Guide To Best Live Dealer Casinos

Live casinos offer gambling fans the chance to enjoy classic table games such as blackjack, roulette and poker from the comfort of their own home. But more than that, live games are streamed directly to your screen, giving you the chance to experience the buzz of a game taking place in a brick and mortar casino.

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These games cost more to invest in, as they require one or more cameramen, several dealers to run the games, an IT manager to ensure technical issues can be fixed promptly, and a pit boss who will resolve any disputes between players and dealers. Additionally, the technology required to live stream games is not cheap, and some casinos will only offer live games during particular time slots each day. Some live games will be hosted on a casinos’ television channel, while others will be offered on their website.

History of Live Casino Gaming

Online casinos first appeared in the late 90s, but it wasn’t long before people wanted a way to merge virtual gambling with real world casino games. Although the exact date for the first live casino is contested, what we do know is that to start with, live casinos would have one dealer, one table and one game – blackjack. Although there are plenty of variations now, such as roulette, dream catcher, dragon tiger, poker and more, this wasn’t always the case. As demand grew, casino operators invested more in the technology, with the industry growing to accommodate more games, high quality, extra features and increased amounts of time where live casino games would be streaming.

History

Live Casino Bonuses

There are not usually bonuses available specific to live casinos, but if you are a new player, you can enjoy bonuses such as a welcome bonus, deposit bonus and no deposit bonus.

Welcome Bonus – often the same as or similar to a no deposit bonus. Players typically receive an amount of money to be used on games, plus other incentives such as free spins on particular games – usually slots. These virtual cash bonuses are usually subject to wagering requirements.

Deposit Bonus – players are rewarded for depositing real cash into their online casino account by receiving enhanced gameplay features. These include a virtual cash match for the real money deposited, loyalty points or free spins. Either this type of bonus or the welcome/no deposit bonus can also feature free entries into competitions, draws, progressive jackpots or live casino games, so if you want to take advantage of the final option, do your research before signing up to an online casino to find the right deal for you.

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How To Choose A Live Casino

  • Selection of games – Most people who want to enjoy live casino games will be a fan of the classic table games, such as roulette, baccarat, craps and blackjack. So if you’re signing up to an online casino with the aim of spending a large portion of your time in the live section, take a look at what’s on offer before investing time and money.
  • For example, William Hill has a huge number of roulette tables, such as American Roulette, Slingshot VIP, Speed Auto Roulette, Roulette VIP, Lightning Roulette and Vegas Speed Roulette. They have also highlighted timings of when offline games will be available, allowing players to manage their gambling schedules effectively. Similarly, Coral has also catered to popular searches, ensuring they have a wide selection of blackjack games available – including Soho Blackjack, Grand Blackjack, Alexandrite Blackjack, Soiree Blackjack, Exclusive Blackjack and Unlimited Blackjack. They have the last results available on the screen for online games, and a timer for when offline games will next be available.
  • Licensing – Just as you would expect an online casino to have a license, regulator and third party auditor in order to be considered trustworthy and reputable, the same rule applies for the live dealer section.
  • It’s important that software providers working with casino operators have a license with the country they want to operate in. Gambling commissions and special authorities are responsible for the control and monitoring of the casino and gaming industry in each jurisdiction. This isn’t the only licensing process, however. Casinos situated in particular locations will not only need a license from the local commission or authority, but they will need one from the software provider, where the provider will give consent to an operator that they agree to them using the platform and adding the games to the site.

Access to statistics

Being able to view additional information while playing is a big plus for punters, as they can evaluate statistics in order to enhance their gameplay and work out strategies moving forwards. Here are some of the statistics available with the biggest software developers around:

  • Asia Live Tech – Game statistics to help players choose a table, full set of baccarat road maps, statistics shown for the last 78 spins in Belangkai
  • Authentic Gaming – Detailed statistics available for the last 250 spins
  • Evolution Gaming – Statistics offered in real-time, previous spins information available
  • Ezugi – View last 100 spins
  • Lucky Streak Live – List of hot and cold numbers, diagram showing how often each number has won, who is the hottest player at the table
  • Microgaming – Game round history available for certain games
  • NetEnt – Statistics available for the last 15 game rounds
  • Live chat options – Having access to live chat in a live casino game is key, as it enables you to stay connected to the dealer and other players, as well as mention if there are any issues or questions you need answering.
  • This will usually appear in the form of a dedicated window or box within your interface, which you can type into. The dealer will see all messages sent on their chat screen and be able to issue a response. This is delivered verbally, so all players have access to the information.
  • Dedicated tables – One sign that a casino is reputable is the chance to return to dedicated tables, which are good for chatting with a dealer. This is because they will usually be a regular, and trained specifically for the game they are hosting, which means they can offer a more engaging experience with players. By returning to the same dedicated table regularly and speaking with a dealer who remembers you, along with other players who may play alongside you frequently, you will build a sense of familiarity and community with the casino.
  • Multiple language availability – Another indicator that a live dealer section is worth visiting is the availability of multiple languages at the live casino tables. This means that the casino has invested extra time and money into ensuring staff are available to cater to players from a diverse range of backgrounds and locations.

Multiple game play availability – There are people who enjoy the feeling of attending a casino in person, people who like to play virtual games without needing to interact with anyone, people who like to play a few rounds of blackjack with a live dealer, and people who want the option to play multiple live games at once. This experience is particularly thrilling, as there is lots going on at once – ideal for multi taskers. For example, Evolution Gaming offers players the ability to play or monitor up to four live games at once in a master window. This is beneficial both to players, as they will have more excitement and winning potential, and operators, as players will be providing several revenue streams simultaneously.

