Best Live Dealer Casinos
The internet has eased many leisure pursuits - including, especially evidently, playing at a casino. Today, online casinos are in abundance; however, the allure of a traditional, bricks and mortar casino has never entirely faded, despite the obvious drawbacks of visiting one.
Such drawbacks include the need to spend time travelling to the casino, not to mention suitably preparing yourself for the trip. However, such casinos can remain much more atmospheric than the computerised casino games that are common online.
It is largely for these reasons that live casino gaming has grown in popularity. At a live casino, you can enjoy many of the merits of a traditional casino, except that you don't have to leave your home.
What Is a Live Casino?
It is typical for a well-rated casino site to have an entire section dedicated to live casino games. This will be clearly labelled as such; head into that section, and you will be able to choose from various live casino games. Each of these will give you a video feed of a dealer and their table in real time.
The streaming footage will capture what looks like a genuine casino - and, from your device, you can play the game and interact with the dealer. Here are more details of how live casino works.
How to Choose the Best Live Casino
As should be typical when looking for the right casino site of any kind, you should carefully consider the following aspects of a live casino.
- Bonuses and promotions - Practically every single live casino offers a welcome bonus, like a deposit match, while you can also enjoy other promotions later down the line; look out for cash back.
- Variety of live games - If you want to play a specific type of game, check that it will be available at a particular casino when you sign up to it. Roulette, blackjack and baccarat are often available – and variants on these could be on offer, too – at good sites.
- Software - The best live games often come from the software firms that are the most reputable in providing such games. Evolution Gaming and Playtech are two of the leading providers.
- Customer service - This is good for helping you to overcome issues while you are a member of the casino. Look for a site that has a live chat facility and a detailed FAQ section, as well as that displays their email address and phone number on a "contact us" page.
Live Casinos vs. Offline Casinos
Key to the appeal of live casinos is that they bring many of the usual advantages of land-based casinos while removing numerous drawbacks of them. This can become clear when you compare these two kinds of casino more closely. There can be noticeable differences in these areas:
- Deposit bonuses - Live casinos often permit lower minimum bets while offering more valuable bonuses. This is largely because these casinos' overheads and expenses are lower.
- Player overhead - Your own overhead is also going to be lower when you visit an online casino. You don't need to spend money on petrol for the car trip or chips to place on the tables.
- Betting options - These are typically more numerous in live casinos. For example, you can more easily duplicate another player's betting strategy, which is a particular boon in blackjack games. The game selection is also better, as we explain in our more detailed comparison of live and offline casinos.
Live Casino Games
- Live roulette - There are many variants of this – including Evolution Gaming's Immersive Roulette, which makes good use of camera angles, and the high-speed Auto/Slingshot Roulette.
- Live blackjack - This focuses strictly on blackjack in its classic form; however, some casinos offer side bets as well, while many operators also enable players to put bets on other players' hands.
- Live baccarat - This is offered at virtually all live casinos. Look out for a baccarat variant called punto banco, where you compete against the bank instead of other players.
- Live Casino Hold'Em - This, a twist on Texas Hold'Em, can be especially fun, as you compete not with other players, but instead the dealer – who, of course, you are able to see live.
- Live sic bo - The sole dice game that can come with a live dealer, it involves you placing bets on a board that is much like a roulette board. Three dice are used in this game.
Live Casino Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses available from live casino games can differ depending on the operators. With some, you can have your initial deposit matched up to a specific maximum amount. This is in place of the standard welcome bonus that you might otherwise expect at an online casino.
There is another type of bonus that can be picked up after you deposit a particular amount and turn it over on live games a certain number of times. You might even have the option of collecting a bonus that does not depend on you making any deposit, although such bonuses are uncommon.
Live Casino Software and Technology
The technology behind a live casino game can affect your experience of it; it therefore pays to look carefully at which firms provide software for a particular live casino before you play there.
Typically, live casinos do not create and provide the games that they offer. Still, you would use the account that you have with the casino itself to access and compete in those games. Furthermore, most casinos will rely on the same software provider for all of their live games.
Software providers that we especially advise you to look out for include Evolution Gaming, which offers not only classic games such as roulette and blackjack, but also Casino Hold'Em and three card poker.
Evolution Gaming leads the live casino market with its sophisticated infrastructure and huge choice of live games. Playtech's game selection is also broad; it is particularly notable for being among the few providers offering sic bo as a live game.
The choice from Microgaming tends to be limited to classic games including blackjack and roulette. NetEnt's range is lacking, too; however, the quality of the company's HD video streaming is stunning.
Mobile Live Casino
Many live casino games can indeed be played through mobile apps. You might not even notice any difference between the quality of the video streaming on your smartphone and that on your PC.
You should bear in mind that it is not standard for all operators to provide live casino games online, while those operators that do so can still limit the choice of these games. Nonetheless, when an operator does provide the option, this could give you an additional great reason to play at that casino.
Many live casinos also run mobile-optimised websites which might suffice for you, leaving it unnecessary to download an app.
As live offerings are not standardised across casino sites, reading our reviews of these sites can assist you in discerning which of them especially warrant your attention.
Check out the reviews and ratings at Top 10 Best Online Casinos today to find the perfect live casino site for you!