Some people who visit casinos are there to try their luck at the various slot machines. Others want more action and opt to play table games such as blackjack and poker. But around two decades ago, another option was made available to gamblers and gamers--online casinos. This new option gave them fresh opportunities. It allowed them to play slot games that were previously available only at specific locations. It also gave them a chance to play against people from different parts of the world.
As technology evolved, so did online casinos. More games became available on each online casino site, games became more interactive, graphics got better and better, and everything became a lot easier to access. These days, you can even access online casino websites on mobile devices. And one of the most recent developments in the online casino business is the introduction of live online casino games.
What are Live Online Casino Games?
If you’ve been playing in online casinos for some time, then you know that they offer such games as online poker, roulette, baccarat, and the like. The difference between these online games and live online casino games is that live online games give you a similar experience to that of actually being in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Live online casino games run in real-time, you get a human dealer (as opposed to computer bots), and you get to see the action on the table from wherever you are playing. Live chat is also available in these games, which allows you to ask questions or request assistance when needed. It gives you a unique experience that’s the perfect balance between playing online and being in a physical casino location.
Live Online Casino Game Variations
There are several casino game variations that are now available via live online casino. These include Vegas Strip Blackjack, European Blackjack as well as several variants of roulette. You are likely to see American and French Roulette in live online casinos, along with Auto Roulette and Immersive Roulette. There are also several live dealer baccarat variants such as Baccarat Squeeze. Among the most popular live online casino games, however, are poker games like Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker.
The tables in most live online casino game variants are segregated according to bet range. This means there are different tables for high-rollers and low-rollers. Low-roller tables usually give you more time to place your bets, whereas high-roller tables typically have shorter time intervals between bets.
The Technology Behind Live Online Casino Games
The interface between the live action at the game table and the digital technology of an online casino typically comes in a couple of forms. It uses a similar optical character recognition (OCR) technology for capturing specific playing cards to that used in car parks to capture the plate numbers of cars.
For roulette games, the technology usually has sensors to detect where the ball lands and a piece of hardware known as a Game Control Unit (GCU). The GCU digitizes game information. The GCU at every table is just the size of a shoe box, but live online casino would never be possible without it.
There are also at least three cameras surrounding every game table in a live online casino. One of these cameras shows the overall game scene, another focuses on the dealer, and the third one focuses on the game itself. Sitting in a control room away from the action, a game director controls the cameras and monitors the live chat between the dealer and players.
Technology is currently advancing at such a rate that it’s almost impossible for us mere mortals to keep up. Because of this, there are many in the gambling industry who believe the next leap forward for live online casino games will have to do with Virtual Reality (VR). If they’re right, online casino gaming will become even more realistic. Land-based casino operators will have to keep up with these developments if they want to stay alive.
Licenses and Laws Governing Live Online Casino Gaming
Just like table games at brick-and-mortar casinos, live online casino gaming is subject to strict regulations. These regulations help ensure that only the most responsible casino operators are able to run live casinos. It also gives players some peace of mind, knowing that they’re dealing with a legit and trustworthy operator.
All online casinos wanting to run live casino games need to apply for the proper license from the appropriate authority. Several facts need to be checked and requirements met before licenses are granted. For one thing, a company director must prove to be of good character, and the business itself must be financially sound. This helps ensure that all legit winnings will be honoured.
How do you play at a Live Online Casino?
If you already have an account at any online casino, then the first step towards playing a live online casino game is to log into that account. Of course, you have to make sure the online casino of your choice offers live games. Once you’re logged in, click on the Live Games option from the games menu.
In the live games menu, you will get to choose the type of game, and then the variant you want to play. You then need to choose a table based on the range of stakes and other factors. That’s it! You’re in. Now all you have to do is play the game the way you would if you were in a land-based casino with the dealers and other players.
The dealer calls the shots and dictates the pace of the game. Make sure your bets are placed before he makes the “no more bets” call. You’ll be sure to enjoy the fact that when you input your bet on the computer, it immediately shows up at the table, just like when you push your bet forward at the table in a land-based casino. In the same way, you’ll see the other players’ bets as they are placed on the table.