If you want unique gameplay options such as multiple games running at once, it’s worth checking out live casino software providers such as Evolution, and seeing which operators use their products.

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  • Camera angles available – If just one camera angle is available for a game, this can lead to players getting bored very quickly. Additionally, it could cause suspicion that something is being hidden, and the game is being rigged against them. For example, the 888 casino studio in Riga features roulette tables with up to 15 cameras each, and players can switch between angles during gameplay as well as watch in slow motion.
  • The best live casinos will have dealers who can move between cameras like a TV presenter, allowing as many players as possible to enjoy a direct experience with them as much as possible during the game.
  • Quality of video streams – Every player who logs into live dealer games wants to enjoy a high quality experience. A game with video quality that is poor, lags or cuts out will completely ruin the immersive atmosphere. Therefore, a reputable casino will always ensure its video streams are of the highest quality before offering them to players.
  • A good sign is the option to view in HD, as this will make the gameplay even more immersive. It’s a good idea to shop around and see which live dealer game provides the best quality stream before dedicating to one casino brand.
  • Mobile live casino availability – A casino that is truly versatile will allow players to enjoy live dealer games on multiple platforms, including mobile. Casinos such as LeoVegas, Pokerstars, Betfair and Mr Green offer a range of table games that can be played in real time.
  • An additional bonus is a mobile casino that offers live dealer tables for VIPs, as this allows a range of players to enjoy as full a casino library as possible while on the go.

Pros of Live Casino

Get social – The ability to interact with other players and live dealers is hugely beneficial, especially to those who can’t get to a brick and mortar casino or don’t get the chance to socialise much. It feels much more immersive and sociable to watch a real live dealer spinning the roulette wheel or dealing cards, and most live casinos will have a live chat function enabled, allowing you to speak with other players who are also enjoying the game in real time. This is arguably one of the main reasons why live casinos have become so popular, as the ability to combine human interaction with technology is highly sought after in many parts of life.

Play anytime, anywhere – People who work unsociable hours or travel a lot may want the ability to gamble, but previously couldn’t find any immersive experiences that suited their schedules. Fortunately, with the arrival of live casino, there will always be a stream available, no matter the time of day or night, and they will largely be accessible anywhere there is a stable internet connection, making it easy for more people to play at any time or in any place.

Experience advanced technology – Casinos who have invested in live games will be sure to go the extra mile so their operations exceed that of their competitors. Therefore, players will find highly advanced systems in place with the aim to improve the quality of the gaming process. There is also a high level of protection and security which gives players peace of mind that their personal information is being kept safe, especially when financial transactions are made as part of the gameplay.

Cons of Live Casino

Games can be slow – If there is an issue with another player during a live game, the overall experience may be subject to delays while this is dealt with. Although there will often be restrictions on how much time can be spent on actions such as placing a bet, the benefit of live casinos is that it allows people to make decisions in real time, just as they would at a physical casino. The downside of this is that other players may be put off from continuing to play due to boredom while waiting.

Small selection of games – For the most part, live casinos will only really provide the classic table game options, sometimes along with a limited few extras. If you’re more of a slots player, live casino isn’t for you, as there isn’t a live slots game available to play live and you would need to travel to a brick and mortar casino for this experience. The reason behind this selection is that, due to the expense that comes with live streaming games, casino operators can only go with the most popular games in order to generate a substantial enough return on investment.

Technical issues are possible – In a physical casino, there isn’t as much technology to think about, and if a game malfunctions, there will be a member of staff on hand to help you have any lost money returned. In an online casino, if your internet disconnects or there is another technical issue with a game, you can simply wait for the internet to reconnect or speak with customer services. But with a live casino game, if you experience any technical issues such as your connection dropping out, you will miss out on the action of the game, which is the main point of appeal for players engaging in this style of game.

Live Casino Dealers

  • Players accessing a live casino will usually encounter a live dealer, also known as a croupier. These are people who have been trained by the casino and are allocated a gambling table to assist in the game process, whether it’s distributing bets, spinning the wheel or allocating payouts.
  • Their appearance is usually smart and professional, with uniforms varying from evening wear, including suits and glitzy ball gowns, to an outfit in the company colours that is the same for every employee.
  • When speaking with a croupier, you will find their manner extremely polite, friendly and calm, as they will have been trained to the highest standards by their employer. They are there to answer any queries you may have and make the overall experience as smooth and fun as possible.
  • Training can differ according to location; for example, North American croupiers will learn blackjack first, as it is a simple set of rules and popular among gamblers. In Europe, on the other hand, dealers will often learn roulette first, and complex games such as craps will only be handled by the most highly trained and ambitious staff.
  • Understanding whether to tip a croupier depends on the location of the casino, as rules will differ. For example, in the US, many dealers will highly appreciate tips, as they are a welcome boost for their salaries. Conversely, Australian casinos ban their dealers from accepting tips.

Mobile Live Casino

These days, most of the major live casino software providers have developed mobile adaptations for their products. Roulette was the first live game to be rolled out on this platform, and now many varieties are available.

In order to experience the best quality of gameplay, it’s advised to use either WiFi or 4G, and to be aware that using mobile data may incur additional charges after extended gameplay or large downloads.

