Live Dealer Casinos
Live Casinos are a relatively new concept when it comes to online gambling.
A ‘live casino’ is just as it sounds – all the gambling take place in a live, real-world casino, and the action is fed back to the punters via a video feed to their PCs.
If you were to head back to around 2010, you’d be very hard-pressed to find any online gambling sites that offered live casino action, but now most of the top online casinos will offer at least baccarat, blackjack and roulette as live casino options.
Live Casinos – how they work
Live casino action does not actually take place in a live casino as such. Instead, the gaming takes place in a live studio that’s similar to a TV studio. Each table has a single (usually female, and usually one whom is ‘hot’ looking) dealer, and a number of available playing slots.
When you play at a live casino, you are fed a live video feed of the action back to your PC or laptop (or, very occasionally, smart-phone or tablet). A software overlay appears over the feed and enables you to make your choices and place your bets. Your bets will appear as icons on the table’s playing surface.
The dealer or croupier has a TV or computer interface in front of them. Here they can see the actions of the players and act accordingly. For example, during a game of blackjack, the dealer with need to know if you want to hit or stay, or split, double down or surrender depending on the rules of the game.
Automation is the key
As a lot of the action at a live casino is computer-controlled, it makes sense to have as much of the action automated as possible, which is precisely what happens. Each card that is dealt by the dealer has either a microchip embedded within it, or a bar code printed upon it. When the card is dealt, the dealer passes it over a sensor that registers the card with the computer software, and feeds it into the PC interface. Your cards will then be displayed both on the table and in the interface. You will note that cards used at live casinos are bigger than normal playing cards, with oversized numbers and letters.
Card-counting at an live casino
If you know a bit about blackjack, then you will know that card-counting – though legal – is severely frowned upon by casinos, as it’s the only sure-fire way to swing the advantage your way while playing blackjack. With card counting at blackjack, you keep a mental note of how many tens have been appearing from the deck. The less frequent they are, the higher you bet.
Card-counting at an online casino is not possible. When a new shoe is brought into play, the dealer will deal a random number of cards face down before the shoe is used. Then, during the course of the deal, some cards will be dealt face-down from the shoe but then discarded. This means a player can never be sure how many tens have appeared, so the usual card-counting tactics will not work.
Why play at a live casino?
Most players who prefer to play at a live casino do so for fun. Many find it a lot more pleasant to see the cards being dealt by a live person rather than by computer software. Also, many live casinos will allow you to chat to the dealer and your fellow players, either by messaging or a microphone if you have one. You will always be able to hear the dealer talking to you as audio comes along with the live video feed. Live casino dealers have been trained very well to be friendly, approachable and fun, as that makes the whole live casino experience much more enjoyable.
The games that are available
The most popular variants at a live casino are baccarat, blackjack and roulette. Some online casinos will also offer casino poker or sic bo. You’ll never find craps at a live casino as that of course needs a player to be at the table to throw the dice!
If you fancy a few hands or spins at a live casino, why not sign up for any of the many live casinos available on the internet. You might just discover a great new hobby if you do, but remember as always to gamble responsibly.