A live casino, or live dealer casino are both terms used to describe a type of online gambling that uses sophisticated software, high quality live stream video and live dealers to provide players with an exciting alternative to the computer controlled virtual games that have long been the usual fare at online casinos. All of this is done with the aim by the online casinos to create a realistic alternative to a land-based casino.
The Inner Workings of a Live Casino
Live casinos are a novel and fun way to experience of online gambling, but how do they work?
Firstly, it is important to understand that these live casinos are provided by a software provider. It is this provider that sets up the studio and provides the technology to stream the games to the individual casinos. There are a number of high profile providers offering casino games such as Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and Playtech.
For players who are new to the live casino platform it is advisable to search for a casino that has a live casinos powered by one of these providers in order to ensure a good first gaming experience. Different providers also offer different games, and even if providers have the same games on offer, they very often contain subtle differences so players should check all game rules before joining.
Live dealers in casino studios
Each provider has a set of studios that are dressed to look like a casino. In some cases these rooms are actually in a land-based casino. The tables will each have a live dealer who will interact with the players in real time, conversing and playing through the game as per the player’s wishes. All other functions are performed online.
When playing at a live casino, each player will be faced with a virtual overlay screen on top of the live feed. It is through this screen that all their bets and decisions are made. Much as it is in a virtual game, players can use their mouse to select and place bets on the required area of the screen.
It is also via the screen that they will be prompted to make decisions, such as stick, fold or hit. Clicking on these options will then alert the dealer to the player’s move as they have a screen in front of them which informs them of both the player’s decision and the amount of the bet. The dealer can then move on through the game accordingly.
Live chat function
Contact with the dealer also occurs though this platform via a live chat function. Players can type their comments or questions, which will then pop up on the dealer’s screen. They won’t type an answer back as they will be dealing the cards or spinning the wheel but instead will answer players verbally.
It should be noted that there are strict policies in place on what subjects can and cannot be talked about with the dealer. Failure by the player to comply with these rules can get them removed from the live casino permanently.
All play is recorded by multiple high quality video cameras and these feeds are streamed directly to the player’s computer. All feeds are monitored by the providers, and in some instances an instant replay will be available for the player to verify certain moves and results.
What happens if I win?
When it comes to paying out the bets, all wagers and player decisions have been recorded within the software so the dealer themselves do not need to make any of the calculations. Instead, as with the rest of an online casino, the software does it for them. Winnings will be paid directly into the player’s account.
Trustworthiness of Live Casinos
There are a number of safeguards in place on live casinos to ensure that foul play from either side is hard to perform and quickly spotted if attempted.
Firstly, all casinos are licensed with authorities around the world that have very strict regulations in place that the casino must adhere to. A certain amount of software is also in place in a live casino, such as card reading programs and those that test the results of roulette spins.
These, like the virtual games, are all audited by third party companies. The live dealers themselves are monitored by a pit boss that regularly checks their dealing and makes sure that all rules and procedures are followed.
When it comes to card games, the dealer must shuffle all cards in full view of the camera and the players. Often, dealing shoes are provided, with a new shoe for each round of betting. Manual dealing shoes are in operation for half of the game before they are switched out for a new one in an attempt to thwart online card counters.
Multiple camera angles
All games have multiple camera angles, with the live feed streamed directly to the players, and these are monitored in order to detect any potential issues. With this in mind, all the games have very rigid rules, which the dealers must abide by, therefore not having any influence on the game whatsoever.
Some live casinos will also play live television feeds in the background to prove that the games are happening in real time and not pre-recorded.
Why Are Online Casinos Operating Live Casinos?
Running a live casino is much more expensive than a virtual one because a live casino requires a physical location, cameras, cameramen, dealers, pit bosses and higher levels of technology to ensure that the games run smoothly.
Because of this, many casinos will not offer as many games in their live casino as they do in their virtual libraries. Usually, the standard games that are found in the live casinos include baccarat, blackjack and roulette. With this additional expense in mind, it may seem strange that more and more live casinos are cropping up across the web.
Live casinos are very popular
The reason for there being an increasing number of live casinos is a simple one: Popularity. The online casino industry is constantly growing. More players are seeking their entertainment online, and with an increase in technology and the ability to connect and play via a mobile device, online casinos have never seen so much business.
The lure of being able to play as if at a land based casino is a strong one, and something that brings in thousands of players. As such any additional expenses that a casino might incur from operating a live casino are generally offset by the high influx of players.
Live casinos are very much the now. Their innovative features, attractive dealers and generally fast game play are serving to make them highly popular.
The addition of some software providers operating these games from an actual land based casino, alongside real players, is only serving to push this genre even further forward.
As technology improves, video feeds become more involved in the action and eye technology for the dealer reaches new heights, players at home can feel like they are a major part of the action without ever having to leave their couch.