Here’s a rundown of the mobile live casino games offered by major software providers:

  • Mobile live blackjack – Evolution, Playtech, NetEnt, Extreme Live Gaming
  • Mobile live roulette – Evolution (for European and American), most other providers for European single zero roulette
  • Mobile live baccarat – Evolution, Playtech
  • Mobile live 3 card poker – Evolution
  • Mobile live casino hold’em – Evolution, Playtech
  • Mobile live Texas hold’em poker – Evolution
  • Mobile live ultimate Texas hold’em – Evolution
  • Mobile live dream catcher – Evolution
  • Mobile live spin a win – Playtech
  • Mobile live hi lo – Playtech
  • Mobile live dragon tiger – Evolution, Playtech
  • Mobile live 3 card brag – Playtech

Depositing & Withdrawing With Live Casino

It’s easy to make a deposit or withdraw money with any online casino, whether you are playing a virtual game of slots or live poker. There are usually many transaction methods available, and you can choose from a large portion, if not all, of the following:

  • Visa – here are a list of games that offer …Visa is an international brand that has a reputation for being one of the safest payment methods out there. It is available as a payment method on most casino sites.
  • Mastercard is a well-known brand among credit and debit card users. It provides online casino players with quick transactions and high quality customer service.
  • Maestro is owned by MasterCard and provides punters with a safe, widely accepted debit card payment method.
  • Bank Transfer – Transferring large amounts of cash to your bank account is easy with a bank transfer service, although the process may take a few working days.
  • PayPal is a popular e-wallet service which has been around since 1998. It offers an easy and secure method of paying for goods and services online.
  • Neteller is a leading e-wallet company which allows punters to withdraw casino funds quickly and securely.
  • Skrill is a popular e-wallet option for many online casino users due to the fact that deposited funds become available almost immediately.
  • Bitcoin – Using cryptocurrency as an online payment method is becoming increasingly popular, as it operates via peer-to-peer marketplace and is highly  encrypted.
  • Zimpler – This mobile payment option makes it easy for gamblers who want to make a deposit or withdrawal while on the go.

How To Play Live Roulette

Roulette is generally the most popular table game played in a live casino, and due to the large volume of players getting involved, live dealer sections will usually offer several versions of the game to cater to demand. There are a number of variations to choose from with live roulette, such as Slingshot, Double Ball Roulette, Immersive Roulette, Speed Roulette and Dragonara Roulette. Once you’ve decided on a game, the basic premise is simple: bet on a number or colour you think the ball will stop on after spinning around the wheel. If you’re using an American wheel, there will be 38 numbers to choose from. If it’s European, there are 37. There are red or black numbers, and the 0 is coloured green.

In live roulette, there will be time for players to place their bets, and this is where you decide which type to make. For example, you could bet on the ball landing on a particular colour (red/black), predict that an odd or even number will be the winning slot (odd/even), estimate that the ball will land in a high or low number range (high/low), or bet on columns, dozens and more.

Once betting time is over, this will be announced, and this is when the dealer will spin the wheel. Watching the ball spin around, slowing down over time, and seeing if you’re about to win a big payout, is the thrill that keeps people playing roulette over and over again. The lost bets will then be removed from the table, usually by getting swept off with the dealer’s hand and placed in a collection hole located off to one side

Live Roulette-2

Finally, winning bets are paid out. Here’s some more in-depth information about the types of live roulette on offer:

  • European Live Roulette There are 36 numbers and one zero in this version of roulette, and the RTP is 97.3%. All interfaces provide a Racetrack, which makes it easy to bet on numbers. Additionally, the majority of providers have created editions of roulette which allow you to save your favourite bets. If you’re using a particularly generous provider, you will be able to bet on hot and cold numbers, or analyse statistics detailing past results in order to place direct bets.
  • American Live Roulette This roulette wheel has 36 numbers and two zeros – a single zero and a double zero. The RTP is 94.7%; significantly lower than the European edition. It’s offered by Unibet via Evolution Gaming, among others.
  • French Live Roulette – The two most significant differences between French roulette and European roulette are the layout and La Partage. You won’t regret wrapping your head around the different setup on the baize, as the La Partage rule is a huge benefit. Essentially, if the ball lands in zero, you will get half of your even money stake back. This raises the game’s RTP to 98.5%. Many people recommend avoiding straight up and column bets, instead focusing on even money bets to gain the full benefit of this rule.
  • High Definition Live Roulette – One of the benefits of playing a live dealer edition of roulette is the option to experience the game in HD. Evolution created Immersive Roulette, which presents the player with a dealer sat by a wheel in a darkened studio. There is also Immersive Lite, which is similar except for the fact it makes use of a full table in the main studio.Multiple camera angles enhance this HD edition of roulette, as being able to see the game in various ways makes it more accessible, in some ways, than visiting a casino in person.
  • Live roulette streamed from brick and mortar casinosLive dealer roulette can also be streamed from physical casinos, and the locations are often some of the most reputable establishments across the globe. It used to be streamed with poor quality images, and there was no interaction with the dealer available, but as technology advanced, live streamed roulette experienced a resurgence in popularity.Many people trust this version of roulette because it feels more reliable than a separate wheel set up for online players who can’t access it in person; if it’s already laid out in a land casino, people guess that there is less risk of error.

How To Play Live Blackjack

The main pull, when it comes to live blackjack, is that the game is incredibly similar to playing a real-life game. Upon joining a live casino to play blackjack, you’ll face the main dealer, who will be positioned behind the betting table. This person will draw cards from the shoe – the box where cards are drawn in blackjack and lay them down before your bet, face up. It’s also possible to view the cards of other players in the live room, which enhances the social aspect of the experience. You can enjoy a set time between rounds to decide on a wager and place your bets. When this time is up, the dealer will draw the next round of cards.