After the “no more bets” call, the dealer will then deal the cards or spin the wheel, depending on what game you’re playing. You will be able to watch everything play out on your computer screen. You’ll have both a full table and a close-up action view. The bets are settled in the same way they are at a physical location, and then the dealer clears the table and calls for a fresh round of bets.
Except for the fact that you’re in front of the computer and not at the table itself, and you cannot physically touch any of the other people involved in the game, everything else is pretty much the same as when you’re playing table games at a land-based casino.
Advantages of Playing Live Online Games
There are several advantages to be enjoyed from playing live online casino games, and these advantages are the biggest reasons why this mode of play is becoming more and more popular among casino players. First, live online games offer the kind of realistic experience second only to actually being at the table inside a land-based casino. Second, it offers a social environment where you can chat with the dealer and competing players in real time, as opposed to an RNG game where you’re practically just playing against the computer.
If you’ve never been to a land-based casino, playing live online casino games can be the perfect “rehearsal” for you. Being able to play in real time and socialize--albeit to a limited extent--with the dealer and other players gets you used to the atmosphere at table games in a way an RNG game never could. And when it’s time for your first outing to a land-based casino, you won’t feel so lost at the table.
There are players who are not comfortable with computer bots randomly simulating game outcomes, which is why they prefer table games over slot machines and other computer-controlled game. If you’re that kind of player, then the fact that game outcomes are physically determined by a human dealer in live online casino games will be a huge advantage for you.
Now, you may not think live online games have an advantage over actual, physical table games in land-based casinos. After all, the games in brick-and-mortar casinos are the real thing, right? Well, you’ll be surprised because there actually is at least one advantage held by live online game, and that is the availability of different games like Immersive Roulette and Baccarat Squeeze. So, if you want to try something you won’t see in physical casinos, live online casinos are the way to go.
Disadvantages of Playing Live Online Games
Of course, just like anything else, live online casino games don’t just come with a set of advantages. There are disadvantages to playing these games as well, and you would do well to know what they are so you can determine whether they’re something that will affect your decision to play live online games or not.
One disadvantage of live online games, as compared to RNG games, is that you will have to wait if the table you want to play on is full. In RNG games, you can always wager on a game regardless of how many other players are playing it at the same time. The same seating restrictions that apply in land-based casino games also apply in live online casino games, which is why you need to find a table with available seating or wait for your preferred table to have a spot available.
Another disadvantage is that live online casino games are not available in demo or free play mode, particularly because they happen in real time. If you’re relatively new to table games and you want to get a feel for the game first before wagering any money, then you’d do well to try RNG games instead.
Furthermore, there are games like Blackjack that require optimum strategy. In RNG, there are strategy cards you can use, but you don’t have the same advantage in live games. Average returns are therefore lower in live casino games than in RNG games. Finally, playing live online casino games can be a bit expensive, as it requires high-speed internet and a computer with fast processing abilities.
If you feel that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, and live online casino games are something you’d definitely want to try, then you’d likely want to learn strategies that can help ensure success in your live gaming adventures. As far as game strategies go, you can use the same strategies you use in both RNG games and physical table games in land-based casinos.
If you prefer playing Blackjack, though, you need to bear in mind that you no longer have the luxury of playing at your own pace when you opt for a live game because it is the dealer who sets the pace. So make sure you have your strategies mastered before you play your first live game. It is also advisable to start at a low-roller table if you’re a newbie, as these tables give you more time between moves.
You may also want to check if the online casino you’re in offers a “bet behind” option. This means you can back a player and will then win if that player wins, and lose if the player loses. Betting behind can be an excellent way to learn some game strategies before playing at the table yourself.
In many cases, players feel luckiest or in their best gaming element when they play at the table of a particular dealer. If you’re that kind of player, then you would do well to check dealer schedules so you’ll know when your favorite dealer will be online. The good news is that most online casinos post dealer schedules for their live games.
Now that you know how live online casino gaming works and what the advantages and disadvantages are, you should be in a better position to decide whether this is the kind of gaming experience you’d want to have. Live games are more expensive for casino operators to run, but they have become quite popular among gamblers and continue to grow in popularity, making it a sound business decision to add them to online casino sites. If you enjoy the casino experience and want to keep up with technological developments, then live gaming may be something you wouldn’t want to miss out on.