to place bets from their computers.
The roulette casino game but played with a real wheel and live dealer streamed to your desktop or mobile device
Casino Games which are played in a live casino environment, with a live dealer.
A live casino game similar to Texas Hold’em poker, but played against the house with a live dealer instead of other players.
Live Dealers are interacted with at a live casino in much the same way as at a land-based casino, via an internet stream.

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