When playing live blackjack, remember that the cards between 2 and 10 have a value matching their numbers. The Jack, Queen, King etc, are worth 10, while the Ace is either one or 11, making it a good card to have in your hand. If your hand is over 21 at any point, this is described as going ‘bust’, whereby you lose your wager.

Blackjack

Here are the options available after your cards have been drawn in live blackjack:

  • Hit – This is a key playing option, and involves asking for another card from the dealer in an effort to increase the value of your hand.
  • Stand – The opposite of a hit, standing is to refuse the receipt of another card and to stick with the hand you’ve got.
  • Split – Splitting your hand is possible if you have a pair of cards, such as 2 ‘fours’. Once you’ve split, you have two separate hands, each with a value of four, which provides you with the chance of doubling your winnings. This strategy is high risk despite its high potential reward, though, as you need to match the first bet of the original hand on the new one.
  • Double Down – You can double your first bet and get one additional card in return. You won’t have the ability to hit again if you choose this option, so think carefully before proceeding. If you have certain hands, some live casinos won’t let you double down, so it’s worth checking the rules or messaging the live dealer before taking this action.
  • Insurance – With some live casino lobbies, players have the opportunity to take an insurance bet. This becomes available if the dealer’s first card is an Ace. This type of bet means that you’re betting the dealer’s next card will be 10, resulting in a natural blackjack.

There are sometimes side bets available, too:

  • Perfect Pairs – If your first two cards are the same, e.g. two 3s or two Kings, you are in with a chance of winning a payout. There are three types of pairs, which offer various payouts:
  • Perfect Pair – The same suit, such as two Queen of Hearts
  • Coloured Pair – different suits which are the same colour, such as 4 of Hearts and 4 of Diamonds
  • Mixed Pair – Different suits, such as 8 of Diamonds and 8 of Spades

21 + 3 – You are in with a chance of receiving a payout if your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard are made up of one of these combinations:

  • Suited Trips – an identical triplet
  • Straight Flush – a numerical sequence of cards in the same suit
  • Three of a Kind – the same value in different suits
  • Straight – a numerical sequence in various suits
  • Flush – the same suit
Blackjack

These side bets can be played at 888 Casino. When it comes to payouts with live blackjack, this will vary according to the game version you’re playing. But if you make use of a basic strategy alongside a game of live blackjack, it’s possible to reduce the house edge to 0.5% – one of the lowest percentages in live casino.Live blackjack payouts are fairly simple to grasp – a win in live blackjack is 1:1, so if you put down a £10 bet you’ll receive £20 in return. A natural blackjack win results in a payout of 3:2 – this is the highest return bet you have the chance of winning in the game. The insurance bet has a payout of 2:1 if the dealer subsequently draws a natural blackjack.

How to Play Live Dream Catcher

  • Dream Catcher is a game seen in many land-based casinos. They are popular due to their eye-catching appearance and simple rules. The live version of this game has been developed by software providers such as Evolution Gaming, and their edition features a multi-camera studio installation around the wheel and live dealer, along with light and sound effects which are auto-synchronised to the game action.
  • To get started, watch the live dealer spin the wheel, and bet on the number you think it will stop at. You can choose from 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 or 40. If the correct number is bet on, they will win a matching payout.There are multiplier segments, such as the 2x or 7x bonus spins, which offer extra-large payouts.The dream catcher wheel is set up so that there are 54 equal segments. 52 are marked with one of the numbers mentioned above, and the other segments are either silver or gold in colour. The former is the 2x multiplier, while the latter is the 7x multiplier.
  • If you bet 5 and win, the payout is 5/1, 10 will net the winner a 10/1 payout, with this pattern being followed for all numbers on the wheel. If a multiplier is landed on, these are bonus spins which increase the amount of the next win. Multipliers are capped at a maximum win of half a million euros.
Live-Dream-Catcher

How To Play Live Poker

In traditional poker, players are matched against each other, but a live version sees the play unfolding against the house or dealer. While trying to teach his wife how to play Texas Hold’em poker, Stephen Au-Yeung developed a table game called Casino Hold’Em, which is the version of live dealer poker that first made its way into the online world for virtual players to get stuck into. This version only makes use of one player hand at once, which works well for online play due to the fact that unlimited numbers of players could play this hand simultaneously. Although this isn’t the only version of live poker played online these days, it’s still one of the most popular modes of play with poker fans.

When you play a game, a single deck of 52 playing cards will be involved. Every new round sees a shuffle of the cards to make the results as random as possible, and this process is often carried out by a machine. Many players will advise side bets and bonus bets, as these all have higher payout odds. There is a lower RTP with these, so if you want to play high risk, high win, this is the option for you. Another option to enjoy on the side of a game of poker is a progressive jackpot. Evolution Gaming offer this on their games of Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Hold’Em Bonus Poker and Casino Hold’Em. Before selecting a game, think about the RTP. Every poker game has a different return for bets made, and it’s seen as more advantageous to play the poker version with the highest RTP possible.

Here’s a breakdown of the poker games available:

Live Casino Hold’em – This was the first live dealer poker game to be made available in a live casino. The basic goal is to try and achieve a better 5 card poker hand than the dealer. To start, the player places an Ante bet, plus an optional Bonus bet, which is a side bet. Next, two cards are dealt face up to the player, and the dealer receives two face down cards. 3 cards are then placed in the middle of the table, which are shared between both parties. At this point, the player needs to decide whether he will play the hand by placing a bet that’s double the Ante, or fold the hand. Then the river and turn cards are dealt, by which point it’s time for the dealer to display his two cards. At this stage, both parties will make the best 5 card hand they can, and the best one will be the winner.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em – To get started with this poker edition, place an Ante bet first. A bet equal to this one, called the Blind, is also placed. It’s optional, at this point, to place a Trips side bet, and these will pay out if you receive 3 of a Kind or higher in your hand. The next stage involves the dealer and player being dealt two cards. There are two decisions available to the player following this step: betting 3 or 4 times the ante, or checking. Then the dealer deals the flop, and if the player hasn’t bet yet, they can bet up to 2 times the ante or check. Following this, the dealer deals the turn and river, at which stage the player can either bet 1 times the ante or fold. Finally, the dealer will reveal his cards, and the best 5 card poker hand wins.

 

Hold'em-Casino

3 Card Poker – Many describe this version of poker as the easiest to understand, due to its simple format. The first step involves the player placing an initial ante bet. They also have the option to place a pairs plus, and/or a 6 card bonus side bet. Then they will receive cards face up, and the dealer gets his face down. The player then has to decide if he will play the hand by making a bet equal to the ante, or if he will fold the hand. The dealer then reveals his card, and the best hand wins.

Caribbean Stud Poker – 5 cards are dealt, face up, to the player. The dealer’s cards are face down, but the first card is face up. This difference in setup means that players can decide whether to bet or not. In this poker version, there is only one decision point, and it happens here: the player decides whether he is going to play or fold. If they play, the dealer reveals their other four cards, and the best hand wins.

Progressive Jackpots in Live Casino Poker – The three main well-known progressive jackpots available in live casino poker are Casino Hold’em Jackpot, Texas Hold’em Bonus Jackpot and Caribbean Stud Poker Jackpot. When a Royal Flush is dealt to the player’s hand, the jackpot is activated, and all players playing the jackpot bet at this time will receive an equal share of the prize money.

Caribbean-Stud

How To Play Live Baccarat

There are many versions of live baccarat available to play in a live dealer casino:

  • Single player baccarat
  • Mini baccarat
  • Multi seat baccarat
  • Progressive baccarat
  • Speed baccarat
  • No commission baccarat
  • Baccarat squeeze
  • Live streamed baccarat (from brick and mortar casinos)
  • Baccarat controlled squeeze
  • Bet on baccarat

The goal in baccarat is blissfully simple, and translates well to live gaming. A player wants to predict whether he or the banker will win. How do you win? By having a hand that’s worth, or as close as possible to, the value of 9. These are the values each playing card has:

  • Aces are worth 1 point
  • Cards two to nine are worth their stated value
  • 10s and face cards are worth nil

If after adding the two cards together, the total is a double digit number, the hand is given the value of the second digit. So if the hand added up to 12, the subsequent value calculated would be 2.

When can a third card be drawn? There are specific rules surrounding this step. If a hand has a total value between 0 and 5, drawing again is permissible. But if the value is either 6 or 7, the hand must remain. A total of 8 or 9 is called a ‘natural’ and will win by default, meaning the game is over. If both hands result in the same value, the bets are returned to the players as a Push.

Baccarat

Here’s a breakdown of the various baccarat games you can play in live dealer casinos:

  • Single player baccarat – you and limitless others will log into the server, each unaware of the other’s presence. In fact, it will be an experience whereby you feel that it’s just you and the Banker in the room. However, you and whoever else is acting as the Player will be receiving the same hand on each round.
  • When playing this version of the game, you’ll either have 6 or 8 decks. There are also side bets available to be played alongside the main hand, if the player wants to spice up the experience. However, this is entirely optional.
  • Speed baccarat – Those who like playing quickly and receiving fast results will enjoy this version, which is one of the newest to be seen in live dealer casinos. All you’ll see is the full setup of cards dealt face up, with extra cards handled soon afterwards.
  • Baccarat squeeze – Some may be wondering how this version of baccarat got its name. Well, the squeeze is basically the way a card’s value will slowly be revealed by the person carrying out a special kind of turn on each edge of the card. The player will take a sneak peek at the parts of the card they can see in order to determine what the value is.
  • This edition is suited for those who are both into baccarat and superstitious, as this demographic believes that, the slower the squeeze, the more likely the card will be the one which enables a hand to win.
  • Progressive Baccarat – Playtech offers players the ability to play a side bet leading to a potential progressive jackpot win in this twist on the traditional baccarat game. If the player and banker both receive the same suited Ace plus 8, the jackpot is paid. If both hands are a suited Ace plus 8, there is a 10,000 stake pay. Plus, if the banker and player receive an Ace plus 8, there is a 1000 stake pay.
  • That isn’t all, though. A 25x stake is on offer for a tied 9, tie on 8 will get a 20x stake, the 15x stake is available for tied 7s and the 10x stake is claimed by those with tie on 6s.
  • Bet on baccarat – As the name suggests, the unique feature in this game is the point in time where a player bets. You can place a bet after each new card has been dealt by the dealer, and the additional bets on offer card colours, odd or even, card suits and card numbers or totals

What Is A Roadmap?

Roadmaps are seen in the game of baccarat, and are used to predict which hand will win – player or banker. They help players to see what has happened over the history of the game, so they can identify any trends and attempt to foresee what result will be coming up.

These trends are recorded on ‘roads’ which are pictures representing the results and trends of each hand as it’s dealt. Here’s a lowdown of the main roadmaps used in baccarat:

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  • The Big Road (reduce – single para)This system has a grid layout with various symbols utilised.  A hollow red circle means a Banker has won, and a hollow blue circle means the Player has won. The first result is recorded in the top left hand corner. If the second result is the same as the first, it will go underneath, and continue to go down vertically. If the other side wins, a new column is started.
  • This results in a series of columns coloured in alternating shades. When a tie occurs, a green line is drawn through the most recent circle, and multiple ties are shown with a small number next to it.
  • Follow The DragonOn this road map, if a shoe experiences more than six Player or Banker wins in a row, the streak will turn right when it hits the bottom of the grid, continuing along the bottom row. Once this streak has gone along in this direction, the pattern is known as The Dragon Tail. Most players will tell you that if a dragon appears, you should bet on it and ‘follow the dragon’. The longer the dragon, the better it is.
  • Double DragonIf a streak collides with a dragon on the bottom of the big road, it will turn right too, forming a new dragon, with some players calling this a ‘double dragon’.
  • The Bead Plate This roadmap depicts each hand in a precise way. The colour coding is as follows – red for banker, blue for player and green for tie. Solid coloured circles are used in this instance, with Chinese characters on top to illustrate the result.
  • The first circle to be filled with a symbol appears in the top left hand corner, and the road will move down the grid vertically, until all six cells of the column have been filled. After this, they move to the second column and follow the same pattern, then continue across the grid in this fashion.
  • The Derived RoadsThis term refers to three roads invented in Macau in 1970 – the Big Eye Boy, the Small Road and the Cockroach Pig. For these, the colours don’t refer to Banker or Player; instead, red means that there is a pattern, and blue means there isn’t one.

How To Play Live Dragon Tiger

If you like baccarat but want to enjoy a version of the game with simpler rules, then Dragon Tiger is for you. It is commonly seen as one of the simplest games to play in a live casino, so it’s a good option if you don’t want anything too taxing. The rules are as follows: two cards are dealt, with one going to the Dragon and the other going to the Tiger. The player needs to bet on which one will be of higher value.

Alternatively, there are alternative bets that can be made in addition:

  • A tie – the cards will be of identical value
  • Dragon or Tiger Big – the card will be above seven in value
  • Dragon or Tiger Small – the card will be below seven in value
  • Dragon or Tiger Suit – the card will be diamond/spade/heart/club. If it’s a seven, the bet is lost

If you bet on Dragon/Tiger and the value is a tie, you receive 50% of your bet back, with the rest taken as commission. Software providers offering this game include Evolution, Vivo Gaming and Playtech. It is becoming increasingly popular with live dealer casinos due to the ease of gameplay. There are usually eight decks involved when playing Dragon Tiger. They’re only shuffled when a single deck remains. In terms of card values, an ace is low, while a Queen is 12, a King is 13, and so on.

How to Play Live Texas Hold’em

In a Texas Hold’em tournament, a cash game is played with two to ten players on a single table. There are three main parts – the setup, the betting rounds and the showdown. Once all the players have their chips, a player is selected to start with the dealer button. This is because Hold’em is operated with a rotating dealer, which means it’s a different player with each hand. This is still the case in a live dealer game, as the dealer on the other side of the screen will be dealing the cards and the player with the button is viewed as the dealer for the hand in question.

Putting out the blinds is the next step. You can either put out a small blind or a big blind. Generally speaking, this term refers to the forced bets that two players have to make in order to ensure there are chips in the pot that are worth playing for. According to traditional rules, the player who is right next to the dealer will put out the small blind, and the big blind is put out by the player on the left of the small blind. The big blind is usually an amount double that of the small blind. The size overall of these two blinds will give a guide as to the stakes of the game that is about to be played by all involved.

Once the blinds have been put out, the size of the chips will be determined. Now it’s time to deal the first hand. The dealer will deal to the left and rotate clockwise around the table, with each player getting one card each until they all have two cards, which are placed face down.

These are known as the hole cards, and they’re to be used when you make your final 5-card poker hand. Each game will have at least one round, and four at most. You will know a hand is over as all players but one will have folded, or the fourth round is over with more than one player still in the hand. Whichever comes first is the indication in this instance. Players will then enter the showdown, where players all reveal their hands to see who has won the pot.

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Here’s some of the terminology you should know for gameplay:

  • Blinds – This is short for blind bets, and refers to the forced bets which are made before the cards are dealt. You may have heard of the Ante; these are what replace those in Texas Hold’em.
  • Button – This is a nickname for the player who is acting as the dealer in the hand that’s going at the time.
  • Check – This is similar to a call except for the fact that no money is bet.
  • Flop – This term refers to the first three community cards which are dealt.
  • All-In – In this instance, a player will put all of their remaining chips into the pot.
  • River – Also known as Fifth Street, this term refers to the final community card dealt (the fifth).
  • Showdown – Players all reveal their hands in order to find out who has won the pot.
  • Turn – Also known as fourth street, this is the fourth community card which is dealt out.

How To Play Live Sic Bo

Sic Bo is Chinese for ‘dice pair’, and this ancient Chinese game is particularly popular in Macau. It is essentially a dice game that’s based on luck, and it’s being increasingly offered by online casinos in their live dealer section. There are a wide variety of betting options available for the roll of the dice, and depending on where you play, there will be a different table layout and varying odds. The house edge for each spin varies wildly – there are great odds for some bets, but while the house edge can be under 3% for some, the highest is over 30%. It’s therefore important to compare which online casino offers the most favourable in-house rules and payouts for their live Sic Bo games.

To get started with Sic Bo, you’ll log into the game and be presented with a live dealer and three dice. The objective is simple – make a bet on what kind of result you’ll get after the dice have been rolled.The dealer will press the button once the bet has been made, and this causes the dice to roll in the box. The player will win if the result they bet on appears. There is only a certain amount of time to place a bet when a round is started, so be swift in clicking the amount of chips you want to bet, then clicking a bet area on the table to place your wager. These are the types of bet available:

  • Small/Big Bet – A wager that the total amount of the three dice will add up to a number between 4 and 10 once rolled. The big bet will win if the total is between 11 and 17. If the three dice are the same number, these bets won’t win. The payout is 1:1.
  • Pair Bet – A bet on any of the 15 two-dice combinations possible, such as 2 and 5 or 2 and 6. The payout is 5:1.
  • Double Bet – You want a pair of two specific numbers to appear, such as two 6’s. If this happens, the payout is 10:1.
  • Triple Bet – You bet that a certain triple will appear, such as three 6’s. If this is the result you get, the payout you’ll win is 180:1.
  • Any Triple – If all three dice have the same number, the payout is 30:1.
  • Total bet – You wager that the total sum will be a specific amount, with options between 4 and 17 available while 3 and 18 are excluded. The payout depends on the result:
4 - 60:111 - 6:1
5 - 30:112 - 6:1
6 - 17:113 - 8:1
7 - 12:114 - 12:1
8 - 8:115 - 17:1
9 - 6:116 - 30:1
10 - 6:117 - 60:1

How To Play Live Craps

Many people consider craps to be an exciting table game in the live dealer section of their favourite online casino. It’s different from other table games as the player is the one who starts the round, not the dealer. With online craps, there are usually two dealers at the table. One will roll the dice for the shooter and the other will operate the stick.

The game will begin once players have placed their bets by clicking on the chips they want to wager. The first round roll is called the Come-Out Roll. In the live version, there will be time to either combine the value of chips, change the amount or withdraw the bet. Once bets are closed, the dealer will roll the dice. To find out the results, either see the screen which will be zoomed in to show them, or listen to the Stickman, who will announce them. If there is a result of 2, 3, 7, 11 or 12 then the round is over. But if the total is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, this is known as the ‘point’ being rolled, and the dice will be rolled again until either a 7 or the point number is displayed again. There are many bet types in craps – here are some examples:

  • Pass Line – placed before the first dice roll. A win if the total is 7, a loss if it’s 2, 3 or 12.
  • Don’t Pass – placed before the first dice roll. A win if the total is 2 or 3, a loss if it’s 7 or 11 and a push if the total is 12.
  • Come – placed once the point has been established. A win if the total is 7 or 11, a loss if it’s 2, 3 or 12.
  • Don’t Come – placed once the bet has been established. A win on 2 or 3, a loss on 7 or 11.
  • Place Win – submitted after the come-out roll. A win on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10, a loss on 7.
  • Place Lose – submitted after the come-out roll. A win if a 7 is rolled before a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 or 10.

How To Play Live Football Studio

Players who load a live game of Football Studio will find themselves in a live studio which features animation, presenters chatting about the action and live match commentary. All players have to do is bet on one of three options – Home Win, Away Win or Draw.

Once you have placed your bet, two cards are dealt onto the table, face-up. One will go to the Home position, and the other goes to the Away position. The winner is determined by which card is higher.To understand card values in this situation, remember that Aces have the highest sum, then it’s King, all the way down to two, which has the lowest ranking.

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How To Play Live Spin A Win

Spin a Win is an exciting game for many live players. It is led by a presenter and involves a wheel like the ones seen in Wheel of Fortune in land casinos. Essentially, the presenter will spin the wheel, and you simply need to guess which number you think the wheel will stop at.

The wheel is separated into 53 sections. There are 6 numbers – 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 40. Additionally, there are multipliers – the symbols 2x and 7x are scattered in between the main number sequence. Here’s how often each number appears on the wheel, and its respective payout:

  • 1- 23 times – Even Money
  • 2 – 15 times – 2:1
  • 5 – 7 times – 5:1
  • 10 – 3 times – 10:1
  • 20 – twice – 20:1
  • 40 – once – 40:1

If you hit a multiplier, your first bet is left live for the next spin. All payouts are then multiplied by the multiplier. If you have more than one multiplier come in, the payouts can be massive. There are three ways to bet in Spin A Win:

  • Bet on the main game or certain numbers from the core sequence
  • Bet on the Side Bet e.g. an Odd number, Even number or multipliers
  • Bet on the main game with a side bet

As for the payouts:

  • Odd number – 0.75 payout
  • Even number – 1.25 payout
  • Multiplier – 25:1 payout

Players can enjoy an RTP between 90.67% and 97.22%, with the latter appearing if you bet on the Odds side. This is a similar RTP to the one seen in European Roulette.

Frequently asked questions

This depends on whether you have found an online casino or not. If you are just starting out, do your research and look for a casino site which will offer you the best live dealer games. If you want to play exclusively roulette or poker, look for sites which specialise in this game and offer a variety of editions to choose from.

Once you’ve made your decision and signed up for an account, navigate to the live casino section of the site and scroll through the options to find the game you want to play. Make sure you have cash in your account and get started!

The most important consideration, as just stated, is to check you have real money in your online wallet’s cash balance. You can’t play with virtual money, unless you have received a bonus designed specifically for live games. Another option is to play in demo mode, where you will have play money, but you will not be playing these games with live dealers.

Once you’re set up, find the stake range which suits your budget in the lobby, then click on the most appropriate game. Choose an available seat at the table, then wait until the countdown timer starts, which is the betting window. Place your chips on the table to make a bet by simply clicking the location on the table you want to put a wager on.

A regular online casino game will be played between yourself and the computer, which is ideal for players who want a few quick games on their own.

Live casino, on the other hand, involves live streaming of real games, with real life dealers hosting the tables and facilitating the game action. You can enjoy talking to the dealer and other players, plus the authentic feeling of being in a land casino, from the comfort of your own home.

  • Find out if there is a dress code and follow it if so
  • Find a table which suits your budget – many will be labelled with minimums and maximum bets
  • Don’t take a seat at a table if you aren’t playing. You could be asked to leave – either right away, or if someone else wants to play at the table
  • Buy chips before playing a game, as cash won’t be accepted in a round
  • Don’t touch your bet after placing a wager until you’ve won and been paid
  • Don’t insult the dealer or anyone else playing the game
  • Don’t ask the dealer for advice in-game
  • Don’t touch face up cards during a game
  • Don’t swap chips with other players, or combine them with someone else’s
  • Don’t interfere with the dealer’s actions when they are rolling dice, spinning the wheel or dealing cards
  • Find out if you’re allowed to tip and only do so if you can
  • Don’t get too drunk while playing as you increase the chances of taking high risks and participating in disorderly behaviour
  • Tell the dealer if you have a complaint while playing at the table

Software providers can specialise in streaming live games from land-based casinos, or providing live dealer games to online casinos. Games are playable on mobile, tablet and desktop and they are licensed in various locations, such as Malta, Denmark and the UK. There will be a range of tables available to suit various skill levels, including VIP and high roller options.

 

Evolution Gaming – Many consider Evolution Gaming to be the leading developer when it comes to live casino games. They offer a range of games, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, 3 card poker, dragon/tiger, dream catcher and football studio. Furthermore, they are licensed in several jurisdictions, including Alderney, the UK, Malta, New Jersey and Canada.

One of the main advantages of going with this provider is the fact their HD streams are the best on the market. They also have dealer training academies, which results in the staff being the most highly trained and professional possible.

They specialise in the games Dual Play Roulette, Blackjack Party, Baccarat Squeeze, Immersive Roulette, Lightning Roulette and the jackpots for Casino Hold’Em, Caribbean Stud Poker and Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker.

They have a stunning 13 versions of roulette available, and their Lightning Roulette game won Game of the Year in 2018. With five types of poker on offer, Evolution offers more than any other developer, and it has released special titles such as Dream Catcher, which was crowned Digital Product of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards in 2017.

Special features seen in Evolution Gaming live casino include the following:

  • View games in 3D and Classic mode
  • Online chat available
  • Multiple language options
  • Play multiple tables and games at once
  • Progressive jackpots on various games

 

Microgaming – This provider offers classic table games in its live casino offering, which include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and sic bo. Based on the Isle of Man and founded in 1994, it’s believed that Microgaming released the world’s first dedicated live dealer games in 2004. In 2015, they set up a deal with Evolution Gaming whereby Evolution would provide live games to all of Microgaming’s European customers moving forwards.

They are licensed in the UK and Malta, and have studios in Kahnawake, Buenos Aires and Manila. They specialise in their Playboy Live Dealer game and have a good range of features including:

  • Studios located in Argentina, the Philippines and Canada
  • Notifications when a seat is free
  • Multiplayer roulette and baccarat
  • Multiple table play function

 

NetEnt – This online casino software supplier features live games with a sleek, modern aesthetic. They specialise in blackjack and roulette, and are licensed in the UK, Alderney, Gibraltar and Malta.

Founded in 1996, the Swedish company has over 100 slots games in its library, plus roulette games which have some of the highest maximum allowed bets out there. For example, some casinos allow a player to bet up to £75,000 per spin on VIP Live Roulette.

The firm is particularly interested in live gaming, and partnered with Mr Green to produce a system called Live Beyond Live. This setup allowed players to experience a fully immersive casino layout, including the ability to move between different tables from directly within a game.

There are several great features linked with this provider:

  • Access to a mini lobby while in-game
  • On-screen statistics available
  • La Partage rule in roulette games
  • Hot and cold numbers displayed
  • Access to view other players’ chips
  • Multiple camera angles during games of roulette

 

Playtech – After launching their first live casino in 2003, Playtech have amassed an expansive library of live casino games such as blackjack, roulette, sic bo, dragon/tiger, baccarat, spin a win and 3 card brag. They have over 600 titles and more than 5000 employees, and are headquartered on the Isle of Man.Many of Playtech’s games are available for mobile play, and players can enjoy up to three tables at once – a feature they and Evolution Gaming have in common.

Discovering you’ve disconnected from the internet during a live game won’t be an issue with Playtech, as when you reconnect, an automated version of the game will be loaded, allowing you to complete your round with the same setup as before.

Despite the limited selection of live poker, there are 10 roulette variants available, which includes Age of the Gods. They are licensed in the UK, Alderney and Gibraltar, and have these special features available:

  • VIP tables
  • Choice between download and non-download games
  • Multiple game play
  • Function allowing the hiding of bets from other players
  • Full screen mode
  • Multiple language dealers and interface

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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